Democracy

Paradise on Tenterhooks

It was a shutdown that was emblematic of the instability plaguing the Maldives in recent months.On Feb. 8, Raajje TV, an opposition aligned TV channel in the atolls, suspended broadcasting due to lack of security.

Internet Freedom Rapidly Degrading in Southeast Asia

Researchers recently evaluated 65 countries which represent 87 percent of internet users globally. Half of them experienced a decline of internet freedom. China, Syria and Ethiopia are the least free. Estonia, Iceland and Canada enjoy the most freedom online.

Development, Self-Interest & Countries Left Behind

The world’s wealthiest countries today promote development abroad in a way that is relatively new. For centuries, some of these countries colonized the developing world. As former colonies gained independence they were caught in the international power struggle of the Cold War, often led by dictators who found it in their interest to serve as pawns in great power proxy conflicts.

Automated Digital Tools Threaten Political Campaigns in Latin America

The use of technological tools in political campaigns has become widespread in Latin America, accompanied by practices that raise concern among academics and social organisations, especially in a year with multiple elections throughout the region.

Combating Africa’s Inequalities

Nelson Mandela, shortly after becoming the first democratically elected president of South Africa, spoke to both his countrymen and women—indeed, for Africans everywhere—when he declared, “We must work together to ensure the equitable distribution of wealth, opportunity and power in our society.”

Ethnic Violence in Ethiopia Stoked by Social Media from U.S.

In Ethiopia social media is a double-edged sword: capable of filling a sore need for more information but also of pushing the country toward even greater calamity.

As Peace Talks Resume, South Sudan Continues Assault on Press Freedom

A ceasefire agreement signed on December 21 between the South Sudanese government and opposition forces has revived a 2015 peace process and brought hope that the conflict will not persist into its fifth year.

Truth & Nothing But the Truth: Impact of Media & Communication on Democratic Participation

In recent years, technological developments and the liberalization of media markets have fueled an explosive change in media and communication, with profound implications for how people are informed, how they interact with each other, and how they participate in public life.

Why Release of Two Journalists in Ethiopia Does not Signal End to Press Crackdown

On January 10, radio journalists Darsema Sori and Khalid Mohammed were released from prison after serving lengthy sentences related to their work at the Ethiopian faith-based station Radio Bilal. Despite their release and Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn's promise earlier this month to free political prisoners, Ethiopia's use of imprisonment, harassment, and surveillance means that the country continues to be a hostile environment for journalists.

Closure of Ethiopia’s Most Notorious Prison: A Sign of Real Reform or Smokescreen? 

Ethiopia’s most notorious prison lurks within the capital’s atmospheric Piazza, the city’s old quarter popular for its party scene at the weekend when the neon signs, loud discos and merry abandon at night continue into the early hours of the morning.

Argentina Continues to Seek Truth and Justice, Despite the Hurdles

Thirty-four years after Argentina’s return to democracy, more than 500 cases involving human rights abuses committed during the 1976-1983 military dictatorship are making their way through the courts. This high number not only shows that the process of truth and justice is ongoing, but also reflects the delays and the slow process of justice.

Davos: a Tale of Two Mountains

As the elite in the world of finance gather in the Swiss luxury town of Davos, rallies are taking place around the world as citizens demand for solutions to rising inequality.At the same time as the World Economic Forum’s rich and powerful hold forth about fixing the crisis of inequality they created, a new movement called the Fight Inequality Alliance is telling another story that is growing around the world.

“The World Has Gone in Reverse”

A year into his position, the United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres said that peace remains elusive and that renewed action must be taken in 2018 to set the world on track for a better future.

Philippines Most Dangerous Country in Southeast Asia for Journalists

It’s not just suspected drug users and dealers at risk of targeted killing in the Philippines. The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) reported last week that the Philippines is the most dangerous country in Southeast Asia for journalists. Globally, the island nation came sixth on the list of most murderous countries.

The Data Revolution Should Not Leave Women and Girls Behind

If there is one political principle that has been constant throughout the history of human civilization it is the fact that land is power. This is something that is particularly true, and often painfully so, for women who farm in Africa.

Religion: Between ‘Power’ and ‘Force’

In 1994, Dr. David R. Hawkins wrote a book positing the difference between power and force (Power vs. Force: The Hidden Determinants of Human Behavior - the latest revised version came out in 2014).

Moralist Upsurge in Brazil Revives Censorship of the Arts

It is not yet an official policy because censorship is not openly accepted by the current authorities, but de facto vetoes on artistic expressions are increasing due to moralistic pressures in Brazil.

Ethiopia’s New Addiction – And What It Says About Media Freedom

On a Saturday afternoon in one of Addis Ababa’s khat houses, a group of men and women chew the mildly narcotic plant while gazing mesmerized toward a television featuring a South Korean soldier stripped to his waist and holding a young lady’s hand while proclaiming his undying love—somewhat incongruously—in Amharic.

“Only Our Youth Can Save the Planet” – Kumi Naidoo

"Today’s youth should think of new solutions for old problems like climate change and social injustice."That's the strong message of the South African activist Kumi Naidoo. The former executive director of Greenpeace says young people need to be more innovative and visionary, "because the solutions of my generation have failed."

New ‘Anti-Hate Law’ Threatens Freedoms in Venezuela

Hate speech in the media or social networks in Venezuela is now punishable with prison sentences of up to 20 years, according to a new law issued by the government-controlled National Constituent Assembly (ANC).

Lawmakers Impose Gender Parity in Argentina’s Congress, By Surprise

It was an unexpected move by a group of women in the lower house of the Argentine Congress. At one o'clock in the morning, during a long parliamentary session, they demanded the approval of a stalled bill for gender parity in political representation. There was resistance and arguments, but an hour later, the initiative became law by a large majority.

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