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09/12/2022
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Participatory Budgeting = People's Budgeting

Participatory budgeting (PB) is probably the best-known application of participatory democracy around the world. The World Bank is even an advocate, because it enhances transparency and accountability and reduces government inefficiency. Quite simply it is a process, which enables local people to decide directly how public money should be spent in their communities. Citizen budgeting participation is spreading throughout the democratic world. Uzbekistan is joining this promising experiment.

Participatory Budgeting Opens Path for Democratic Reform in Uzbekistan

Taskent, Nov.10.– Since his inauguration in 2016, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has paved the way for many policy reforms in Uzbekistan. Four of these reforms stand out as truly consequential. Participatory Budgeting

The first two reforms are economic. The move to a mostly market-based foreign currency regime and the implementation of tax reforms delivered significant positive stimuli for economic growth and helped to open the Uzbek economy to foreign investment.

The third reform put an end to the abhorrent practice of state-sponsored forced and child labor. Possibly more than any other, this reform has earned Uzbekistan international praise.

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Poor global economic outlook for 2023

Global GDP 2022Global GDP 2022

 
All indicators allow us to forecasts global GDP growth of 3% for 2022 and 2% percent for 2023, well below previous years. While a global recession is not in our scenario, the global economy is likely to move even closer to recessionary territory in 2023/2024. The US recession is likely to be induced by aggressive monetary policy and tightening in response to persistently high inflation. The recession in the Euro Area likely will reflect surging energy prices and corresponding reductions in production and demand partially motivated by the Ukrainian war. China may escape an outright recession. Nonetheless, China’s economy will register weak growth in 2023.

 

Global Economy Cools In October 2022,
Reversing 2022-Q3 Rebound

The Earth's economy cooled in October, reversing what had been a strong rebound in the third quarter of 2022.

That's the assessment of how the pace at which carbon dioxide is being added to the Earth's atmosphere changed during the first month of the fourth quarter of 2022. That change comes as signs that the United States economy, the Eurozone's economy, and China's economy are all showing cracks after they rebounded during the preceding quarter.

The latest update to Political Calculations' chart illustrating the rate at which CO₂ is accumulating in the Earth's air shows the results of the rebounds taking place in the world's two largest economies

Because China is the world's largest emitter of CO₂ by a very wide margin, what's happening with its economy plays an outsize role in how much carbon dioxide is added to the Earth's air. During October 2022, China's government ramped up its ongoing COVID-zero lockdowns, seriously disrupting the nation's economy ...

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CALL FOR CONFERENCE PAPERS – Character Assassination, Illiberalism, and the Erosion of Civic Rights

Location: University of Amsterdam & VU University:
21-23 June 2023

IlliberalismLiberal democracies face multiple external challenges from autocracies across the world, as well as internal challenges from populist politicians, nativism, and the normalization of incivility in media and political discourses. Character assassination (CA) often accompanies these political and social conflicts, especially when unresolved ideological and moral issues are involved. Social conflicts become aggravated when moral issues intermix with political and economic factors. Factions then resort to persuasive attacks on character to delegitimize and disempower their opponents. This increased polarization and aggressiveness of elite rhetoric likely foster voters’ cynicism and discontent with politics as usual. The increasing gap between liberal elites and the disgruntled electorate, in turn, likely provides even more fertile ground for intra-elite conflict and paves the way for illiberal conceptions of the democratic order.

This conference seeks to explore current-day illiberal tendencies as well as historical societies where emerging strong men and dictators manipulated the political system and undermined the rights of the people. In particular, it focuses on practices of character assassination in these highly unstable and polarized environments. We invite scholars to submit research and works in progress which will discuss the drivers of illiberalism and the erosion of civic rights in ages of conflicting ideologies from a variety of disciplinary and cultural angles. We welcome both theoretical work and case studies. Authors of selected best papers will be invited to submit their work to the Journal of Illiberalism Studies.

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Dictator Vladimir Putin, General Andrei Sychevoi, and the obsession with power

The obsession with power tends to cloud dictators who seek to go down in history through bloody military operations. Putin is NOT the exception. There is a striking parallel in the Ukraine war with the devastating expansionist policy of Adolf Hitler, albeit with far less military capability on the part of the forces at Vladimir Putin's disposal. Both believed it possible to subject their neighbors through blood and fire in a war without quarter. Both met with the failure of their ambitions and unleashed a genocidal war of extermination when things went wrong. History is repeating itself.

 

 

Russian General Andrei Sychevoi captured in the Oblast region

 

He was the commander of the West Group, one of the four top Russian commanders in Ukraine. He previously served during the Russian intervention in the Syrian Civil War.

Kyiv, Oct.29.– It has been revealed that Lieutenant General Andrei Sychevoi was captured with his driver during Eastern Ukraine's offensive last September as he was trying to flee back to Russia in a stolen civilian car. He tried turning his epaulet stars sideways and claiming to be a LtCol, but his driver kept calling him “general” and captors were able to fully identify him.

He had replaced the commander of the Russian "Western Military District", Colonel-General Alexander Zhuravlyov. who was fired by Putin last July.

Ukrainian authorities gave Sychevoi two choices. He can collaborate completely, or he can end up remanded to The Hague for war crimes trial before the International Criminal Court.

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Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe’s Autumn plenary session ready to open

The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) is the parliamentary arm of the Council of Europe, a 46-nation international organisation dedicated to upholding human rights, democracy and the rule of law. The Assembly is made up of 306 members drawn from the national parliaments of the Council of Europe's member states. The Parliamentary Assembly meets four times a year in Strasbourg, France. The session lasts four to five days. PACE will meet at Strasbourg on Monday, 10 October 2022 until Friday, 14 October 2022.

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Vladimir Zelensky

 

Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky to address PACE’s Autumn plenary session.

Strasbourg. Oct. 8: Ref. DC 203(2022).– Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is due to address the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) by videoconference (Thursday 13 October at 10 a.m.) date and time to be confirmed) during its Autumn plenary session.

There will also be addresses by the President of Ireland, Michael D. Higgins, and the President of the Swiss Confederation, Ignazio Cassis, as well as the Prime Minister of Albania, Edi Rama.

The 2022 Václav Havel Human Rights Prize, which honours outstanding human rights defenders, will be awarded in a special ceremony, with the overall winner to be selected from among three shortlisted candidates (Vladimir Kara-Murza, Ukraine 5 AM Coalition and Rainbow Coalition).

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