“What In The World? Weekly Quiz” – Aug 5-11, 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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Charles Bowers, Nashville, TN

David Hillinck, Huntsville, AL

Mary Raffety, Nashville, TN

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 Across the globe the immense optimism accompanying the post-Cold War democratic wave has been replaced by pessimism.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.

To get in on the quiz make sure you’re getting TNWAC emails (here’s the free subscription link: http://eepurl.com/gt6dn) and make sure you’re following @TNWAC on Twitter.

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:



1. A report on Thursday pointed out that Russia had attacked election systems in all 50 U.S. states according to THIS group. The report called the cyber attacks “an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure” and “Russian cyber-actors were in a position to delete or change voter data” in at least Illinois. Who issued the report?

A. U.S. Senate House Intelligence Committee
B. Federal Bureau of Investigation
C. Director of National Intelligence
D. Report of the Special Council, Robert Mueller

Correct Response: A. U.S. Senate House Intelligence Committee

2. Ukraine seized a Russian tanker last week in the port of Izmail in response to THIS Russian activity.

A. Russian backed forces shootdown of a Malaysian Airlines jet over eastern Ukraine.
B. Russian backed forces intervention in the Donbass region of Ukraine.
C. Russian blockade of the Strait of Kerch, seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and detention of the crews.
D. Russian annexation of Crimea.

Correct Response: C. Russian blockade of the Strait of Kerch, seizure of three Ukrainian vessels and detention of the crews.

3. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un blasted South Korea and its president, Moon Jae-in, over the ROK’s weapons acquisitions and joint military exercises with the U.S. last week as demonstrated by THIS action. The DPRK has been critical of South Korea’s purchase of American F-35 stealth fighter jets which began arriving in March 2019.

A. Test firing of a new missile Kim Jong Un said was developed to neutralize new South Korean arms.
B. Provocative flights of North Korean jets near the DMZ.
C. Closure of a joint industrial facility.
D. A temporary halt to visits of South Koreans to relatives in the north.

Correct Response: A. Test firing of a new missile Kim Jong Un said was developed to neutralize new South Korean arms.

4. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the United States has asked Japan, France, Germany, South Korea, Australia and other nations to do THIS in response to increased tension with Iran and activities in the Persian Gulf.

A. Participate in an embargo of Iranian tankers attempting to transport sanctioned oil shipments.
B. Participate in a missile defense force to prevent Iran from targeting allies in the Middle East.
C. Participate in sanctions barring sales of drone technology to Iran.
D. Participate in a maritime force to ensure safety of commercial vessels in the region.

Correct Response: D. Participate in a maritime force to ensure safety of commercial vessels in the region.

5. The European Commission will have a new president following the election last week of THIS former German Defense Minister who will replace Jean-Claude Juncker. SHE is said to be a strong supporter of the transatlantic alliance and European unity, and has often been critical of President Trump.

A. Ursula von der Leyen
B. Angela Merkel
C. Sabine Sütterlin-Waack
D. Monika Wulf-Maties

Correct Response: A. Ursula von der Leyen

6. The Trump administration has signed an agreement with the Guatemalan government that would have the effect of THIS, in an effort to curb the wave of asylum seekers coming into the U.S. While both governments have confirmed the agreement, Guatemala’s highest court has previously ruled that such an agreement could not be signed by the country’s president.

A. Criminalize undocumented migration from Guatemala to the United States
B. Authorize the return of Guatemalan asylum seekers from the US back to Guatemala
C. Require asylum seekers traveling through Guatemala to make their asylum claim there
D. Locate US offices of the Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency within Guatemala to expedite migration from there to the United States

Correct Response: C. Require asylum seekers traveling through Guatemala to make their asylum claim there

7. Myanmar officials have returned to Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh to resume talks with Rohingya refugee leaders there, working to negotiate towards THIS end. Among demands Rohingya leadership have made are recognition of the Rohingya as an ethnic group with rights to Myanmar citizenship, international protection, and the ability to return to their original villages and lands.

A. The creation of an international criminal tribunal to investigate crimes against humanity allegations
B. A ceasefire between Myanmar’s security forces and the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army
C. The inclusion of a new quota system within Myanmar’s government to ensure representation of Rohingya people
D. The repatriation of over 700,000 Rohingya people back to Myanmar

Correct Response: D. The repatriation of over 700,000 Rohingya people back to Myanmar

8. Puerto Rico has new interim leadership this week, after embattled Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s announcement that he would step down on August 2nd. His resignation comes in the midst of THIS scandal, which brought two weeks of protests to the streets of San Juan.

A. Revelations that Rosselló had used public funds to pay for private schools for his children
B. Leaked texts between Rosselló and his aides containing offensive remarks about victims of Hurricane Maria
C. Failure by Rosselló to declare his stakes in a property firm buying luxury real estate around Puerto Rico
D. Leaked emails indicating plans by the New Progressive Party (PNP) to commit election fraud in the 2020 elections

Correct Response: B. Leaked texts between Rosselló and his aides containing offensive remarks about political opponents

9. As the Pentagon neared 200 days without a permanent top leader, the Senate Armed Services Committee approved President Trump’s picks for two top spots. THIS former Army Secretary has been approved as the new Secretary of Defense while Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Milley is assuming the role of chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

A. John Hyten
B. Ryan McCarthy
C. Mark Esper
D. David Norquist

Correct Response: C. Mark Esper

10. President Trump has vetoed a series of bipartisan measures which would have done THIS, the second such exercise of his veto power against congressional condemnation of the administration’s relationship with Saudi Arabia.

A. Formally condemned the human rights record of the Saudi government
B. Blocked billions of dollars in arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates
C. Authorized the deployment of US ground troops to the Saudi Arabia-Yemen border
D. Blocked billions of dollars in infrastructure investments pledged by Saudi Arabia to the United States

Correct Response: B. Blocked billions of dollars in arms sale to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates

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