Tag: America

  • The Anatomy of Arrogance: How to understand the Donald Trump phenomenon

    Pride is one of the cardinal sins, but in today’s America it seems to have  become a virtue. If Donald Trump’s rhetoric is anything to go by, and the reaction he is getting from his ‘fans,’ then this ‘sin,’ seems to be the way to win elections. In the language of culture studies, this absolute […]

  • Should you give ‘Directly,’ for impact? Lessons from my mom’s charitable experiments

    What is the best way to help people? Is it to let the market forces determine who should survive and who should sink, or should there be intervention from the state or other players? How should philanthropy be directed towards individuals and communities? These questions have neither clear-cut answers, nor a good way of being […]

  • Do we need accurate data about Nonprofits in the US ?

    Last weekend, I attended a conference / brainstorm hosted by the American University, in partnership with the Urban Institute. Titled  ‘Nonprofit Panel Data Symposium,’ the two day event attracted some of the top brains in the country, working in the nonprofit/ civil society sector. As a young scholar who is interested in the sector and […]

  • How to tell someone they are wrong

    I got  into an argument with a friend just yesterday. The topic was U.S. Foreign policy in the Middle East. While I do have strong ideas about this issue, so did my friend – who is a Veteran. We had a few strong exchanges and clarified our positions, in no uncertain terms. But after my […]

  • Ten Commandments for an International Relations Professional

    I received an email from a relative in India, requesting me to speak with his niece, who is considering grad school in the U.S. She wants to specialize in International Relations. This is perhaps the fifth or so request I have received in the last year. So, I thought of writing a blog post for […]

  • How to travel like Ibn Battuta?

    How to travel like Ibn Battuta?

    Ibn Battuta is one of my heroes. He is what Americans would call ‘badass’. He sits well on top of the list of people I have admired and loved – for their generosity of spirit, sense of adventure, or sheer bravery. What started as the journey of a 20 yr old man to go to […]

  • Development: For whom and why?

    Over the last two weeks, I have had a few interesting discussions on ‘development,’ both in the context of local community development and international development. One can see conflation of security discourses, humanitarian and related concerns in each of these debates.  The dominant narrative about ‘development,’ in the context of Asia and Africa seems to […]

  • Religious Freedom laws in the U.S. : Freedoms used to justify discrimination?

    I taught my students about the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA), a law that is being used to pass similar laws in various states in the U.S. The most controversial case involves  a similar law in Indiana. The contours of the case point to the idea that private businesses can discriminate against LGBT couples. But […]

  • Social Development in India – What do We Know?

    I met Dr. Abusaleh Shariff about a year ago, through a common friend. We kept in touch and promised to connect the next time I was going to be in D.C. It turned out that I was able to meet him just yesterday and spent a good hour chatting about various initiatives at the US […]

  • So, you want to get a Ph.D ?

    About half a dozen friends have reached out to me, over the last two and half years since I have been in a Ph.D program (in the U.S.) to ask me what it is like. While it is impossible to fully describe what it is to be a full-time student, and the joys of going […]

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