Are Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump Two Sides of the Same Populist Coin?

American democracy is elitist and insular by design. But since the early days of the republic, “populist” movements have mounted vigorous challenges and tried to broaden democratic participation. The buzzword “populism” is thus best understood as a strategy of political mobilization that can encompass a wide range of (progressive or reactionary) political ideologies. Continue Reading

Dazed and Confused

In the spring of 2011, I reported from Egypt on the aftermath of the Arab Spring for The European and Byliner, and tried to capture some of the excitement, hope, and uncertainty that permeated Cairo’s activist and journalistic circles. Five years later, it’s terribly saddening to witness the country’s political trajectory. The ancien regime once again survived a revolution. Continue Reading

What Bicycle Helmets Tell Us About Cultural Norms

I wrote an article for the Wall Street Journal that uses my stubborn resistance to bicycle helmets to ask a broader question: Are our assessments of risk based largely on the probability of harm, or are they mainly rooted in cultural norms? Continue Reading