“What In The World? Weekly Quiz” – Aug 19-25, 2019

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Check your global affairs awareness with these ten questions taken from the week’s news reports provided via @TNWAC #TNWACquiz.

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Mary Raffety, Nashville, TN

Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN

David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL 

Yezzie Dospil, Nashville, TN

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Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day

By Sheri Berman

At the end of the twentieth century, many believed the story of European political development had come to an end. Modern democracy began in Europe, but for hundreds of years it competed with various forms of dictatorship. Now, though, the entire continent was in the democratic camp for the first time in history. But within a decade, this story had already begun to unravel. Some of the continent’s newer democracies slid back towards dictatorship, while citizens in many of its older democracies began questioning democracy’s functioning and even its legitimacy. And of course it is not merely in Europe where democracy is under siege. Across the globe the immense optimism accompanying the post-Cold War democratic wave has been replaced by pessimism. Many new democracies in Latin America, Africa, and Asia began “backsliding,” while the Arab Spring quickly turned into the Arab winter. The victory of Donald Trump led many to wonder if it represented a threat to the future of liberal democracy in the United States. Indeed, it is increasingly common today for leaders, intellectuals, commentators and others to claim that rather than democracy, some form of dictatorship or illiberal democracy is the wave of the future.

In Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe, Sheri Berman traces the long history of democracy in its cradle, Europe. She explains that in fact, just about every democratic wave in Europe initially failed, either collapsing in upon itself or succumbing to the forces of reaction. Yet even when democratic waves failed, there were always some achievements that lasted. Even the most virulently reactionary regimes could not suppress every element of democratic progress. Panoramic in scope, Berman takes readers through two centuries of turmoil: revolution, fascism, civil war, and – -finally — the emergence of liberal democratic Europe in the postwar era. A magisterial retelling of modern European political history, Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe not explains how democracy actually develops, but how we should interpret the current wave of illiberalism sweeping Europe and the rest of the world.

About Sheri Berman

Sheri Berman is a professor of Political Science at Barnard College, Columbia University.  Her research interests include European history and politics; the development of democracy; populism and fascism; and the history of the left.  She has written about these topics for a wide variety of scholarly and non-scholarly publications, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy, Foreign Affairs, and VOX.  She currently serves on the boards of the Journal of Democracy, Dissent and Political Science Quarterly.  Her most recent book, Democracy and Dictatorship: From the Ancien Regime to the Present Day, is published by Oxford University Press.

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We’ll post the answers and the names of the winner(s) in next week’s quiz.

Here’s last week’s questions and answers:


WEEK OF AUGUST 12-18, 2019

1. US China Trade War. Goldman Sachs warned its clients on Sunday that the U.S.-China trade war could produce all of these results EXCEPT:

A. Increased likelihood of a global recession.
B. China’s withdrawal from the World Trade Organization.
C. September 1st American tariffs on final $300B worth of Chinese imports will take effect.
D. Little likelihood of a trade deal before the 2020 election.

Correct Response: B. China’s withdrawal from the World Trade Organization.

2. Kashmir. The two nuclear armed states considered most likely to go to war with one another – India and Pakistan — have a new crisis to navigate as India’s government under prime minister Narendra Modi announced and parliament approved THIS action.

A. Overturning the constitutional provision on autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir.
B. Expansion of the Indian Navy to include four new ballistic missile submarines.
C. Restriction on family reunification visas in regions bordering Pakistan.
D. Economic warfare through a new traffic regime intended to limit Pakistani imports.

Correct Response: A. Overturning the constitutional provision on autonomy for Jammu and Kashmir.

3. Hong Kong Protests. As violent protests and counter attacks entering the second month in Hong Kong intensified Beijing condemned the “extremely rampant and deranged” protests and warned that a “blow from the sword of law is waiting for them in the future.” China took control of Hong Kong in 1997 from the United Kingdom under an arrangement know as THIS until 2047.

A. Rugged individualism
B. One country, two systems.
C. On a road to brotherly unity
D. Two peoples under a common flag

Correct Response: B. One country, two systems.

4. Nuclear Future. On the anniversary of the Hiroshima atomic bomb attack last week former Senator Sam Nunn and former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz warned of a new strategic instability between the United States and Russia citing the “deliberate and accelerating breakdown of the arms control architecture” including the recent INF Treaty breakdown. Nunn and Moniz also warned about an uncertain future for THIS arms control treaty up for renewal in 2021.

A. Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) of 2015
B. Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons of 2005
C. Strategic Arms Limitation Talks (SALT IV) of 2006
D. The New START Treaty of 2011

Correct Response: D. The New START Treaty of 2011

5. ISIS Redux. The Inspector General for U.S. Operation Inherent Resolve (combatting ISIS in Iraq and Syria) issued a report last week which noted that the partial withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria was THIS:

A. Appropriate to battlefield conditions given the demise of the ISIS Caliphate.
B. Disruptive to support for partner forces response to ISIS resurgent cells.
C. Well received by allies in the region and fostered Turkish-Kurdish relations.
D. Necessary to realign force deployment in the Persian Gulf.

Correct Response: B. Disruptive to support for partner forces response to ISIS resurgent cells.

6. US-UK on Iran. U.S. National Security Advisor was in London reportedly to urge the United Kingdom to do THIS to add pressure on Iran.

A. Coordinate with U.S. special forces to rescue a UK-flagged oil tanker seized by Iran last month.
B. As a signatory to the JCPOA follow America’s lead in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.
C. Block European actions to work around U.S. sanctions on Iran through creation of a new currency exchange regime.
D. Join U.S. military forces in the Persian Gulf in establishing a merchant vessel convoy and protection regime.

Correct Response: B. As a signatory to the JCPOA follow America’s lead in withdrawing from the Iran nuclear deal.

7. DPRK Provocations. North Korea quoted U.S. President Donald Trump in explaining the continuation of THIS provocative activity. A Foreign Ministry official said, “Even the US president made a remark which in effect recognizes the self-defensive rights of a sovereign state.”

A. Reinforcement of tank and artillery units near the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
B. Submarine deployments along the coast of South Korea in the Sea of Japan.
C. Fighter jet intercepts of U.S. reconnaissance in international airspace over the East China Sea.
D. A series of test firings of a new type of short-range ballistic missile.

Correct Response: D. A series of test firings of a new type of short-range ballistic missile.

8. American Sanctions. President Trump increased pressure on THIS country by announcing last week a complete economic embargo, issuing an executive order banning Americans from doing business with THIS government.

A. Venezuela
B. Cuba
C. North Korea
D. Iran

Correct Response: A. Venezuela

9. Moscow Crackdown. The largest demonstrations in years filled the streets of Moscow with about 50,000 protestors. The ongoing demonstrations are demanding THIS as well as release of protestors previously arrested.

A. Suspension of Moscow’s Mayor for plotting illegal detention of protestors.
B. End of roundup of young men evading Army conscription.
C. End the ban on opposition candidates in Moscow elections.
D. Eliminate new charges for previously free-tuition universities.

Correct Response: C. End the ban on opposition candidates in Moscow elections.

10. Brexit Jitters. The uncertainty of the UK leaving the European Union on October 31st without a deal is causing pre-departure issues for London. THIS development this week was the latest troublesome issue.

A. UK manufacturers released a forecast suggesting a downtown in exports to EU markets of about 45 billion GB Pounds in the first sixth months of a no-deal Brexit.
B. The UK economy shrank 0.2% for second quarter 2019, the first contraction in seven years.
C. The British Provisions Association warned food stocks may fall short of demand as European supplies would be unstable after October 31st.
D. Representatives of the Irish Government and the Northern Ireland contingency government met to discuss post-Brexit remedies to a UK hard border.

Correct Response: B. The UK economy shrank 0.2% for second quarter 2019, the first contraction in seven years.

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