Society and Culture News

Popular Decisions, Unpopular Outcomes

Jan 11, 2016
The president’s moves are bound to remain popular, despite leading to disastrous outcomes. Today’s Russia may serve as a teaching aide for anyone interested in studying the effects of populism.

Personalized Medicine: A Faustian Bargain?

Dec 10, 2015
Therapies tailored to an individual's particular genetic makeup could be highly effective—but they could also be too expensive for many of those whose DNA donations go into creating the treatments.

How Naples Became Europe’s Great Musical Machine

Dec 08, 2015
Music’s hold over Naples, Italy, has remained omnipresent throughout its history. It is, in a sense, a city founded on song.

“Solzhenitsyn: The Untranslated Oeuvre”

Dec 04, 2015
The Kennan Institute launched the Solzhenitsyn Initiative in 2014 to translate major works by Nobel Laureate Alexandr Solzhenitsyn (1918-2007) for the first time into English. Solzhenitsyn, best known in the West as the author of The Gulag Archipelago and One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich, wrote a number of other books, including a history of the Russian Revolution and his autobiography of his years in exile in the United States, that have been translated into other languages, but not into English.

Hometown D.C.: America’s Secret Music City

Nov 16, 2015
Washington is one of America’s compelling music cities. Like Green’s “secret city,” D.C. remains absent from far too many narratives about American music.

Russia’s Way of Managing Responsibility or Why the Kremlin Will Have To Escalate in Syria

Nov 09, 2015
The cause of the most terrible plane crash in Russian history has not yet been named. Officially, there is still a possibility that the crash of the Russian passenger plane that went down on the Sinai Peninsula, Egypt, on October 31st was due to a technical failure, not an act of terror. But still, there is a responsibility to be assumed: either for aircraft maintenance or for Russia’s role in the Syrian war. The two types of responsibility are vastly different, but they both involve holding state officials accountable for protecting citizens’ safety.

From Collards to Kale: Redefining Washington’s West End

Oct 22, 2015
Washington, D.C. has lived through almost seven decades of gentrification, beginning with Georgetown in the 1940s and continuing until today when it is reaching Brookland and beyond. Much has been gained. Washington has become a safer, more interesting, and more vibrant city. However, as the story of the West End reveals, much has been lost.

Russian Opinion Polls Come Full Circle

Oct 19, 2015
"The public’s attitudes, concerns and aspirations are seen by the Kremlin as a security matter. They are important not in themselves, but in the way they contribute to regime stability or instability," writes Maxim Trudolyubov.

Are Think Tanks Too Partisan?

Oct 07, 2015
"A real “safe political space” has to be safe for controversial ideas; it has to welcome perspectives that disrupt, threaten or unsettle." writes Jane Harman

The Pope in Cuba: What Does it Mean?

Sep 21, 2015
"The worldwide popularity of Pope Francis and the oft expressed media speculation that he might use his visit to pressure the Cuban government to initiate major changes misconstrues the role of the Cuban church, as well as the purposes of the papal visits which were and are primarily pastoral aimed at fortifying the evangelizing capacity of the Cuban church," writes Margaret Crahan on the papal visit to Cuba.

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