Media democratisation in Ecuador (2018)

A regulatory process of “democratising the media” based on recent constitutional guarantees and a 2013 communications law is under way in Ecuador. The initiative comes from a demand for new forms of social accountability and participation in the mass media after the Latin American experience of media companies’ direct engagement in coups and the destabilisation of progressive governments. Media democratisation is seen as necessary for the construction of democratic societies. Continue reading “Media democratisation in Ecuador (2018)”

Syria: The human rights industry in ‘humanitarian war’ (2018)

A proliferation of self-appointed watchdogs and ‘human rights’ agencies have helped market the idea of ‘humanitarian intervention’, in recent years. This can be seen most starkly in the long proxy war on Syria. These advocacy groups have argued the extreme pretexts thought necessary to ignore conventional international law against intervention and foreign support for armed groups. Yet most such groups are paid or co-opted by the same governments which back military intervention. Continue reading “Syria: The human rights industry in ‘humanitarian war’ (2018)”

Human development strategy in small states (2017)

What are the human development opportunities and challenges for small states in a multi-polar world? An answer to this question must consider human development strategies at large, the constraints imposed by neoliberal globalism and better practice in recent times. Small states have particular vulnerabilities but may also benefit from realignments within new regional blocs. Continue reading “Human development strategy in small states (2017)”

From Havana to Quito: Understanding Economic Reform in Cuba and Ecuador (2016)

Cuba and Ecuador are very different countries, but they share a common history and are politically linked by principles of the progressive Bolivarian Alliance (ALBA) bloc. They are also engaged in quite distinct processes of political economic reform. In brief, Cuba is cautiously expanding its commercialisation while Ecuador is expanding its public sector. But there is more to it than that. Continue reading “From Havana to Quito: Understanding Economic Reform in Cuba and Ecuador (2016)”

¿Por qué importa la desigualdad? Del economicismo a la integridad social (2015)

La falta de consenso existente en torno a la desigualdad contrasta con el aparente consenso construido alrededor de la necesidad de eliminar la pobreza. Se estudia la desigualdad por una diversidad de razones: para identiicar sus fuentes, sus consecuencias, el grado en el que la desigualdad es deseable, los vínculos dinámicos entre desigualdad y pobreza, o tratando de discernir las grandes fuerzas estructurales que la impulsan. Sin embargo, se presta poca atención a la objeción principal ante la desigualdad. Continue reading “¿Por qué importa la desigualdad? Del economicismo a la integridad social (2015)”

Unlikely partners: Challenges for an Australia-Cuba collaboration in Pacific health (2014)

In June 2010, at a joint press conference in Perth, the foreign ministers of Australia and Cuba expressed their wish to work together in a range of areas, in particular health aid programs in the Pacific and Caribbean regions (AMFAT 2010). Australia-Cuba collaboration has its own logic: both countries have great capacity to assist the Pacific island nations, and there is always value to be found in genuine efforts at cooperation and complementarity. However the move also raises the question: how might these two very different systems work together, when they have such distinct aims and methods? Continue reading “Unlikely partners: Challenges for an Australia-Cuba collaboration in Pacific health (2014)”

Human development, the state and participation (2014)

Human development should be seen as a broad, emancipatory and social process, rather than the mere expansion of individual choices or ‘capabilities’. In post-colonial nations, a strong ‘human development enabling’ state is necessary to build basic human capacity, such as in health, education, shelter and nutrition; and then to promote popular participation. This requirement can be seen in a range of historical experience and is reflected in the declaration on the right to development. Continue reading “Human development, the state and participation (2014)”

The ‘Cuban model’ and its microeconomy (2014)

No productivist model of socialism has every existed in Cuba. Rather, the Cuban approach has drawn on a hybrid of ethical principles with some consistent strategic themes. Cuba’s socialist strategy has been reformulated quite flexibly, in relation to these principles and historical circumstances, and this flexibility seems to have been important in allowing Cuban socialism to adapt and survive. Continue reading “The ‘Cuban model’ and its microeconomy (2014)”

La medicina social en Timor Oriental (2010)

“Medicina social”, un concept con un desarrollo notable en América Latina Social, promovido por Salvador Allende en los años 30s del siglo pasado, vincula un modelo amplio y un ethos de salud pública con procesos de tranformación social. En años recientes, tal influencia ha sido extendida a Timor Oriental por medio de un muy amplio programa cubano de ayuda y formación en salud. El present artículo analisa hasta qué punto se puede estar desarrollando una medicina social endógena en Timor Oriental. Continue reading “La medicina social en Timor Oriental (2010)”

Social medicine in East Timor (2010)

“Social medicine”, a Latin American concept, notably developed by Salvador Allende in the 1930s, links up a broader model and ethos of public health with processes of social transformation. In recent years that influence has spread to Timor Leste, through a very large Cuban health cooperation and training program. This paper considers to what extent an endogenous “social medicine” might be developing in Timor Leste. Such a development would require transition away from the existing small, private clinic based model. Continue reading “Social medicine in East Timor (2010)”