#JeNeSuisPasUnVirus: Anti-Asian Racism during COVID-19

By Jackie Howell

COVID-19 does not discriminate, but people do. Anti-Asian violence has spiked since the start of the pandemic. Are these hate crimes tied to Trump and the far-right’s racist messages of blame?

Asian communities are fighting two pandemics at once. From labelling COVID-19 as the “Chinese virus” to vowing to “make China pay,” far-right populists have used COVID-19 as an excuse to further their anti-immigrant and racist agendas. 

Anti-Asian Racism around the World      

Public figures have increasingly made derogatory or xenophobic remarks targeting Asians and people of Asian descent. The significant rise in hate crimes in North America, Europe, and practically everywhere else marks a new danger for East Asians, Southeast Asians, and Pacific Islanders.

As infections spread across the U.S., President Trump repeatedly pushed the disproved theory that COVID-19 originated from a Chinese lab. In March 2020, Representative Judy Chu estimated that 100 hate crimes were being committed against Asian Americans each day. Asian-American businesses have been vandalized with racist tags, and random Asian individuals have been assaulted, harassed, and shunned. By April 2020, three in ten Americans blamed China or Chinese people for the virus.

Since March 2020, Canada has had a higher number of anti-Asian racism reports per capita than the United States. Asian Canadians have experienced verbal threats, graffiti, micro-aggressions, and physical confrontations. Asian Canadian women have been impacted the most, accounting for 60% of all reported incidents.

Anti-Asian violence has been reported across Europe. Hate crimes have increased in the U.K., as the far-right continues to use COVID-19 as an excuse to attack Asians. French Asians have reported abuse on public transit and social media by using the hashtag #JeNeSuisPasUnVirus (“I’m not a virus”). Europe’s far-right nationalists have blamed Asians for spreading COVID-19, contributing to their anti-immigrant and xenophobic conspiracy theories.

In 2015, the World Health Organization urged governments not to name viruses after geographic locations, people’s names, or terms that would incite undue fear. COVID-19 highlights the negative impacts of nicknaming a pandemic after a country, as the rise in anti-Chinese messages has led to more attacks and racial division. Even political leaders have spread racist messages. Brazil’s education minister suggested that COVID-19 is part of China’s plan for world domination.

Historical Roots of Anti-Asian Racism

Anti-Asian racism is not a new concept in the West. The recent resurgence in anti-Asian racism is similar to incidents during the SARS epidemic. Disease fosters fears, which far-right parties have exploited to urge border closures and toughen immigration restrictions. When a crisis strikes, panic and fear can lead to acts of bigotry, racism, and xenophobia. COVID-19 is no exception.

Asian immigrants have historically been the target of discriminatory policies. With the influx of Asian immigrants, fears of an “Asian invasion” in North America led to the head tax (Canada) and the Chinese Exclusion Act (U.S. and Canada), which aimed to discourage Chinese immigration. In 1907, an anti-immigration rally exploded into three days of violence and vandalism in Vancouver’s Chinatown and Japantown, now known as the “Anti-Asian Riots.”  During World War II, war propaganda depicted the Japanese as “crafty” and “cunning,” leading to the internment of thousands of innocent Japanese immigrants in the U.S. and Canada.

From spreading anti-Semitism to mistreating the Roma population, Europe cannot deny its racist past. After World War II, far-right parties rebranded and began to argue against immigration. The far-right continues to spread its anti-Semitic and anti-immigrant rhetoric – but they are not the only problem. Media outlets in Europe have continuously produced anti-Asian images and stereotypes when reporting on COVID-19. France’s Le Courier Picard caused an outcry after pairing the headline “Alerte jaune” (Yellow Alert) with the image of a Chinese woman wearing a protective mask. Images that associate Asians with COVID-19 fuel the far-right’s racist conspiracy theories.

The COVID-19 Blame Game

Far-right parties continue to push the narrative that Asians are to blame for the pandemic. In the long-term, the social and economic impacts of lockdowns and slow vaccine rollouts risk alienating the demographics that far-right groups target for recruitment. Governments and media must stop using images of Asians wearing masks when discussing COVID-19. Otherwise, the media will continue to perpetuate the narrative that all Asians carry the virus.

Denazification: Victims of Circumstance or Mass Murderers?

Jackie Howell

While I studied at the University of Windsor, I participated in an elective course on German cinema. I am neither a film major nor a German history major, but films and the political aspects of their dissemination intrigued me. What struck me most was not the documentaries of the Holocaust but the films produced in the 1930s and 1940s and post-war. The films created during the Third Reich illustrated how German identity transformed post-WWI to adopt a prideful, nationalist sentiment with anti-Semitic undertones. The post-war films juxtaposed these films by addressing the collective guilt of the Germans. Mapping the transformation of the German identity is best illustrated in the cultural texts produced during this period. Sollors situates his argument through a cultural context and uses books and songs to depict the limits of the Fragebogen in assessing Nazism in Germany. Cultural texts can help unpack the shortcomings of the denazification process, particularly focusing on the extent of justice and guilt in Europe.

One of the dangers of remembering Nazi Germany is oversimplifying the Germans’ participation in the Third Reich. Fulbrook speaks to the myriad of participation in the podcast interview, examining how some Germans felt they were a “victim of circumstance” while others enjoyed their involvement. This begs the question: how do you bring a population to justice without considering the circumstances? Is each individual responsible for the actions of the Third Reich, or are some considered innocent bystanders? Fulbrook illustrates how participation is not simple to define, which the Fragebogen failed to consider. Sollors reaffirms the shortcomings of the Fragebogen by also addressing the oversimplification of “weeding out” Nazism through a questionnaire.  

However, it is also dangerous to underestimate the Germans’ accountability in the Third Reich. While they may not have pulled the trigger themselves, the Germans’ complicity deserves recognition and proper punishment. West Germany failed to properly punish all of those involved in the Third Reich’s atrocities, as the mismatch between the scale of horror and the number of those punished was massive. While East Germany did convict perpetrators with more severe sentences, one must question if the Soviets’ underlying hatred for the Germans fueled their higher conviction rate.

It is not sufficient to say “never again” to the atrocities. To right history, historians must examine how and why people become involved in a system of mass murder and how to deal with it afterward. Perhaps commemoration can be a start to remembering the atrocities and identities lost in collective violence. However, it is equally important to address how this act of collective violence occurred in the first place to prevent future atrocities.  

References

Fulbrook, M. (2019). Reckonings: Legacies of Nazi persecution and the quest for justice [podcast]. https://soundcloud.com/historyhit/coming-to-terms-with-the

Smith, H. W. (2021, Jan. 11). It takes a village to create a nation’s memory. Zocalo Public Square. zocalopublicsquare.org/2021/01/11/post-war-germany-jewish-return-memory-national-reckoning/ideas/essay/

Sollors, W. (2018). ‘Everybody gets Fragebogened sooner or later’: The denazification questionnaire as cultural text. German Life and Letters 71(2), 139-153.

Women and the Far-Right: The Secret Weapon

by Jackie Howell

Women’s participation in politics has been limited or unreported, as women tend to occupy positions outside the scope of analysis. Stereotypes like “women are not dangerous” or “women are peaceful” have led to omissions of women’s roles in history. Historians have also failed to include LGBTQ individuals in their historical analysis. This omission has painted an inaccurate picture of the participants in historical movements. Women have often have been relegated to secondary roles to men during World War II, civil rights movements, or diplomatic missions. What was the true impact of women’s participation in politics, and why did these women participate?

This week’s readings, particularly Wendy Lower’s Hitler’s Furies, uncover the role women played in nationalist movements. Traditionally, historians reflected on women’s roles as subordinate to men. Women were depicted as the nurturing, motherly type, either caring for the wounded or children at home. Rarely were women depicted as dangerous in a military sense, as men (and historians) underestimated the extent of women’s participation. While historians have described women’s actions on the home front, they fail to analyze women’s participation in acts of war. Uncovering the gendered bias in historical analysis is a crucial step in illuminating the role that women can play in conflict and political movements.

This week’s readings target gender stereotypes in historical analysis, primarily focusing on how women participated in wars. Lower’s chapter, “The East Needs You,” discusses the four key roles that women played in the expansion of the Nazi regime: teachers, nurses, secretaries, and wives. Interestingly, secretaries and wives turned out to be the most murderous of the group, even though some nurses did participate in the murders of those with disabilities. Historians often underestimate women’s participation in a male-dominated ideology. This brings one to question the extent of women’s participation that has been unreported or missed. For example, the media depiction of the Capitol riots in January often focused on white men, as they seemed to form the majority. However, Women for Trump has gained popularity since 2016, and Europe’s far-right parties have increased their women supporters. The narrative that the far-right ideology is for “white men only” has seemingly been disproven.

 Moreover, Rodriguez Lopez and Cazorla Sanchez point out that women failed to receive an equal punishment to their male counterparts, as women were rarely punished or executed. This failure to punish further perpetuates the narrative that women are not as dangerous or intelligent as men, which is still evident today. For example, a handful of women were arrested from the U.S. Capitol riots, and one woman was even granted permission to travel on a work-related trip to Mexico. This glaring act of (white) privilege further illustrates how (white) women are punished differently due to their portrayal as less dangerous individuals.

To advance the discourse on fascist and populist movements, women’s participation must be analyzed, for it is a disservice to history to only study a portion of participants.

References

Chrisafis, A. (Jan. 29, 2019). From Le Pen to Alice Weidel: How the European far-right set its sight on women. The Guardian, theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2019/jan/29/from-le-pen-to-alice-weidelhow-the-european-far-right-set-its-sights-on-women

Lower, W. (2013). Introduction. In Hitler’s furies (pp. 1-14). Houghton Mifflin.

Lower, W. (2013). The East needs you. In Hitler’s furies (pp. 32-74).Houghton Mifflin.

Lower, W. (2013). The lost generation of German women. In Hitler’s furies (pp. 15-31). Houghton Mifflin.

Rodríguez López, S., and Cazorla Sánchez, A. (2018). Blue angels: Female fascist resisters, spies and intelligence officials in the Spanish Civil War, 1936–9. Journal of Contemporary History, 53(4): 692–713.

The European Green Deal: A Solution for Post-Pandemic Recovery?

By Jackie Howell

2020 tied with 2016 as the warmest year on record, sparking a need to address climate change. The European Union (EU) aims to combine climate efforts with a post-COVID recovery plan. However, can member-states overcome their political differences and come to a consensus?

COVID-19 highlights the relationship between health, the economy, and the environment. The European Green Deal, introduced in December 2019, seems like the perfect opportunity to address the effects of COVID-19 and climate change. Local and regional leaders are prioritizing a green recovery from COVID-19, as outlined in the ENVE Commission of the European Committee of the Regions’ 2021 work program. Over the next decade, the EU will mobilize €1 trillion of investments to create a clean circular economy, restore biodiversity, and reduce pollution.

Responses to the Climate Crisis

Climate change has already been on most governments’ agendas. In 2018, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released a report detailing the impacts of global warming, arriving at the conclusion: Earth is experiencing a climate emergency.

European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has prioritized greening the EU economy. In 2019, the European Parliament voted in favour of declaring a climate emergency and committed to becoming the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The EU also committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to at least 50% of 1990’s levels.

However, ongoing divisions between the East and West and the North and South pose additional hurdles for EU consensus. Dissenters such as the right-wing European People’s Party (EPP) warned against giving this impression of panic, downplaying the urgency of climate change. A few right-wing political groups even advocated to postpone the European Green Deal and refocus on economic recovery.

The 2008 Financial Crisis vs. the COVID-19 Recession

The COVID-19 pandemic has created a new wave of green measures, such as renewable energy investments, reductions in fossil fuels consumption, support for electric vehicles, and investments in infrastructure. These green recovery packages are reminiscent of the green stimulus packages launched after the 2008 financial crisis. Can lessons from the past help governments from repeating past mistakes?          

In response to the 2008 financial crisis, the 2008 European Economic Recovery Plan introduced a budget of €200 billion, investing some of the funds in energy efficiency, low-carbon or clean technologies, and green infrastructure. Investments in clean energy helped countries build up competitive industries after the 2008 Recession. For the EU, each $1 in green investment boosted GDP by up to $1.50 across the region. However, the 2008 financial crisis led to a new wave of support for far-right populist parties due to the rise in unemployment and a decline in trust in institutions.

In the case of COVID-19, populist parties are now losing support as the bloc finds it more integrated than before. Even coal-dependent Poland shifted its tone on the Green Deal. However, clashing interests can still constrain the EU’s ambitious climate goals, leading to stalemates and a disintegrated EU.    

Challenges to the Green Deal

The EU recognizes that environmental pollution, climate change, and issues of inequality are linked, so the EU is committed to making a “just and inclusive transition for all.” However, public backlash presents a challenge for the EU Green Deal. In Germany, Chancellor Angela Merkel faced pressure from automakers as German car brands faced plummeting sales due to COVID-19.  An overwhelming majority of Europeans and companies support climate action, but their desire to change their own behaviour is quite limited.

While climate change is a less polarized topic in Europe than in the United States, opposition can quickly grow. Far-right parties are increasingly taking a stand on climate change, spreading messages of denialism, inaction, or apathy. The European Green Deal presents far-right populists with the perfect target to divide voters.

COVID-19 is a unique opportunity for governments to create policy that reduces exposure of environmental, social, and economic risks in crises. Lessons from the 2008 economic packages can guide European policymakers in designing green stimulus packages that work for the environment and for all workers. Now is the time for the EU to convince Europeans that climate inaction will only lead to more health and economic crises before it becomes too late.

Gender Identities in Europe: What makes an Ideal Citizen?

By Jackie Howell

Fascism goes beyond its political characteristics of authoritarian power and nationalist movements. Exploring the intricacies of gender, sexuality, and identity provides further insight into how fascist ideology resonates at the individual level. Gender and sexual policies of fascist regimes are a tool of policing and defining society to reflect certain ideals (such as strength, prestige, and superiority). While gendered and sexual policies are not unique to fascism, exploring how fascists manipulate identity (whether individual or collective) provides a unique view into the psyche of fascist regimes.

The cultural movement of fascist regimes often focuses on defining the roles of men and women in society. From the depiction of hegemonic masculinity in Nazi Germany to the Romanian Legionary Movement’s “New Man” quest, defining gendered and sexual relations is key to shaping and controlling the collective identity. The gendered and sexual politics of fascist regimes were depicted in the various forms of cultural propaganda, from fascist Italy’s films to Germany’s posters of strong men (as soldiers, workers, and farmers). Targeting the individual and collective identity of heterosexual men and women allows fascist and communist regimes to further control society by deeming what is “right” and “wrong,” as illustrated by the attitudes toward homosexuality in Russia and attitudes toward masculinity in Nazi Germany.

Gender norms are not unique to Nazi Germany, as gender norms can be applied internationally with the spread of values, ideas, and beliefs. Kühne’s depiction of masculine identity in Nazi Germany can be compared to examples of masculinity in modern Western societies. Nazi and military propaganda depicted men in the Wehrmacht to be stoic, emphasizing an image of invincible and immortal warrior men. Comradeship was another defining feature of the Wehrmacht. This social bond provided men with friendship and reinforced the notion that one must suppress the individual identity on behalf of the community. Similarly, in the West, sports are a modern example of an opportunity to educate or influence men on their masculine identity. For example, strength, endurance, and invincibility (“no pain, no gain”) are defining features of the individual identity in the sports industry. However, the collective identity (i.e., the team) is prioritized above the individual. This creates a social bond merging men (and women) of different civilian identities, religions, and regions into a homogenous communal body. It would be interesting to see the historical impact of comradeship in the military on social bonds between men (and women) today.

Policing gendered and sexual relations is key to controlling the collective identity.  “Othering” homosexuals and the Jewish identity (whether by Nazi Germany or Romania’s Legionary Movement) created a dichotomy of “us-versus-them” or even “pure-versus-impure.” While the readings cover different periods, movements/regimes, and identity issues, the intertwined theme focuses on the use of gendered and sexual policies to police the cultural dimensions of a state.

References

Healey, D. (2017). Forging Gulag sexualities: Penal homosexuality and the reform of the Gulag after Stalin. In Russian homophobia from Stalin to Sochi (pp. 27-50). Bloomsbury Press.

Kühne, T. (2018). Protean masculinity, hegemonic masculinity: Soldiers in the Third Reich. Central European History, 51, 390-418. doi: 10.1017/S0008938918000596

Sandulescu, V. (2004). Fascism and its quest for the ‘New Man’: The case of the Romanian Legionary Movement. Studia Hebracia, 4, 349-61.

Soft Power and the Culture of Fascism

By Jackie Howell

Tools of soft power can be useful in expanding a state’s sphere of influence. Soft power is the ability to attract rather than coerce and typically involves exerting cultural, social, or economic influence. Great powers, such as the United States, use soft power as an extension of their hard power (i.e., their physical military strength) through the arts, science, and culture to further their goals. Soft power, a concept coined by Joseph Nye, mostly defines the post-Cold War era. However, promoting a distinct national culture helped achieve Nazi Germany’s goal of dominance and legitimacy. This week’s readings highlight the soft power of Nazi Germany through their cultural influence, most notably through mass consumerism and photography. Similarly, Franco’s Spain framed consumer tourism as part of Spain’s cultural identity, which helped Spain overcome its international isolation post-war and reinforce the idea of Spanish cultural exceptionality.  

Notably, this week’s readings highlight the social and economic benefits that reinforce a regime’s legitimacy. For example, German workers who previously did not have access or the means to embark on luxurious trips received the chance to witness life outside Germany by Kraft durch Freude (KdF). KdF used tourism to showcase the benefits of National Socialism. The opportunity to see different workers in other countries gave German workers the impression that Germany’s standard of living was higher than in other countries governed by Social Democrats or Communists. KdF linked leisure to politics by capitalizing on the opportunity to unite class lines to showcase Germany’s economic successes and redefine the German racial community. Tourism development in 1960’s Spain also linked economic development and politics with leisure activities, as the regime restyled its image of government to promote a higher standard of living and modernity through tourism.

It is easy to question why Europeans accepted or supported Nazism or fascism in retrospect of the horrific acts committed by these regimes. However, Nazi Germany and Franco’s Spain framed economic and social benefits in a manner that appealed to the masses. These benefits allowed Europeans to dismiss the known horrors of the regime in favour of the benefits they gained. Similarly, the perceived economic benefits under the “America First” argument allowed Trump supporters to dismiss the political horrors of the Trump administration. Those that remain silent during these periods – ignoring the political chaos around them to live in their alternate, blissful reality – must be questioned for their complacency. Shelley Baranowski highlights this issue by briefly examining middle-class tourists who avoided discussing the political situation if the consequences of Nazi Germany’s policies did not concern them. The lack of engagement indicates a high degree of privilege of those that experienced the social and cultural benefits of Nazi Germany. Overall, this week’s readings highlight the unique role that culture can play when expanding a state’s power and legitimacy.

References

Baranowski, S. (2004a). Introduction. In Strength through Joy: Consumerism and mass tourism in the Third Reich (pp. 1-10). Cambridge.

Baranowski, S. (2004b). Racial community and individual desires: Tourism, the standard of living, and popular consent. In Strength through Joy: Consumerism and mass tourism in the Third Reich (pp. 162-98). Cambridge.

Crumbaugh, J. (2009). Prosperity and freedom under Franco: The grand invention of tourism. In Destination dictatorship: The spectacle of Spain’s tourist boom and the reinvention of difference (pp. 15-41). Suny Press.

Umbach, M. (2015). Selfhood, place, and ideology in German photo albums, 1933-1945. Central European History, 48(3): 335-365. jstor.org/stable/43965175

The Relationship between Nationalism and Internationalism

By Jackie Howell

When discussing nationalist or fascists movements, historians tend to fixate on the regional or national level. Analyzing nationalism through an international lens allows one to identify the interconnectedness of nationalist movements, thus creating a nationalist international against empire. Ironically, nationalism can function simultaneously with internationalism even though internationalism connotes everything nationalists hate. David Motadel highlights the international level of nationalism and fascism, focusing on anticolonial nationalists’ relationships with Nazi Germany. Ruth Ben-Ghiat briefly illustrates how fascist regimes utilize the same tools to further their agenda, as depicted in the cultural exchange network between Germany, Italy, Japan, and Spain that rivalled the League of Nations’ cultural internationalism.

Motadel then draws a parallel to the present far-right populist or nationalist movements. As anticolonial nationalists connected over a desire for independence, similar trends are present in the Americas and Western Europe. Anticolonial nationalists saw independence movements as a global act of solidarity against outdated empires. Similarly, Trump supporters, Brexit “Leave” voters, and Europe’s far-right nationalists have morally supported each other’s views. Identifying the far-right as an international far-right fraternity united by nationalism, anti-minority, and anti-multiculturalism sentiment helps explain the modern spread of far-right movements. In the digital media era, an area that Motadel failed to explore, far-right nationalists have connected on various platforms (most notably Twitter and Facebook). There is no longer a strict need for physical transport to mobilize; nationalists can share ideas, strategies, and support with a post, a Tweet, or even by joining a Facebook group. The 21st century differs from the 20th century by providing more efficient means of communication and mobilization. During World War II, Nazi Germany was a financial and political supporter for anticolonial nationalists, creating a power dynamic that favoured the Germans over the nationalists. While far-right nationalists still require some assistance from more powerful states to increase their political agency, social media platforms provide nationalists and grassroots organizations the significant space that Berlin once provided for anticolonial nationalists.

Perhaps the most intriguing international aspect of nationalism is the level of cooperation among nationalist groups. Nationalist movements utilized their connections to further their cause. These relationships illustrate the motives of regimes and the lengths they will go for personal gain. “The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is most applicable in international nationalism.  It seems contradictory for Nazi Germany to host and interact with anticolonial leaders given Germany’s racist and uncompromising policies. However, the level of cooperation makes sense when one analyzes their motives and objectives. Nazi Germany utilized anticolonial nationalists to undermine their adversaries’ empires while anticolonial nationalists utilized Germany to further their cause for independence. While nationalist movements portray an image of solidarity, the movement is not homogenous. Tensions, divisions, and self-interests taint the cohesive image of far-right movements. The short-term nature of cooperation further proves the instability of an international nationalist movement, which eventually leads back to the rejection of internationalism.

References

Ben-Ghiat, R. (2004). Conquest or collaboration. In Fascist Modernities: Italy, 1922-1945 (pp. 123-130). University of California Press.

Motadel, D. (2019a). The global authoritarian moment: The revolt against empire. American Historical Review, 124(3): 843-877.

Motadel, D. (2019b). The far right says there’s nothing dirtier than internationalism – but they depend on it. The New York Times, nytimes.com/2019/07/03/opinion/the-surprising-history-of-nationalist-internationalism.html

Historical Analogies: Useful or Harmful to Political Discourse?

By Jackie Howell

This week’s readings provided a thought-provoking question: Are historical analogies useful or harmful to political discourse? Gordon and Moyn present two opposing arguments on the tool of analogy; Gordon argues that historical analogies matter to advance our understanding of the present, while Moyn discusses the pitfalls of comparative historical analysis. While both are compelling arguments, one must use historical analogies when appropriate. Historical analogies can be overplayed to appeal to a particular audience, and one can misuse historical analogies to misconstrue current events. As described by Victoria de Grazia, “calling people fascists has been as American as apple pie,” but it is crucial to understand the difference between fascism as a political label and fascism as a historical phenomenon. Otherwise, the public becomes desensitized to fascism and the dangers it represents, leading to an apathetic society.

“History repeats itself” is a common catch-phrase that bears the cyclical image of events repeating every so often. It is human nature to compare and contrast, but does drawing a comparison between the past and present detract from the consequences of such events? While drawing comparisons can be a useful tool of analogy, comparative analysis can often be misleading and can downplay what requires attention, as argued by Charles Maier (Moyn 2020). However, labelling a historical event (such as the Holocaust) as “unique” can often lead to a hierarchy of traumas, risking the implication that some lives are more valuable than others – which ironically plays into the narrative of Trump-ism.

Understanding fascism, populism, and authoritarianism requires historical analogy to determine the similarities and differences between the various definitions over time. Particularly, fascism in the 20th century can be compared and contrasted with fascism in the 21st century. While events are not identical, the rise to power and the appeal to the masses bear a similarity, even if they occurred nearly a century apart. The most telling sign of fascism is the desire to create a dichotomy of us-versus-them. Populist parties have gained significant political breakthrough across Europe, indicating a phenomenon that is becoming common across continents. To understand the current dangers of the populist or fascist phenomenon, it is useful to study Mussolini’s appeal to the masses or the Nazi-Fascist New Order to learn why and how these leaders gained power.

Ignoring history will not transform the present, and comparing the present with the past can often excuse or distract. As proposed by Moyn, clarifying the similarities and differences to bring about a better future must be the goal when using historical analogies. Analogies can guide scholars and resonate with the public, but the focus of the analogy must be on how to avoid repeating harmful or dangerous behaviours. It is easy to compare President Trump with other fascist leaders; however, it is important to understand the social, economic, and political events that created these leaders to prevent a Trump 2.0.

Works Cited

de Grazia, Victoria. “What We Don’t Understand about Fascism.” Zocalo Public Square, 13 Aug. 2020, zocalopublicsquare.org/2020/08/13/understand-fascism-american-history-mussolini-hitler-20th-century/ideas/essay/

“DEMOS Identifies Four Types of Populism in European Political Parties.” Democratic Efficacy and the Varieties of Populism in Europe, demos-h2020.eu/en/demos-identifies-four-types-of-populism-in-european-political-parties

Gordon, Peter E. “Why Historical Analogy Matters.” The New York Review, 7 Jan. 2020, nybooks.com/daily/2020/01/07/why-historical-analogy-matters/

Moyn, Samuel. “The Trouble with Comparisons.” The New York Review, 19 May 2020, nybooks.com/daily/2020/05/19/the-trouble-with-comparisons/

Introduction: Jackie Howell

Hi everyone! My name is Jackie (she/her), and I am in the second year of my MA program in International Affairs (NPSIA), concentrating in International Organizations and Global Policy. I’m also pursuing a Graduate Diploma in European Integration Studies. Before moving to Ottawa, I completed my undergraduate degree at the University of Windsor in International Relations and Development, concentrating in Economics and French Studies. While my academic interests vary, I am mainly interested in environmental policy and European politics, focusing on far-right parties and movements.

My curiosity in European politics stems from my study-abroad course on the European Union during my undergrad. In May 2018, I had the opportunity to travel to Belgium and visit various EU institutions, NATO, and NGOs. Learning the difference between the Council for Europe, European Council, and the Council of the EU sent my head for a spin, but I found the intricacies of the EU fascinating. A highlight of my experience was listening to the UK negotiators that worked on the Brexit deal discuss their frustrations with the UK and the EU.

I’m originally from Erieau, ON, which is a small town between Windsor and London. I am currently the only resident that will have pursued a Master of Arts, although Erieau only has ~400 residents. Since it’s a small town, news travels fast, and everyone knows everyone (think Stars Hollow from Gilmore Girls, and that’s pretty much Erieau). My backyard looks out over Lake Erie (facing Cleveland), so I often stargaze in the summer, but I also enjoy fishing and boating.

 Looking forward to the term with all of you, and from the words of The 100, “May we meet again.”

Seeing the pier in Erieau is the highlight of my run.