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Bill Brydon

The perennial success of the German Greens - Environmental Politics - Volume 21, Issue 1 - 0 views

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    "The German Greens achieved a record result in the federal elections of 2009. Using both qualitative and quantitative methods, it is argued that this excellent result was not an isolated phenomenon but is in line with a long-term growth of Green electoral support that has a strong generational basis. A 'feminisation' and 'greying' of Green voters is also apparent. Despite the party's effort to emphasise economic and social issues in its campaigning, the chief factors explaining Green voting remain environmental concern and opposition to nuclear energy."
Bill Brydon

Intellectuals in a Network - 0 views

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    Brazilian social thought draws on the inspiration of past masters the common denominator of whose work is probably a deep humanism. Confronting the challenges of a fluid, ever-changing reality is now a matter of survival. The idea of climate change has made the environment, long relegated to second place, a matter of much wider interest and concern. The other great problem is poverty, and here, while there have been undeniable advances, much remains to be done. The main challenge is producing forms of social organization that will allow ordinary citizens to have an impact on what really matters. Developing policy in these areas has engaged the efforts of a wide range of experts from a variety of fields. Whereas university-educated intellectuals once formed an intelligentsia, today they are engaged in practical politics and much more often function as agents who link social actors together than as mere elaborators of theories.
Bill Brydon

Mobile, online and angry: the rise of China's middle-class civil society? - Critical Ar... - 0 views

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    This article examines the role and power of online media in representing an emerging culture of social activism and protests in both urban and rural China. It focuses on the discursive practices of China's citizenry in utilising the global dimensions of online media within a localised and situated context, to reflect upon, construct and transform social practices with Chinese characteristics. This article utilises a cross-case method to compare and contrast online and mobile social activism in Shanghai, Xiamen, Tibet and Xinjiang. It examines these dynamics against the backdrop of an emerging Chinese middle class, which has been supported by the Chinese government's economic reform as a way to build a more consumer-oriented, affluent and stable Chinese society. This analysis is framed within the extensive theoretical underpinnings of social theory and civil society, specifically the work of Pierre Bourdieu on capital accumulation and social differentiation. The article concludes that while the Chinese middle class may not be politically docile and can achieve social change, it does so based on self-interest while being mindful and wary of how its actions are perceived by authorities, thus managing protests carefully so the middle class can continue to reap the economic rewards of state capitalism. Consequently, any move towards democratic structures facilitated through online and mobile communication will be slow and carefully managed in a way that benefits the government and the current power structure, especially when focusing on politically and socially sensitive issues such as sovereignty.
Bill Brydon

CULTIVATING SOCIETY'S CIVIC INTELLIGENCE: PATTERNS FOR A NEW 'WORLD BRAIN' - Informatio... - 0 views

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    In spite of remarkable advances in science and technology, humankind is beset with a number of serious problems. These are not just problems that 'won't go away'; they are problems that are worsening considerably. These problems include the growing gap between rich and poor, between those who have too much and those who have too little, as well as a broad range of environmental issues that may have major consequences but, at the same time, are little understood. This essay explores the idea of 'civic intelligence'. What projects, perspectives, policy and technology might humankind develop that would help us collectively address these problems? This essay discusses six aspects of 'civic intelligence' (orientation, organization, engagement, intelligence, products and projects, and resources) as well as ways to make cultivating our 'civic intelligence' a practical - non-utopian - enterprise.
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