Author Archives: ΘΠ

ΕΥΤΥΧΩΣ ΗΤΤΗΘΗΚΑΜΕ ΣΥΝΤΡΟΦΟΙ ; – YouTube

via ΕΥΤΥΧΩΣ ΗΤΤΗΘΗΚΑΜΕ ΣΥΝΤΡΟΦΟΙ ; – YouTube

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Σπαν: «Δεν θέλω να ανοίξουν σαμπάνιες στον Αλ.Τσίπρα»

Παραμένουν οι «βασικές αρχές» της πολιτικής Σόιμπλε

Σε αυτές τις ανησυχίες που εκφράζονται από πολλούς στο CDU αναφέρεται στην κυριακάτικη Welt ο υπουργός Καγκελαρίας και έμπιστος της Άγγελα Μέρκελ Πέτερ Αλτμάιερ. Ενώ αναγνωρίζει πως τα χριστιανικά κόμματα αντιλαμβάνονταν το υπουργείο Οικονομικών ως «κομμάτι της δικής τους ταυτότητα», διαβεβαιώνει παράλληλα πως στη συμφωνία για το σχηματισμό κυβέρνησης συνασπισμού με τους σοσιαλδημοκράτες «προστέθηκαν όλες οι αναγκαίες ασφαλιστικές δικλείδες για να συνεχιστεί η πολιτική του Βόλφγκανγκ Σόιμπλε. Για το κάθε ευρώ που θα ξοδεύεται, την κάθε απόφαση που θα λαμβάνεται στις Βρυξέλλες θα πρέπει να αποφασίζει το σύνολο της κυβέρνησης», επισημαίνει. Και «γι αυτόν τον λόγο» καταλήγει ο κ. Άλτμάιερ «το CDU εγγυάται, πως οι βασικές αρχές μας θα τηρούνται και μελλοντικά».

via Σπαν: «Δεν θέλω να ανοίξουν σαμπάνιες στον Αλ.Τσίπρα»

The Crisis Of (Nordic) Social Democracy

It is therefore not only the crisis of social democracy we are experiencing but that of the compromise-based post-war political model in Europe. In the first phase of this political crisis, new far right parties emerged – viz. Front National in France, the so-called freedom parties in Austria and the Netherlands, and the Progress Party in Norway. The lack of any alternative policy from social democratic and left-wing parties means they must take their share of responsibility for this development. They had no policy to take on the neoliberalist attacks on the social gains that had been won through the welfare state. In recent years, however, we have seen that new political alternatives have started to grow also on the left (Syriza in Greece, Podemos in Spain, Momentum in the UK, and the newly established Power to the People in Italy). These are young and incomplete initiatives, which can fail (like Syriza) or succeed, but in any case will further develop through struggles and experiences, victories and defeats.

via The Crisis Of (Nordic) Social Democracy

Course outline: “The Sociology of Finance, Debt and Austerity”

In the process, we will broach such salient topics as (1) financialization and the global financial crisis; (2) creditor power, the morality of debt and the social implications of rising personal indebtedness, including its interaction with questions of class, race and gender; (3) the politics of public debt, austerity and North-South relations — from the “fiscal crisis of the state” in the 1970s and the Third World debt crises of the 1980s and 1990s to the recent turmoil inside the Eurozone; and (4) the different forms of debt resistance and anti-austerity protest that have emerged over the course of the past decades, as well as the prospects for meaningful debt relief and democratic renewa

via ROAR Magazine

Financial Secrecy Index 2018

Financial Secrecy Index 2018

via Financial Secrecy Index 2018 – Tax Justice Network

Iceland Alone and Latvia Captured

Valdis Dombrovskis (then prime minister of Latvia) co-authored a 2011 book entitled ‘How Latvia Came Through the Financial Crisis’. As the book documents, the rescue package for Latvia was not put together in Latvia’s capital Riga or in a neutral third country. Rather “Swedish Minister of Finance Anders Borg called the closest friends of Latvia to an emergency meeting at Arlanda airport.” They did not even bother to go to downtown Stockholm.

In his book Dombrovskis describes this meeting as “a kind of auction.” This was a rescue package for foreign banks more than the Latvian public. General Government Debt as percentage of GDP was very small in the Baltics when the crisis hit but during the bank rescue they increased in all the Baltic States; according to the IMF, in Latvia from 7 percent in 2007 to 40 percent in 2010.

via Iceland Alone and Latvia Captured

Ismail al-Jazari – Wikipedia

Badīʿ az-Zaman Abū l-ʿIzz ibn Ismāʿīl ibn ar-Razāz al-Jazarī (1136–1206, Arabic: بديع الزمان أَبُو اَلْعِزِ بْنُ إسْماعِيلِ بْنُ الرِّزاز الجزري‎, IPA: [ældʒæzæriː]) was a Muslim polymath: a scholar, inventor, mechanical engineer, artisan, artist and mathematician. He is best known for writing The Book of Knowledge of Ingenious Mechanical Devices (Arabic: الجامع بين العلم والعمل النافع في صناعة الحيل‎) in 1206, where he described 100 mechanical devices, some 80 of which are trick vessels of various kinds, along with instructions on how to construct them

via Ismail al-Jazari – Wikipedia

About – Global Learning

Global Learning is a sole member limited liability company formed in 2011 by Dr. Charles McKelvey, Professor Emeritus, Presbyterian College, Clinton, South Carolina. He conducted 11 educational programs in Cuba from 1996 to 2010. Having traveled extensively to Cuba since 1993, he has many contacts and relations in the Cuban sectors of higher education, culture, and tourism and is very familiar with the workings of the Cuban system. An informed and passionate defender of the Cuban revolutionary project, he lives most of the year in Havana

via About – Global Learning

The Future Of Europe – A Space For The Social Policy Avant-Garde

The goals via this new course must be:

A well-balanced welfare-orientated economic policy geared to correcting the inequities of distribution, the eradication of (youth) unemployment and the creation of quality jobs, social and ecologically sustainable investments and protection of the welfare state. Its central element is boosting domestic demand through a productivity-driven wages policy as well as an adequate co-ordination of fiscal policy;
Introduction of a ‘golden rule of fiscal policy’ whereby member states win room for public investments for the future; coupled with an investment offensive (cf DGB-Marshall Plan for Europe) as well as the ETUC Investment Plan for Sustainable Growth and Quality Jobs);
Embedding a ‘protocol for social progress’ within EU primary law which prevents the deregulation of the fundamental freedoms in the area of labour and social law along with the principle “equal pay and equal working conditions for the same work at the same place of work”;
Expanding the social dialogue, extending co-determination, in particular, a directive on the protection of co-determination in cross-border headquarter relocations and the restoration, stablisation and strengthening of free collective bargaining.

via The Future Of Europe – A Space For The Social Policy Avant-Garde

Retooling Social Europe Via Charters Of Rights

The power of accession

The EU could accede to the European Social Charter on the basis of Article 216 (1) TFEU. The idea of accession was also mentioned in 1984, when the European Parliament adopted the Draft Treaty Establishing the European Union, widely referred to as the “Spinelli Treaty”. Chapter 1 (Article 4. 2) refers to “economic social and cultural rights derived from the Constitutions of the Member States and from the European Social Charter”. Initiatives taken during the political run-up to embracing accession may play positively within European public opinion, as these would undoubtedly indicate that the EU is equally committed to the establishment of the internal market, and the creation of an area of freedom, security and justice, including social justice, where egalitarianism prevails in terms of civil, political, economic and social rights.
Window of opportunity

The incomplete project of constitutionalisation of social rights should come to a final conclusion. The European commitment to social rights is essentially rhetorical in nature, being through the years the Achilles heel of “Social Europe”. On that basis, the political and economic conditions may be propitious to reversing the downturn of the social rights. Given that the ultra-critical UK is no longer an “antagonist” of Social Europe owing to the recent Brexit vote, concrete measures via the ESPR could erode the economic and social divergences between Member States that have put Europe’s political cohesion at risk. Finally, this and the threat posed by the rise of extreme-right parties should motivate Europe to rethink its geopolitical role – and, indeed, its very nature.

via Retooling Social Europe Via Charters Of Rights

Governance Model – University of Amsterdam

This policy paper describes the governance model of the University of Amsterdam (UvA). For a well-functioning quality assurance cycle, it is essential that everyone in the University knows who is responsible at what level, and which duties and powers have been delegated throughout the organisation.

It is important not only to clearly describe these responsibilities, duties and powers, but also that all those involved act accordingly. Only then can managers be held accountable and will there be a true culture of quality. The UvA has chosen to describe this structure in its governance model. As well as a description of the allocation of responsibilities, duties and powers, the governance model includes a description of the governance of teaching and participation in decision-making.

via Governance Model – University of Amsterdam

DIW Berlin: Low interest rate environment amplifies negative effects of austerity policy

Conclusion: Ease austerity measures, boost investment

Now the issue arises as to which measures should be taken in the future to reduce sovereign debt as a means of enlarging governments’ financial room for maneuver and increasing economic growth. Since it does not look like the ECB will raise the prime rate in the near future despite the growing momentum in the euro area’s economic development, the only remaining option is to adjust the consolidation targets. To avoid the enormously contractive and counteractive effects of stringent austerity measures, we recommend making them less restrictive, while at the same time dismantling the tax system’s superfluous bureaucracy and other elements that hamper growth. Debt relief as a means of enlarging governments’ financial room for maneuver should be considered in a tangible manner. And investment that favors long-term potential growth should be systematically supported. This balanced policy mix contains powerful measures with medium-term effects instead of short-term ones. In an environment of low interest rates, debt deleveraging in the private sector, and loss of trust in the financial markets, it seems apt to avoid the high costs of restrictive austerity programs.

via DIW Berlin: Low interest rate environment amplifies negative effects of austerity policy

Amsterdam university chief quits over student protests – DutchNews.nl

The student protests at the University of Amsterdam have led to the resignation of management board chairwoman Louise Gunning.

Gunning, who was appointed in 2012, has been under fire for her handling of the dispute, particularly her decision to end the occupation of the university administration centre by sending in riot police.

The student unrest began mid-February when a group of students occupied part of the humanities faculty in the city centre in protest at the lack of democracy at the university and spending cuts.

via Amsterdam university chief quits over student protests – DutchNews.nl

University protests around the world: a fight against commercialisation | Higher Education Network | The Guardian

Students at University of the Arts, London, took over their university’s reception area last Thursday to protest against proposed cuts to some of its course programmes. This makes UAL one of the latest institutions around the world to be hit by occupations and strikes by staff and students. The causes of such protests vary: some are concerned about working conditions facing graduate students, others point to a lack of transparency about how universities are run. A key issue is the commercialisation of higher education, which many feel has led university leaders to prioritise financial goals over the needs of staff and students.

We speak to academics and students in Canada, the Netherlands and the UK to find out why they’re taking a stand.

via University protests around the world: a fight against commercialisation | Higher Education Network | The Guardian

Bungehuis and Maagdenhuis occupations – Wikipedia

The group’s demands included:[9]

Democratic election of the university board
Change of the allocation model: finance based on input, not on efficiency
Cancellation of the current Profiel 2016
Referendums per institute and programme about collaboration between the UvA and the VU at the FNWI (Department of the Sciences)
Fixed contracts instead of flexible staff appointments
An open debate about housing costs in relation to budget cuts of research and education and a cessation of real estate speculation (including a halt to the proposed sale of the Bungehuis building)

via Bungehuis and Maagdenhuis occupations – Wikipedia

What is the relationship between universities and democracy? From the purposes to the uses of university (and back) – Jana Bacevic

Shifting the focus from purposes to uses is not the case, as Latour may have put it, of betraying matters of concern in order to boast about matters of fact. It is, however, to draw attention to the fact that the relationship between universities and democracy is, to borrow another expression from Latour, a factish: both real and fabricated, that is, a social construct but with very real consequences – neither a fact nor a fetish, but an always not-fully-reconciled amalgam of the two. Keeping this in mind, I think, can allow us to think about different roles of universities without losing sight neither of their reality, nor of their constructed nature.

via What is the relationship between universities and democracy? From the purposes to the uses of university (and back) – Jana Bacevic

The University as Public Sphere | Ambrozas | Canadian Journal of Communication

There is a certain parallel between arguments about the decline of the public sphere and the decline of the university today. Both institutions are said to be increasingly fragmented and politicized. In this paper, I mobilize Nancy Fraser’s alternative account of the public in order to defend contemporary political changes in the university, such as affirmative action or women’s studies programs. Such changes are necessary to transform an elite institution into a more democratic one and, in addition, they broaden the scope of our knowledge.

via The University as Public Sphere | Ambrozas | Canadian Journal of Communication

Universities as Sites of Citizenship and Civic Responsibility | International Consortium

Universities as Sites of Citizenship and Civic Responsibility
Project Description and History

The University of Pennsylvania is the organizational center for the Universities as Sites of Citizenship and Civic Responsibility Project, a research project that explores the actual activities of institutions of higher education that support democratic values and practices; assesses their dispositions and capabilities to promote democracy; and examines how the use of university resources can improve the contributions of higher education to democracy on the campus, and in the local community and wider society.

Universities as Sites of Citizenship and Civic Responsibility is a global research project of the International Consortium on Higher Education, Civic Responsibility and Democracy. The general academic contributions of this empirical study include:

via Universities as Sites of Citizenship and Civic Responsibility | International Consortium

Community-University Engagement: A Process for Building Democratic … – Tami L. Moore – Google Books

Community-University Engagement: A Process for Building Democratic communities … BOOK By Tami L. Moore

via Community-University Engagement: A Process for Building Democratic … – Tami L. Moore – Google Books

The university, democracy, and the challenge to meritocracy | SpringerLink

Universities can undergird democracy in two ways. First, they can promote and defend truth, which is antithetical to despotism and a natural progenitor of democracy, but they do so only as the university itself is meritocratic and courageous in its adherence to canons of intellectual rigour and academic integrity. Second, universities are, or can be, engines of opportunity and of the ascendence of achievement over ascription—and thus of democratization. However, absent efforts to the contrary, the natural tendency of universities is to perpetuate or even to widen the effects of ascription: for example, social class, race, or gender. A truly democratic university, then, must find ways to select among students and to distribute its benefits in ways that are still meritocratic, but that weaken rather than accelerate the transmission of the status and wealth into which one is born.

via The university, democracy, and the challenge to meritocracy | SpringerLink