The Internet of Elsewhere

“The Internet of Elsewhere”, Cyrus Farivar’s book which will be published in April 2011. It is the story of the Internet’s history and effects on four countries around the world: Iran, Estonia, South Korea and Senegal. It describes not only how the Internet came to be in that country, but why its Internet applications make sense given its own political, economic and social context.

In other words: there’s a reason that Skype was invented in Estonia, rather than Silicon Valley. There’s a reason that Iran was the first country in the world to arrest a blogger – back in 2003. There’s a reason that South Korea is the world’s most wired country on the planet, by far. There’s a reason why Senegal may be one of sub-Saharan Africa’s best chances for greater Internet access, and how it still comes up short.

Here is what Cyrus has to say ….

How Climate Change Correlates with Democracy

Peter Burnell attended last weeks Transformation Thinker Conference hosted by GTZ and Bertelsmann Foundation. He is a Professor in the Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick. He is one of the first scientist bringing together an agenda including issues iof climate change, political regime and leadership. Just in time for the present summit in Cancun.

Here are the 3 key questions Burnell focused on during his impulse statement:

  1.  How do different leadership styles affect climate politics on the national level (and vice versa?)
  2. When dealing with the specific challenges of climate change, how does the political regime of a country influence policy-making?
  3. Is democracy more “climate-proof” when it comes to multisectoral collaboration or collective leadership?

In this specific interview we (Jocelyne Sambira form United Nations and me) talked about the correlations between democracy and climate change. Do "developed" democracies perform better in responding to climate change challenges than non-democrcies?

Parts of the interview are also published on UNRadio. Thanks to Jocelyne!


About Peter Burnell:

He was educated at the University of Bristol and University of Warwick. His long established research interests are in democratization and the political economy of foreign aid. He is a founding editor of the international journal Democratization.

A present research focus is a critical examination of how standard conceptions of democracy are being diffused globally through networks of democracy promotion actors based mainly in the West. Another examines the political drivers of international assistance to developing regions against a backdrop of competing, sometimes contradictory policy objectives and theories of economic, social and political change.

How short distance becomes long distance …

This week I’ve met Ohood Enaia. Ohood, a very brave and adorable woman, is Manager at the Municipal Development & Lending Fund in Ramallah, West Bank. Each and every weekend she is visiting her parent’s house in Nablus, a trip of 35 minutes if you could go straight by car. But these days – depending on the check points restrictions – it might take up to 5 hours on a bad day. One way! Each day has its own life! And each check point might run its own rules!

In this video she explains why it is so complicated … Palestinian people have different ID cards and this is why easy things like e.g. going from one part of the West Bank to another can become difficult …

… and to complete the video area C, a designation from the era of the Oslo Accords,means Israel has full military and administrative control. And area C strikes fear into the heart of Palestinians …