looking beyond borders

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Archive for the tag “Society”

It’s the Mysterious Department Behind China’s Growing Influence Across The Globe. And It’s Getting Bigger

The controversial Chinese Communist Party department responsible for promoting its influence around the world will have its authority greatly strengthened. The United Front Work Department, which has fallen under the scrutiny of Western governments in recent months, will now oversee the country’s ethnic and religious issues as well as overseas Chinese affairs.

Read Here – South China Morning Post



Chinese Culture Ministry Merger In The Works In Renewed Overseas Soft Power Push

China will merge two ministerial-level agencies into one overarching cultural body to try to boost its soft power and reverse setbacks in its international image abroad. The country’s media regulator – the State Administration of Press, Publication, Radio, Film and Television – was set to merge with the Ministry of Culture to create a super cultural ministry to expand the scope of China’s ideological influence.

Read Here – South China Morning Post

Mohammed Bin Salman: Saudi Arabia’s Great Young Reformer May Struggle To Control The Forces He Has Unleashed

Saudi Arabia is going through more upheaval at the moment than the modern kingdom has ever seen. Not everyone is ready for social change, and members of the House of Saud sidelined by the crown prince’s recent power grab could yet form blocs of opposition against him.

Read Here – Independent

China’s Surveillance State Should Scare Everyone

China is racing to become the first to implement a pervasive system of algorithmic surveillance. Harnessing advances in artificial intelligence and data mining and storage to construct detailed profiles on all citizens, China’s communist party-state is developing a “citizen score” to incentivize “good” behavior. A vast accompanying network of surveillance cameras will constantly monitor citizens’ movements, purportedly to reduce crime and terrorism. While the expanding Orwellian eye may improve “public safety,” it poses a chilling new threat to civil liberties in a country that already has one of the most oppressive and controlling governments in the world.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Five Decades Of White Backlash

Many of the major policies created to end the era of de jure white supremacy and address King’s campaigns against segregation and for voting rights have become entrenched in law, bureaucracy, and the courts. Overt racism and bigotry have acquired the stink of faux pas, integrated spaces persist in some places, and there’s even been a black president. But in this Pax Americana, the seed of resistance to those ideas and policies that King championed also germinated across generations. Now that the man who made his name flouting the spirit of King is president, the tree has borne its most ripe fruit.

Read Here – The Atlantic

Japan’s Endless Search For Modernity

Since the morning of January 3, 1868, Japan has struggled to answer one question: What does it mean to be modern and Japanese? It was on that date that a group of mid-level samurai and imperial courtiers announced the formation of a new government to be ruled by the 16-year old Meiji emperor, thus ending two-and-a-half centuries of control by the Tokugawa samurai family.

Read Here – The Atlantic

The 28 People Who Are Shaping, Shaking And Stirring Europe

It’s impossible to know what the coming year holds for the European Union. But one thing is certain: The bloc’s leaders will spend much of the next 12 months wrestling with its future. That’s why Christian Lindner tops our list of the 28 people who will shape Europe in 2018. The pugnacious liberal leader occupies a key place in Germany’s politics: at the head of a conservative, Euro-cautious segment of the electorate. By pulling the plug on coalition talks in November, Lindner cast his country into political turmoil and ensured his place at the centre of the ensuing debate.

Read Here – Politico Europe

After 30 Years In A Coma, The Real Saudi ‘Awakening’ Begins Now

It was not an ordinary statement or pledge; not only because it was made by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but also because of what it implied — and it was followed only two weeks later with an exceptional, earth-shattering move.

Read Here – Arab News

Japan’s Abandoned Land To Be Size Of Sri Lanka, Costing Country $52bn

Around 11% of Japan’s land is “unclaimed” — plots that cannot be traced back to their owners. The figure is expected to jump to 19% by 2040, according to an expert study group. To put that into perspective, currently 41,000 sq km of land, equivalent to the Japanese island of Kyushu, or slightly smaller than Taiwan, is unclaimed. That will expand to 72,000 sq km, equivalent to the bigger Japanese island of Hokkaido, or larger than Sri Lanka.

Read Here – Nikkei Asian Review

Broad Support For Representative And Direct Democracy Globally, But Many Also Endorse Non-Democratic Alternatives

A 38-nation Pew Research Center survey finds there are reasons for calm as well as concern when it comes to democracy’s future. More than half in each of the nations polled consider representative democracy a very or somewhat good way to govern their country. Yet, in all countries, pro-democracy attitudes coexist, to varying degrees, with openness to nondemocratic forms of governance, including rule by experts, a strong leader or the military.

Read Here – Pew Research

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