What Europe’s hopeful left can learn from Latin America

By Ana Cecilia Dinerstein

(This blog was oringially posted at – The Conversation)

After years of austerity and economic turmoil, mass movements based on hope are finally taking root in Europe – and not just on the streets. Syriza is now in power in Greece, and enjoying a surge in the opinion polls. Meanwhile, its success is inspiring Spain’s Podemos to make a serious stand in elections there; its rallies are drawing Spaniards in their tens of thousands. These movements are not just part of the everyday turnover of domestic politics. They are a real rejection of the insidious politics of austerity, and the beginning of the end of the politics of fear.

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‘Finding the People’ in Bangladesh’s Democracy

By Palash Kamruzzaman

I was invited to join a panel discussion at the British House of Lords (28 October 2014) titled a ‘Discussion about democratic collapse as a result of unfair one sided national elections in Bangladesh’. The following summarises the main points I raised there.

Despite severe mistrust among the political parties, since 1990, Bangladesh has been governed by democratically elected governments under a ‘caretaker government’ system. Members of caretaker governments came from supposedly ‘non-political’ backgrounds. Those with some knowledge of Bangladesh would likely to agree that these elections have been more credible even though the ruling parties attempted to manipulate the system.

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