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Civil Society

The End of Thinking?

Henry Mintzberg | Posted 07.11.2014 | World
Henry Mintzberg

History did not end in 1989, but for too many of the people who bought into Francis Fukuyama's influential "End of History?" article, what ended then was thinking. A failure to understand that successful countries of the West maintain a balance of power across the public, private, and plural sectors of society has been throwing the U.S. and many other countries out of balance ever since.

The Power of the Mural

John M. Eger | Posted 07.10.2014 | Arts
John M. Eger

Before the matches of the World Cup began, the Brazilian people were protesting in the streets because they knew they could not afford the $13 billion it cost to host the games. In Greece, similar concerns about public mismanagement was the issue and like Brazil, street artists reflected those concerns.

'Tunisian Spring' Continues, But Challenges Remain

David Tolbert | Posted 07.08.2014 | World
David Tolbert

The launch of the Truth and Dignity Commission in June marks a turning point in Tunisia's transition -- a groundbreaking step toward justice in a country that has experienced many human rights abuses, particularly during the reign of its last dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.

One Thing Americans Should Know About Iraq

Nan Levinson | Posted 07.07.2014 | Politics
Nan Levinson

So it's 10 years later and Iraq is splintering, probably regardless of what the U.S. does. Does it matter who screwed the pooch? Yes, for a number of reasons, and the sweetness of saying, "I told you so," is the least of them.

Even the Ruler of Hungary Needs an Independent Third Sector

Jon Van Til | Posted 06.20.2014 | Politics
Jon Van Til

In both the long and short run, Hungary is likely to suffer from the majoritarian zeal of Orban's desire to run it all. Even the strongest ruler stands to benefit from citizen interest in resolving society's problems.

Dr. Kim of the World Bank Must Walk the Talk on Climate

Nezir Sinani | Posted 06.13.2014 | Green
Nezir Sinani

The World Bank has not yet addressed climate issues systematically. Most notably, its Safeguard Policy framework does not require climate change risk assessments for Bank projects. This gap in policy has allowed the World Bank to continue financing projects with serious implications for our climate and to essentially ignore the issue completely.

Fixing the Double Democratic Deficit

Danny Sriskandarajah | Posted 06.02.2014 | Politics
Danny Sriskandarajah

Governments and international institutions both need to listen to and include these voices -- radical reform is necessary to make decision-making processes open and governance more democratic, and less susceptible to elite manipulation.

Europe Is Turning an Ear to the Southern Mediterranean Countries

Elizabeth Filippouli | Posted 05.28.2014 | Politics
Elizabeth Filippouli

The initiative announced by the Commissioner in Brussels is expected to boost social dialogue in the countries of the southern Mediterranean, i.e. Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, Palestine, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Algeria and Morocco. And it is much anticipated.

Social stability

China Hands | Posted 05.26.2014 | Politics
China Hands

Wang Xingzui, the head of one of China's largest NGOs, argues for a stronger Chinese social sector Geometry teaches us that at least three points are...

Memories of the Cultural Revolution

China Hands | Posted 05.26.2014 | Politics
China Hands

Yifu Dong and Yi-Ling Liu share their relatives' experiences of a tumultuous era Yifu Dong My grandmother was born in Xinmin County, Liaoning Provi...

Tongzhi Culture

China Hands | Posted 05.28.2014 | Gay Voices
China Hands

Rachel Leng reports on the broader significance of the Chinese gay rights movement In a Beijing restaurant, I sat down to lunch with two men and two...

U.S. Law Limits Options for Nonviolent End to Nigerian Girls Nightmare

Kay Guinane | Posted 05.16.2014 | World
Kay Guinane

U.S. law limits the potential for a negotiated release of the Nigerian schoolgirls, just as it would in other contexts for negotiating release of child soldiers, arranging access to civilians in need to humanitarian assistance or pursuing peace negotiations.

No Silver Bullet... But Focus on Guns to Reduce Global Violence

Daniel Mack | Posted 05.16.2014 | World
Daniel Mack

Quite clearly, certainly in the Americas but also most of the world, firearms should be the principal focus for those attempting to curb violence through better safety, regulation and control of its 'tools'.

Democracy Without Democrats in Hungary

John Feffer | Posted 07.12.2014 | World
John Feffer

Anybody can claim the mantle of democracy. Russian neo-fascist Vladimir Zhirinovsky runs a party called the Liberal Democratic Party. Even North Korea makes a nod in this direction when it calls itself the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. The countries of East-Central Europe are, of course, in a different category.

Finding Wisdom in a Fractured World

Harold Lloyd | Posted 06.05.2014 | Impact
Harold Lloyd

The wise person understands why we run from questions that we might not be able to answer, and why we wrongly avoid other obstacles or risks that we should face. Our default emotions have evolved to lament loss more than to celebrate gain.

The Classics and Their Relevance Today

Ricardo B. Salinas | Posted 06.01.2014 | Books
Ricardo B. Salinas

"What progress we are making. In the Middle Ages they would have burned me. Now they are content with burning my books." -- Sigmund Freud History is ...

Why Restricting Foreign Funding of NGOs Is Wrongheaded

Danny Sriskandarajah | Posted 05.27.2014 | Politics
Danny Sriskandarajah

There is a new weapon of choice for governments that want to undermine bits of civil society that irritate them: restricting funding from foreign sources. These measures not only go against established international conventions and commitments, but they will not work.

Putin Advisor Gerhard Schroeder Should Resign

András Simonyi | Posted 05.24.2014 | Politics
András Simonyi

I am surprised the German Bundestag has not yet adopted a law banning former Chancellors from taking jobs in companies in which authoritarian regimes have a majority stake.

Abdul Hafiz Mansoor: 'I Assure You the Taliban Will Never Return'

Unveiling Afghanistan | Posted 05.21.2014 | Politics
Unveiling Afghanistan

"A major problem is the conservative interpretation of women's status in religion, which views women as a second, inferior sex. Women's presence in society is another challenge. The prevailing norms still see women's employment outside of the home as a shameful thing. On this view, women's work indicates a lack of honor for men."

Suraya Popal: 'They Stole His Sister, Not His Car'

Unveiling Afghanistan | Posted 05.20.2014 | Politics
Unveiling Afghanistan

"The underground mines that have been discovered in Afghanistan bring hope to all Afghans for a prosperous future. I hope that those mines will be operated effectively in accordance with international law in order to guarantee the economic future of the people of Afghanistan."

Abdul Qayyum Sajjadi: 'It Is Difficult to Leave the Tribal, Misogynist and Monopolist Approach Behind'

Unveiling Afghanistan | Posted 05.19.2014 | Politics
Unveiling Afghanistan

"Like most other Afghans, I am afraid of a return to the past, to that tension-fueled political, social and religious environment. For now, the positive cooperation between Afghanistan and the international community is keeping that at bay. But if this cooperation ends, we cannot rule out the possibility of returning to the dark days of the past."

Sahraa Karimi: 'The Taste of Freedom Is a Powerful Antidote to Oppression'

Unveiling Afghanistan | Posted 05.18.2014 | Politics
Unveiling Afghanistan

"The youth give me hope. They refuse to bow their heads and submit like the generations before them did."

Dr. Ramazan Bashardost: 'Our Leaders Push Their People Over the Cliff'

Unveiling Afghanistan | Posted 05.17.2014 | Politics
Unveiling Afghanistan

"Our people are immobilized: I have seen people barely flinch while someone is beheaded in front of them. The Afghan people have had their willpower stolen from them; the society has become numb."

Dr Alema: 'We Need a National Campaign Against Illiteracy'

Unveiling Afghanistan | Posted 05.14.2014 | Politics
Unveiling Afghanistan

"Schools are still being closed to girls today. They throw acid on girls, poison the water containers in girls' schools, and distribute clandestine newsletters mobilizing against families of the students and teachers. These are all indirect ways of closing the schools to girls."

Wahid Ghassemi: 'I Belong to the Land Called Afghanistan'

Unveiling Afghanistan | Posted 05.13.2014 | Politics
Unveiling Afghanistan

"The terrible events that women suffer every day in Afghanistan demonstrate that women do not enjoy their human rights in this society."