Politics & Society

Understanding the Crisis in Yemen: What Can Be Done? 🔊

After more than two years of civil war, famine, and cholera outbreaks, Yemen is facing what observers are calling the worst humanitarian crisis in history. How did it get to this? And what can be done? Maria Armoudian is joined by Charles Schmitz and Hammoud Salhi to...

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How is Art Used to Counter Oppression? 🔊

Throughout history, art has been used as an act of resistance and as a weapon to counter oppression and violence. Maria Armoudian talks to professor Mark LeVine about the role of art in resistance movements. Mark LeVine is a professor of History at the University of...

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Are We Living in a Post-Truth Era?

While many argue that we are in a post-truth era, fuelled by US President Donald Trump and the phenomenon of fake news, some scholars argue that deception has always been ubiquitous. What is the truth about lying? Maria Armoudian is joined by...

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What is Media Freedom? 🔊

What is media freedom? How do you know when it’s there? And what role does it play in the political landscape today? Maria Armoudian discusses media freedom with Jennifer Whitten-Woodring and Douglas A. Van Belle. They are co-authors of the book Historical Guide to...

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What Lies Behind the Sex Trafficking of Yazidi Women?

By Rima Shenoy Men can co-exist on the condition that they recognise each other as being all equally, though differently, human – but they can also co-exist by denying each other a comparable degree of humanity and thus establishing a system of subordination. - Claude...

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How Does Propaganda Work in Democratic Societies? 🔊

Democracy today is dominated by election campaigns, lobbyists, media, and political commentators, all using language to influence the way the public thinks about and interprets public issues. Despite this, many believe that propaganda and manipulation aren't problems...

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Mad World? Exploring the Causes of Increasing Mental Illness

By ­­­­­­­­­­Dr Bruce M Z Cohen -  As shocking as it is fascinating, few would disagree that we are facing a global epidemic of mental disease. That’s what the statistics tell us: 450 million people currently affected globally with such a condition, 1 in 4 in the UK...

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What Is the Future of the United Nations in the Trump Era?

Stephen Hoadley and Mark Amsler in conversation with Maria Armoudian - The United Nations is facing multiple stressors, but among the largest is the new president of the United States, Donald Trump, who has expressed hostility toward the organisation. What does the...

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How Is Latin America Fighting Neoliberalism?

By Kathryn Lehman, Walescka Pino-Ojeda and Genaro Oliveira - “That things ‘just go on’ is the catastrophe” (Walter Benjamin, Central Park). Just as Obama’s landmark visit to Cuba in 2016 was reversing a major legacy of the Cold War, Trump’s 17 June speech ending...

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Are There Blood Minerals in Your Phone?

What is the relationship between minerals (such as oil, diamonds and gold) and conflict, authoritarianism and poverty? Scholars have spent years studying how the so-called extractive industries - mining and drilling - impact people's lives, their governance, and the...

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Can Music Effect Social and Political Change? 🔊

All over the world, and throughout history, music has been a vital part of effecting social and political change. At times the powers-that-be resist that change by oppressing the arts and the artists. Can music bring about social and political change? How has music...

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Are Obesity-Reducing Policies Effective? ▶

By Martin Wilkinson - Sugar and fat taxes, controlling density of fast food outlets, and mandatory portion sizes are examples of policies that aim to reduce obesity by raising costs. Assume such policies would be effective. While they typically raise ethical questions...

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What Is Happiness?

The recently-published World Happiness Report shows New Zealand ranks eighth in the world for happiness. Six key variables help predict levels of happiness – GDP per capita, healthy years of life expectancy, social support, perceived lack of corruption, freedom to make life decisions, and generosity, as measured by donation levels. Helen Borne asked two University of Auckland academics for their response to the report.

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