A leading voice in struggles for global justice, Vandana Shiva is a world renowned environmental activist and physicist. With Earth Democracy, her most extensive treatment of the struggles she helped bring to international attention-genetic food engineering, cultural theft, and natural resource privatization-Shiva uncovers their link to the rising tide of fundamentalisms, violence against women, and planetary death.Starting in the 16th century with the initial enclosure of the British commons, Shiva reveals how the commons continue to shrink as more natural resources are patented and privatized. As our ecological sustainability and cultural diversity erode, so too is human life rendered disposable. Through the forces of neoliberal globalization, economic and social exclusion ignite violence across lines of difference, threatening the lives of millions.Yet these brutal extinctions are not the only trend shaping human history. Struggles on the streets of Seattle and Cancún and in homes and farms across the world, have yielded a set of principles based on inclusion, nonviolence, reclaiming the commons, and freely sharing the earth's resources. These ideals, which Shiva calls Earth Democracy, serve as an urgent call to peace and as the basis for a just and sustainable future.
'One of the world's most prominent radical scientists.' The Guardian This book remains one of Vandana Shiva's key works, in which she addresses some of the most pressing issues of our age – the privatization of our natural resources, the looming environmental crisis, and the rising tide of fundamentalism and violence against women. In spite of all this, Shiva still sees cause for hope. Across the globe, a new wave of protest movements are championing alternatives based on inclusion, nonviolence, the free sharing of resources and the reclamation of the commons. Shiva argues that these ideals can serve as the basis for “earth democracy”, and for a more just and sustainable future. This edition features a new preface by the author, in which she outlines recent developments in ecology and environmentalism, and offers new prescriptions for the environmental movement.
Release on 2014-06-20 | by Laura Westra,Mirian Vilela
Author: Laura Westra,Mirian Vilela
The Earth Charter is a declaration of fundamental ethical principles for building a just, sustainable and peaceful global society, with ecological integrity as a major theme. This book provides a series of analyses of ecological integrity as it relates to the Earth Charter, social movements and international law for human rights. It is shown how the Earth Charter project began as a United Nations initiative, but it was carried forward and completed by a global civil society initiative. The drafting of the Earth Charter involved the most inclusive and participatory process of its time ever associated with the creation of an international declaration. This process is the primary source of its legitimacy as a guiding ethical framework. The Earth Charter was finalized and then launched in 2000 and its legitimacy has been further enhanced by its endorsement by over 6,500 organizations, including many governments and international organizations. In the light of this legitimacy, an increasing number of international lawyers recognize that the Earth Charter is acquiring the status of a soft law document. The book also shows the strong connection between ecological integrity and social justice, particularly in the defence of indigenous people, and includes contributions from both the North and the global South, specifically from Central and South America.
This collection documents and analyzes, from different angles, the forces and trends that shape contemporary India's socio-economic reality. The contributors comprise an eclectic group—spiritual leaders, grassroot activists, as well as eminent thinkers from diverse fields like the judiciary, social development, environment, education, contemporary science and art. In contrast to the dominant characterization of a "Shining India" in recent years, these articles present a complex and multi-dimensional reality, essential for a balanced, objective understanding of the issues that shape today's India and indeed the world. The Other India: Realities of an Emerging Power focuses on an India far removed from a country of glass and steel high-rises and air-conditioned schools; glistening malls and multiplexes; and fashion shows, Bollywood and T20 cricket. It explores issues like poverty and social justice; the role of religion in society—from inspiring struggles for social justice to instigating terrorism—the dangers of mindless destruction of nature, violation of human rights and the role of social action. Here dispassionate analysis of history and contemporary forces alternate with straight-from-the-heart narratives of grassroot activists. Candid despair shares space with encouraging stories of collective action bringing about real change. This compilation will hold tremendous appeal for the general reader and will serve as an indispensable reference for policy-makers, academics and thinkers working in the fields of sociology, religion, environment, education, human rights, law and justice, development issues and politics. It is a must-read for anyone trying to get a holistic picture of contemporary India's dynamic society and economy.
"Brings together the ideas and experience of some of Asia's outstanding intellectuals and social activists from diverse traditions and faiths. Through in-depth interviews and dialogues, an understanding of shared spiritual, social and ecological values emerges." --Cover.
The primary objective of What on Earth is a Ruling Party in a Multiparty Democracy? is to provoke thought and thereby stimulate debate. To this end, provocatively, this collection of topical issues ranges from 'The place of the miniskirt in sociocultural development' to 'Which citizen in Zambia should not take part in (partisan) politics?' The Author, Mubanga E Kashoki, is a Professor of African Languages at the institute of Economic and Social Research in the University of Zambia.
Release on 2012-01-27 | by Danny Oppenheimer,Mike Edwards
Why a System That Shouldn't Work at All Works So Well
Author: Danny Oppenheimer,Mike Edwards
Pubpsher: MIT Press
Category: Political Science
Voters often make irrational decisions based on inaccurate and irrelevant information. Politicians are often inept, corrupt, or out of touch with the will of the people. Elections can be determined by the design of the ballot and the gerrymandered borders of a district. And yet, despite voters who choose candidates according to the boxer--brief dichotomy and politicians who struggle to put together a coherent sentence, democracy works exceptionally well: citizens of democracies are healthier, happier, and freer than citizens of other countries. In Democracy Despite Itself, Danny Oppenheimer, a psychologist, and Mike Edwards, a political scientist, explore this paradox: How can democracy lead to such successful outcomes when the defining characteristic of democracy -- elections -- is so flawed?Oppenheimer and Edwards argue that democracy works because regular elections, no matter how flawed, produce a variety of unintuitive, positive consequences. The brilliance of democracy, write Oppenheimer and Edwards, does not lie in the people's ability to pick superior leaders. It lies in the many ways that it subtly encourages the flawed people and their flawed leaders to work toward building a better society.
Tocqueville, Covenant, and the Democratic Revolution examines the intellectual and institutional context in which Alexis de Tocqueville developed his understanding of American political culture, with its profound influence on his democratic theory. This book also examines Tocqueville's claim that religious beliefs are among the most important determinants of a people's social structure and political institutions.