How the other tenth lives
WHAT is the most important number in global economics? Judging by the volume of commentary it excites, America’s monthly payrolls report (released on October 7th) might qualify. Other contenders include the oil price or the dollar’s exchange rate against the euro, yen or yuan. These numbers all reflect, and affect, the pace of economic activity, with immediate consequences for bond yields, share prices and global prosperity—which is what economics is ultimately all about. But if global prosperity is the ruling concern of economics, then perhaps a more significant number was released on October 2nd by the World Bank. It reported that 767m people live in extreme poverty, subsisting on less than $1.90 a day, calculated at purchasing-power parity and 2011 prices. The figure is not up-to-the-minute: such is the difficulty in gathering the data that it is already over two years out of date. Nor did the announcement move any markets. But the number nonetheless matters. It represents the best attempt to measure gains in prosperity among the people most in need of them.
Post-war Political Settlements: From Participatory Transition Processes to Inclusive State-building and Governance
The last decade has seen a growing convergence of policy and research discourses among development, peace and conflict, and democratisation experts, with regards to the assumed benefits of inclusive transition processes from conflict and fragility to peace and resilience. The realisation that the social, economic or political exclusion of large segments of society is a key driver of intra-state wars has prompted donor agencies, diplomats and peacebuilding practitioners, as well as the respective academic communities, to search for the right formula to support inclusive and participatory conflict transformation mechanisms and post-war state-society relations. While these various stakeholders profess rhetorical commitment to inclusivity, the term is used in very different and sometimes even in contradictory ways.
How to Succeed in the Networked World
Foreign policy experts have long been taught to see the world as a chessboard, analyzing the decisions of great powers and anticipating rival states’ reactions in a continual game of strategic advantage. Nineteenth-century British statesmen openly embraced this metaphor, calling their contest with Russia in Central Asia “the Great Game.” Today, the TV show Game of Thrones offers a particularly gory and irresistible version of geopolitics as a continual competition among contending kingdoms. Think of a standard map of the world, showing the borders and capitals of the world’s 190-odd countries. That is the chessboard view. Now think of a map of the world at night, with the lit-up bursts of cities and the dark swaths of wilderness. Those corridors of light mark roads, cars, houses, and offices; they mark the networks of human relationships, where families and workers and travelers come together. That is the web view. It is a map not of separation, marking off boundaries of sovereign power, but of connection. To see the international system as a web is to see a world not of states but of networks.
CIVICUS Monitor, interactive world map
The CIVICUS Monitor is a cutting edge research tool built by civil society. We aim to share reliable, up-to-date data on the state of civil society freedoms in all countries. Our interactive world map allows you to access live updates from civil society around the world, track threats to civil society and learn about the ways in which our right to participate is being realised or challenged. In a globalised world with an unprecedented ability to share information, it might be expected that those who restrict civic space have nowhere to hide. Yet clearly more must be done to shed light on the practices of those, including governments and private companies, that restrict civic space, and force them to adhere to domestic and international commitments to uphold human rights. CIVICUS believes that part of the answer lies in the creation of a new, robust and frequently updated tool to collect, curate and communicate the many strands of information about civic space. The CIVICUS Monitor does not intend to duplicate the valuable work of existing resources on civic space.
State of World Population 2016
Forced marriage, child labour, female genital mutilation and other practices undermining girls' health and rights threaten the world's ambitious development agenda, warns UNFPA, the United Nations Population Fund, in The State of World Population 2016. Practices that harm girls and violate their human rights -- starting at age 10 -- prevent them from realizing their full potential as adults and from contributing to the economic and social progress of their communities and nations. Without their contribution, the United Nations Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development and its accompanying 17 Sustainable Development Goals may never be achieved. Ten is a pivotal age for girls everywhere, as puberty approaches. In some parts of the world, a girl at this age enjoys limitless possibilities and begins making choices that will influence her education and, later, her work life. But in other parts, a girl who goes through puberty is suddenly seen as a commodity that may be bought, sold or traded, the UNFPA report shows.
Follow PublicSphereWB on Twitter!
Photo credit: Flickr user fdecomit