Symβiosis aims to provide resources, commentaries and analysis, on political, social and cultural ideas and developments affecting change and policy, original and creative, based on arguments, able to propose and debate solutions to critical issues, maintaining a broad intellectual scope and global reach that readers need to understand the choices shaping lives, and reflecting on Greece, the Balkans, Europe and the world.




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Indignados in perspective: Is Social Democracy irrelevant in a Post-Industrial Era in the West?

Date added: 06/06/2012
Date modified: 06/06/2012
Filesize: 229.97 kB
Downloads: 659

Ravi Arvind Palat, Professor of Sociology, State University of New York at Binghamton, and Visiting Senior Researcher, CIDOB

Date of publication: 05/2012

One of the striking claims of the indignados in Spain, the indignati in Italy, the aganaktismenoi in Greece, and the Occupy movements worldwide has been that there is no difference between the political elite, that both conservative and social democratic parties pursue the same policies of fiscal discipline, austerity, and the free market, that the burden of the mistakes of the rich fall on the poor. Why, they ask should the burden of loans gone sour be borne in the form of higher taxes and cuts in government expenditure by the workers made redundant and the pensioners who did not benefit from the loans? And yet these are the austerity and deficit-reducing measures pursued by both conservative and social democratic parties everywhere in the West.

Dispute Resolution and Cross-border Cooperation in Northeast Asia: Reflections on the Nordic Experie

Date added: 10/14/2011
Date modified: 10/14/2011
Filesize: 492.66 kB
Downloads: 1133

Sangsoo Lee and Alec Forss
ASIA PAPER, June 2011, pp. 39

This paper examines cases of dispute resolution and cross-border cooperation in two regions: the Nordic region and Northeast Asia. The two regions are markedly different. The Nordic region is often described as an area where stable peace has been successfully consolidated, and where borders serve as positive interfaces for cooperation rather than as obstacles. The Norway–Iceland fishery dispute, Hässelö Island, Åland Island, Morokulien Peace Park, Haparanda–Tornio EuroCity, and Oulanka/Paanajärvi national park are examples in this context of peaceful resolution of territorial disputes and/or enhancing cross-border cooperation. In stark contrast, the countries of Northeast Asia continue to be locked in seemingly intractable territorial and maritime disputes that have defied resolution. The aim of this paper is to reflect upon the Nordic experience of dispute resolution and cross-border cooperation and to focus attention on how similar mechanisms could potentially be applied in the case of different territorial disputes or points of tension in Northeast Asia: Dokdo/Takeshima, the Kuril Islands, the Senkaku/Diaoyu Islands, as well as the Demilitarized Zone and the Yellow Sea on the Korean Peninsula. In sum, in spite of significant limitations and differences, it is hoped that this paper may show how the Nordic countries and its experiences can prove both instructive and, above all, motivational in generating ideas for setting up similarly inspired regimes of peaceful resolution and cooperation in Northeast Asia in the future.

Mega-Events and Megaprojects

Date added: 10/14/2011
Date modified: 10/14/2011
Filesize: 498.45 kB
Downloads: 931

By Aurélie Varrel and Loraine Kennedy
Chance2Sustain Policy Brief - June 2011
Policy Brief No. 3 - June 2011

Mega-events are events with a global audience. They vary in type and organization, but the focus here is on those that have an itinerant character, occurring regularly in different places, and are awarded through a bidding process. These include the World’s Fair, the World Cups of various sports, regional athletic contests (e.g., Asian Games) and the Olympic Games. Since the second half of the 20th century, mega sporting events have surpassed other types of mega-events in terms of frequency and financial investment, a development linked to increasing media coverage and global reach. Drawing on evaluations of past experiences of megaprojects and mega-events, this paper highlights important issues related to financial sustainability, governance and impacts. The core question is how to maximize the positive effects of mega-events and avoid losses and increased social tension?

There is vigorous competition for hosting a mega-event, which is widely perceived as an opportunity to market the city and the country at the international scale. Mega-events started taking place in the South only recently, with two exceptions: the Olympics were held in Mexico City in 1968 and in Seoul in 1988. This new trend raises issues in the specific context of fast-growing cities in developing countries, namely the relevance of allocating funds to build sport facilities and world-class infrastructures whereas the basic needs of the urban population are not met, at least for a sizeable proportion of residents (Pillay & Bass, 2009).

Humanitarian soldiers, colonialised Others and invisible enemies: Visual strategic communication nar

Date added: 10/14/2011
Date modified: 10/14/2011
Filesize: 2.04 MB
Downloads: 1155

Noora Kotilainen
The Finnish Institute of International Affairs

The publicity photos released by ISAF sketch a manifold depiction of the current operation in Afghanistan. The images describe and adapt according to the official objectives of the operation and present the coalition presence and work in the area in a positive light. The soldiers are pictured playing, giving gifts, and interacting with the locals, while the Afghans are pictured as child-like, underdeveloped and in need of the Western aid.

The Financial Crisis - Lessons for Europe from Psychology

Date added: 03/18/2011
Date modified: 03/18/2011
Filesize: 1 MB
Downloads: 781
Author: Professor Henry Montgomery

In the aftermath of the financial crisis, a vast amount of economic analysis and a sizeable number of reforms in the financial markets have followed. In this report, Professor Henry Montgomery takes the analysis one step further by examining the psychological explanations behind the crisis. The author explores the cognitive bias behind decision making by economic professionals and lay persons on the financial markets. The report also discusses how psychological knowledge can constitute a basis for reforms in order to safeguard sound economic development in the future.