Economic globalization is a reliable political boogeyman, and not without reason. But maybe we can do globalization better.

*About a year ago I wrote a piece for the Kenyon Observer on neoliberalism, free trade, and the 20th century Hungarian political economist Karl Polanyi, linked here. I think the piece holds up fairly well–I highlighted the centrality (and, I believe, inescapability) of Polanyi’s concept of economic embeddedness. That said, I think some of my wording could have been a bit more precise, and both my analysis and recommendations better grounded in current research. Polanyi’s thinking largely holds up, but it’s worth noting the different expressions of embeddedness and backlashes against attempts to establish an independent sphere. …


The greatest tragedy in confronting democratic backsliding–the process by which a democratic political regime becomes less competitive and responsive to the will of citizens–is that once people become aware that it’s happening, it’s often too late. In the United States, this is painfully apparent in the rise of Donald Trump. Even as observers noted the dangers of partisan gridlock and the degradation of political norms in the first half of the previous decade, very few were clear-eyed about the possibility of a Trump presidency at the outset of his quest for power. The challenge for students–and defenders–of democracy in the…


There really isn’t a need for any more blogs in the world. There are people who are smarter and better at writing than I who write and publish on a daily basis. Why add my voice to the cacophony? This is almost entirely an act of self-gratification–I like to write and think. I don’t really expect anyone to follow what I write closely, aside from a few close friends and family members (although admittedly I have some hope that potential employers might look it over if they do a web search on me). …

Harry Clennon

Kenyon College '21 Political Science major; co-Editor in Chief of The Kenyon Observer

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