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Blog archive for 2012

Goodbye Holocene, hello Anthropocene

A resounding 'no'. That was how Sir Bob Watson, chief scientific advisor to the Department of Energy and Climate Change, recently answered his own question of whether the goal of staying below 2 degrees of global average heating is still politically feasible.

Urban discontents

There has been a flurry of interest in the theme of ‘planetary urbanization’ recently.

Beards and bearskins

The image of a Sikh soldier used to illustrate the increasing diversity of British society this week ought not to pass without comment.

When soldiering gets sexy

Regardless of what they say about a man in uniform, it’s clear that some of them have a particular appeal when they’re half naked and preferably holding a gun.

The UK charity Go Commando which raises money for Royal Marines and their families, has recently launched its third successive calendar featuring marines in various stages of undress. The calendar went through official channels before being launched with acclaim in the national media. Its first print-run sold out within days.

Competing to be public

We know about the proliferating demands on higher education researchers to collaborate, co-produce and publicly engage; we also know these demands exist in tension with unprecedented pressures on researchers to compete. We know about the proliferation of engagement techniques and technologies of communication which are becoming ever more publicly accessible; and, we also know that theoretical understandings of ‘the public’ are becoming ever more diverse and divergent.

Public action: making things visible or catching the attention?

I’ve been meaning to write down some thoughts provoked in particular by the workshop on Security and its Publics that I attended in Ottawa back in September, but other things have been in the way – including another workshop on Rethinking the Public, this time in Bloemfontein, which partly confirmed some of these thoughts even though it wasn’t limited to the security theme.  

The citizenship predicament of Britain’s military migrants

Should Britain’s serving and former soldiers from Commonwealth countries be granted UK citizenship as a reward for their military service? Their status as foreign nationals within the armed forces means that they embody a stark contradiction between the soldier as hero and the migrant as unwanted scrounger.

Nick Mahony is openDemocracy’s guest editor of the week

Following on CCIG’s Publics Research Programme June 2012 international workshop ‘Creating publics, creating democracies’, OpenDemocracy has just launched a week-long feature called ‘Creating publics, opening democracies’.

Starting today and running every day this week, it will feature a series of nine specially written pieces, introduced by Nick Mahony, John Clarke, Susan Pell, and Liza Griffin.

Citizenship, Law and Orientalism, by Stephen Scheel

What are the connections between the make-up of contemporary border regimes, their justification through orientalising discourses and the potential of citizenship as a political resource in migrants’ struggles against disenfranchisement and selective exclusion? The workshop Migrant Subjects: Citizenship, Law and Orientalism provided room for an in-depth of this vexed question.Five presentations explored these relationships, providing the basis for a lively and controversial discussion.

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