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Month: June 2016

The Referendum Result: We’ve Got It Now!

Written by Christopher Pierson.

Britain remains in the grip of referendum fever with each side producing more and more frightening images of the Armageddon that awaits us on the other side of 23rd June if we make the wrong choice.

Meanwhile, the Swiss (who are more used to this kind of thing) had a series of referenda last weekend, including one on the introduction of a guaranteed basic income for every Swiss citizen.  A guaranteed basic income is a payment made regularly to all citizens solely on the basis of their citizenship and paid to them irrespective of their working status, their income or indeed any other non-citizenship characteristic.   The idea (amongst it supporters) is not to provide a ‚minimum‘ payment (a floor beneath which no-one should be allowed to fall) but rather to support the maximum sustainable payment (consistent with other economic imperatives). The sum provisionally suggested for payment in Switzerland was CHF2,500 (about £1,765) per month.

Enforcing the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty

Written by Roland G. Simbulan

All ten members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) signed the Southeast Asian Nuclear Weapons-Free Zone Treaty (SEA-NWFZT) on 15 December1995 in Bangkok. The ‘Bangkok Treaty’, as it became known, entered into force on 28 March 1997.

The NWFZT is considered a model for regional de-nuclearization.  The treaty covers not just state territory but also Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZs) and Continental Shelves. It prohibits the dumping or discharge of radioactive material or nuclear waste. This is why, predictably, even today, all five Nuclear Weapons States (NWS), Russia, the US, China, the UK and France, refuse to sign its Protocols. But are the states of Southeast Asia, genuinely Nuclear Weapons-Free today?

Survey Fatigue and the Search for ‘Good’ Data: post-disaster strategies

Written by Claire L. Berja.

Leyte in the Eastern Visayas of the Philippines was one of the areas hardest hit by Typhoon Yolanda in 2013. Tacloban, the city that became the ‘poster town’ of the disaster, is located in Leyte facing the Pacific Ocean at the head of the Leyte Gulf. Leyte is one of the poorest provinces in the Philippines. There is a high incidence of poverty and many people also move in and out of poverty (transient poverty) due to a high degree of vulnerability to shocks.

Typhoon Yolanda left many people devastated. It did not discriminate by class. In the aftermath of disasters the wealthy tend to be able to rehabilitate themselves more quickly, as they may have savings or extended family support to fall back on. However in the immediate aftermath of Typhoon Yolanda the devastation was total in many areas. In the longer term the disaster increased poverty overall.