Brazil’s Glorious Rise and the Abrupt Fall of its Left

OPIX_Brazil_Political_Crisis.JPGThe world is still recovering from the Olympics in Rio. We have seen new world records being set. We have said goodbye to iconic sports figures such as Michael Phelps. The fastest man alive blew our minds away and the first Simone Biles amazed us. On the negative side, the LochteGate scandal caught us all by surprise when one of the world’s top swimmers tried to take advantage of Rio’s best known weaknesses: violence and crime. Nevertheless, the games were overall a success and the world was impressed. Amidst many concerns, Brazil pulled
it off and set a milestone as the first Latin American and the first lusophone nation to host such an event. As the city takes a break from the spotlight, the country is hosting another Continue reading “Brazil’s Glorious Rise and the Abrupt Fall of its Left”

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Ce Saint Que Je Ne Saurais Voir: Réflexions sur le «BurkiniGate» (FR)

Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyenQuand on se lance dans l’écriture d’un papier sur un sujet aussi instrumentalisé et dévoyé que celui du « BurkiniGate », l’on se doit d’abord de rappeler quelques faits : l’interdiction du burkini n’est pas nationale, mais simplement le fait de moins d’une trentaine de mairies françaises, sur les quelques 36,000 communes que comptent le territoire français. Le BurkiniGate, est c’est là l’une des premières « évidences » à déconstruire pour permettre la tenue d’une vraie réflexion sur le sujet, n’a donc pas l’ampleur que voudrait lui donner différents groupes sociaux en France et ce, pour des raisons sur lesquelles nous reviendront plus tard. Cette polémique est-elle pour autant non-significative ? Loin s’en faut, puisqu’elle révèle la polarisation croissante de la société française et celle, plus subtile mais bien réelle, de la gauche gouvernementale.

Continue reading “Ce Saint Que Je Ne Saurais Voir: Réflexions sur le «BurkiniGate» (FR)”

Much Ado About Nothing: Thoughts on the ‘BurkiniGate’ (EN)

Déclaration des droits de l'homme et du citoyenUpon writing an article about a subject as misused and manipulated – the BurkiniGate, so to speak – one must first remind the public of some facts: the burkini ban is in no way a national one, but rather a decision taken by less than thirty cities in France, out of 36,000. Therefore, the BurkiniGate – and that is indeed a false evidence – is not a controversy as important as various organisations are trying to make it out to be, and this for self-interested reasons that we will analyse later on. Is it then unimportant? Far from it, since it highlights the divisions existing within both the French society and, in a subtler way, the French government.

Continue reading “Much Ado About Nothing: Thoughts on the ‘BurkiniGate’ (EN)”

Politique et terrorisme : De la sémantique à la rhétorique, quels actes?

La sémantique et le danger des rhétoriques

Dinos A la lueur de l’actualité, les attentats qui se suivent mais qui ne se prévoient pas n’ont de cesse de faire réagir. A travers son opinion publique, ses médias et sa classe politique, la société ou plutôt les sociétés européennes sont en proie à une crispation qui semble interminable. La cause de tous ces maux : le terrorisme. Ainsi le nomme t-on celui qui agite les peurs, les haines et parfois, la bêtise. Ce terrorisme est nommé, employé et même affiné lorsqu’on lui accole le mot « islamiste »; mais malgré cette utilisation il y a t-il une compréhension à sa signification ? Les mots dont nous usons, les actions que nous entreprenons ne sont dictées que par notre propre compréhension et surtout, par les limites de celle-ci.

Comprendre, c’est se donner la capacité d’agir de manière pertinente. A l’heure où l’information circule en abondance, où le politique se trouve dans une posture de sur-réaction et surexposition, les opinions publiques réclament sécurité, liberté, fermeté, maintenant, tout de suite. Ainsi l’acteur politique, sous le dictat de Continue reading “Politique et terrorisme : De la sémantique à la rhétorique, quels actes?”

Young people are speaking up. Are you sure to be listening?

chooseFollowing a resolution passed by UN General Assembly back in 1999, International Youth Day is annually celebrated on August 12th. The aim behind it is to shed light on youth-related issues in economic, political and legal contexts. This year’s theme focuses on ending extreme poverty and achieving sustainability by 2030, which makes it impossible for anyone writing on IYD not to mention the 21th century plight affecting millenials: unpaid internship.

If one looks at the statistics about youth participation over the last years, the scenario doesn’t seem that discouraging. An ever-growing attention is being paid to youth empowerment and youth participation in decision-making processes, and this can be seen through the expanding platforms where Continue reading “Young people are speaking up. Are you sure to be listening?”

Trump: From Parody Candidate to a Threat to International Security

Images of how Trump made his bodyguards expel a TrumpUnivision journalist -the Hispanic TV station with the highest diffusion in the US- from one of his events, his use of the Orlando massacre to promote Islamophobia; and a rhetoric of segregation and the closure of frontiers to Mexicans, Muslims and immigrants, all under an ethnocentric appellation evokes a dangerous parallelism with Nazi Germany in its origins. Continue reading “Trump: From Parody Candidate to a Threat to International Security”

Of Brexit, Europe and the Politics of Closure

Five weeks ago I woke up and realized thatImage 1 the British people had just voted to leave the European Union. Since then I sensed that new reality creeping into my everyday life. Squeezing in an overcrowded Tube coach, grabbing a coffee at the newest bar, walking through office corridors, and waiting in the awkward silences of elevators: Brexit was everywhere. Continue reading “Of Brexit, Europe and the Politics of Closure”

Paris Agreement and the EU. Leading the pace no longer?

paris_seineWith the focus in Europe being primarily on the consequences of Brexit and on the ravaging terrorism, environmental issues apparently become a secondary issue at best.  While we cannot deny a huge importance of the above mentioned issues, tackling climate change is not something that can be put on hold either. To the contrary, sustainable and innovative environmental policies are indispensable and the European Union, one of the world‘s biggest economies and hence significant greenhouse gas (GHG) emitters, is obliged to take an active step in collectively taking its responsibility. Despite some troubling moments that will arise as  one of the biggest EU Continue reading “Paris Agreement and the EU. Leading the pace no longer?”

On the necessity of inclusive patriotism

NordenPatriotism is a phenomenon we have all encountered. For many, loving what one considers one’s homeland seems natural. In many countries, citizens are socialised into patriotism from an early age, as various rituals connected to it are carried out even in schools. Often, the socialisation of subjects into patriotism continues throughout their lives. Since the Eurosceptics, racists, and xenophobic nationalists of our days usually deny all allegations of bigotry and isolationism, and claim to be nothing more than concerned patriots, in the minds of many Socialists and Democrats, patriotism is necessarily related Continue reading “On the necessity of inclusive patriotism”

Statement by Candidates of Board 2016-2017 regarding Election Results and Follow-up

This post is also published in the Official FB Page of the Graduates of Democracy, on the
Official Graduates of Democracy Blog and Twitter Account.

• This post is on behalf of the all the current candidates to the Board of the Graduates of Democracy.

SUBJECT: Conclusions of the ‪#‎poll‬ on electoral changes.

Dear Graduates of Democracy,

The poll on eventual electoral changes was over almost two days ago and the majority (31 people) opted to extend the candidacies deadline and consequently the election dates. Furthermore, in the winning option there is the commitment to provide more information on the elections. In this regards, please do comment under this post on what you would like to have more info.

Since the winning option did not propose any functional change, the discussion is now open for any adjustments and/or proposals for new functions, though we would like to advise that any other position be discussed at a later time, possibly after the elections. Said elections will continue to be for the following roles:
1. President
2. Vice President in charge of External Coordination
3. Vice President in charge of Internal Coordination
4. Director of Communication
5. Editor in Chief
6. Treasurer.

Earlier this month there had been some discussion for the establishment of an Ethical Committee in charge of establishing a common Charter of Conduct. Hugo Decis and Gabriele Bortolotti are working on it and invite anyone who wants to lend a hand to contact them. Furthermore, after the election, there will be the opportunity to discuss the roles and elect Working Groups Rapporteurs and National Representatives.

As we focus now on the imminent elections that will be held from 10/08/2016, 8:00 CET to 14/08/2016, 23:59 CET, we would like to invite anyone who has the interest to candidate himself or herself to post his or her candidacy in this group by 07/08/2016, 23:59 CET. To have a clearer perspective on the candidates we will post all the nominees statements on a google doc divided by role (https://drive.google.com/…/0ByDLfVKgXnvAWEo0Tkw3aEstc…/view…)
and on the blog. Cecilia Passaniti will undertake the duty of adding all candidacies in the Official Document.

Again we are stressing the fact that the point of the elections is to create a structure and an official frame as we expand and become more involved with external actors. However, this hierarchy is not aimed at the exclusion of anyone and we invite all the Graduates of Democracy to keep contributing to the debates and creating now proposals to allow this community to grow. Let us not forget the important opportunity provided by the Socialists & Democrats group to discuss our agenda in Brussels next October. Everyone is, in fact, invited and encouraged to input his or her contribution inside and out of the working groups’ topics.

For now, please put forward your candidacy or any suggestion on what needs to be explained further.
Also do not forget to register for voting by sending you email address and full name to: Schoolofdemocracy2015@gmail.com In the next days a Google Doc with the instructions on how to vote and the link will be uploaded. Voting registration ends 07/08/2016, 23:59 CET.

Kind regards,
2016/2017 Board Candidates