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Mugambi Jouet
An author specialized on American society, Mugambi Jouet is Thomas C. Grey Fellow at Stanford Law School. His upcoming book, American Exceptionalism: What Separates Americans From the World and From Each Other, explores unique features of the United States in various areas, including law, politics, religion, the "culture wars," economics, criminal justice, and foreign policy. The book also analyzes the extraordinary polarization of conservative and liberal America during the Obama years.

In addition to The Huff Post, his articles have been featured in The San Francisco Chronicle, Slate, The New Republic, Salon, Guernica Magazine, The Hill, Truthout, Le Monde, Le Nouvel Observateur, Libération, and several academic journals. He has been interviewed multiple times as a guest expert on the international TV station France 24, as well as on French national public radio and Radio Canada. His publications and newsletter are available at
More from Mugambi Jouet on Le HuffPost

Entries by Mugambi Jouet

A Supreme Gamble

(6) Comments | Posted March 18, 2016 | 10:33 AM

Antonin Scalia's death triggered another episode in the extraordinary polarization of American society and the Supreme Court itself. The Republican Party has long insisted that it will categorically refuse to consider any nominee Barack Obama would propose to replace...

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Reading Charlie Hebdo in Context

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2015 | 2:01 PM

Charlie Hebdo's members received a controversial standing ovation upon accepting the Freedom of Expression Courage Award at the PEN American Center's gala this week. Jihadists had tragically massacred several cartoonists of the French satirical newspaper earlier this year. A struggling publication with a limited readership, Charlie Hebdo has...

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After a Major Year for American Justice, Everything and Nothing Changed

(1) Comments | Posted January 14, 2015 | 3:23 PM

Future generations might someday remember 2014 as a major year that changed everything and nothing for American justice. Not only did the Ferguson crisis spark some of the most intense media coverage on criminal justice in years, other events also drew extensive attention last year, from botched lethal...

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The Broader Vicious Circle Behind the Ferguson Crisis

(5) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 11:31 AM

In the wake of events like the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Americans are often called upon to reflect on racial discrimination. But debate over the issue usually focuses narrowly on how racism spurs injustices while overlooking how it is also a major source of division. Yet,...

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Sanitizing the Death Penalty

(3) Comments | Posted May 27, 2014 | 11:53 AM

Several American states are now considering a return to the electric chair or firing squad as methods of execution. These news, along with Clayton Lockett's botched lethal injection in Oklahoma last month, have revived a longstanding debate about how to "humanely" execute prisoners.


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The Sochi Olympics Emboldened Putin's Abuses in Ukraine and Russia

(2) Comments | Posted March 18, 2014 | 10:57 AM

The irony is palpable when Americans and Europeans impose diplomatic and economic sanctions to isolate Russia from the international community shortly after it hosted the winter Olympics in Sochi. Hosting the international community for one of the biggest sports events worldwide put Russia at the very...

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Don't Call It 'Obamacare'

(5) Comments | Posted October 21, 2013 | 12:14 PM

"Obamacare" was initially perceived as a derogatory term advanced by opponents of health care reform. Yet, the term is now commonly used by both conservatives and liberals as a way to refer to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. As the government shutdown crisis unfolded, politicians, the media, and...

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Behind DOMA Ruling, America Stands Divided on Gay Rights

(5) Comments | Posted July 16, 2013 | 3:55 PM

The Supreme Court's decision to strike the Defense of Marriage Act not only reflects progress towards equality, but also the great polarization of American society over gay rights. The case was decided by the narrowest of margins, a 5-4 split, and concerned a 1996 law that could have been repealed...

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The Separation of Church and State -- Then and Now

(125) Comments | Posted June 4, 2013 | 8:55 AM

A public high school in Muldrow, Oklahoma, recently decided to remove plaques of the Ten Commandments from its classrooms after an atheist student urged the Freedom From Religion Foundation to threaten a lawsuit. The removal of the Decalogue displays offended numerous community members, thereby evoking

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Thatcher Backed Pinochet in Landmark Human Rights Case

(4) Comments | Posted April 24, 2013 | 1:41 PM

The late Margaret Thatcher played a major role in global affairs, including in one of the defining events of modern international law. In 1998, Baltasar Garzón, a Spanish judge, demanded the extradition of former Chilean dictator Augusto Pinochet from the United Kingdom, where he had traveled to receive medical treatment....

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How Suspicion of 'Big Government' Fosters US Gun Violence

(32) Comments | Posted January 22, 2013 | 10:33 AM

Any other Western country with as much tragic gun violence as America would most likely have repealed the Second Amendment long ago if it had it in its constitution. However, for reasons related to American exceptionalism, the right to bear arms is considered sacrosanct by numerous Americans. Support for unbridled...

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Obama's Second Term Could Be Marked by Continued Gridlock and Polarization

(9) Comments | Posted November 7, 2012 | 6:34 AM

Barack Obama's supporters understandably feel uplifted by his reelection. Chants of "Four more years" have been matched by the hope that Obama will finally be able to complete his agenda during his second term. In reality, the public reelected Obama without giving him the clear means to do so. The...

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Getting the Facts Straight on Romney and Obama

(41) Comments | Posted August 20, 2012 | 10:45 AM

The rhetoric of the Obama and Romney presidential campaigns has recently become harsher. Both sides have additionally issued highly misleading TV advertisements. The media have devoted significant attention to these controversies while sometimes failing to address underlying policy differences. Financial and health care reform notably deserve closer attention...

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Facing Reality in the Immigration Debate

(65) Comments | Posted July 24, 2012 | 5:36 PM

Justice Antonin Scalia's dissent in the recent Supreme Court decision to strike provisions of Arizona's strict immigration law has drawn significant attention. "To say, as the Court does, that Arizona contradicts federal law by enforcing immigration law that the president declines to enforce boggles the mind,"...

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Why Gay Marriage Is So Controversial in America

(156) Comments | Posted June 1, 2012 | 5:15 PM

Barack Obama's decision to support gay marriage has led to a debate about how it may influence the presidential election and the future of gay marriage in the United States. But the underlying reasons why gay marriage is so controversial in America are being overlooked. While there is generally no...

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Comparing Political Extremism in Europe and America

(20) Comments | Posted May 17, 2012 | 11:12 AM

In both Europe and America, the rise of "extremist" politicians has become a matter of recurrent concern. France's recent presidential election was marked by the relative success of candidates on both the extreme-right and extreme-left, which reflects a broader trend in Europe. In the United States, Democrats often...

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The Politics of Faith and American Exceptionalism

(189) Comments | Posted April 29, 2012 | 12:17 PM

Two major objects of attention during this election season reflect a key dimension of American exceptionalism: religion. First, America may soon have a president of Mormon faith, Mitt Romney, who served as a Mormon missionary and bishop before becoming a politician. Second, Rick Santorum, the runner-up in the...

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