Campaigning on Hot v Cold Issues – what’s the difference?

I recently began an interesting conversation with our new campaigns and policy czar, Ben Phillips, who then asked me to pick the FP2P collective brain-hive for further ideas. Here goes. The issue is ‘cold’ v ‘hot’ campaigning. Over the next couple of years, we will be doing a lot of campaigning on climate change and […]

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Are the wheels coming off the BRICS juggernaut?

Nouriel Roubini (aka Doctor Doom) and the Economist cover story on the same topic? It must be serious. The issue is whether the glitter is coming off the BRICS growth surge. First the Economist: ‘China will be lucky if it manages to hit its official target of 7.5% growth in 2013, a far cry from […]

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Today’s grimfographic: how many people die a violent death, where and how?

From Action on Armed Violence using data from the Geneva Declaration’s Global Burden of Armed Violence report (whose link seems to be down at the moment). Key points to note: Only one in 8 violent deaths occur in the ‘conflict settings’ so beloved of news coverage. Most of the rest are ‘intentional homicides’ committed in […]

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Off to WOMAD, any recommendations on who to see?

It’s the British summer, torrential rain is forecast, so  it’s time to grab the wet wipes and head for a festival. Off to WOMAD (World of Music, Art and Dance, 21st year) today – here’s the line-up. All recommendations welcome (best to tweet me on @fp2p, but should be able to read comments too, even on […]

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What Brits say v what they mean: FP2P all time no. 1 hit

What with the summer torpor and being stuck at home finishing a paper, the usual flow of conversations and new reading has dried up a bit. Not only that, but I just realized this blog had passed its fifth anniversary without me even noticing. Tsk. So what better way to plug the occasional gap celebrate […]

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China and India are building welfare states at a scale and speed unprecedented in human history

Take a look at this table, from a new paper by Arjan de Haan. It shows the last 15 years of social policy initiatives in China and India, and their breathtaking scale. And here’s a chunk from the accompanying one pager: Though social spending in both countries appears rather low, and many deficits remain in […]

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The Act of Killing: the most astonishing, disturbing, original film I’ve seen in years

We interrupt this blog to urge you to go and see an extraordinary film about Indonesia’s aging executioners. Here’s an extract from an NPR review, the wikipedia synopsis and the trailer, which gives a sense of its unique combination of the ‘banality of evil‘ of the old men, and the surreal quality of their reenaction. […]

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Why is the EU threatening to cut investment in South Africa?

Bilateral Investment Treaties are one of those nerdy ‘important but dull’ bits of international governance that too often get ignored by NGOs and others. So thanks to Liz May at Traidcraft for drawing my attention to this week’s punch-up between South Africa and the EU. First the fisticuffs. According to South Africa’s equivalent of the […]

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Main trends in humanitarian aid 2012: less successful appeals; rise of Turkey; poor countries doing a lot of the heavy lifting

This year’s Global Humanitarian Assistance Report reports on a ‘quiet year’ (i.e. no mega disasters) in 2012 for global humanitarian aid. Total aid fell to $17.9bn from $19.4bn in 2011. That’s only a small fraction of total aid, but emergencies carry disproportionate weight in public perceptions. A few other points to note, plus some chunks […]

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Some good news (and lots of guidance) on tackling Violence Against Women

I’m just finalising the first draft of a paper on how states have empowered excluded groups of people (more on that to follow). It’s pretty wide-ranging, as you can imagine, but one of the most striking areas of my reading was on Violence Against Women – a critical barrier to empowerment in far too many […]

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