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Thu25Aug2016

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Love thy neighbour: reminiscences of a trip to Pakistan

We must learn how to differentiate between people and governments, writes John Samuel. Governments construct public perceptions via methods ranging from curriculum, to media, to academic discourse. Ordinary people, a vast majority of them, just want to live happy lives: they want jobs, they want peace, they want security. In this there is little difference between the people of Pakistan and the people of India

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Global conversations on democracy: The search for democratisation

Dominant institutionalisation of power in the state apparatus is today largely negotiated by three Ms -- Market, Military and Media -- controlled by the politico-bureaucratic-economic elites of a country, writes John Samuel The ideals and idea of democracy are being subverted by a new nexus of corporate interests: an entrenched nexus of interests and power configurations between the political, economic, bureaucratic and media elites that has captured the electoral process and apparatus of the state in the name of democracy 

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The shifting sands of multi-polar politics

The world is changing. Old ideas and institutions are being seriously challenged while new forms of expression and dissent emerge. John Samuel discusses how in a time of flux, new imaginations, new possibilities and a new politics are inevitable

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Managing social change organisations

Values such as transparency, participation and public interest should be reflected in the governing policies of voluntary organisations, writes John Samuel, and must be translated into organisational and programme practice

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Call for corporate accountability

The litmus test of economic growth is whether growth improves the lives and livelihoods of the poorest and most marginalised, writes John Samuel. If economic growth alienates and excludes poor people, then such a growth model is both immoral and unethical

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The rhetoric and reality of power

In any form of institution, power operates at three levels -- a set of dominant ‘ideals’, dominant ‘interests’ and ‘identity’ -- which together constitute the power matrix of the institution and the predominant ideology that drives it, writes John Samuel

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Politics and the new media

Language matters. Communication is the lifeline of power. And when technologies and communications change, so too do power configurations. That is what the history of the world in the last three thousand years has shown us. John Samuel explains

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Economic governance and budget accountability

Budgets do not operate in a political or economic vacuum. They reflect the dynamics of power within an economy, and highlight the policy and political choices of those who are in government, writes John Samuel.

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Civil society and the private sector

The engagement of civil society with the private sector can be an important lever for positive social change, writes John Samuel.

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Erosion of the European economy?

Europe’s economic crisis needs to understood not only in the context of the crisis of credit-driven speculative finance capitalism worldwide, but also in the larger context of the economic, social and cultural history of Western Europe, writes John Samuel.

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The politics of corruption

While a strong anti-corruption law can reduce petty corruption, at the heart of the problem is the increasing lack of accountability in the political system, big corporations, media and even NGOs, writes John Samuel. Breaking the nexus between business elites and political parties could be the first step

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Anna advocacy: Politics as performance and spectacle

John Samuel analyses the relevance and irrelevance of Team Anna’s media-driven mode of advocacy, which unfortunately sought only to transcend politics, not transform it

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Norway's paradox of prosperity

In peaceful, open and newly-prosperous Norway, where migrants now constitute 10% of the population, Anders Breivik is the face of increasing socio-political prejudice against the ‘other’ who looks different, eats different and prays different, writes John Samuel from Oslo

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What is left of the Left?

As long as there is a dominating status quo, marginalisation and violation of human rights, the Left has a role to play globally and in India, says John Samuel. But the new wave of left politics must go beyond party politics -- to the building of a more ethically driven leadership, a non-violent mass movement seeking economic and political reform, and advocacy for public policies that favour the marginalised and poor

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Egypt: The making of a revolution

The mass protests at Tahrir Square in Cairo may have begun with a mobilisation on Facebook. But it’s important to go deeper and understand Egypt’s political and social history to explain what is happening and how it will impact the region and the world, says John Samuel

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Migration from Kerala: The end of an era?

Kerala is on the threshold of a transition: with income from remittances set to decline and emigration to the Gulf decreasing, the remittance-based and largely service sector-oriented growth process will not be sustainable, writes John Samuel

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700,000 republics

John Samuel on Mahatma Gandhi’s vision of local self-government, and how far panchayati raj in India still has to go to realise that vision

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Religious revival in a changing world

By John Samuel

New insecurities and alienation that arise out of migration and urbanisation in a globalised world are driving more people to religion as a way of establishing their identities and validating their experiences

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Communal, sectarian, neo-conservative: Is this the new Kerala?

Is Kerala’s famed cosmopolitan ethos breaking down? With increasing incidents such as the severing of the hand of a Kerala professor for a perceived sectarian offence, it would seem that the once solid Malayali identity is being fragmented on religious, denominational or caste grounds, says John Samuel

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Building an inclusive, responsive and capable state

The multiple crises of economy, environment and governance have brought the focus back on the state. And not a day too soon, says John Samuel

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