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Forida, who earns about 35 cents (AUD) an hour as a garment worker, subsists on watery rice when her family’s money runs out so her son may eat better. GMB Akash/Panos/OxfamAUS

There are many good ideas to tackle inequality – it’s time we acted on them

We wear the evidence of extreme inequality – clothing made by workers in Bangladesh for 35 cents an hour. But we know how to reduce inequality – we just have to do it.
Governments have made a difference to inequality in the past, as Roosevelt’s New Deal did in the 1930s, and could do so again if citizens acted to ensure their voices are heard. Wikimedia

Don’t give up on politics. It’s where the fight for the fair go must be won

Governments' lack of response to rising inequality is not a problem of knowledge or public support. The problem is that those whose needs are being ignored must find a way to make themselves heard.
Workers’ falling share of national income is helping to fuel the trade union campaign to ‘change the rules’. Dan Himbrechts/AAP

To tackle inequality, we must start in the labour market

While government payments and programs go some way to reducing inequality, the transformation of the labour market and its institutions has cut workers' share of the pie to historic lows.
Through grassroots movements like La Via Campesina, farmers around the world are working to reassert the rights of local food producers. Global Justice Now/Flickr

Working to reclaim and rebuild our food systems from the ground up

If the food movement's goal is to reclaim a corporatised food system by 'rebuilding the public sphere from the ground up', what does this look like?
Unions, which traditionally protected wages at the bottom end, are starting to tap into community anger at the wealth flowing to the top end of town. Mick Tsikas/AAP

The fair go is a fading dream, but don’t write it off

This is the first article in a series, Reclaiming the Fair Go, to mark the awarding of the 2018 Sydney Peace Prize to Nobel laureate and economist Joseph Stiglitz.
Even when Xi Jinping meets Donald Trump, China seeks to erase history that does not suit the Communist Party’s purpose. Thomas Peter/EPA/AAP

Rewriting history in the People’s Republic of Amnesia and beyond

For China, national amnesia has become a 'state-sponsored sport'. Memories of events deemed sensitive by the state are not just forgotten, they are winnowed out and selectively deleted.
The 1979 Iranian revolution wasn’t purely Islamic but the clerics, led by Ayatollah Khomeini, made it so to consolidate their power. BockoPix/Flickr

Religious backlash loosens clerics’ grip on legacy of 1979 Iranian Revolution

Reformists are calling for the emancipation of religion from a state that's seen to exploit Islam for purposes of political power. This remains the most formidable challenge to Iran’s ruling clergy.
False beliefs about language and speech underlie legal precedents that allow jurors to be “assisted” by unreliable transcripts of forensic audio. The Everett Collection/Shutterstock

Legal precedent based on false beliefs proves hard to overturn

Not all false beliefs arise from malicious misinformation. Some legal precedents rest on the status of everyday 'common knowledge', since shown to be false, but embedded in our law nonetheless.
Contemporary politics is no longer able to resist the pressure of economic power. David Shankbone/Wikimedia Commons

Kidnapped democracy: how can citizens escape?

The financial oligarchies differ from other kidnappers by being silent about their power over institutions and policies – they don't want to alert anyone to what they have done.
In Kyiv in February 2014, riot police line up opposite crosses marking the deaths of protesters. More than 10,000 people have been killed since the Euromaidan protests began in late 2013. Christiaan Triebert/Flickr

Four years after the Euromaidan revolution in Ukraine: key gains and losses

For Ukrainians, the legacy of the Euromaidan revolution is decidedly mixed, and for the protesters who waved European Union flags EU membership now looks like a distant dream.
The nation is increasingly defined in terms of threats from outside. It’s the thinking behind Donald Trump’s vow to build a wall to increase security along the border with Mexico. Tony Webster/flickr

Breaking the shackles of the national mindset in a polarised world

The idea that societies equal nation-states, neat containers that can be closed off from outside threats, is powerful. The nationalist paradigm even has a hold over many critics of its politics.
On the streets of Petrograd on July 4, 1917, when troops of the provisional government opened fire on demonstrators. Viktor Bulla/Wikimedia Commons

Conquered city, site of revolutions from above and below

The physical and political space of cities can be shaped from above or below, but few have had more revolutionary changes, first under the tsars, then the communists, than St Petersburg.
‘I am a migrant’ solidarity signs were displayed during the European Parliament debate on immigration and asylum in the Strasbourg plenary. European Parliament/flickr

Crimes of solidarity: liberté, égalité and France’s crisis of fraternité

Fraternity is one of the three pillars of the French Republic, but social solidarity is fraying as citizens are criminalised for acting on their beliefs in the human rights of asylum seekers.
Starting out as a set of demonstrations against university reform, the French uprisings of May 1968 quickly gathered momentum. AAP/EPA/Prefecture de Police Museum

Be realistic – demand the impossible: the legacy of 1968

The protesters who took to the streets of Paris didn't know what they wanted: they just knew what they were against. But they did make us think that maybe there is another, better world.
The 2014 Umbrella Revolution in Hong Kong against ‘Chinese-style democracy’ laid bare democracy’s contested meanings. Studio Incendo/flickr

If democracy is failing, why do so many lay claim to it?

Uncertainty is built into democracy, but we are seeing more talk of crisis and more attempts at redefinition. So where does this leave citizens who want to have a meaningful say in how they live?
In clinging to power, Nicolás Maduro, Hugo Chávez’s handpicked successor, is steering Venezuela’s once-rich democracy to autocracy. Carlos Garcia Rawlins/Reuters

Is Democracy Dead or Alive? What democracy exactly are we supposed to nurture?

Democracy takes many forms, some of them democracy in name only. Confusion and misappropriation complicate the public struggle for the democracy to come, but this challenge is always unending.
While some are declaring that democracy has had its day, others see this as a time to develop more truly democratic ways of living. Gustav Klimt, Death and Life, 1910

Is Democracy Dead or Alive? Democracy has a future, if we rethink and remake it

Is it really time to eulogise democracy, or are we rather on the cusp of a new phase in its long and varied life?
Effective leadership requires leading by example, but Australia’s human rights record has drawn increasing criticism at home and abroad. Andrew Hill/flickr

Ten things Australia can do to be a human rights hero

On Human Rights Day, and with Australia set to take up a seat on the UN Human Rights Council, here's a must-do list for this country to become a credible advocate for human rights.
In Taxi Driver, Robert De Niro’s character, Travis Bickle, inhabits his own crazy paradigm, yet ultimately events frame him as a hero in the eyes of others too. YouTube

A Robert De Niro Theory of Post-Truth: ‘Are you talking to me?’

As Orwell knew only too well, if the concept of objective truth is moved into the dustbin of history there can be no lies. And if there are no lies there can be no justice, no rights and no wrongs.

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