Democracy

Opinion: Why Are Threats to Civil Society Growing Around the World?

Whistle-blowers like Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are hounded – not by autocratic but by democratic governments – for revealing the truth about grave human rights violations. Nobel peace prize winner, writer and political activist Liu Xiaobo  is currently languishing in a Chinese prison while the killing of Egyptian protestor, poet and mother Shaimaa al-Sabbagh, apparently by a masked policeman, in January this year continues to haunt us. 

Analysis: Turkey Now Preparing for the Playoffs

The results of the Turkish elections of Jun. 7 have put an end to the suspense that has dominated national politics in the past three months. For the first time in this Asian republic’s history, a Kurdish party has succeeded in being elected to the legislature, with an impressive 15 percent of the seats available.

Opinion: Edinburgh University Bows to Fossil Fuel Industry

The University of Edinburgh has taken the decision to not divest from fossil fuels, bowing to the short-term economic interests of departments funded by the fossil fuel industry, with little to no acknowledgement of the long-term repercussions of these investments.

Prepaid Meters Scupper Gains Made in Accessing Water in Africa

While many countries appear to have met the U.N. Millennium Development Goal (MDG) of halving the proportion of people without sustainable access to safe drinking water, rights activists say that African countries which have taken to installing prepaid water meters have rendered a blow to many poor people, making it hard for them to access water.

Opinion: The West and Its Self-Assumed Right to Intervene

The ‘West’ is a concept that flourished during the Cold War. Then it was West against East in the form of the Soviet empire. The East was evil against which all democratic countries – read West – were called on to fight.

Opinion: Arab Youth Have No Trust in Democracy

The results of a survey of what 3,500 young people between the ages of 18 and 24 – in all Arab countries except Syria – feel about the current situation in the Middle East and North Africa have just been released.

Opinion: Burundi – Fragile Peace at Risk Ahead of Elections

Pierre Claver Mbonimpa is not permitted to get close to an airport, train station or port without authorisation from a judge.  He cannot travel outside of the capital of his native Burundi, Bujumbura. Whenever called upon, he must present himself before judicial authorities.

Opinion: Pillar of Neoliberal Thinking is Vacillating

This month’s World Economic Outlook released by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only confirms that consequences of the collapse of the financial system, which started six years ago, are serious. And they are accentuated by the aging of the population, not only in Europe but also in Asia, the slowing of productivity and weak private investment.

Europe’s Unregulated Lobbying Opens Door to Corruption, Says Rights Group

Lobbying is an integral part of democracy, but multiple scandals throughout Europe demonstrate that a select number of voices with more money and insider contacts can come to dominate political decision-making – usually for their own benefit.

Opinion: Foreign Policy is in the Hands of Sleepwalkers

The United Kingdom has been accused of “sleepwalking” into the Ukraine crisis – and the accusation comes from no less than the House of Lords, not usually considered a place of critical analysis.

Opinion: Measurement Matters – Civic Space and the Post-2015 Framework

For those of us interested in a vibrant civil society, it seems to be best of times and the worst of times.

Opinion: What if Youth Now Fight for Social Change, But From the Right?

The “surprise” re-election of incumbent Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the Mar. 17 elections has been met with a flood of media comment on the implications for the region and the rest of the world.

Opinion: The Exceptional Destiny of Foreign Policy

For a long time, citizens of the United States have firmly believed that their country has an exceptional destiny, and continue to do so today even though their political system has become totally dysfunctional.

Press Looks at Future After “Charlie”

In the wake of last week’s attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo that left 12 people dead, a heated battle of opinion is being waged in France and several other countries on the issue of freedom of expression and the rights of both media and the public.

OPINION: The Paris Killings – A Fatal Trap for Europe

It is sad to see how a continent that was one cradle of civilisation is running blindly into a trap, the trap of a holy war with Islam – and that six Muslim terrorists were sufficient to bring that about.

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