Open Think Tank
18 Aug 2016
“Any law that the people have not ratified in person is void, is not law at all.“
(Jean-Jacques Rousseau, The Social Contract 1763)
Micro-level case study: Brazilian Inequality and Social Stratification
“Building Bridges: Drawing Borders” compares the lives of two young women who grew up in neighbouring municipalities in the state of São Paulo, Brazil. Urban segregation, dividing the megalopolis into favelas (shanty towns) and gated communities, reflect the social inequality between them. In spite of the introduction of more integrative policies in the past, the underlying problem remains the same: Because of a gap between the rich and poor, the majority of Brazilians miss the opportunity to improve their quality of life in the long run.
2 Aug 2016
At the end of 2011, the friendship between former German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder and Prime Minister Vladimir Putin manifested itself in the 1224 kilometre-long Nord Stream I Pipeline, through which natural gas is imported from Russia to the EU. Five years later, Europe is discussing a twin project: Nord Stream II. If the investors Gazprom (50 per cent share), Uniper, OMV, Shell, Wintershall and ENGIE had their way, the project would have been launched yesterday; however, there is still a rocky political path to be travelled from the start of construction until the opening.
23 Jul 2016
Nicaragua wants to reach more than 90% renewable energy use – by including grid connected solar energy the transition could be accelerated
Nicaragua has a large potential for renewable energy uptake. Renewable resources could be used particularly in form of small solar plants for homes. The power grid would then not be used as the primary source of supply, but as a support for solar supply gaps. The overall aim is a reduction of fossil energy sources to reach the eagerly anticipated expansion of the energy supply – with the connection to the national power grid.
15 Jul 2016
While Europe is shaken by a row of nerve-wrecking elections, in Russia, not many people seem to expect much from the upcoming Duma elections. Not least because the elections have been brought forward from December to September, parties will have no real option to create effective political campaigns. Even if existent, it is unlikely that they will have any influence on the mind of the average voter, that is most likely to be currently withdrawing into holidays. A daunting calmness spreads in the face of a monolithic centralist political system, that has grown over the course of the last decade.
5 Jul 2016
Europe and Latin America are natural partners linked by strong historical, cultural as well as economic ties and, over decades, have been an important source of inspiration and change for each other. These long-existing relations, comprising 62 states, over one billion people and over a quarter of the world’s GDP, have considerably evolved over the past decades. Today’s substantial inter-regional economic ties – with the EU being the main development partner of Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC) region, its second largest trade partner and its first investor – reflect the increasing importance and growing potential of the long-standing partnership based on its well-established links.
24 Aug 2016
While gender equality is a global issue, it manifests in different forms across the globe. Is there common ground for an interregional agenda to reduce gender-based discrimination and violence in Europe and Asia? To approach this question from the perspective of young people, students and young professionals from 14 different countries discussed gender problems in the two regions and brainstormed on solutions onine in IFAIR’s 3rd EU-ASEAN Perspectives dialogue (EUAP III). Weiterlesen..