A sobering verdict on Russia and China from Prof. Ignatieff

Al Assad poster
A vandalised poster of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad lies in a trash container in the northern city of Aleppo on July 24, 2012. A commercial hub and home to 2.5 million people, Syria's second city Aleppo has become a new front in the country's 16-month uprising, after being largely excluded from the violence. (AFP PHOTO / BULENT KILIC)

Michael Ignatieff, writing at the blog for the New York Review of Books, looks at Great Power Diplomacy and Syria and has some rather dire observations: Continue reading A sobering verdict on Russia and China from Prof. Ignatieff

The Public Intellectual: A good or a bad thing?

The last two individuals that the Liberal Party of Canada put up as candidates to be the country’s prime minister were both, by most definitions of the phrase, public intellectuals. And both were savaged by their chief opponents, the Conservative Party of Canada, precisely because they were public intellectuals.

In their French-language attack ads leading up to and during the 2008 federal election, the Conservatives sneered at “professor” St├ęphane Dion. Again, in 2011, Michael Ignatieff’s academic credentials and long career as a public intellectual was not, so far as the Conservatives were concerned, an asset for someone hoping to be prime minister but instead was something to be laughed at and derided. Continue reading The Public Intellectual: A good or a bad thing?