July 18, Mr. Mandela’s birthday. In 2009, when I left South Africa I wrote to friends: The Doctorate Marathon is over. Five years of academic struggle and lots of life experiences have passed. I had the privilege of having South Africa as host country. I say privilege because, as a researcher in the fields of politics and democratization, being able to experience a democratization process in motion.
The third wave of democratization in the modern world began, implausibly and unwittingly, at 25 min after midnight, thursday, April 25th, 1974, in Lisbon, Portugal, when a radio station played the song ‘Grandola Vila Morena” Samuel Huntington. It was the end of a long authoritarian regime and of the colonial war. Today we celebrate our transition for democracy, poetically called the Carnation revolution 🙂
Presidente do Conselho Constitucional Moçambicano demitiu-se por alegado uso abusivo de bens do Estado. Segundo a Rádio Moçambique ‘é a primeira vez que um governante em Moçambique renuncia ao poder depois de forte pressão da imprensa’.
This paper analyses the perceptions among survey participants, of African parliaments and presidents and examines their citizens’ attitudes towards the coexistence of these two institutions. It aims to determine the way citizens rate their parliaments compared with their presidents. It further seeks to answer the question of whether Africa remains the continent of the ‘big man’, where absolute power lies with an individual, feeding clientelistic relationships. In the decades following the transitions to independence, most of the continent was marked by a proliferation of monoparty regimes; in many cases, these were almost one-man regimes. A majority of the leaders symbolised, at an early stage of independence, the birth of the nation itself. Many times these presidents have sought to extend their incumbency perpetually. However, over the last two decades this scenario has changed considerably. Monoparty parliaments have been replaced by multiparty parliaments and executives, and presidents have found themselves needing to share their leadership of the nation with parliamentarians. Not much is known about how these emerging parliaments have been operating, but the little that is known tells us that they have faced a lack of institutionalisation and still struggle to assert their independence from strong executives. It is therefore reasonable to expect that parliaments will be perceived as dormant institutions in the public eye.
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David Grossman is a top Israel writer.Today I just finished his last book. It is a difficult reading, but phenomenal. When I got the book from Malka I did not had a clue about the author. Already in Geneva I shared with a Swiss friend journalist that the book is so intense and sad, but also difficult to follow. The main character is a mother of a soldier. All book is a dialogue between her and a former/current lover, friend and father of her son. Each word carries pain. She is obsessed with the hypothesis of losing her son. You can read the pain but it goes beyond the pages. And this was puzzling me. It turns out that my Swiss friend is also a friend of the author and tells me – maybe he wrote after lost his son. As in fact he did – as it is written in the very last page of the book.
Read more here.
Termino este domingo a minha primeira viagem a Israel. Este pedaço de território que domina a agenda do conflito do Médio Oriente. Gostava de escrever um ‘what is in your mind’ simples, mas não é nada simples. Gostei do que vi e das pessoas, mas parto com mais questões do que certezas. Da estrada vi pelo menos duas vezes o polémico muro de West Bank.
Ler mais aqui.