Tag Archives: global

Guide to the 2014 European and local elections

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Under pressure Clegg: I won’t quit
There are local council elections in England and Northern Ireland – but the big one this year is the European election on the same day. It is the only time outside of a general election when all 46 million voters can take part. The European Parliament is the only directly elected institution in the European Union. So this is your chance to decide who represents you in Brussels and Strasbourg (Yes, they still shuttle between the two parliament buildings at regular intervals).

How do I know if I can vote?

Most people should have received polling cards through the post. To be eligible to vote, you had to be on the electoral register by 6 May. Anyone over 18 on 22 May who is a British citizen living in the UK, a qualifying Commonwealth citizen living in the UK, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland living in the UK, or an EU citizen living in the UK can vote if there is a local election where they live. British citizens living overseas can also vote in the European elections provided they have registered as overseas electors. EU citizens living in the UK can only vote in the European Parliament elections if they don’t vote in their home member state.
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Is Venezuela finally waking up? Here is a review

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One goes to Caracas and picks up so many stories, that when you return you don’t know where to start. But I thought I would lead up with the story of the students in front of the United Nations office in Caracas. In some sense it encompasses a number of stories of what is going on in Caracas in the protest movement an its relationship with the Maduro Government.

Essentially, a bunch of students (or not) have set up camp in front of the United Nations office which is in Avenida Francisco de Miranda in Los Palos Grandes. I may not like the #SOSVenezuela hashtag, but, as you can see in the picture above, they have focused on what the hell is the UN doing, or not, in Venezuela. But their reality, their plan is a bit more complicated than that.

The first day, the students set up maybe a couple of rows of tents. But, as you can see in the picture above, by now they are up to four rows and growing.

It is very colorful as the picture below shows, but this is more than just a spur of the moment plan.

When you first talk to them,there are a number of surprises. First, they are not all from Caracas. Second, they are not middle class. Finally, they are not all students, as many of them are part of radical, left wing groups 8yes!, real left wing not imitation Chavistas!) which oppose the Government. So, for fools that claim that these protests are somehow motivated by the US, driven my middle class students, please come down and talk to them. You will be surprised, really surprised.

The second interesting aspect, is that the UN is just a way of focusing on something. They know that the UN will do not much more than make a statement or two. But they also know, that where they are, they should be safe, they are close to Altamira where they can go protest every night and in a location where the protests can grow, as they have grown in the last week.

But more importantly, they think that Maduro is playing a game of patience. They believe Maduro wants the students to get tired, wear out the opposition with repression and nightly fights, which, much like in 2002 in Plaza Altamira, will lead to the students or the opposition getting tired and giving up.

But they have no plans of giving up.

Their plan is to grow the camp, as long as it is livable. To make their presence a nuisance, but one that gets the approval of the neighbors. But it has to be livable and sustainable. They have received donations, they have a couple of Porta Toilets, they cook for everyone, they organize protests. But more importantly, they rotate. The tents may have someone’s name on it, or State, but the truth is that they alternate. Each person has someone to occupy their place. The idea is to outlast the Government, to out-tire the National Guard or the Bolivarian Police. After all, nobody can say they are violent (even if they go help in Altamira) but if the Government were to decide to move them out, repress them, it would be the Government that would look bad.
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Is Democracy such a good thing?

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The concept of democracy in politics is still seen by some countries as “the best and most effective type of government” because it provides with the same opportunities and the same equality to all its members. However even when in Western countries democracy is effective and it seems to be partially fair; democracy still has a long way to come in developing countries. This essay will discuss Is democracy such a good thing?

The name of the greatest Greek invention is today known as democracy and had the principle of Isonomy which refers to the same rules for everyone. Therefore there was nobody up the law and obedience was a global concept. Nevertheless, democracy was born between conflicts and instead of solving them, they appear to grow partially even at a wide range in the 21th century. The reason is the more freedom we have the less tranquillity we live in. Moreover, Finer (1997)[1] was correct in acknowledging the Athenian contribution to Western politics: “the Greeks invented two of the most potent political features of our present age: they invented the very idea of citizen- as opposed to subject- and they invented democracy”.

Even so, to answer if democracy is such a good thing is necessary to define the vices and virtues of such regime so we can have a clear view of what we are dealing with.

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Is anarchy a serious obstacle to co-operation?

In International Relations the concept of anarchy has been broadly discussed for several reasons; some scholars may argue that anarchism can be beneficial among the states and even more beneficial in IR dealings between countries. In opposition other scholars believe that anarchism is a serious obstacle to co-operation. This essay will discuss Is anarchy a serious obstacle to co-operation?

Yes; it is. The reason that makes me get in this position is the following: from the definition anarchy is defined as: “a system operating in the absence of any central government. Does not imply chaos, but in Realist theory the absence of political authority.”[1] Furthermore; in order to answer this question correctly, concepts involving Realism, Critical theory and Constructivism arise because they define the path in IR about anarchy most recently in the last years.

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Días de Dragón (El Año Nuevo Chino 2012)

Hoy empieza el Año del Dragón, considerada por mucha gente la criatura más poderosa del zodiaco chino. En la cultura asiática el Año del Dragón es auspicioso para el matrimonio, los nacimientos y el éxito. Pero también trae complicaciones: la mítica criatura tiene grandes poderes relacionados al agua y la lluvia, lo que puede significar ‘según dicen’ buenas cosechas pero también inundaciones y otros desastres naturales. Según comentan algunos astrólogos chinos. Yo personalmente me inclino hacia el hecho de que arranco el año nuevo chino. Para casi 1.500 millones de chinos ha comenzado este fin de semana el año 4.710 del calendario, el año del Dragón.

A nivel mitológico y zodiacal el dragón es un animal muy especial, porque las cabezas de estas bestias ahuyentan el mal. Se augura por tanto un año de tranquilidad en el que habrá cambios positivos y se retomará una “dirección más correcta” en el ámbito económico…pero; para quien? 

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The Ages of Extremes

The Age of Extremes

During the 20th century, the world for the first time in human history witnesses’ global wars, human interest this time crossed national frontiers and even when it was not the end of the world there were moments when the end of a considerable proportion of the human race did not look far off. This essay will discuss first what factors make the 20th century the Age of Extremes and second what lasting impact do they have on international politics in the 21th century.
The concept of “global war” was in first instance an element that influence the 20th century as called the Age of Extremes. The First World War was the first modern, industrialized total war; it began between European states on European battlefields, but extended across the globe, the trigger was the Assassination of Arch duke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo on 28 june 1914 . This time not only many countries were involved in war, even women were involved as Len Scott related “It was a total war in the sense that whole societies and economies were mobilized: men were conscripted into armies and women went to work in factories”

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Prospectos 2012 y Navidad 2011

Ahora que la Navidad se acerca, es difícil no pensar en ello y más aún es no contagiarse de alguna manera u otra del sentimiento navideño. Y es verdad; la Navidad tiende a cambiar el humor de la gente y ponernos en ‘modo Xmas’. Para aquellos que no tienen trabajo; por ejemplo, la Navidad es la excusa perfecta para deambular por los centros comerciales buscando ofertas y viendo vitrinas (cuantas cosas me gustaría comprarme o poder regalar). También es buena excusa para salir de la casa, ver gente, dejarse llevar por el sentimiento de alegría y compartir así sea una sonrisa (que son gratis) con la vieja de la parada de autobús que tengo 3 años  que no saludo. Para aquellos que si tienen trabajo, es un buen momento para regalar algo bueno, bonito y no necesariamente barato. A la final, es dar y recibir, pero es mas el sentimiento de dar sin esperar nada a cambio lo que hace esta época tan especial.

El otro aspecto de esta época  es la capacidad que tiene para hacernos recordar y vivir buenos momentos. Como cuando éramos chicos; cuando éramos felices y no lo sabíamos. Y bueno; después de adultos el Bayley’s gratis o el Ponche Crema que nos brinda el pure o el pana  por ser Navidad y estar otra vez con esa gente que lastimosamente no vemos todos los días, pero cuando los ves….todo tiene sentido, y te das cuenta de que…sí la Navidad fuese todos los días estaríamos arruinados, pero es que estar junto a la gente querida no tiene precio. Adicionalmente están los adornos, los cuales por lo menos a mi persona; me hacen acordar gente que me los regalo o alguna anécdota relacionada a dicho objeto. De todos los ángulos posibles, a la final termino sonriendo.

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Guerra y ética internacional

 En el siglo XIX; Carl von Clausewitz 1780-1831 (Prusia, teorista militar que escribió sobre los aspectos políticos, éticos y morales de la guerra) enfatizó que la naturaleza fundamental de los conflictos bélicos es inmutable. Esto quiere decir que no se altera, no cambia y sencillamente las guerras son necesarias. ¿Por qué? Porque la guerra es la continuación de la política. Moralmente, la característica principal de la guerra no es el resultado devastador que puede llegar a generar sino las nuevas ideas y condiciones sociales que ocurren luego del proceso.

 Es posible argumentar que ‘guerra’ en su forma más simple; es cualquier tipo de violencia armada entre un grupo o conjunto de personas. En ningún caso es fácil justificar hechos de violencia armada; por ello es que también se podría inclusive pensar que ‘guerra’ es una forma brutal de ejercer la política. Adicionalmente, es por eso que Von Clausewitz cree que la ‘guerra’ es una forma de comportamiento social y político propio del ser humano. La ética y la justificación de ‘guerra’ se presentan como los principios de ‘Guerra Justa’, que se refiere a las circunstancias bajo las cuales se puede justificar los conflictos bélicos.

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