Poverty

Why many policies to lower migration actually increase it

Retrieved on: 
Friday, April 19, 2024

Distressing photos and headlines dominate front pages, and politicians stoke negative narratives about migration.

Key Points: 
  • Distressing photos and headlines dominate front pages, and politicians stoke negative narratives about migration.
  • Also popular is the “cash for migration control” approach, turning countries on the edges of Europe into, effectively, “border guards”.
  • One example is the EU’s recent deal with Tunisia, promising €150 million (£128 million) to boost Tunisia’s migration control efforts.
  • But there is not much consensus on what the root causes of migration actually are, and little evidence to show that addressing them actually reduces migration.

Tackling the root causes

  • But which ones are the most important drivers for people to take the enormous step of leaving home for somewhere new?
  • The problem in migration policymaking – which often relies on intuition and guesswork, rather than evidence – is a scatter-gun approach which lists a whole range of issues as root causes.
  • Corruption in hospitals, schools and police forces can be signs of low pay, inadequate management and a lack of accountability.
  • Tackling corruption, therefore, can improve lives and strengthen people’s confidence to build their futures locally, rather than seeking opportunities elsewhere.

Aid and migration control

  • Tackling the root causes of migration is not an easy, short-term fix to prevent migration.
  • Governments allocating aid must separate this from the issue of migration, so that this money can be channelled into what it’s actually meant for: addressing economic, humanitarian, political and security issues.


Jessica Hagen-Zanker does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

Press release - Women must have full control of their sexual and reproductive health and rights

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024

MEPs condemn the backsliding on women’s rights and all attempts to restrict or remove existing protections for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality taking place globally, including in the EU member states.

Key Points: 
  • MEPs condemn the backsliding on women’s rights and all attempts to restrict or remove existing protections for sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and gender equality taking place globally, including in the EU member states.
  • They call on the Commission to ensure that organisations working against gender equality and women’s rights, including reproductive rights, do not receive EU funding.
  • Healthcare, including sexual and reproductive health, falls under national powers.
  • Changing the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights to include abortion would require unanimous agreement from all member states.

Press release - Geopolitical situation makes voting in European elections even more important

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024

The European Parliament’s last Eurobarometer survey before the elections in June reveals awareness among citizens and concern for the current geopolitical context. Source : © European Union, 2024 - EP

Key Points: 


The European Parliament’s last Eurobarometer survey before the elections in June reveals awareness among citizens and concern for the current geopolitical context. Source : © European Union, 2024 - EP

Press release - EP President Metsola at EUCO: The Single Market is Europe’s greatest economic driver

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Doubling down on the Single Market ensures Europe’s long-term competitiveness, prosperity and leadership on the global stage, said President Metsola at the Special European Council. Source : © European Union, 2024 - EP

Key Points: 


Doubling down on the Single Market ensures Europe’s long-term competitiveness, prosperity and leadership on the global stage, said President Metsola at the Special European Council. Source : © European Union, 2024 - EP

3 things to learn about patience − and impatience − from al-Ghazali, a medieval Islamic scholar

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024

From childhood, we are told that patience is a virtue and that good things will come to those who wait.

Key Points: 
  • From childhood, we are told that patience is a virtue and that good things will come to those who wait.
  • And, so, many of us work on cultivating patience.
  • The writings of medieval Islamic thinker Abu Hamid al-Ghazali can give us insights or help us understand why we need to practice patience – and also when not to be patient.

Who was al-Ghazali?

  • He traveled to places as far as Baghdad and Jerusalem to defend Islam and argued there was no contradiction between reason and revelation.
  • More specifically, he was well known for reconciling Aristotle’s philosophy, which he likely read in Arabic translation, with Islamic theology.
  • This work is composed of 40 volumes in total, divided into four parts of 10 books each.

1. What is patience?

  • Humans, according to al-Ghazali, have competing impulses: the impulse of religion, or “bāʿith al-dīn,” and the impulse of desire, or “bāʿith al-hawā.” Life is a struggle between these two impulses, which he describes with the metaphor of a battle: “Support for the religious impulse comes from the angels reinforcing the troops of God, while support for the impulse of desire comes from the devils reinforcing the enemies of God.”
  • The amount of patience we have is what decides who wins the battle.
  • As al-Ghazali puts it, “If a man remains steadfast until the religious impulse conquers … then the troops of God are victorious and he joins the troops of the patient.

2. Patience, values and goals

  • It all starts with commitments to core values.
  • For a Muslim like al-Ghazali, those values are informed by the Islamic tradition and community, or “umma,” and include things like justice and mercy.
  • Living in a way that is consistent with these core values is what the moral life is all about.

3. When impatience is called for

  • Certainly, there are forms of injustice and suffering in the world that we should not calmly endure.
  • Despite his commitment to the importance of patience to a moral life, al-Ghazali makes room for impatience as well.
  • But could the necessity for impatience be extended to social harms, such as systemic racism or poverty?


Liz Bucar received funding from Templeton Religion Trust to support work on this topic.

Climate change makes life harder: in South Africa it’s likely to bring heatwaves, water stress and gender-based violence

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024

Human-induced climate change made the severe 2015–2017 drought three to six times more likely.

Key Points: 
  • Human-induced climate change made the severe 2015–2017 drought three to six times more likely.
  • Our new report on Climate Change Impacts in South Africa has found that as Earth warms, people living in South Africa will face reduced incomes, less food and water security and a higher cost of living.
  • Our findings, based on a synthesis and review of existing research on climate change, are that climate change and socioeconomic risks threaten to bring about a huge change to this status.
  • Combating the impacts of climate change in South Africa requires adaptive measures, such as changing the way we farm, coordination by the government and international commitment to reduce emissions.

Heatwaves

  • Farm workers will be exposed to more extreme temperatures working outside and others will suffer from heat stress in their living and working environment.
  • Here's how

    Extreme weather threatens the plants and animals that attract tourism, and directly damages infrastructure at nature reserves, adventure destinations and parks.

  • Rising temperatures are projected to reduce visitor numbers to South Africa’s national parks by 4% by 2050, affecting the Kruger National Park most.

An agricultural crisis

  • Smallholder farms are often located in areas with less fertile soils or limited infrastructure, leaving these farmers more vulnerable to climate change.
  • Arable land suitable for growing crops is concentrated in just 12% of South Africa’s land area.
  • Therefore, any extreme event that reduces production – such as drought – can be expected to reduce job security and income for farming households and agricultural workers.

Water

  • Drought and floods damage transport links, public buildings, and water and energy infrastructure, and challenge the provision of basic services.
  • During the water crisis that followed the 2015–2017 drought, for example, reservoirs serving 3.7 million people around Cape Town dropped to 20% of capacity, leading the government to impose water restrictions.

An increase in gender-based violence

  • These gender inequalities include a high incidence of gender-based violence and a higher likelihood of poverty among women.
  • Research in other parts of the world has also linked rising temperatures with an increase in gender-based violence.

Solutions


Much of the country’s economic future hinges on the speed with which investments in renewable energy can replace coal and provide affordable and reliable electricity. Slowing down climate change will take a huge global effort and progress has been limited. The only alternative is to be prepared and adapt to the projected changes.
Peter Johnston receives funding from United Nations, NORCE, NRF

How India’s economy has fared under ten years of Narendra Modi

Retrieved on: 
Thursday, April 18, 2024

The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is seeking a third term in office.

Key Points: 
  • The ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), which is led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is seeking a third term in office.
  • If one was to go by economic growth figures alone, the Modi government’s performance has been impressive.
  • A series of high-profile corruption cases led to a loss of investor confidence in the Indian economy.
  • According to the International Monetary Fund, India’s economy is projected to grow at a rate of 6.5% in 2024.
  • That is higher than China’s projected growth of 4.6%, and exceeds that of any other large economy.

All smoke and mirrors?

  • India’s economic performance is hard to assess as the government has not published official data on poverty and employment since 2011.
  • This has led analysts to use alternate data sources that are not as reliable as the large and nationally representative consumption and employment surveys of the Indian government’s statistical agency.
  • The results were based on a large consumption survey carried out by the Indian government.

The new welfarism

  • The Aadhaar rollout, in particular, has allowed national and state governments to distribute benefits to the poor directly through their Aadhaar-linked bank accounts.
  • It has also helped to curb leakage in the delivery of subsidies to poor households, which has long been the bane of India’s welfare delivery.
  • Essential goods such as toilets and cooking cylinders, which are normally privately provisioned, were supplied in large numbers by the government.
  • This led to what Indian economist and the former Chief Economic Advisor to the government, Arvind Subramanian, called “New Welfarism” in India.

The lack of good jobs

  • But it has not been as successful in creating productive jobs for the large proportion of India’s labour force who are unskilled and poor.
  • Around 40% of workers remain in agriculture, and only about 20% work in manufacturing jobs or business services such as IT.
  • The weak record of the Modi government in creating jobs is surprising given that it has floated many initiatives to kickstart manufacturing.


Kunal Sen receives funding from ESRC, British Academy and DFID.

Bollywood is playing a large supporting role in India’s elections

Retrieved on: 
Wednesday, April 10, 2024

The BJP claims India as a Hindu nation.

Key Points: 
  • The BJP claims India as a Hindu nation.
  • The use of Indian popular cinema for political ends has a long history – one that predates Indian independence.
  • Since the 1980s, it also set in motion a nationwide trend of using cinematic means to capture the attention of voters.

Mobilizing film fans for electoral campaigns

  • She discusses case studies of film fans who even worship their favorite celebrities as deities by creating temples to these stars within residential and commercial spaces.
  • Srinivas found that film fans can make or destroy the careers and lives of stars.
  • If a star decides to venture into politics, these film fans can become active participants in the star’s political campaigns.
  • But if the star does something that the fans disapprove of, they will as easily boycott his films and even destroy the star’s career.

An alignment of cinema and politics


The cinema industry in Tamil Nadu, more than any other in India, has evolved closely with political and social developments in the region since the 1940s. The ideals of Tamil nationalism, a political movement that changed the course of history in Tamil Nadu, were powerfully communicated through the medium of entertainment films. Often, the personalities associated with these films were physically present alongside politicians at party meetings.

  • In my research, I found that the alignment of cinema and politics in Tamil Nadu was helped by the use of identical advertising media.
  • A favored publicity medium of both the cinema industry and party members was the hand-painted plywood cutout.
  • In this way, they helped to transfer the power of the cinematic star image to the image of the leader.
  • I argued that these advertisements played an important role in visualizing, and shaping, the identity politics of Tamil nationalism.

Cinema’s role in divisive politics

  • Another series of films in the biopic genre showcases the historical legacy of right-wing Hindu nationalist organizations and their leaders.
  • “PM Narendra Modi,” which reminded voters of the prime minister’s rise from poverty, was scheduled for release just before the 2019 elections.
  • The film, which demonizes Muslims and shows them committing extremely barbaric and cruel acts, is among those publicly endorsed by the prime minister himself.


Preminda Jacob does not work for, consult, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organization that would benefit from this article, and has disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their academic appointment.

STIVE ASIA Announces Innovative 'Art Print on Demand' on Its Digital Marketplace

Retrieved on: 
Tuesday, March 19, 2024

For art enthusiasts, illustrators, and eco-friendly advocates, Discover STIVE ASIA, the leading creative hub in Southeast Asia is uniting talented artists and sustainability champions through purposeful art.

Key Points: 
  • In 2020, STIVE ASIA emerged as a comprehensive digital asset marketplace, initially focusing on hosting certified and original intellectual properties.
  • Both creators and users can have access to the digital IP marketplace at STIVE ASIA at no cost.
  • As a total creative solution platform, STIVE ASIA allows both users and creators to buy and sell Certified Digital IP, design contests for custom projects, and eco-friendly merchandise printed with digital IP.
  • "Stive Asia Official" for Instagram, and "Stive Asia" for Facebook, Tik Tok and Xiao Hong Shu.

JJ Watt Three-Time NFL Defensive Player of the Year & Walter Payton NFL Man of the Year Headlines 2024 U.S. Venture Open

Retrieved on: 
Tuesday, April 9, 2024

The funds raised at the annual event, to be held on Wednesday, August 14, 2024, aim to end poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.

Key Points: 
  • The funds raised at the annual event, to be held on Wednesday, August 14, 2024, aim to end poverty in Northeast Wisconsin.
  • JJ Watt has achieved numerous accolades and established himself as one of the NFL’s greatest defensive players of all time.
  • U.S. Venture is excited to partner with Watt because of his enormous philanthropy efforts following Hurricane Harvey and the JJ Watt Foundation.
  • “I am honored to be part of the U.S. Venture Open this year,” said JJ Watt.