These are some of the views and reports relevant to our readers that caught our attention this week.
The Promise of a New Internet
People tend to talk about the Internet the way they talk about democracy—optimistically, and in terms that describe how it ought to be rather than how it actually is. This idealism is what buoys much of the network neutrality debate, and yet many of what are considered to be the core issues at stake—like payment for tiered access, for instance—have already been decided. For years, Internet advocates have been asking what regulatory measures might help save the open, innovation- friendly Internet. But increasingly, another question comes up: What if there were a technical solution instead of a regulatory one? What if the core architecture of how people connect could make an end run on the centralization of services that has come to define the modern net?
Are the Oceans Failed States?
In the early hours of March 8, Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 lost contact with air traffic control just one hour after taking off from Kuala Lumpur. Since then, a multinational effort has scoured the Indian Ocean floor, deploying aircraft, ships, and even a robotic submarine in search of the wreckage. Yet four months on, the jet remains lost in the least accessible and most ill- understood ecosystem on the planet. Only about 5 percent of the ocean floor has been mapped in detail. We know more about the contours of the moon and nearby planets than we do about the basins of the high seas. But however remote these depths might seem, no corner of the ocean is untouched by human activities. As a result of these impacts, much of it is now in peril. That is the conclusion of the Global Ocean Commission, which reported in late June that the planet's largest and least- protected bioregion is close to collapse.
Fragile States Index 2014
Fund For Peace
We are pleased to present the tenth annual Fragile States Index. The FSI focuses on the indicators of risk and is based on thousands of articles and reports that are processed by our CAST Software from electronically available sources. We encourage others to utilize the Fragile States Index to develop ideas for promoting greater stability worldwide. We hope the Index will spur conversations, encourage debate, and most of all help guide strategies for sustainable security.
Citizen Voice in a Globalized World
Center for Global Development Policy Paper
In today’s world, the global economy is highly interconnected, but the global polity is weak, rudimentary, and fragmented. Market forces speak with a booming voice and get all the best lines, while non- market forces—especially citizen’s preferences about global affairs—are typically ill informed, poorly articulated, and hard to hear. This paper explores options for uncovering and amplifying informed global public opinion as a means for improving the decisions of international bodies and of national and sub-national governments in regards to global issues. The paper examines problems in ascertaining citizen preferences and surveys common approaches. It then makes the case for a specific approach—deliberative polling—and explores possibilities for using it to help address the comparative weakness of the global polity.
What the mainstream media gets wrong about development: basically, everything
Follow PublicSphereWB on TwitterPhoto credit: Flickr user fdecomite
Most international news stories are also about global development. They just aren’t reported that way. Whether it’s coverage of Nigeria’s missing girls, Syria’s civil war, or southeast Asia’s race against climate change, what’s at stake isn’t just our understanding of the global challenges we face—but also of the resources and resolve that already exist to address them. International news coverage can perpetuate a sense of inevitability, too often falling back on descriptions of a crisis met with a disorganized response or a distant country rife with corruption. Sure, we want to #BringBackOurGirls, but social media outcry doesn’t exactly translate to concrete action.