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Plaza de Toros en Bogotá

Opening the black box of parliament

The other day, a rather peculiar case made national headlines in Colombian newspapers: An, until then, unknown sub-secretary of the Senate, Colombia’s second chamber, shoved himself into a news network’s camera team. Mr Saúl Cruz, a high-ranking veteran Senate clerk with a 23-year long public sector career, unwillingly caught the public eye when his ruthless actions were […]

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twitter interface

Retweeting Trump, AfD and Wilders: Helping the bad guys?

The swift rise of populist political parties and candidates, mostly from the far-right, owes much to extremely provocative social media campaigns, also dubbed “extreme tweeting”. This is mainly because social media reward starkness rather than subtlety. Besides making noise on Twitter and Facebook, they manage to strengthen their support base by reaffirming it about its political inclinations. Role […]

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Ponte Vecchio Florence

Parliaments in regional organisations. What are they good for (absolutely nothing)?

A growing number of regional organisations such as the EU, Mercosur or the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has set up representative assemblies, or regional parliaments, in an attempt to increase their own democratic legitimacy. As the public demands more political accountability, regional parliaments have taken shape in great variance as regards design, […]

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Bogota street

The Colombian Peace Pact is setting new standards in international peace-building (despite its defects)

The peace pact between the Colombian government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC), agreed upon on August 24, 2016, to put an end to their 52-year conflict is a unique example of successful international peace-building. In a world seemingly tumbling back into the dark past of national egoism, it is a welcomed reminder […]

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Ciénaga monument

Ciénaga, Colombia’s sleeping colonial beauty on its way forward

Squeezed in between Colombia’s Caribbean capital Barranquilla and the coastal resort of Santa Marta lies the city of Ciénaga, a forgotten and largely malgoverned colonial beauty. At last, a new (tweeting) mayor may turn matters around.    A city with a population of roughly 100,000 and a mean annual temperature of 34°C, Ciénaga’s traditional economic base is banana production, managed […]

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Taxi Düsseldorf

Alle sind für ein Bedingungsloses Grundeinkommen (BGE) … sie wissen es nur nicht

Das Bedingungslose Grundeinkommen (BGE), die Idee eines fixen Betrages, der allen Bewohnern eines Landes ohne Gegenleistung monatlich vom Staat überwiesen wird, ist mal wieder in aller Munde. Die Bundeszentrale für politische Bildung hat im Frühjahr 2016 eine Netzdebatte dazu initiiert und die Pro- wie Contra-Seite zu Wort kommen lassen. In der Schweiz findet im Sommer […]

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