Pick of Polemics
From the latest issue "On the Grid: Media, Power and Participation"
Gerhard Freilinger is not your average doctor. He has led a life that is immediately enviable, but at the same time, one that has called for a great deal of courage. Having lived through wars and being exposed with the effects of conflict - both tangible and intangible - Dr. Freilinger has seen every side of both guns and operating tables in a whirlwind that has spanned seven decades. Nareg Seferian caught up with the man at the Kurdistan Regional Government representation in Vienna.
The media in Armenia suffers from the same legacy as in much of the post-communist world. Nareg Seferian argues that although the Internet has shaken things up in the past few years, media independence is still in the making.
From the previous issue "Democracy now?"
There’s talk of change but views differ on how much we need and how to bring it about. Catharine-Sophie Eibl asks whether direct democracy could be the answer to all our woes.
Since the wave of demonstrations and popular uprisings known as the ‘Arab Spring’ began in December 2010, one regime after another has fallen, most notably in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya. Pundits have been forthcoming in painting pictures of democratic change sweeping over the Arab world, bringing hope to disenfranchised and disillusioned citizens that a better world is possible. The conflict in Libya ended in UN intervention before Muammar Gaddafi was finally toppled. The chain of events in Syria has however turned out quite differently since the demonstrations started last spring. At the confluence of revolutionary movements and great power politics, Ruben Angell argues that the real losers are the Syrian people.
As China’s role in Africa grows, people are becoming increasingly concerned. Richard King explores the question: Is China’s role on the continent that of a development partner, an economic competitor or a colonizer?
Democratic elections tend to be about picking the lesser of two evils. Roger Willis, a self-described cynical British Tory, finds himself defending Barack Obama on issues ranging from domestic matters of gay marriage to Obama’s foreign policy in the upcoming November elections in the United States of America.
Following a visit to the country of his birth, Adnan Mujagic shares his impressions 20 years after the Siege of Sarajevo.