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The opposite reaction to terror September 22, 2011

Posted by Sverre in : Human rights, Political behavior , comments closed

Norwegian newspapers today report the following: A month after the terror at Oslo and Utøya, a group of researchers from the University of Bergen repeated three of the survey questions they asked Norwegians as part of the International Social Survey Programme, right after the terror in Madrid in 2006.  They were amazed at what they found. Norwegians are more sceptical, not less, towards extending police powers of surveillance.

They asked the following questions (english translations from ISSP documentation):

Suppose the government suspected that a terrorist act was about to happen. Do you think the authorities should have the right to…

This constitutes a clear drop in support for security measures that invade privacy and civil liberties, quite the opposite of what we  would expect. (more…)

Watchmen – political science in popular culture November 21, 2008

Posted by Sverre in : Political Science in Popculture , comments closed

watchmenStruggling with those political science textbooks, falling asleep every few minutes? We’ve all been there. Why not try learning from somewhere else? Like from a comic?

Watchmen is one of the best graphic novels ever made, and according to Martin Seymour-Smiths’s The 100 most Influential Books ever Written[1] also among the most important books overall. It has received a lot of credit for along with Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Returns being one of the works to reinvent the new adult style of comics. But in addition to being a story that changed the history of comics, it’s so much more than a super hero story that The Dark Knight Returns can never hope to come close to. It is also a story about the cold war and the madness of the nuclear arms race. My claim is that you could learn quite a bit of political science by reading it. (more…)