Articles on Democracy Futures

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One of the attempts made by the parliament to engage young voters. Oddly, it doesn’t appear to have been a roaring success. European Parliament

This election was to be different, but once again democracy in Europe is the big loser

“This time it’s different,” promised the European Parliament in an awareness campaign ahead of the May 2014 elections. And, judging by the headlines, it certainly has been different. Many in the media…
It’s 100 million years since Pangea, and we’re still waiting. cleanbiz.asia/Cesar Herada

Why is there still no World Environment Organisation?

It seems an anomaly that among the 15 autonomous, specialised agencies within the United Nations – such as the FAO, WMO, WHO, or UNESCO – there is no dedicated environmental organisation. This secondary…
In a continuing dispute over the annulled 2013 election, the voters of the Maldives are demanding to be heard. Dying Regime

Voting in Asia: not meaningless charades, but public wants more

Is it possible to opine about “the state of democracy in Asia”? Although some studies credibly do so, such a task seems challenging to say the least. This is due to the region’s proverbial diversity. And…
Will the global community definitively stigmatise Russia as an international pariah until it renounces the use of force to challenge a UN member’s territorial integrity? EPA/Alexey Nikolsky

What can Australia and the global community do about Russia?

The international community has been impotent since Russia responded to the November 2013 Ukraine crisis with force, culminating in annexation of the Ukrainian territory of Crimea this month. The G7’s…
Tunisia has its dangers, but it should be safe from financial collapse. archer10

How banks can help the move from dictatorship to democracy

Tunisia has been hailed as a lone success story among the Arab Spring nations. A relatively peaceful transition with a recent agreement on a new constitution has enabled the country to avoid the bloodshed…
Once universally thought of as an egalitarian country, what’s happened to wealth and income inequality in Australia in recent decades? AAP/Dan Peled

Income and wealth inequality: how is Australia faring?

The Conversation is running a series, Class in Australia, to identify, illuminate and debate its many manifestations. Here, Peter Whiteford investigates what has happened to income and wealth inequality…
He talks, they listen. Stefan Rousseau/PA

Ed Miliband’s leadership rests on personality politics

The Labour Party has started bringing forward policies for 2015, and not a moment too soon. The time for policy reviews, which really were more like a synopsis of contemporary social theory than reviews…
Everyone has views on the new prime minister, but who is the man behind the headlines? Dean Lewins/AAP

The Tony Abbott I know

As a public personality, our new prime minister is an involuntary paradox. On the one hand, Tony Abbott is one of the most discussed people in Australia. On the other, much of the discussion is so ill-informed…
Kevin Rudd is fighting another election. Just like the other elections, this is the most important since the last one. AAP/Alan Porritt

Election 2013: the campaign that never ended

It’s an exquisitely portentous cliché, the one that is always trotted out at each Australian election: this is the most important election in a generation, or since World War Two, or the advent of television…
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A Short History of Banks and Democracy

The following draft reflection on the subject of banks and democracy has been prepared for presentation at a forthcoming OECD meeting in Paris, in late-May 2013. The text is obviously much too long for…
The 2010 BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill was a tragedy, but what legacy has it left? AAP/Bevil Knapp.

Two years on: the legacy of the BP-Deepwater Horizon oil spill

It is now two and a half years since the Deepwater Horizon oil well blowout in the northeastern Gulf of Mexico. Both the people and the ecosystem of the Gulf were changed by this massive spill; how well…
Indigenous Queenslanders should be able to choose their own path. AAP/Dave Hunt

Funding cuts threaten Indigenous independence in Queensland

Funding cuts announced to Queensland Aboriginal communities last month will of course affect the budgets of Aboriginal Shire Councils. But their impact will be felt much more further afield than just within…
South Australia’s wind energy per capita is higher than any major country in the world, the report said. http://www.flickr.com/photos/twicepix/

Renewable energy sector grows but barriers remain

Energy production must shift from fossil fuels to renewable sources within four decades to avoid the most damaging consequences…
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The Greening of Democracy

Dear reader, don’t let yourselves be fooled: whatever political charlatans, cynics or melancholics say to the contrary, democracy as we know it is turning green. There’s never been a period in the history…
When discussing animal welfare, it’s hard to look at it from the animal’s perspective. phik

What is the value of an animal’s life?

Which is the greater deprivation for an animal: to live a good-quality life abbreviated at less than its natural term by painless slaughter for meat, or to never live at all? How much of an animal’s life…
It’s wrong to assume that China makes no effort to reform its political system because its culture does not support such change. Flickr/Katherina

The seeds of democratic culture in China

The skepticism of contemporary China’s multilayered and painful efforts to achieve legal and political reform makes many wonder if democracy can really grow in the Chinese soil. This is such a haunting…

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