What is a word/phrase that could be defined as “the conflict between individual liberty and the public interest”?

What is a word/phrase that could be defined as “the conflict between individual liberty and the public interest”? I.e. the conflict between the state protecting individual rights and the state sometimes violating certain individuals’ rights in order to maintain the general welfare and safety of the population? Answer Some political philosopher might come up with … Read more

‘Androcracy’/’gynocracy’ are hyponyms of, and ‘oligocracy’/’oligarchy’ is a hypernym of, what term?

What is the term for an oligocratic/oligarchic political system—one in which power is held by a subset of the overall population—where the power allocation is based on one’s sex? A society run by men is an ‘androcracy’, and one run by women a ‘gynocracy’. I am looking for the hypernym of these terms, which would … Read more

Meaning and etymology of the “Rhodesia Solution”

An example of the term “Rhodesia solution” being used is in The whisky Priest, an episode from the BBC comedy series Yes Minister, which follows a government minister and some of his closest staff while he faces all sorts of problems. Here is a link to some of the scenes in which the term “Rhodesia … Read more

Why is the singular “Olympic Athlete From Russia” used for an ice-hockey team?

It’s definitely more than one athlete in the Russian team. On TV: On the web And they did it all the time till the finals: Clearly, it wasn’t an arbitrary error or slip-up. Answer Olympic Athlete from Russia is the offical English name of the team, although it is widely misrepresented as Olympic Athletes from … Read more

Is there an alternative way of saying something has been ‘a topic of dispute”?

I want to write about the extent to which Malcolm X brought about any change to the Civil Rights Movement through his civil rights activism and that this has been ‘a topic of dispute‘ among revisionist historians. Is there an alternative way of phrasing this that sounds better? I don’t want to use the words … Read more

Row of the Summer

Those following the "Brexit" politics in the U.K. probably have heard David Davis (U.K. Chief Negotiator) characterize the negotiations ahead as the row of the summer. I’m a continental European and can only guess what it means. Can someone explain this figure of speech? Here’s some context: From an article in The Irish Independent with … Read more

What is the origin of the phrase “circular firing squad”?

I’ve found many definitions online of the term, which the OED says is "used in reference to a situation in which a group of people are engaged in self-destructive internal conflicts and mutual recriminations," but I haven’t been able to find any discussion of its origin. Answer The idea, though not quite the exact term, … Read more

What does ‘erect galleries’ mean in the political context?

I have been reading John Adams by David McCullough and was stumped by the expression of “erect galleries” as in the following excerpt. In Massachusetts the idea of galleries for the public to watch the legislature was the custom. When Wilson of Pennsylvania, who agreed with him, moved that the doors be opened, galleries erected, … Read more

What did Bannon mean when he said that Rice “operationalized” the NSC?

According to several news sources, Stephen K. Bannon said in a statement today that “Susan Rice operationalized the NSC [National Security Council] during the last administration” and that he “was put on to ensure that it was de-operationalized”. The New York Times article dryly remarks that “Mr. Bannon did not explain what he meant by … Read more

What does Obama mean in this interview?

I was reading Obama’s farewell interview with Ta-Nehisi Coates in The Atlantic. I’m not able to understand this particular quote of his: You know, I always talk about when I was doing civil-rights law and people would talk about the dearth of African Americans in police departments and fire departments around the country. And they … Read more