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 Monoparty parliaments have been replaced by multiparty parliaments and executives, and presidents have found themselves needing to share their leadership of the nation with parliamentarians.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.
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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.
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I confess that I got involved in facebook with some skepticism… But definitely it’s been useful to reconnect with friends. If I was still not convinced I became this week when in Delhi I added to my list of friends a dearest friend from my time at an American university 8 years ago… and he replied saying that he had seen a post of mine about India, he was wondering if by any chance I was in India, in which he had arrived the previous week. It was true – we were both in New Delhi, and we had a chance to spend time as two old buddies. To reminisce on those days, here is Beres Hammon, only a Guinness is missing 🙂
To prepare myself for 4 days with italian politicians… I looked for some italian literature in a bookstore in Rome… advised by the shop owner I left the shop with the book in the link below. The story of the police Calabresi accused by a leftist publication of murdering the political prisioner Pinelli (1969). The book is written by Calabresi’s son, now a jornalist in the respected Stampa. The book is a pleasant reading, it is more than a political memoir. It is a book from a hurted son, but the author shows an amazing capacity of reflect on the events with intelligency and balance. The book also provides insights on how the violence from the 70’s and 80’s still plays a role in the italian political game of today.
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I never visited Bulgaria, but in the last weeks I found two good surprises of this country – the tarator and Ivan Krastev. The first is a cold soup that I really recommend. the second is a political scientist. The tarator you can google it, on Krastev you can consult the webpage. I had the soup in my own place – thank you Venelina. Krastev I met in Lisbon in the summer school of the Political Studies of Catholic University. Well done Bulgaria.
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Quando se é emigrante tornamo-nos uns sentimentais nacionalistas. Compramos mais bacalhau e sonhamos com sardinhas assadas, enfim temos saudades da nossa ‘tribo’! Depois… Começa o mundial e descobrimos que estamos rodeados por gente da ‘nossa terra’. Da janela do meu escritório conto cinco bandeiras, e na minha rua uma bandeira portuguesa dança com uma bandeira brasileira. As bandeiras tugas invadiram Genebra 🙂