Essays & Op-Eds

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  • Cultural Criticism
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  • Fascism and the Global Right
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People with computers at a meeting

The Sexual Harassment We Don’t Talk About

She arrives at the meeting to present a report that she’s worked on for months. Within minutes he’s at her side, telling her she looks gorgeous today. He sits next …

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When Investigators Threatened His Power, He Declared Dictatorship

He threatened the press, joked about ruling for life and bullied everyone, including the allies who helped him get into office, while enjoying a cult following among his base. When …

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Protest march in Madrid against La Manada sentence, in the Spanish Parliament

This message keeps the global #MeToo movement alive

The #MeToo movement has shown once again the wisdom of the adage that there is strength in numbers — even as it highlights that it is still difficult for individual …

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Matteo Salvini - Manifestazione Piazza Duomo - 24 Febbraio 2018

In Italy’s Elections, the Fascists Did Scarily Well

Italy’s elections may have ended in a political deadlock — no one party or alliance gained the 40% necessary to have an absolute Parliamentary majority — but the projected results …

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President Donald J. Trump delivers his presidential inaugural address

Americans don’t want authoritarian spectacles, but Trump does

(CNN) President Donald Trump loves a good show, especially if he’s the protagonist. He’s the first POTUS to have starred in his own reality television series, and, with President Ronald …

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Ginsburg speaks at naturalization ceremony 2018

RBG revolutionized the world for women. We should listen to her

She was sexually harassed in college. When she finished law school, at the top of her class, she only found a clerkship when her professor promised the prospective employer that …

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President of the United States Donald Trump speaking at the 2017 Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC)

Beware of President Trump’s Nefarious Language Games

The strongman knows that it starts with words. He uses them early on to test out his plans to expand and personalize executive power on political elites, the press and …

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United States President Barack Obama speaks

Obama is right: US democracy is fragile

Former President Barack Obama was right to speak out Thursday at the Economic Club of Chicago to warn Americans about the fragility of our democracy. Signs abound that our freedoms …

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President Rodrigo Roa Duterte and US President Donald Trump

No, Trump is not a madman — because he knows exactly what he’s doing

Many have sought to diagnose President Trump’s mental health from afar, depicting him as delusional, narcissistic or a madman. Such an approach is understandable, since many of us struggle to make sense of his …

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Alexander Acosta participates in the White House Made in America Showcase

Strongmen are riding high — and headed for a fall

It was a prank when Navy pilots — for whatever reason — traced a giant penis and testicles in the sky recently in Okanogan County, Washington, but an apt one for …

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Ruth Ben-Ghiat Portrait

Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s essays and op-eds translate her vast knowledge of the logic of power and the authoritarian playbook into analyses of the operation and endgame of the global right today, including in Donald Trump’s America. Her writings on hate speech, leader body politics, and the power of symbols reveal how propaganda works and remind us of power of images to shape opinion and feeling. Her op-ed on photographs of the Trump-Putin summit was one of CNN’s “Top 10” for 2018, and her 2017 New Yorker essay on the persistence of Fascist monuments in Italy sparked an ongoing international debate on the legacy and memory of Mussolini’s regime.

Ruth Ben-Ghiat Portrait

Ruth Ben-Ghiat’s essays and op-eds translate her vast knowledge of the logic of power and the authoritarian playbook into analyses of the operation and endgame of the global right today, including in Donald Trump’s America. Her writings on hate speech, leader body politics, and the power of symbols reveal how propaganda works and remind us of power of images to shape opinion and feeling. Her op-ed on photographs of the Trump-Putin summit was one of CNN’s “Top 10” for 2018, and her 2017 New Yorker essay on the persistence of Fascist monuments in Italy sparked an ongoing international debate on the legacy and memory of Mussolini’s regime.

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