Contested Cultures

Ethnicity without Meaning, Data without Context

February 2014

The 2014 Population and Housing Census is the most significant ethnic and political boundary-making exercise since 1931, however its colonial-era designations and simplifications are likely to raise ethnic tensions at a critical time in the peace process.

Sharon is dead, but Sharonism lives on

January 2014

The Butcher of Beirut, as he was long known, is no more. After eight years in a coma, during which the militaristic hard-right leader was re-branded a peacenik, Israeli General Ariel Sharon was finally pronounced dead.

Something rotten in the ANC state

November 2012

The palaces of President Zuma and the massacre of miners at Marikana symbolise how the gulf between rich and poor has grown in the 18 years since the African National Congress came to power in South Africa. Hilary Wainwright reports on how formerly loyal ANC activists are turning against their government

Ethnic Peace and Political Participation

August 2012

Ceasefires have been agreed; the NLD has elected representatives in the national legislatures; Western sanctions are being lifted; and the World Bank and other international agencies are returning to set up office in the country. Such developments are likely to have a defining impact on ethnic politics, which remains one of the central challenges facing the country today.

Beyond the Triangle of Emancipation

August 2012

In 2009, the song Changes, by Tupac Amaru Shakur, was put on the Pope’s playlist. What is Tupac’s significance, in light of his making the Pope’s playlist and the realities facing African-Americans today in the context of the USA's overpacked prison system, the largest in world history?

Assessing Burma/Myanmar’s New Government

April 2012

Burma is in the midst of its most important period of political transition in over two decades. TNI and BCN hosted a conference to look at the challenges and opportunities in five key areas: politics, ethnic relations, the economy, social and humanitarian affairs, and the international landscape.

An Excess of Democracy

February 2012

The philosophy and experience of radical movements in the 1960s and 70s are in several ways complementary to the ideas of the direct action movements of today. Hilary Wainwright examines the possibility of forging a new kind of political economy by learning from the best of both of them.

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Civil Society Gaining Ground

November 2011

Local organisations have adopted different strategies towards the authoritarian government in Burma. Focussing on the dynamics of civil society Tom Kramer looks into the possibilities and risks of growing international interest in engagement with these groups.

The Agrarian Roots of Violent Conflict

Sietze Vellema, Fransisco Lara
June 2011

Conflict in Southern Philippines is caused as much by agrarian economics and politics as ethnic and religious differences.