Stories written by Justin Hyatt

Down With Sustainable Development! Long Live Convivial Degrowth!

For anyone who recently attended the Fourth International Conference on Degrowth in Leipzig, Germany, listening in on conference talk, surrounded by the ecologically savvy, one quickly noticed that no one was singing the praises of sustainable development.

Only the Crazy and Economists Believe Growth is Endless

From the mid-20th century onwards, economic growth has come to count as a self-evident goal in economic policies and GDP to be seen as the most important index for measuring economic activities.

A Carrot Is a Carrot – or Is It?

Food security is often thought of as a question of diversifying supply and being able to move food through areas plagued by local scarcity, relying on the global economic system – including trade and transport – as the basis for operations.

Ukraine Gropes for Unity

Amidst rising tensions within Ukraine, between its government and Russia, and even more between Russia and the West, many are now beginning to fear the beginning of a new Cold War. Talk of sanctions is finding new supporters, and there are proposals to freeze plans for a G8 summit scheduled in Russia later this year.

Tunisia Now Searches an Economic Spring

Nearly two-and-a-half years since the toppling of the autocratic regime of Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali in the first regime change of the now famous Arab Spring, the high expectations of change to come with the revolution have hardly been met.

In Southern Tunisia, Pollution No Longer Swept Under the Rug

The story of Gabès and the local phosphate industry follows a plot that is all too familiar: an underdeveloped town located in an industrial region boasts one major lucrative industry with high output and export values, but the local population and surroundings experience alarming levels of illness and environmental blight.

Time to Decolonise the World Social Forum

When participants at the 2011 World Social Forum in Dakar, Senegal, received word that former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down, swept away by a wave of popular resistance that brought millions of Egyptians into the streets, few could contain their joy.

Social Forum Spawns a New Form of Solidarity

The conference drew both supporters and opponents of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad; conflicting opinions about the Polisario Front and the politics of Western Sahara; Palestinian activists and the Jewish Anti-Zionist Network. In short, the 13th edition of the World Social Forum, held in Tunis on Mar. 26-30, was a melting pot of struggles and a search for common ground.

The World Flocks to its Forum

In the final countdown to this year's World Social Forum (WSF), Tunisian civil society and the country's capital, Tunis, prepares for an influx of over 50,000 visitors. With the dates of the forum set for Mar. 26-30, uncompleted tasks are being fast-tracked while the university campus that will host the forum is being given a security face-lift.

Freedom Pushes Past Snags in Tunisia

The extent to which Tunisians are able to express themselves freely is an ever-changing phenomenon. While the country is still in the grips of turmoil after the recent killing of left-wing politician Chokri Belaid, which sparked some of the largest protests since the initial revolution in 2011 that toppled Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the airing of dissent has become second nature for many.

Tunisia Gears Up to Host World Social Forum

Following in the wake of the wave of revolutions dubbed the ‘Arab Spring’, which originated here nearly two years ago, North Africa is gearing up to host the World Social Forum (WSF) for the first time.

The Secular Fret in New Tunisia

A year has passed since the provisional government assumed power in Tunisia. Following in the wake of the revolutionary changes brought on by the Arab Spring, the moderate Islamic Ennahda party won the majority and formed a coalition with the two secular parties Congress for the Republic (CPR) and Ettakatol in October last year.

Palestinian and Israeli Kids Play a Serious Game

On a sunny summer afternoon, kids start arriving with their parents at a park near Ein Rafa, a Palestinian village in the south of Jerusalem. The Arabic speaking kids stay in one cluster at first, and the Hebrew speaking kids chat among themselves. Soon a ball appears, and before long all the kids intermingle in a fast-paced game of Chinese football.

UGANDA: Bicycles at the Heart of Empowerment Scheme for Rural Women

The bicycle has become a symbol of hope for hundreds of women in Uganda who have been trained in repairing one of life’s favorite transport modes.

TURKEY: Peace May Come to Pass in 2010

With newfound liberties for the Kurdish minority and the government's ‘Democratic Opening' initiative the prospects for peace in 2010 are brighter than they have been in the last 25 years. The fly in the ointment is the ban in December of the pro-Kurd, Democratic Society Party (DTP).

HUNGARY: Cultural Heritage Held Hostage to Real Estate

A standoff over the likely demolition of a cultural centre is only the latest in long wrangling over the fate of Budapest's crumbling cultural and architectural landscape.


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