Soon after taking office, US President Joe Biden declared: “America is back.” The message was that, after the volatile unreliability of his predecessor Donald Trump, his nation would contribute constructively to international alliances, wholeheartedly endorse democracy and support a rule-based international order. The message was welcome, but it was not entirely convincing.
This post directly relates to my previous one, in which I pointed out what Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing misunderstand about “free speech” on digital platforms. In this second part of my review of their book “The paradox of democracy”, I’ll explain why their definition of democracy is insufficient too.
“The paradox of democracy” by Zac Gershberg and Sean Illing is a disappointing book. The New York Times made me aware of it, promising an analysis of what impact digital media have on democracy. Therefore, I hoped the book would outline the pros and cons of digitalisation. Unfortunately, the two authors use a far too simplistic notion of democracy and largely shy away from considering how exactly the Internet is modifying political communication.
Russia’s attack on Ukraine has a massive impact on global affairs. It is driving inflation for example. Nonetheless, many Africans and Asians shy away from taking sides against Russia, arguing that western powers are guilty of “military mischief” too. There is no equivalence however.
A recent judgement by the US Supreme Court has undermined its nation’s claim to global leadership. The Court decided that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) may not use some policy tools to reduce greenhouse- gas emissions, arguing that such regulation would be so transformative it would need an explicit mandate from Congress.