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From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year

From Victim to (Mutual) Aggressor: South Sudan's Disastrous First Year | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The new African country, founded in part to escape from the northern government's violence, is showing some hostility of its own.

 

Independence for ethnic/religious groups, while culturally satisfying, does not necessarily solve all the problems within a region.  South Sudan's 1-year anniversary shows that even though they have a short history, it has been marked by ineffective governance and social instability.  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

This shows that gaining your independence might be hard, but the actual creation of the new state is harder.  Sometimes the new governement will impose the same methods the old "mother" country used that caused the split int he first place.  They need to ask themselves the hard questions about their actions: Are we turing into the old country?  Are we swapping one repressive and agressvie government for another?  Again one needs to look to the past, learn form it and not make the same mistakes..or else what I like saying...history will repeat itself.

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Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 5:51 PM

The fighting between the Republic of Sudan and south Sudan belongs to a different category of armed conflict, a product of internal politics and external pressures suspisons both real and imagined that launched an uncontrollable war, a war that could have been prevented.   

Brett Sinica's curator insight, November 10, 2013 5:32 PM

This is probably a bad comparison, but say an expansion sports team has just been created for the new upcoming season.  There are new players, new equipment, and new managers to run the team.  Many of these new areas probably have little to no experience with each other professionally, so therefore flaws are inevitable.  In a way, the only way to go is up and mistakes which surely will be made can be used to change for the better in the future.  That being said, a new country with new officals, flags, and economy to name a few are all in a "trial run."  No one should expect them to suddenly become prosperous and great over a few years span.  Just like a new team, a country takes time to develop, people to gain comfort, and regulations and norms for people to follow.  I mean, even Rome wasn't built in a day.

Marissa Roy's curator insight, November 26, 2013 4:39 PM

This war could have been prevented. The Republic of Sudan and South Sudan are fighting over problems that may or may not exist.  Independence does not always solve the problems within a region, as shown in the case of South Sudan.  

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How tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan

How tiny Estonia stepped out of USSR's shadow to become an internet titan | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
The European country where Skype was born made a conscious decision to embrace the web after shaking off Soviet shackles Eesti keel | Estonian language version...

 

Can you imagine walking over 100 miles without losing your internet connection?  Estonia has done it by making internet access a public service along the lines of water and electricity.  The impacts and effects or profound considering that 9 in 10 Estonians have a computerized ID card that they can use to vote, transfer money and access all the information the state has on them.  Although this may sound very dystopian and authoritarian to many, Estonians argue that it actually empowers citizens to keep the state in check.      


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

Just an amazing fact to see a county that was once under the controll of the USSR for so long as come so far.  Now a part of NATO and the EU Estonia has stepped out of the control of Russia to become a virbrant place to live.  Once independant and then under the contol of the USSR at the start of WW II it has once again become a nation itself.  Also notice a very different view in the article, the people there feel this electronic system lets them keep and eye on the government and not a big brother view many people in the US have over electronic ID systems.  Is it because they have always been use to being looked at by the government, ie the USSR over the last 50 years and because we are so use to freedoms that we have had for hundreds of years?

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Matt Mallinson's comment, October 15, 2012 1:23 PM
Wow i didn't realize that Estonia created Skype or that they are very dependent on the internet. Good for them, no more Soviet commands.
Brian Nicoll's curator insight, December 11, 2012 11:03 PM

I actually like the idea of the computerized ID card.  Yes, undoubtedly from the outside looking in this does appear to have some big brother qualities but I think it's brilliant.  The card allows people to transfer money and vote.  It's also nice to see a country that doesn't just treat their internet use like a toy.  They use it to benefit their society, making it accessible to everyone in the country and not just those who can afford it. 

Cam E's curator insight, February 27, 2014 11:04 AM

I actually had no idea that Estonia birthed Skype. It was an amazing foresight that Estonia immediately jumped into the computer and internet age, and even more surprising that you can get Wi-fi across most of the country, no matter how remote. That's something that hasn't been accomplished in even the US. They had Internet in most schools by 1997 and can even vote online!

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Chinese Uighurs' economic fears

Chinese Uighurs' economic fears | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
Amid ethnic tensions, minority regards modernisation plans in Xinjiang as favouring Han Chinese migrants.

 

With not as much cultural cachet in the West as Tibet has, the Uighur population in China has still dealt with many of the same political problems in their struggle for greater autonomy, but with much less publicity.  With massive Han Chinese migration, they've become minorities in their own homeland.  


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

The Uighur people are being left out of their own homeland.  The Chinese government has sent many Han Chinese to this area.  So many in fact that the Uighur are a minority in their traditional and ancestral homeland.  The Han are getting the jobs and going to be running the new gas operations that will surely be developed by the Chinese.  Why has this not been as reported in the west?  Is it becasue the people are mostly Muslim?  The same thing happened to Tibet, but that area seems to get more press.  Or is there going ot be more of a spotlight on this area givin the natural gas that has been found in this area?  Going to be interesting area to watch as this area becomes more developed.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:17 PM

The fact that the region is China's highest producer of natural gas but it also one of the poorest regions in the state is an interesting contrast to the wealth enjoyed by oil states in the Middle East. Add to the situation the ethnic marginalization of the Uighurs, and the violence between them and the Han Chinese, and the situation sounds like it could put an unpleasant international spot light (yet again) on China.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:00 PM

Uighurs are being pushed out of their homeland because of Han Chinese migration. This article is accurate when it claims that the amount of publicity the region gets is minimum. This makes the Uighurs more at risk than Tibet. With so much attention put on areas elsewhere, China will face less international push back as it over takes yet another region who wishes to maintain its autonomy and culture.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:54 PM

I believe that without doubt today it is a bad time to be a minority in China. The Chinese are experiencing a great deal of nationalism and in turn placing economic barriers on the minorities in order to drive them out of regions so the government will be able to repopulate them with Han Chinese. While the Han Chinese have always been the majority within China its only recently the government has decided to provide them with advancement at the risk of the other ethnic groups within China. 

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Tsunami of Change Hitting Burma!

Sometimes the news can be good news! The historic April 1st election in Burma that saw Aung San Suu Kyi and her National League for Democracy win 43/45 parliamentary seats is being hailed as the first free and fair elections for 50 years!

 

This is a current perspective on the many changes transforming Myanmar back into Burma.  For more by John Boyer, see: http://www.plaidavenger.com/ ;


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

It is amazing to see the kind of changes he has mentioned especially after military rule for about 50 years.  But you have to be careful as in all things.  Look at this article from BBC news http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-pacific-12990563 Even though the changes have been made the military still holds some significant power.  It holds the most powerful ministires in the country and well as having 25%of the seats of both chambers of the parliament reserved for themselves.  In time if these restricitions are removed I think that sanctions could be removed a little at a time.

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James Hobson's curator insight, December 3, 2014 1:36 PM

(Southeast Asia topic 2)

The oppressive government of Myanmar (aka Burma) may finally be realizing that they are in a sense their own enemy. Since free elections seem to have taken place (and apparently were not 'faked' like other reforming nations have done), it seems as if the government of the time is admitting a type of defeat by showing that more citizens are against it than for it. This also implies that despite giving up political power, those previously in charge of the government see potentially better lives for themselves by not being the only ones in control. If this holds true, then it can serve as a powerful example to oppressive governments that in order to fulfill your own best interests, you have to let others vie for their own. This can also serve as an argument for pro-Democratic activists.

Jacob Crowell's curator insight, December 15, 2014 2:19 PM

Burma is an area where the identity of the people has been muddled. This is an election that signals the people of Burma acting to clarify their needs through free and fair elections. Democracy is a powerful tool in regards to expressing the voices of the people. Aung San Suu Kyi is now the face of that voice.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:37 PM

This video explains that today the nation of Burma is at the cusp of change. This nation long oppressed by its government now stands to usher in a system of democracy and bring with it a hope of improving the lives of it's citizens. Sadly uplifting events are far and few between today but also long as people such as this aspire to bring change and better things for themselves and their families change can happen. Hopefully the people actually are able to achieve this level of freedom they seek and won't simply end up with a new brand of oppression.  

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Al Jazeera-Nepal's Forest Future

Al Jazeera-Nepal's Forest Future | Als Return to Education | Scoop.it
In Nepal, government owned forests are being felled at record speed, while community managed ones are thriving.

 

This is a great link for discussing governance and the environmental interactions and community.   


Via Seth Dixon
Al Picozzi's insight:

This shows want can be done to help preserve some of the natural habitat that we all need to live.  While the government lands are being used, illegally, though the government does nothing to stop it becasue of the economic stimulus it provides the lands given too the commnity are surviving and actually striving.  So why can't something like this be done in the Brazilian rain forest.  Set some of it aside to the community so they can maintain it, let it grow so that one of the most important natural resoures on this planet just doesn'tend up as ashes.

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Paige McClatchy's curator insight, December 14, 2013 5:00 PM

The deforestation of Nepal to supply the growing needs of India is an example of how growth in one country strips another of its resources. While Nepal may gain in the short term form logging away their forests, deforestation has steep long term costs. Many people live off the forests and their disappearance could threaten to ruin their culture.

Kaitlin Young's curator insight, November 23, 2014 1:05 PM

Rapid population growth and development in a country can lead to dangerous resource drains, both illegal and legal, in neighboring countries. India's growth demands more wood, and Nepal has been trying to supply their demand. In the last 20 years, 25% of Nepal's forests have been harvested for the logging industry. The demand for wood and rising prices has caused an illegal logging industry that threatens non-governmental forests. Luckily, in the 1980s, Nepal handed over 25% of the forests to communities, who have worked to preserve them.

Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 3:09 AM

This is really a sad thing to behold, these jungles which for many many years have provided resources to both wild life and resources for the people of Nepal. Unfortunately now partially because of globalization these jungles are far more valuable for their lumber than as living forests. The destruction of the environment such as this is a huge catastrophe for the world as a whole. Ideally the government or foreign powers will do something to prevent the entirety of the forests from being cut down.