Book Review

Chinese Politics – Part I and II

Ram Madhav, November 18, 2020

This is a 15-week two part course on Chinese domestic and international politics offered by Prof. David Zweig of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, which I completed today. Although a bit timed – this coursed was recorded in 2016 – it gives an excellent overview of the entire spectrum of Chinese politics […]

Why Liberalism Failed ?

Ram Madhav, October 28, 2020

Liberalism is an idea with a history of close to five centuries. It got institutionalised in the 18th century through two historic incidents – making of the American Constitution in 1788 and the French Revolution in 1789. These two historical incidents which happened around the same time but 6000 km apart, led to the evolution of […]

The India Way: Strategies for an Uncertain World

Ram Madhav, September 26, 2020

Capturing the foreign policy vision, direction and action of a 1.3 billion people-strong country like India in just around 200 pages is an astoundingly difficult task that Dr Jaishankar, India’s current Foreign Minister accomplishes with considerable aplomb. The illustrious son of an equally, if not more, illustrious father – one of India’s doyens of strategic […]

The Right Side of History: How Reason and Moral Purpose made the West Great

Ram Madhav, September 15, 2020

“What do I think of western civilisation? I think it would be a good idea” – This famous quote attributed to Mahatma Gandhi may sound a bit condescending. But many share this scepticism and condescension about the west; that its lifestyle and value system is not worth calling a civilisation. It is not fully true. […]

Israel – State and Society

Ram Madhav, August 29, 2020

Israel is a country that fascinates many. A tiny Jewish island surrounded by largely hostile and many times bigger Arab countries, Israel has defied conventional understanding of statecraft to emerge as one of the developed, strong and courageous nations kindling a romantic imagination about the uniqueness of its people, and the government. I have been […]

The Room Where it Happened – A White House Memoir

Ram Madhav, July 24, 2020

In the last four years, the Donald Trump administration in America has witnessed abrupt end of the careers of many high ranking officials. They either quit their coveted posts in the middle of their tenure, or dismissed uncermoneously, eitherway mostly under controversial circumstances. There were dozens of them, but some names stand out – like […]

Religions and Society in China

Ram Madhav, July 9, 2020

Just completed this 9-week short-lecture course being offered by the National University Higher School of Economics in Moscow. It is an easy and interesting course for those who want to understand the religious history of China and how the atheist China government and the CCP deal with religion in contemporary China. One thing that strikes […]

The People vs Democracy

Ram Madhav, June 30, 2020

Yascha Mounk’s book The People vs. Democracy is informative, but unconvincing. His arguments that present day democracies are posing a danger to the freedoms of the people sound hollow when examined carefully. Yascha’s arguments don’t sound logical also for the reason that he doesn’t hide his antipathy for nationalism and of course his dislike, bordering […]

The Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World

Ram Madhav, June 8, 2020

Completed another very interesting course by Dr. Ebrahim Afsah of the Copenhagen University on “The Constitutional Struggles in the Muslim World”. This 10-week course deals with the recent histories of almost all the Muslim countries in the world including those in the Middle East, North Africa, South East Asia and the Indian Sub-continent. Certainly a […]