Occupy’s Ineffective Media Strategy

Media - Occupy London - Finsbury Square - Real Democracy Now

Media, Occupy London, Finsbury Square. Photo: AndyRobertsPhotos/flickr.

Since the very beginning of the movement, Occupy has had a tense, and very often adversarial, relationship with the mainstream media. This should not come as any surprise—corporate media outlets are considered by Occupiers to be the mouthpiece of the One Percent’s policy preferences, and could therefore be expected to attempt to stifle the movement’s message, whether through a lack of coverage or through aggressively biased stories.

However, this did not change the standing fact that an act of civil disobedience needs some kind of publicity in order to be effective; otherwise, the act is simply a criminal one. » More

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Voices from BRISMES

Yemeni Woman

Photo: World Bank Photo Collection/flickr.

Earlier this week we provided an overview of the 2012 British Society of Middle Eastern Studies (BRISMES) conference. This post takes some of the highlights of the conference and provides a more in-depth look at some of the topics discussed. » More

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Regional Cooperation in Afghanistan: What Makes the Heart of Asia Beat?

ISAF soldiers provide aid at Kabul airport.

Turkish civil-military cooperation teams from the ISAF’s Regional Command provide aid at Kabul airport. Photo: isafmedia/flickr.

The new grand bargain went into its next round. On 14 June 2012 the Heart of Asia group gathered in Kabul to push forward the Istanbul Process on Regional Security and Cooperation for a Secure and Stable Afghanistan. The real potential for regional security and cooperation, however, remains a contentious issue. Some observers disregarded the gathering as yet another useless meeting which failed to take concrete steps towards a regional security architecture. Others like UN-Secretary-General Ban Ki Moon praised it as “real progress on the path to security and broad-based development”. » More

Notes from BRISMES

Tawakkol Karman, the women who sparked the Yemen protests into life.

Tawakkol Karman, the women who sparked the Yemen protests into life. Change Square, Sanaa, Yemen, 15 April 2011. Photo: Kate B Dixon/flickr.

The final outcome of the political unrest that continues to shake the Middle East remains far from certain. With that in mind, on 11thJune more than 140 young scholars and students met at the London School of Economics and Political Science’s Middle East Centre for the Annual Graduate Conference of the British Society of Middle Eastern Studies. Change and Continuity in the Middle East: Rethinking West-Asia, North Africa and the Gulf After 2011 – sponsored by the International Relations and Security Network (ISN) and other donors – provided a forum for their views on a number of key issues. » More

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North America in the Arctic: A Regional Power Disparity

USCGC Willow on Arctic-Patrol

US Coast Guard Cutter Willow and Her Danish Majesty’s Ship Hvidbjoernen navigate through icebergs off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada, during joint Operation Nanook, Aug. 23, 2011. Photo: Charles McCain/flickr.

In 2013 the Canadian government will hold the chairmanship of the Arctic Council. In preparation for this the Munk-Gordon Arctic Security Program last week released a set of recommendations of what should guide the Canadians’ two year tenure. Expectations are that the chairmanship will prove an assertive Canada acting on their belief that they promote the interests of the Arctic by advancing Canadian leadership.

Meanwhile, Hillary Clinton was on her way to Tromsø (Norway) and Stockholm (Sweden) to reaffirm that the US has an interest in the Arctic, rebuffing criticisms that this rarely shows. With her trip to Scandinavia some experts conjured that this was the first baby-step to finally signing the UNCLOS. This would be a landmark as it (at least officially) enables the country to press its claims on the Arctic. Even if this was the case, the US will still need to work hard to keep up with their Arctic partners.    » More

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