Featured Public Writing
“9/11 didn't change everything. Old fights and illusions still haunted us," The Washington Post, September 12, 2021 (on how the American response to 9/11 was shaped fundamentally by a flawed desire to recapture a mid-twentieth century golden age).
“Goodbye, Cold War,” n+1 Magazine, Winter 2018 (on how only since 2016 have Americans actually been living in a post-cold war political and ideological environment).
“Against National Security Citizenship,” Boston Review/Forum volume on Fifty Years Since MLK, 2018 (on how MLK emphasized the need for an independent foreign policy that challenged the security imperatives of the state).
“Decolonizing Obama,” n+1 Magazine, Winter 2017 (an assessment of Obama’s legacy through an exploration of how left internationalism declined in the U.S.).
Selected Additional Writing
"Why Americans Worship the Constitution," and "The Merits--and Risks--of Constitutional Politics," Public Seminar, October 11, 2021 (featured essay and response in constitutional politics symposium connected to forthcoming book, Romance of the Constitution).
“Biden's Foreign Policy Doctrine is Stuck in the Twentieth Century,” The New Republic (with Aslı Bâli), June 4, 2021 (on why despite Biden's tack leftward on domestic economic issues his administration's overall approach to foreign policy remains bound to a past consensus).
“Who Owns the Constitution?,” Jacobin Online, October 15, 2020 (on "court-packing," constitutional reform, and lessons from early twentieth-century socialist approaches to the U.S. Federal Constitution).
“Sanctions are Inhumane--Now and Always,” Boston Review Online (with Aslı Bâli), March 26, 2020 (on how the opposite of the American sanctions approach is not a politics of bare humanitarianism, but rather an embrace of genuine internationalism and social democracy on a global scale).
“This Was the Decade the U.S.'s Self-Serving Myths Fell Apart,” The Guardian, December 30, 2019 (on how the 2010s was defined by the degree to which American politicians and commentators were forced to confront the limits of the nation's own mythology).
“Renewing Working-Class Internationalism,” New Labor Forum, Winter 2019 (on why developing a genuinely anti-imperial American foreign policy has been so difficult and the centrality for progressive activists of dissolving the hard separation between foreign and domestic in American politics).
“The U.S. Debt to Syria,” Boston Review Online (with Aslı Bâli), August 15, 2018 (a response to critics of "Remember Syria?," a discussion of how post-2011 U.S. policy had the actual effect of strengthening Assad's position, and a general exploration of military intervention).
“Remember Syria?,” Boston Review Online (with Aslı Bâli), July 18, 2018 (on how the U.S. has actually been intervening continuously in Syria since 2011 and what it can do through diplomacy, humanitarian aid, and extensive refugee assistance to meet its own obligations).
“The Left’s Missing Foreign Policy,” n+1 Magazine Online, March 28, 2018 (on the pressing need, fifteen years after the Iraq invasion, for a non-imperial vision of the US and the world).
“America’s Imperial Unraveling,” Boston Review Online (with Aslı Bâli), October 16, 2017 (on how Trump’s seeming break with the postwar global liberal order is actually a decades’ long culmination, a product of the United States’s steady defection from the very order it was essential in establishing).
“Against Second-Rate Democracy in Kenya,” Boston Review Online, October 12, 2017 (on how international efforts, such as during contested elections, to treat governing elites and their opponents as equally culpable reinforces the strength of those in power).
“Kenya’s New Electoral Authoritarianism,” Boston Review Online, August 17, 2017 (on how the 2017 Kenyan election and its aftermath speaks to the growing sophistication of ruling elites in manipulating electoral processes and avoiding genuine transfers of power).
“Meritocracy in Obama’s Gilded Age,” Chronicle of Higher Education, September 25, 2016 (on how the ideal of meritocracy during the Obama years actually helped transform elite universities into central institutions in the reproduction and extension of economic and racial privilege).
“Race and the American Creed,” n+1 Magazine, Winter 2016 (on the competing traditions of black freedom in America and the need in the present to recover a radical and internationalist black politics).
“Universalizing Settler Liberty: An Interview with Aziz Rana,” Jacobin Magazine Online (conducted by Nikhil Pal Singh), August 4, 2014 (on the basic arguments of The Two Faces of American Freedom and how to think about settler colonialism, the relationship between the foreign and the domestic, and how race and class have intersected in American life).
“Why There is No Military Solution to the Syrian Conflict,” Jadaliyya (with Aslı Bâli), May 13, 2013 (arguing that, despite the seductiveness of military force as a solution, in fact the tragedy can only be addressed through a diplomatic solution and further militarization is likely to increase the human suffering).
“Obama and the Closing of the American Dream,” n+1 Magazine Online, September 2, 2008 (a critique of the centrality of meritocracy and professional success to Democratic Party understandings of the American Dream in the context of Obama’s rise).