Current Events and the Psychology of Politics
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Factors accounting for South Africa’s transition from apartheid state to nonracial democracy: externally — the collapse of the former Soviet Union, the successful transition to majority rule in neighboring Namibia, and international sanctions against South Africa (including cultural isolation and economic divestment; internally — the liberation struggle, white opposition to apartheid, the failure of apartheid, moderation of the leadership in the ruling National Party, and the breakdown of National Party hegemony; the personal qualities of Nelson Mandela and F. W. de Klerk.


May 16th, 2010

Summary: Dr. Frederik van Zyl Slabbert, former leader of the opposition in the South African parliament, has died. … One-year retrospective: One year ago today, on May 16, 2009, Aubrey Immelman reported that for the first time in 15 years, a majority of Americans called themselves “pro-life” rather than “pro-choice” on the issue of abortion. Meanwhile, Iraq has lost more than half of the 1.4 million Christians who once called it home, mostly since the war began, and few who fled have plans to return.


Jan 29th, 2009

Summary: Suicide rates among active-duty U.S. military personnel are continuing to rise even as the Defense Department dedicates more resources to identifying troubled service members and getting them the help they need. Preliminary figures confirm at least 125 soldiers killed themselves in 2008, compared with 115 in 2007, 102 in 2006 and 87 in 2005.



Summary: Zimbabwe has collapsed, and the world must act now to keep it from deteriorating into Somalia-scale chaos, according to U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs Jendayi Frazer. … Personality profile of Zimbabwe’s President Robert Mugabe by Aubrey Immelman and Adam Beatty, Unit for the Study of Personality in Politics. … For the sixth consecutive year, Iraq was the deadliest place for journalists in 2008, according to the Committee to Protect Journalists.