I’m hopefully going to see a documentary tonight about Gene Sharp, the American academic who invented the techniques of non-violent resistance used in the revolutions of Serbia (2001), Georgia (2003), Ukraine (2004), Lebanon (2005), Egypt (2011), Occupy Wall Street (2011), Russia (2011-2012) and, presumably, other places in the future. His ideas have exerted an incredible Read more…

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I’ve been reading and enjoying Amartya Sen’s book, The Idea of Justice, and getting into his theory of capabilities and freedoms. He’s an interesting writer, although as a book it doesn’t blow you away as, say, MacIntyre’s After Virtue does. This may be because the book is really a collection of thoughts and ideas Sen Read more…

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The politics of well-being is increasingly a global phenomenon, which is impacting on the thinking and approaches of agencies, multilaterals and charities working in the developing world. Where once the ‘Washington Consensus’ reigned supreme, now governments and agencies are increasingly thinking in broader, more holistic terms, about how aid and interventions affect communities’ well-being, rather Read more…

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One of the most interesting things I read this week was this excellent blog piece by documentary maker Adam Curtis. He’s pondering why so few new ideas have emerged from the financial crisis, and his first answer is the lack of fecundity from think-tanks. So he explores the history of think-tanks, going back to the Read more…

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