Analysis

Voters are crying out for better government but have mixed views on how to achieve it

Support for democracy and trust in politicians is falling. We hear a lot about evidence-based policy as a way to stem this decline, but less about how that evidence should be generated. Authors: The Conversation One idea that may generate the type of evidence that will help make more informed decisions appears, paradoxically, fairly unpopular with the punters. Perhaps the problem is that not enough has been done to explain to the public what this idea – carefully testing new ... Read More »

North Sentinel Island: uncontacted tribes’ ‘right to be left alone’ doesn’t gel with broader human rights

John Allen Chau knew he might die. The 26-year-old US evangelical missionary was killed, in late November, on North Sentinel Island, by members of the indigenous community that he sought to convert to Christianity. Karolina Follis The Conversation He saw this as his life’s mission – and understood the risks. North Sentinel Island is part of the Andaman Islands in the Bay of Bengal. It is home to the Sentinelese people, who are among the world’s last uncontacted tribes – ... Read More »

It’s no wonder we no longer trust our institutions

I’ve been thinking about institutions a lot lately. About how if there is anything that characterises our current political moment of disillusionment, anger and a rampant, destructive cynicism, it is that we no longer… Waleed Aly The Canberra Times Try to name one; it’s more difficult than you’d think. Our trust in politics – even in democracy itself – is at an all time low. Whatever belief we once had in the idea that business, for all its self-interest, was ... Read More »

Yemen: Giving Peace a Chance?

Preliminary peace consultations on Yemen are scheduled to start in Stockholm on 6 December. This is the second attempt in three months to jump-start talks. Crisis Group consultant Peter Salisbury explains why the Sweden talks are so important and what could go wrong. What are the talks in Stockholm expected to achieve? In September, the UN envoy to Yemen, Martin Griffiths, failed to bring the parties to the table in Geneva after last-minute wrangling. This time he hopes to have ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for Libya – many ... Read More »

Transatlantic defence industrial cooperation matters more than ever

2019 marks the 70th birthday of NATO, the most successful defensive alliance in history. But new threats are appearing and collaboration among allies remains essential, writes Chris Lombardi. Chris Lombardi is the vice president of European Business Development at Raytheon. EURACTIV At the signing ceremony of the Washington Treaty on April 1, 1949, U.S. President Harry S. Truman described the new pact as a way “to establish freedom from aggression and from the use of force in the North Atlantic Community.” ... Read More »

Australians’ trust in politicians and democracy hits an all-time low: new research

Over the past four years, we have conducted a range of attitudinal surveys with the Social Research Institute at Ipsos on the relationship between trust in the political system and attitudes towards democracy in… Authors: The Conversation Our latest research, conducted in July 2018 (prior to the Liberal Party’s leadership spill), includes a quantitative survey of a representative sample of 20 focus groups and 1,021 Australians from a wide range of… We understood political trust in this survey as “keeping ... Read More »

What moves markets more, Twitter or traditional news?

Can a single tweet make a country’s currency depreciate by 16%? Apparently it did on August 10, when Donald Trump tweeted that US tariffs on Turkish steel and aluminium would rise sharply. Authors: The Conversation Amid 36,100 retweets, and calls by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan for his people to dump foreign assets, the Turkish lira plunged. It’s not just the president of the United States that has such Twitter power. Around the same time, Elon Musk’s infamous tweet about ... Read More »

Chad: Defusing Tensions in the Sahel

Growing discontent among young people in Chad’s Sahel regions risk driving them into the arms of rebels in neighbouring countries. ICG Authorities should end the impunity of individuals guilty of a range of abuses and distinguish between economic migrants and potential rebels. What’s new?  Anger at the state is rising among youth in Chad’s Sahel regions of Bahr el-Ghazal and Kanem. Impunity for abuses committed against locals and the authorities’ treatment of all young people leaving for… Why does it ... Read More »

What the President Could Do If He Declares a State of Emergency

From seizing control of the internet to declaring martial law, President Trump may legally do all kinds of extraordinary things. Elizabeth Goitein The Atlantic In the weeks leading up to the 2018 midterm elections, President Donald Trump reached deep into his arsenal to try to deliver votes to Republicans. Most of his weapons were rhetorical, featuring a mix of lies and false inducements—claims that every congressional Democrat had signed on to an “open borders” bill (none had), that liberals were fomenting ... Read More »

Why the next two years are critical for the Paris climate deal’s survival

A mounting sense of urgency will greet negotiators as they arrive at this year’s United Nations Climate Change Conference in Poland. Authors: The Conversation In 2015, after 20 years of trying and failing to reach a global accord on climate-changing emissions, 195 nations hammered out a deal, the Paris Agreement, that all of them could accept. Three years on, it’s becoming increasingly clear that national decisions about climate action, which country negotiators will convey in Poland and over the next ... Read More »

From America to Ontario: The political impact of the Christian right

Over the past few years, Christian right groups have made inroads into the political landscape of certain countries. Authors: The Conversation Two recent examples have been the American and Brazilian elections. Among Christian right organizations, 81 per cent of white evangelicals are credited with helping propel Donald Trump to the White House in 2016. During the recent midterm elections, 75 per cent of white “born again” evangelicals supported Republican candidates. Their influence was also felt in Brazil with Jair Bolsonaro’s ... Read More »

Michael Flynn Is Worse Than a Liar

The word lie has lost its power in the Trump era. Try replacing it with fraud. Harry Litman The Atlantic The Trump administration has introduced the country to a colorful troupe of liars like none other in memory. Starting with the president himself, the past two years have brought to the national stage a… It therefore stands to reason that so many of the offenses ferreted out by Special Counsel Robert Mueller are crimes of dishonesty. Prosecutors take their crimes ... Read More »

Russia’s Gas Strategy Gets Help From Turkey

The Turkish Stream pipeline will make Ankara more energy dependent on Moscow. It will also give Russia a bigger energy foothold in Europe. Marc Pierini Carnegie Europe It was November 19 in Istanbul. There, Russian President Vladimir Putin and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan held a ceremony marking the completion of the first underwater segment of the Turkish Stream gas pipeline, linking Russia to Turkey’s European shores. The project is a vivid illustration of Moscow’s strategy to strengthen its position ... Read More »

Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou: The need for change in Europe

Basic points of the speech given by Minister of Administrative Reconstruction Mariliza Xenogiannakopoulou at a conference, in Cyprus, themed ‘The future of Democracy.’ Welcome | Keynote Address | Presentation of the Report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality (ICSE) and of the Outcomes of the Forum -I feel particularly moved every time I come to Cyprus because I belong to a generation that was aware of and grew up during the regime change and through the Cyprus tragedy. In every position I have ... Read More »

Agora Forum 2018 – The Future of Democracy: a summary of day one

Agora Dialogue is guided by the belief that everyone can exercise practical reason and acquire practical wisdom through communication with others. Dr Manolis Melissaris, Legal and Political Philosopher Agora Dialogue It therefore aspires to facilitate free discourse by providing an environment of co-operation. Welcome | Keynote Address | Presentation of the Report of the Independent Commission for Sustainable Equality (ICSE) and of the Outcomes of the Forum The colloquium brings together people from various backgrounds – academics, businesspeople, policy-makers, artists – who reflect together ... Read More »