Elections and democracy in a changing world
This year we are facing an enormous amount of elections. One of the most important aspects of a democracy is elections, free and fair elections is what gives voice to our societies. So we thought it would be the right time to explore the concept of elections and a myriad of issues entailed to it, especially with the upcoming Swedish election that will be held in September. We wanted to look at elections in a wider spectrum and from different countries and cultures. So in this number of Utblick we hope you will learn about some of the elections which are taking place this year and some trends we are witnessing in the world right now. Such as the worrying lack of participation of the young generation in elections or the disconnect between society and politicians. This has brought to life alternatives like e-democracy initiatives such as DigidemLab.
This is not to undermine national election issues, such as the coming mexican election, which is believed to shake the country’s policies. As well as the need to critically review parliamentary and presidency laws that might be discriminatory, such as the case of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Or democratic retreats, like in Cambodia.
This issue has been carefully curated and edited by yours truly, Moa Persson and Ariadna Carrascosa, the new editors of UTBLICK magazine for this coming year 2018. We are very excited and glad to offer you this issue focused on feminism that we hope you enjoy as much as we did putting it out together!
The idea is to match our first issue with the huge world event on the 8th of March, the International Women’s day. With this we wanted to explore the concept of feminism and a myriad of issues linked to it, while transmitting the idea that there is not a single feminism, but instead, there are many ways to be a feminist.
Power is a complex concept. What is power, who has it and what are the consequences of power being exploited? None of these questions can be immediately and easily answered; they require careful analysis and critical thinking on the ever-changing rules of power. In this last issue of 2017, we try to shed some light on these faces of power. Some of the covered aspects are the power of discourses, the role of money, and the authoritarian state mechanisms of disciplining the masses. These are however only scratches on the surface, yet we hope they give some insights and trigger some thought about the role of power in a modern society.
Dreams and nightmares of politics is no new thing. Used as a rhetoric tool, as means of analysis and subject of comparison, utopias and dystopias has from time to time been an influential ingredient of public debate. Carrying hope and dreams of a better future, utopias also come with the risk of oppression – if the ends justify the means, hope might quickly turn into despair.
The third issue of Utblick 2017 examines these topics in greater detail. Covering subjects like (but not limited to) the state of contemporary politics, the role of social media, and the former colonial capital of Great Britain, we hope to provide some interesting reading for most of you.
Capitalism at Play
Time goes by and soon the spring semester will end. Dominated by the French elections, this spring has brought a lot of interesting matters of international policy. In this the second issue of Utblick 2017, we offer a mix of exciting topics, including but not limited to geopolitics in the Arctic, Islamic terrorism (and the practice of othering) and a few angles on capitalism.
With a politically turbulent winter behind us, there has been no shortage of subjects to choose from when creating this first issue of Utblick 2017. Covering topics like the possible case of a Catalan state, the Dutch elections, automation in the global economy, and many more, we hope you will find some interesting reading in the International Machinery issue.
What is security? The field of Security Studies has various bids; some argue that it is a form of value that stands in proportion to an actor’s material well-being. Others claim that it is impossible to formulate a definition that satisfies every country, every culture, every people and every religion – in this view, security is a subjective concept defined by circumstances.
The matter is complicated even further when the topic is global security – different countries, cultures, peoples and religions have different ideas of what security is. While Americans may perceive US military presence in the Middle East as a reassurance of national security, the people living in that region may regard the very same thing as a cause of insecurity. In the same way, the individual goal of radicalization among Muslims may be to achieve individual social security. However, the result of that pursuit will inevitably endanger the security of others. Evidently, global security is an eternally multi-faced concept for which a single definition will never be enough.
The final issue of the year deals with some of the issues on the contemporary global security agenda, with the goal of providing a detailed and enlightening view of the problems facing our world today, and with the objective of shedding light upon conflicts that have ended up outside the public spotlight.
In the aftermath of Great Britain’s surprising decision to leave the European Union, there has been no shortage of speculations about the consequences that such a departure will have. Emerging Euro-sceptical forces throughout Europe have unanimously approved of the result of the referendum, and have attempted to reinforce anti-EU sentiment in their respective countries, calling for their own referenda. It remains unclear, however, if Brexit will ignite a trend that leads to the demise of the union, or if it instead marks the turn of that very same trend.
Peoples and governments receding to the nation state is by no means exclusive for the European continent. It’s happening in every part of the world, and even if the different movements distinguish significantly from one another, there is at least one reoccurring critique – the denunciation of globalization. On the other side of the Atlantic, Donald Trump, Bernie Sanders, and even Hillary Clinton, have all taken a critical stance against both the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the Transatlantic Trade- and Investment Partnership (TTIP). In South America, market liberalization has been said to lead to exploitation of the continent’s underdevelopment, effectively cementing many countries in their current, underdeveloped state. In Asia, China has benefited greatly, and is currently breathing down the US’ neck as the world’s only superpower. And in the Middle East, Turkey is picking the raisins out of the globalization cake, utilizing the global market while attempting to steer clear of cultural change. Everything in the middle of the worst refugee crisis in decades, and an existential environmental crisis that requires intergovernmental cooperation more than anything.
This issue of Utblick offers discussions on the future of the European Union, in depth analyses on specific countries, and debates, both on the origin and progression of different forms of criticism against globalization, and on the character and effects of the process itself.
The Divided States of America
On November 8th this year, the United States will elect its 45th president. The two main parties, the Republicans and the Democrats, both seem to have decided on a nominee. Donald Trump, a billionaire businessman from Brooklyn, will stand as the republican candidate. His adversary will, with the greatest certainty, be Hillary Clinton, even if Bernie Sanders has vowed to keep fighting until the convention on July 25th.
Compared to other years, this campaigning process stands out. Less than a year ago, Jeb Bush, the son and brother of the two former Bush presidents, was generally conceived to be the presumptive republican nominee. However, just like the rest of the establishment republicans, he got caught in a maelstrom of right wing populism, and was forced to drop out quite early.
On the other side, Hillary Clinton lead the polls by enormous margins when the race started. While she’s still the candidate with the most votes, her lead has shrunk from insurmountable to minimal. Bernie Sanders, the man responsible for Hillary’s declining numbers, was ruled out for his socialist sympathies when he launched his campaign. He now holds sway over young voters, and dominates the internet in an impressive fashion.
But why is it that streams of populism, both to the left and right, have gained such strength? This issue of Utblick will attempt to pinpoint some of the reasons behind this election’s ideological irregularities, as well as offer candidate related debate and information about the US and its electoral system.
Democracy – Out of Fashion?
Democracy is often spoken of as the best form of governance that exists. While this may be true, democracy is by no means a flawless alternative. We’ve seen time and time again how democratic countries fall into ruin as a result of the people’s right to determine the form of state. The same people who are supposedly guided by egoistic incentives and discontent. It happened in Germany in the 1920s and 30s, then again in Serbia in the 1990s, and it’s happening again all across the democratic world. On the other hand, no constitution has ever proven as successful in so many instances as dem
ocracy has, begging the question ‘is there even a better alternative, or is democracy the best we’re ever going to have?
“Democracy – Out of Fashion?” offers a series of diverse analyses of countries where democracy is being challenged or is inefficient, as well as discussions regarding the very idea of what democracy is.
Africa, this big continent on the rise, is home to more than a
billion people in over 50 countries with diverse cultural and
political structures. Many African countries today are said to be at the forefront of economic and social development, making the continent a potential challenger to the world order of today and tomorrow. But still, these glimpses of progress seem to cover a very small part of what media in general reports. In this last issue of 2015 we dwelve into the past and present of the continent. Join our discussion by reading our latest articles, essays and interviews, aiming to give an alternative point of view than the mainstream media!
This issue of Utblick focuses on the current refugee crisis. The question is adressed through the lens of ”Terra Incognita”, the unknown land. The articles gathered here discusses it from a psychological perspective and how standing face to face with ”Terra Incognita” affects the search for the new or better, as well as discussing it from the perspective of the recipient countries: how it affects the mentality of the state and its citizens. Join our discussion by reading our latest articles, essays and interviews, aiming to give an alternative point of view than the mainstream media!
This issue of Utblick focuses on global growth, by addressing problems of responsibility and growth in relation to morality and economy (both on a local and global level). Topics we discuss include trade agreements, urban development, corporate responsibility, and even air pollution, medical resources and overfishing. Join our discussion by reading our latest articles, interviews and poems!
Freedom of Speech
This issue of Utblick tackles freedom of speech through articles ranging from the Charlie Hebdo massacre’s effects on French society to London’s public transport strikes and a reflection on traditional journalism’s challenges in the 21st century. Throughout the magazine, you can find poetry that we hope will add a personal interpretation to these complex discussions on freedom, censorship and the right to speak your mind.
In the latest issue of Utblick: Read about the role of religion in international politics, as well as locally, here in Gothenburg! Our new designer Julia brings forth the new look Utblick, stuffed with illustrations and photographs, as well as discussions of religion in different contemporary political contexts. Enjoy!
In this issue of Utblick: Read about the American pro-life movement, the EU scepticism amidst the upcoming election, and find out why more and more people support Front National in France. Furthermore, you’ll be thoroughly briefed on the right wing populism of Turkey’s PM Erdo?an and his AK party, the issue of cannabis legalisation and much much more.
This issue of Utblick offers reports on issues ranging from weather, rain and reign, as well as non-reign. Electronic rain over the DPRK, Musevenis Ugandan reign, water shortage in Israel and Palestine, disastrous rain, as well as the partial abscense of reign in Catalonia.
The last issue of 2013 covers different types of gaps: gaps of power and within the political spectrum, gaps between sexes and within cities, as well as the literally palpable thigh gap. You could also read about how Erdogan’s Turkey widens the gap to Atatürk’s ideals, or about how widening gaps within nations relate to narrowing gaps between nations. Even more topics on the theme are waiting to be read, don’t miss it!
The latest issue of Utblick emanates from the significance of colours. Colours are assigned different meanings over time and place, and are often a powerful symbol in its simplicity. The different colours of Wiphala, an ancient flag from the Andes, used to represent cultural heritage but is upcoming as a symbol for resistance. In Thailand, every weekday is assigned a colour. Here, the king has a peculiar trendsetting role: as he was born on a yellow Monday, the public is generally seen wearing yellow clothing on Mondays to manifest their royal support. In Gothenburg, Way out West festival took the ”green” stance to stop selling any meat, stirring up controversy, whereas the ecological outlook is rather dim when it comes to pharmaceutical industries. Read about these issues and much more in this year’s third issue of Utblick.
This issue of Utblick investigates the interplay between science and politics. In China, industrial development has generated severe air pollutions, putting the regime in a political dilemma of how prioritise between economical development and environmental and health concerns. A political decision with local implications in Gothenburg has recently been made at EU level, granting the huge sum of €54 million to promote research regarding the new material grafen. Technological breakthroughs that enable new ways to extract oil can have huge geopolitical consequences, while 3D printers might democratise the means of production. In this issue of Utblick topics like these are explored from different angles, and it will hopefully give you some new insights in the world of science, and politics. Enjoy reading!
The first issue of Utblick of the year investigates different aspects of the relation between sex and international politics, featuring articles on trafficing, gay rights, sex tourism, ecological sex toys, gender, norms and much more. Meet the acclaimed documentary filmmaker Nahid Persson Sarvestani in an interview where she talks about her struggle for womens rights in Iran, read an analysis on how the horrifying rape case in India could possibly lead to much needed reforms, learn about how legalization of weed has been proposed as an instrument to curb sexual drive. In short, this issue is stuffed with interesting texts, and you shouldn’t miss it!
Utblick’s last issue for the year is looking into the future. Depending on from which end you start to read it, you will get either a utopian or dystopian angle on different subjects, such as the vegetarianism and the meat production, the war on drugs, prospects of space tourism and Brazil’s role as a regional power. You can also read interviews with possible employers, politicians and a historian’s view on what we can learn from history. And much more, all delivered in a lovely retro look! Don’t miss it!
Utblick’s first issue this autumn has a brand new design! The theme is Masses, and the magazine includes articles spanning from the role of social media in collective action and oil in Iraq, to weavers in India and dilmemmas with development goals, as well as interviews and recommendations from the Editoral staff. Read it!
Årets andra nummer handlar om ”Förändring”, med en tillbakablick på den Arabiska våren såhär ett år senare. I Egypten leder den politiska omdaningen till att kvinnors situation förändras, i Ecuador risker regnskogarna att få vika sig för efterfrågan på den olja de härbergerar, och på nätet sprids kampanjer som ”Kony 2012” om en förändrad världsordning genom sociala medier. Motstånd mot utbildningens likriktning, samtal med människorättsaktivister angående Palestina, möjligheterna till förändring genom årets parlaments- och presidentval och inte minst ett Quiz om vad som komma skall är ytterligare några av numrets många godbitar. Läs!
Årets första nummer är nu ute! Temat är ”Kontrollsamhället”, och här kan du bland annat läsa om auktoritetens illusionsskapande i Nordkorea, förtryck i Iran, bekämpandet av de indiska naxaliterna och de ökade möjligheterna till övervakning i takt med mobiltelefonernas närapå universella genomslag. Läs den!
Vårens första nummer av Utblick har det relativt ambitiösa temat: ”utmaningar för global utveckling, med fokus på konflikthantering, fattigdomsbekämpning och mänskliga rättigheter i syd: kulturella och religiösa utmaningar”. Temat lyfter omedelbart frågorna –vad inbegrips i begreppet ”syd”, är bistånd ett bra tillvägagångssätt för att bekämpa fattigdom och kanske framförallt: hur kan ”opinionsbildning kring globala frågor” rättfärdigas?
Julen är konsumtionens högtid och anklagas ofta för att vara en köpfest kidnappad av multinationella företag. Julen symboliserar mer än överdimensionerade berg av julklappar, delade meningar kring lutfisk och sockermarinerade tänder. Ur ett Utrikespolitiskt perspektiv – vad betyder det att många människor handlar enorma mängder julklappar med insikten att personen som ska få paketet förmodligen inte kommer att uppskatta gåvan?
Hur ser vår framtid ut?
En framtidsvision över det kommande decenniet:
Följ med oss i vår lekfulla ansats till att begrunda tänkbara framtidsscenarier! Numret omfatta texter om allt från smärtan i att inte hänga med, de asketiska buddistkvinnorna mai chii och morgondagens attityder.