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Month: May 2016

World Humanitarian Summit- a new way of solving the old problem?

Written by May Tan-Mullins.

I am not a fan of big summits and conferences. I find it a waste of time and money, which could be better used to help the world’s poor, sick, hungry and insecure. However, big summits are becoming a necessity in today’s globalized world, to harness global leaders and institutions, to identify and prioritise issues, and to agree on big solutions to solve these problems.  The recent success of the Conference of Parties (COP) 21 in Paris left many people euphoric. However, the World Humanitarian Summit currently taking place in Istanbul Turkey seems to embark on a different trajectory.  

Brexit would be death knell for British influence in the world

Written by Catherine Gegout.

David Cameron warned in a major foreign policy speech on May 9 that peace and stability cannot be assured in Europe if the UK leaves the European Union. The prime minister is right: the EU is a guarantee for peace in Europe.

But at least as importantly for the UK, the EU is also a guarantee for British political power in Europe – and for its international standing in the United States, the United Nations, China, the Middle East and Africa.

The UK began to lose its status in the world in the 1960s. The Commonwealth did not become an important economic trading zone, the UK was dependent on the United States and it was outside Europe. It finally entered the European Economic Community (EEC) in 1973, and just two years later, 67% of voters supported the campaign to stay in.

Remembering Eric Forth MP

Written by Mark Stuart.

To his friends, Eric Forth, who served as a Conservative MP from 1983 until his untimely death in May 2006, was just an ordinary bloke who wore daft clothes. In the House of Commons, however, he was a larger-than-life character, who became famous for his brightly coloured ties, for his all-night filibusters and his status as ‘the Lord High Executioner’ of private members’ bills on a Friday. But is this a fully accurate portrayal?

Today marks the tenth anniversary of Forth’s death and it provides us with a timely opportunity for a revaluation of his parliamentary career. Forth, however, does not make the task of reevaluation an easy one. He created a caricature of himself, coming across as more right wing than he actually was. Forth may have had a life-sized cardboard cut-out of Elvis Presley in his office, but he was no cardboard cut-out right-winger.

Philippine Election Blog 2016 – The End

Written by Francis Domingo and Pauline Eadie.

In late 2015 we started musing over the idea of running a series of articles about the Philippine Elections in 2016 for Ballots and Bullets, a blog run by the School of Politics and International Relations at The University of Nottingham. We knew that the official campaign would be three months long and that this task would be a big commitment. After canvassing a number of friends and colleagues on whether they would write for us we decided to go ahead. When the election campaign started on 9 February so did our blog.

Philippines 2016: How ‘Dutertismo’ can make a difference

Written by Roland G. Simbulan.

The clear mandate given by the Filipino electorate for Davao City mayor Rodrigo Duterte as the next president of the Philippines in the 2016 elections is a clear signal that the nation urgently seeks meaningful social change. The Commission on Elections estimates that 84% of voters participated in the 2016 elections, making it the largest turnout in Philippine electoral history. It was an election that gave a landslide victory to a provincial mayor from Davao, a city that was once the bloody battleground between New People’s Army guerrillas and government security forces. The military and police forces then also organized the Alsa Masa, a dreaded paramilitary group that assassinated even sympathizers of the armed and unarmed Left. It is to the credit of Duterte that Davao is now considered one of the safest places in the country to live in. The mayor from Davao is also known to be on speaking terms with the outlawed New People’s Army (NPA) who have occasionally turned over policemen and soldiers to him who had been captured as prisoners of war (POW). He is also known to be a supporter of indigenous peoples’ rights, Moro people’s rights, in general for the poor and underserved in Mindanao, though in a controversial speech during the campaign he threatened labour unions with annihilation should they disturb industrial peace under his administration.

Top 5 Things to Expect of a Duterte Presidency

Written by Vladimir Guevarra.

Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency is upon us. The stance of the tough-talking mayor of Davao city on crime and corruption is pretty clear, but his policies on the economy are less so. Here’s the outlook for the Philippines under Duterte over the next six years:

#1 On Society – Expect more discipline

Right after Duterte’s mammoth miting de avance at the Quirino Grandstand, social media was gushing over how hundreds of thousands of supporters picked up their trash and left the park clean and orderly – something nearly unheard of in the Philippines. You can call it the “Davao effect”– in which people became more conscious about their conduct in public. Already, Duterte is proposing restrictions on the sale of liquor as well as a curfew past 10p.m. for minors.

Propaganda and Ideology in Everyday Life: Award-winning Open Course Returns!

Written by Mathew Humphrey.

The Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) ‘Ideology and Propaganda in Everyday Life’ returns for its second run on Monday May 16th

The course is run in partnership between the University of Nottingham and The British Library, taking advantage of the extensive collections held by the British Library relating to politics and cultural history. In the course, we explore the connections between political ideas and beliefs and the experiences of citizens and communities as they go about their daily lives. Recent scholarship has emphasised the need to understand how political ideas ‘flow’ through societies, in ways that are often complex and contested. We look to move beyond views that see propaganda as simply a ‘top-down’ mode of indoctrination, mainly associated with totalitarian regimes such as National Socialism or Communism. Similarly, we look to expand our understanding of ideology, beyond the view that ideological beliefs must necessarily be ‘false’ or rigid and doctrinaire.

How the Philippines’ new strongman romped into office despite a shocking campaign

Written by Pauline Eadie.

Mayor Rodrigo Duterte of Davao City in Mindanao is now president elect of the Philippines. His path to the presidency was controversial, riddled with expletives and reduced his detractors to mud slinging and comparisons with Hitler. But the mud failed to stick: with almost all precincts reporting, he looked to have won the race to the presidency with more than 15m votes and nearly 40% of the vote. His nearest rivals have conceded defeat.

Why a Fresh General Election in June is Unlikely to Rouse Spain from Its Political Siesta

Written by Nathan Jones.

Spain faces another general election just six months after the previous one failed to produce a clear result, and negotiations to form a coalition failed.  Pedro Sánchez, the leader of Socialist Party (PSOE) and Alberto Rivera, the leader of Ciudadanos, attempted to form a coalition government, but were not supported by the Partido Popular, Podemos, or the vast majority of the smaller parties.  The disagreements between the main parties could not be resolved, owing to the unwillingness of the leaders of these parties to cross their red lines to establish any alternative coalition to be voted on, thus leading to parliamentary paralysis and the need for another election.  This article identifies the challenges facing each of the main four parties and explains why it is unlikely that the electoral landscape after the fresh election will look significantly different to the previous composition of the parliament.

Young people are detached from politics – schools can be the solution

Written by Anja Neundorf and Kaat Smets.

Young people have been turned off politics. Only four out of ten 18- to 24-year-olds made it to the ballot box in the last four general UK elections. In the last 20 years, the turnout gapbetween young and older voters has doubled from about 10 to 20 percentage points.

Many political, media and academic commentators have tried to understand why today’s youth seems more and more detached from public life – and what can be done to get them back in. Drawing on our recent study looking at children’s political engagement in Belgium, we found a simple answer: young people need to be taught more about politics in school.