Coercive institutions are a dictator’s final defense in pursuit of political survival, but also his chief obstacle to achieving that goal. This book argues that autocrats face a coercive dilemma: whether to organize their internal security apparatus to protect against a coup, or to deal with the threat of popular unrest. Because coup-proofing calls for […]

{ 1 comment }

Saying mainstream environmentalism now reflects the interests and concerns of the rich is like coming upon a river of spawning salmon and noting the colour red. There are naturally many shades of difference. Not all of the mainstream, everywhere, has to the same extent come to embrace markets, corporations, and technologies as solutions. Nor does […]


Yesterday, Quebec’s Université Laval announced that it will become Canada’s first university to fully divest from fossil fuels: “Today, Université Laval commits to taking responsible action to switch its endowment fund investments in fossil energy to other types of investments, such as renewable energy,” announced Éric Bauce, Executive Vice Rector in charge of sustainable development, […]


This is an interesting case: Spyware’s Odd Targets: Backers of Mexico’s Soda Tax Related: Protecting your computer Dealing with some MediaWiki malware Google’s new malware notifications Black Code The Stuxnet worm The Storm Worm


I was surprised to get an email today saying that three unions (USW1998, CUPE3902 (my union), and CUPE1230) along with the Association of Part-time Undergraduate Students wrote to President Gertler to endorse fossil fuel divestment. The letter highlights how receiving financial benefit from the fossil fuel industry compromises academic integrity and how the industry harms […]

{ 1 comment }

Former George W. Bush speechwriter David Frum has been making the media rounds with some thought-provoking ideas about the Trump presidency and the risk that protests which lack a specific focus or which come across as a threat to public order may empower rather than constrain him. In “What Effective Protest Could Look Like“, Frum […]


Arguably for millennia, but certainly since the industrial revolution, technological development has been driving changes in labour practices. This has been accelerated by globalization and automation and is likely speeding up as sensors and artificial intelligence improve and costs fall: Both for individuals and governments, it’s hard to discern what this means when planning for […]


Today, for my research design class, I gave my first presentation on my new PhD topic, fossil fuel divestment campaigns. I got some useful feedback which I will use to produce a revised draft before meeting with my supervisor next week.


This [claim by Al Qaeda military commander Saif al-Adel that Osama bin Laden deliberately provoked the United States into attacking Afghanistan] was a post facto rationalization of Al-Qaeda’s strategic failure. The whole point of the 9/11 attacks had been to get the United States out of the Muslim world, not to provoke it into invading […]

{ 1 comment }

Today I skipped Judo for the Toronto Women’s March. For the moment, I will choose to highlight the progressive notion that Trump is the dying last gasp of misogyny, racism, and intolerance within an American population which is ever-more diverse, progressive, and empowered. Trump is the braggadocious con man trying to sell himself as a […]