Tuesday News And Notes

The The Complexities Of Protests
More and more citizens are taking to the streets to voice their opinions on social and economic matters, but Thomas Carothers of The Carnegie Endowment for International Peace believes that it would be a simplistic view to assume a singular reason behind the phenomenon.

Carothers and his co-author Richard Youngs note the protests that sparked the Arab Spring in making the argument that many organized rallies never achieve their stated goals.

“Many of the hopes embodied in the Arab Spring protests have not come to fruition. Little change is apparent in other countries that have experienced protests, such as Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Burundi, and Russia. Some observers detect a basic pattern of protest ineffectiveness: new protest movements seem to succeed in stirring up street activity but fail to translate protesters’ energy into sustained political engagement and change,” they write.

There also appears to be an ever-changing reason for protests. During the 1990s, free trade agreements were the cause behind many, but that is no longer the case.

“The era of transnational antiglobalization demonstrations has given way to much more localized protest. Most protests today are against very tangible and actual hardships and problems—decidedly different from the earlier global justice movement that mobilized internationally against relatively generic evils of capitalism and globalization, and different from the antiwar focus of the generation that lived through the 1955–1975 Vietnam War,” they add.

Ford Foundation Sheds Light On Philanthropy’s Role In Democracy The Ford Foundation Center has just released an important tool—“Foundation Funding US Democracy” which sheds light on what is funded, by whom, and where. It sorts and visualizes data the many democracy-related efforts foundations have funded since 2011. The goal of the project is to further examine the important role of philanthropy in the furtherance of democracy.

A Humorous Take On The Dalai Lama’s Secular Ethics
Robert Thurman, a professor of Buddhist theory at Columbia University, delivered a somewhat humorous talk about the Dalai Lama’s secular ethics project why it’s important for all of us to learn to be more compassionate.


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