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Articles on Political violence

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Northern Irish protesters on April 7, 2021, burn the Peace Gate in Belfast, built in the 1990s to separate the city’s warring Protestant and Catholic communities. Charles McQuillan/Getty Images

Northern Ireland, born of strife 100 years ago, again erupts in political violence

Brexit has reopened an old battle over Northern Irish identity, leading to clashes in the street. Scores have been injured in the troubled UK territory’s worst outbreak of violence in decades.
The U.S. was one of 33 countries to experience election-related violence in 2020 – the worst year for peaceful elections ever. Brent Stirton/Getty Images

Election violence spiked worldwide in 2020 – will this year be better?

Elections are getting less safe in democracies and nondemocracies alike. Last year was the bloodiest year for elections in decades, with 54% of all national votes marred by some kind of violence.
Armed demonstrators attend a rally in front of the Michigan Capitol in Lansing to protest the governor’s stay-at-home order on May 14, 2020. Scott Olson/Getty Images

What those mourning the fragility of American democracy get wrong

Everyone’s saying it: ‘Democracy is fragile’ in the United States. But a political science scholar says that has always been the case.
Parler is similar to Twitter but doesn’t control or discourage hate speech or calls to violence. OLIVIER DOULIERY/AFP via Getty Image

Big Tech’s rejection of Parler shuts down a site favored by Trump supporters – and used by participants in the US Capitol insurrection

Millions of supporters of Donald Trump flocked to the far-right social media platform, where hate speech and calls for violence thrive. The US Capitol insurrection could be the platform’s undoing.
A supporter of President Donald Trump, seen wearing a QAnon shirt, is confronted by Capitol Police officers outside the Senate Chamber during the invasion of the U.S. Capitol. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)

QAnon and the storm of the U.S. Capitol: The offline effect of online conspiracy theories

Conspiracy theories spread online are the backbone of Donald Trump’s falsehoods about his loss in the U.S. election. The real world consequences of those conspiracies have now exploded.
In a widely publicized speech on the House floor, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez carefully analyzed the harmful effects of sexism in Congress. Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc. via Getty Images

How sexist abuse of women in Congress amounts to political violence – and undermines American democracy

Misogyny combined with partisan vitriol is a dangerous combination for women politicians and American democracy, says a recent House resolution denouncing ‘violence against women in politics.’
Anti-racism protesters clash with police and federal agents outside the Justice Center in Portland, Oregon in July. David Swanson/EPA

Is political violence ever justifiable?

A political philosopher on why denying the right to resistance poses a far greater threat to a society than embracing it.
A man carrying a club is seen as the Proud Boys, a right-wing pro-Trump group, gather with their allies in a rally against left-wing Antifa in Portland, Oregon, Sept. 26, 2020. John Rudoff/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Election violence in November? Here’s what the research says

Are the conditions ripe in the US for violence before, during or after the presidential election?
Refugees who fled xenophobic attacks recently protested in Cape Town demanding to be sent elsewhere. Brenton Geach/Gallo Images via Getty Images

How South Africa is denying refugees their rights: what needs to change

The policy and law applying to refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa is largely progressive. But, in practice, they continue to endure hardship and unfair treatment by officials.
Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s replacement as leader of Inkatha Freedom Party after 44 marked the end of an era. GCIS/Flickr

Politician’s succession sparks democracy debate in South Africa

The IFP’s constitution provides that the nomination of national office bearers be approved by the branches. But this was not done in the nomination of its new president.

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