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democracy

This tag is associated with 18 posts

Stiff-Collar Guys Confirm Democracy is Working in South Africa

SA Finance Minister, Pravin Gordhan Back in March, I was riding in an Uber car to my Johannesburg hotel. While most of the Uber drivers I’ve met in South Africa have hailed from Congo, Malawi, and Zim, this guy was born in Soweto. We were listening to talk radio, and the show was discussing the … Continue reading

A bittersweet farewell to the Institute for Democracy in South Africa (Idasa)

The Institute for a Democratic Alternative for South Africa played a pivotal role in that country’s transition away from apartheid rule. Two “white liberals” – Alex Borraine and the late Frederick van Zyl Slabbert – left their jobs as members of parliament in order to meet with exiled members of the African National Congress in … Continue reading

Myworld2015: The challenge of democratic global governance and prioritizing development goals

Myworld2015 asks all of us – that’s right, all of humanity — to vote for the changes that would “make the most difference to our world.” We get to vote online for the priorities that we believe to be most important – they provide us 16 options, and we are asked to select 6. And on … Continue reading

More repression in Swaziland

As reported in the Times of Swaziland, armed soldiers roamed through Mbabane today, with the clear intent of repressing any attempts to demonstrate against the regime. In a statement issued by Prime Minister Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini in the afternoon, “national security agents have been instructed to protect life and property against any protest action planned … Continue reading

Avoiding a twitter revolution in Swaziland

Various scholars and analysts will continue to debate the role of social media within the Arab Spring. But Swaziland’s King Mswati III isn’t taking any chances: According to the M&G, he’s planning to ban criticism on facebook and twitter. I am guessing that the little kingdom state probably doesn’t have the capacity to track down … Continue reading

Philosophy as required high school subject in Brazil

A great piece in the Boston Review on Citizen Philosophers in Brazil, where since 2008, philosophy instruction has been compulsory in all high schools. A philosophy teacher in Salvador, a virtually African city in the country’s Northeast, explains its value:   The contrast between the new luxury hotels along the beach and Itapuã’s overcrowded streets … Continue reading

Solid democratic trends across African continent

A new report from StandardBank does a nice job of highlighting positive trends in leadership alternation via elections in sub-Saharan Africa this past year, and previews some of the important elections to come in 2012. While the news we read and hear each day tends to paint a continent in perpetual crisis, a broader view … Continue reading

Africa rising, but not necessarily in democracies

This week, The Economist cover shouts, “Africa Rising: After decades of slow growth, Africa has a real chance to follow in the footsteps of Asia.” As it points out, this past decade, six of the 10 fastest-growing economies were African, and the IMF expects African growth to chug forward at a rate of about 6% … Continue reading

Robust debate about secrecy bill in South Africa

As I wrote about last week, a proposed secrecy bill has generated strong reactions from various sectors of SA society, concerned about the threat to free speech and the potential silencing of whistleblowers. That the ANC’s two major alliance partners — the South African Community Party and the labor federation, COSATU — have come out … Continue reading

Secrecy bill passed by South African National Assembly

The apartheid regime infamously detained journalists and editors; and it routinely acted to suppress the free flow of information. Among the many promises of the 1994 elections were a truly free and open press. Sadly, in what feels like a throwback to the bad old days, the government has put forward a “secrecy bill,” which … Continue reading

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