On this page we periodically review the newspaper excerpts (2020 see here, 2021 see here, editorial notes see here) we have collected with a view of political development in the post-western world. The assumption is that a global turn is emerging during the 21st century. Democracy and individual humanness become more important worldwide. Second, the content of our main page (humanrightsjourneys.com/sdg16) is a pointer for a justice driven development: Faith and the nuclear family are the key components of peaceful change, but undervalued as compared to sword monopoly and economic development. This has been proven during the millennia long search for freedom. Moreover this fact is vibrant among humans today. Third, changes will happen on a country basis. Changes happen from within. Fourth, comparison between countries is a useful exercise for achieving SDG16.
Next update to publish: April – September 2021
Update March 2021
In Myanmar the citizens-government struggle continues. The papal visit to Iraq looks like a stabilizing factor, just like his CAR visit in 2015. Algorithms proof a continuum in governance news coverage, perhaps triggering a rare global “productivity growth”. The new administration in the U.S.A. claims the world does not organize itself, but ditches regime change policy “of the last decades”. West African nations feel French interests trigger democratic erosion. In Libya a political deal emerges to mend the divided country. In Mozambique government fails to ward of militants in energy rich region. Tanzania’s leader dies in office aged 61. In Asia India and China have sustained tensions, while India-Pakistan relations soften. In pandemic control Burundi and Vietnam are on top. Turkey abolishes an international women’s treaty as culturally inappropriate. In Ethiopia media access to Tigray is positive but also exposes the recent atrocities.
Update February 2021
The French want to withdraw from their anti-terrorism mission in the Sahel. The concerned countries take their own responsibility. In Myanmar a military coup disrupts the social contract. The new U.S.A. administration arrives in a changed world with an assertive China. The Anglophone western countries follow the U.S.A., unlike Europe. FT sees the arrival of e-globalization: your digital device as workplace. The U.N. gets another African incentive: WTO head is from Nigeria. The rich countries fear the drop in migration as their median age soars. The Ethiopian conflict looks all but solved. Russia shows Europe its infancy in foreign politics. South Africa shows medical capabilities developed during HIV-Aids fight, while Tanzanian president ridicules medical solutions to the pandemic. The businessman turned philanthropist Gates wants to help shape public policy while the Brazilian president replaces a CEO in a state company by a general. The U.S.A. clears the path for taxing global business.
Update January 2021
In the U.S.A. a Baptist pastor successfully secured a pivotal Senate seat. Europe signed a trade deal with China in the face of an administration change in the U.S.A. Ethiopia releases jailed journalists while ethnic violence in the North continues. Europe stops naming parliamentary opposition leader in Venezuela “interim president”. Saudi Arabia wants to establish a zero emission zone. Parting German leader Merkel criticizes big tech for corporate censorship. In Uganda long standing leader wins elections again but with opposition taking a sizeable share. The WHO team travels to China to meet quarantine barrier. The Italian-American economist Mazzucato, who has the pope as fan, in a new book promotes a more active state. Protests erupt in Tunisia, 10 years after the lost “Arab spring”. Unilever commits to SDG proof supply chain by 2030, living wage for all contributing. FT hints Africa can teach the U.S.A. something, humility. In India farmer protests continue. Australia takes big tech to task for riding free over news.
Update December 2020
The month shows innovation in governance efforts in countries and companies, also as a pandemic consequence. But also the realization that super powers won influence during the pandemic. In Africa worries on debt sustainability heighten. But also a quest to retain more added value on exported resources. Morocco trades U.S.A. Western Sahara claim support for recognition of Israel. Somalia severs ties with Kenya. China moves to retain its political system ahead of big business. It curtains its belt-and-road initiative to realistic proportions. In Venezuela another opposition failure for governance change emerges. In India farmers bolster a new opposition for rights movement. FT reports on demonizing others as a political campaign strategy and also warns the incoming U.S.A. president for liberal identity politics. Ethiopia claims the end of a security operation in Tigray in spite of a media silencing situation. Ghana shows what Africa can do and fails in other spots, peaceful elections. Nigeria continues to struggle with violence in the north. In Mexico the government militarizes the state. Europe develops a sanctions regime for foreign governments that abuse human rights. The U.K. leaves the E.U. with a last minute trade deal. Remarkable: German church after hundreds of years says sorry for witch hunts. More so, as an effort is started elsewhere to document slave trade, another blatant human rights abuse.
Update November 2020
In Tanzania the incumbent was re-elected amidst protests of opposition. The main Africa story this month is the Ethiopia central government crackdown on the local Tigray leadership. Zambia gets stuck financially. In Europe Hungary and Poland step up their opposition to central Brussels governance. The Brexit process is hanging low over the EU. A remarkable warning of the Russia Orthodox church for private exorcism practices. In the USA the publicity dominating presidential elections take place and deliver a change of administration. The outgoing president is said to have it right on main foreign issues. Headlines on Covid19 bring opportunity in innovation and threat of state dominance. In Central Asia Turkey supported Azerbaijan and Armenia fight a war on minority enclave. Russia settles the conflict. The country also plans a military base in Sudan, further emphasizing the importance of the Mediterranean region. In Asia a regional trade deal involving all but India emerges, while two participants (China and Australia) are at odds with each other over the Covid19 origin research politicization. Peru manages a new record: a third elected president in one week.
Update October 2020
Ivory Coast elects a 78 year old to a constitution defying 3rd term. Chile voted for a new constitution, although it not sure that this will do to combat the underlying discontent. A particular action draws attention: in Chile political protesters burn churches. One article concludes that incompetence is the real threat to sustainable governance. In many parts military and economic dominance seem to defy citizen action. Among those countries is Nigeria. Sudan is cleared from the U.S.A.’s terrorist supporting nations sanctions list.
Update September 2020
The main narrative developing in global politics, also this month, is the China / USA struggle. China does not want to be dependent on a U.S. led so-called Rules Based International System, while internally depending on a party led state that ridicules public discussion. We see a surge in articles to address this situation of uncertainty.
Regionally the Mediterranean area remains a hot spot, claimed to be another energy based struggle. Turkey is playing centre stage, even broader than energy interests. For instance in the long standing Israel/Palestine conflict.
The Covid crisis has a governance aspect and countries are struggling to tally medical, economic and political realities. African nations are noted as doing well to contain the path of the virus. Globally fighting the pandemic is proving a test for personal and societal freedom.
When it comes to people’s influence on governance Belarus is adding another example of rulers who don’t listen to their people. Worldwide we see that whether the ruler leaves or not, the leading social structure, often dominating army and economy, does hold to power. Here too, Africa is giving a brighter picture (Sudan, Ethiopia) than other regions.
On churches, we see some Vatican struggles. Korea is one of the countries where some churches protest government Covid measures.