Quick reminders, rules and advice

From 2000 to 2011, the European Union (EU) spent 190 million euros to fund e-participation projects. However, EU countries are faced with citizens’ disengagement from political participation. Only 41% of EU internet users actually use Internet opportunities to get involved. Yet, European internet users are extremely open towards social media. According to Business Insider Europeans use social media in greater percentages than Americans. For example, in Italy, 77% of the population spends more than 30 minutes every day on social media sites. Social networking seems like an easy option for governments as they are easily used to simultaneously inform and…


Shifting international politics, the future of development

Globalisation impacts individual countries in many different ways, making the world ever-changing. A great deal of the world still depends on aid. Donor-recipient relations shaped the world by influencing international markets and relations, friendships and competitions. However, powers change. EU provides half of the aid distributed today, and ongoing recipient countries now fund poorer countries as well. New rules. New game.

The European Union now funds half of the total aid provided to poor countries, becoming the world’s biggest donor. In 2011 aid from EU funds and from EU countries’ budgets — totalled €53 billion


Ethnicity and Development

The picture above shows a young couple kissing. The boy is draped in a Serbian flag and his girlfriend in a Croatian one. The photo was taken in Mostar, in Bosnia-Herzegovina, during a school parade. The Serbian boy was walking hand in hand with his Croatian girlfriend. When asked why she was walking next to a Serb, a Croatian girl responded by kissing him. The photo went viral. Young Serbo-Croatian couple buried the nationality question with a simple photo of the kiss.

Yugoslavia, prior to its collapse in 1991, was uniting (or to say suppressing) religious and national differences: Orthodox…


An African Election, The case of Ghana.

“A democracy is only as strong or as weak as the participants in the process choose to make it” is one of the quotes from ‘An African Election’ documentary. “One size fits all” can never be applied to processes of democratization and elections. However, ‘An African Election’ movie about Ghana’s 2008 elections, can easily demonstrate possible problems and experiences with democratic practice.

Besides following the main candidates, the movie introduces the people of Ghana, giving them a major role in the process — demonstrating the democracy itself. Following the campaign and the election process, the movie gives…


Religion and development

The Guardian reported that the archbishop of Canterbury has accepted, on behalf of the Church of England, that it should no longer resist gay marriage among churchgoers. On 29th of March 2014, first same-sex weddings have taken place after gay marriage became legal in England and Wales.

This is a clear departure from recent attempts by the English clergy to ban same sex couples from religious matrimonial ceremonies. Furthermore, Croatia offers case of religious impact on different aspects of development as well. In 2013, Croatians back same-sex marriage ban in referendum. Two-thirds of those who voted approved the change to…


Authoritarianism and Populist Rule

In March 2014, Twitter users in Turkey were blocked from the site, just hours after the country’s prime minister, Tayyip Erdogan, said he wanted to “eradicate” it because a number of users posted content that highlights corruption among some of his close associates. Turkey lifted theTwitter ban after a court ruling, on arguments that banning communication services like Twitter violates Turkey’s freedom of speech laws. Turkey serves as an example of a state characterized as authoritarian. In 2014, when revolutions are supported by extensive use of social media, even the 140 character platforms…


What makes democracy and democratisation?

Cream together participation, political tolerance and pluralism, then add in citizens’ and minority rights. Stir well and wrap into freedom and rule of law. Preheat democratisation and bake until all eligible citizens participate equally in development. Bon appétit! Enjoy your democracy.

In one of her blogs, Deborah Meier, an American teacher, stated that democracy “is an idea, not a recipe”, an idea that evolves through education. She writes that if we want a democratic society, we need to introduce democracy as a concept gradually — educating about “rule of the people” from kindergarten rather than overwhelming young…


Understanding states, elites and political settlements

“You will never do it properly because you got too much government attitude to be small and sleek. I’m like the Viet conman, all right? I’m in and I’m out. I was there the whole time. You don’t know it, all right? That’s the art of becoming somebody who people can pin their beliefs and their dreams on. You can’t do it.” These were the sentences made by the lead character of the American Hustle movie, a character with elite banking connections that tried to fool politicians…


The state, institutions and theories of political development

In October 2013, the U.S. government proclaimed 16 days of shut down, leaving the state in a vacuum of vital market information, cutting out interactions with citizens, and consequently delaying the 2014 tax season. United States federal government shutdown of 2013 opened a debate on massive government bureaucracy and political pressures, it emphasized the possible impact of long-term budget freezing to the world’s economy, and furthermore the U.S. government’s ability to deliver aid services through development programs.

Capacity, legitimacy and accountability of the state were questioned; moreover tight connections between politics, development and state emerged again. The Westphalian…


How large is the primacy of politics for development?

The wealth of the richest 1 per cent of the world’s population roughly equals that of everyone else (the 99 per cent). Such facts on income inequality were brought into focus in the last weeks of January 2014 when more than 2,500 global leaders and 1,500 businesses set out on the journey to Davos, Switzerland. The annual meeting of World Economic Forum where the reshaping of the world was at stake — again. The theme? The future of Society, Politics and Business. Clearly, having so many respected…

Tom Korman

Digital and Public Affairs strategist. Improving people’s digital chances to challenge governments, organisations, companies and policy-makers.

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