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Medium 9781626566583

1. Reinventing Citizenship

Gerzon, Mark Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub


From Confirming to Learning

Confirming what we already believe so unquestioningly that we become prisoners of our own points of view

Learning more about issues from those who differ with us so that we can expand and enrich our point of view.

Reuniting America is about learning. We can’t “know” the answer just by applying our ideology. Instead, we can learn how to harness the best ideas and practices from across the political spectrum to keep America on track. To reunite America, citizens are seeking opportunities to challenge their own assumptions, deepen their understanding, and expand their perspective on the issues that concern them.

Instead of confirming what they already believe, they are learning beyond partisanship.

Mabel McKinney-Browning, John Gable, Eric Liu, Michael Ostrolenk, Roosevelt Institute Campus Network, University Network for Collaborative Governance, and the participants of the “Climate Change and Energy Security” retreat.

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Medium 9781576755969


Savir, Uri Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

THE TERM peacemaker HAS TRADITIONALLY BEEN APPLIED ONLY to those who are directly involved in the planning, negotiation, and signing of a peace treaty. This definition is very limiting. In our modern peace, every member of society—both in the conflict states and in neighboring countries—has the ability to contribute to peace.

Of course, there is only so much room around the negotiating table. There is a clear gap between the ideals of participatory peace and the practical demands of the peacemaking process—a gap that can be bridged by new perceptions about who can be a peacemaker and on what level. In this chapter I offer new definitions of the terms peace leader and peace bureaucrat. The former occupy a highly visible role in the peacemaking process; the latter represent a more diverse group of actors in government, nongovernmental organizations, and the public and private sectors. Peace bureaucrats are the link between the elite negotiating team and the greater society; they help communicate the needs of society to the peace leaders and explain the actions of peace leaders to their constituencies. Understanding the unique characteristics and responsibilities of peace leaders and peace bureaucrats will be crucial to shaping the modern peace process for the benefit of all.

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Medium 9781576753361

Storefront Loans: Pawnshops, Payday Loans, and Tax Refund Lenders

Karger, Howard Jacob Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Anyone who has ever struggled with poverty knows how extremely expensive it is to be poor.
–James A. Baldwin

All of us need cash at one time or another, and the cost of raising it depends on who’s asking for it. For creditworthy consumers, cash is secured through bank lines of credit, overdraft protection, signature or home equity loans, or credit card cash withdrawals. For those with compromised credit, the essential condition for raising cash is a “no-credit-check” transaction, which translates into a high-interest predatory loan.66

Collateral-based cash loans serve the same purpose for the poor as bank overdrafts or credit card cash advances do for the middle class. Namely, they provide cash for an emergency or when income is temporarily insufficient to make ends meet. Cash loans fall into two categories: (1) unsecured or promissory loans and (2) secured collateral-based loans. With an unsecured loan (such as a credit card, a signature loan, or a bank overdraft), the borrower promises to repay the lender, and no collateral is required. With secured loans, the borrower provides the lender with collateral (either property or a check) worth at least as much as the loan. The poor and severely credit-challenged are generally eligible only for collateral-based or secured loans requiring the temporary loss of property or guarantees such as postdated checks. Interest rates (sometimes called “fees”) on these loans are extremely high.

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Medium 9781626566743

41 A Coup against Fundación Pachamama

Perkins, John Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Although the attempted coup against Correa had failed, on another level it had succeeded. I figured the jackals had learned from that other “failed” coup in Seychelles that sometimes it is better to let a president survive. Sufficiently scared, he or she then plays the game, joins the ranks of all those other heads of state who know that to resist is futile. In any case, Correa had reversed his previous position and had posted “for sale to oil companies” signs on more than six million acres in thirteen areas of the Amazon, known as “blocks.”

Yet, something had gone wrong. The opposition to the oil auction had weakened Correa’s resolve — or at least forced him to change his plans. He had vacillated. He had postponed the auction twice since November 2012.

By the time I returned from Vietnam and Istanbul, the oil companies and their public relations people had swung into action. The articles I read online, in the Spanish newspapers and blogs, shook me to the core. They were reminiscent of articles that had appeared during the Roldós presidency. They were aimed at convincing the Ecuadorian people who lived in the heavily populated Andean and coastal regions that the only way their country could finance better schools and hospitals and build the infrastructure needed to develop energy, transportation, water, and sewer systems — the only way it could raise itself from poverty — was through exploitation of its Amazonian oil. The argument was made, over and over, that although Ecuador was one of the poorest and most densely populated countries in the hemisphere, roughly a third of the country was sparsely populated. That third happened to be a rain forest rich with oil.

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Medium 9781605093307


Boyd, John Kirk Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Gandhi weaving a common thread of religious freedom

Freedom of religion is our personal belief — whether Muslim, Hindu, Buddhist, Christian, Jewish or other — and it also includes the right not to have any particular belief. The strongest relationship with God, when people choose to have one, is voluntary, not required by the state or by religious leaders. Freedom of religion ensures that the state will stay out of our personal relationship with God so that it may be as strong and genuine as possible. No one should be forced to come to God, nor should anyone be threatened with repercussions if he or she chooses to leave. Love and commitment for God emanate from the soul, not from coercion.

Speaking for myself, I could not do the work I do on 2048, or write this book, without a deep, abiding faith in God. Rejection, derision, ostracism, and penury have most often been the rewards I have received for the pursuit of this work over ten years.48 I don’t claim that 2048 is “God’s plan,” nor do I even know exactly what God’s plan is. However, I do not believe that God’s plan is spending the bulk of our time and money amassing and using weapons, nor do I believe that an international social order that provides a small percentage of people with incredible abundance while two-thirds of the people live in poverty, and often in misery, is God’s plan. God did not create us to be harmonious, but we do have the ability to love as deeply as we hate, and to reason and write so that it’s possible to craft an agreement to live together.

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Medium 9780253009685

21. Dramas of the Authoritarian State

Edited by David McMurray and Amanda Ufhe Indiana University Press ePub


During August of 2011, which corresponded with the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, viewers of the state-run satellite channel Syrian TV might have stumbled upon quite a strange scene: A man watches as a crowd chants “Hurriyya, hurriyya!” This slogan— “Freedom, freedom!”—was a familiar rallying cry of the various Arab uprisings. It was heard in Syrian cities, including Damascus, when protesters first hit the streets there on March 15, 2011. But it was odd, to say the least, to hear the phrase in a Syrian government-sponsored broadcast. Until that moment, state TV had not screened any such evidence of peaceful demonstrations in Syria.

The scene went on to show the same bystander ordering policemen to shoot at the protesters. Immediately afterwards, he seems to regret his order, muttering: “Maybe I should have…” At this point it becomes clear that this scene was no news bulletin or user-generated YouTube clip documenting an actual protest. Rather, it came from a musalsal (pl. musalsalat), as the thirty-episode miniseries that accompany Ramadan in Syria, Egypt, and elsewhere are known. The grand finale of this musalsal, Fawq al-Saqf (Above the Ceiling), featured the two main characters overlooking a desolate landscape. “What happened to this country?” asks one. “I am responsible for this. I knew it was going to happen…but, in the end, precaution cannot stave off destiny.” The other character replies by repeating the phrase: “Thank God, around us and not on top of us.”

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Medium 9781609948054

Chapter 5. Enough Throughput

Dietz, Rob Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Limiting Resource Use and Waste Production

The Earth has no way of registering good intentions or future inventions or high hopes. It doesn’t even pay attention to dollars, which are, from a planet’s point of view, just a charming human invention. Planets measure only physical things—energy and materials and their flows into and out of the changing populations of living creatures.


Whether a mansion in Monaco, an apartment in Argentina, or a cottage in Cambodia, every household has a measurable metabolism. Materials, from trash cans to ceiling fans, from apple pies to French fries, flow into the household from external sources. Each household also obtains supplies of energy, such as electricity, sunshine, and natural gas, from the outside world. Members of the household consume the materials and use the energy to support their lifestyles. And finally, the household completes the metabolic process by expelling wastes to the environment through carbon dioxide emissions, wastewater discharge, and trash disposal. This metabolism, the flow of materials and energy and the emission of wastes, can be called the throughput of the household.

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Medium 9780253012890

1 Affect

Foreword by Saskia Sassen Edited by Hil Indiana University Press ePub


THE GLOBAL EMERGES NOT SIMPLY FROM THE WAYS PROCESSES, programs, and institutions intersect and form more comprehensive wholes, but also through the ways those links are understood in people’s experiences, their lived and felt participation in making a global world. My take on the global in this chapter begins with affect, connection, alliance, and rule-bending, tracking what people make of the term “global”—and the ideas and networks they encounter behind it. For the Filipino migrants I work with, their global is an imaginary—a space of desire in their already-globalized lives. This global is, for them, about hope, possibility, and potential that emerge from their affective connections with other people. Affect is a valuable entry point to framing the global because thinking about the personal challenges and expands accounts of the global where people’s agency is muted or lost. The global is not simply an effect of processes and networks but an object itself—something that people desire, despise, seek out, or avoid and to which they attribute experiences and ascribe meanings.

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Medium 9781576753613

Chapter 3 The Limits of Government

Peter Barnes Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

Civil government, so far as it is instituted for the security of property,
is in reality instituted for the defense of those who have
some property against those who have none at all
Adam Smith, 1776

In his essay The Tragedy of the Commons, Garrett Hardin envisioned only two ways to save the commons: statism and privatism. Either a coercive government would have to stop humans from mindlessly destroying the planet, or private property owners, operating in a free market, would have to do the job. In the next two chapters Ill show why neither of these approaches suffices.

In considering the potential of governmental remedies, lets clarify what we mean. Were not talking about tyranny; were talking about legitimate forms of government activity such as regulation, taxation, and public ownership. Can these traditional methods effectively preserve common wealth for our children?

The notion that government should protect the commons goes back a long way. Sometimes this duty is considered so basic its taken for granted. At other times, its given a name: the public trust. Several states actually put this duty in writing. Pennsylvanias constitution, for example, declares: Pennsylvanias public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people. Note that in this constitutional dictum, serving as trustee of natural resources isnt an option for the state, its an affirmative duty.

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Medium 9780253002112

15 Bethlehem, Wadi Fukin, Nahalin, and Husan

Hillel Bardin Indiana University Press ePub

In the initial years of the First Intifada, we had many dialogue groups working in parallel, more than the reader would have patience to follow. In Ramallah, a large and important Palestinian city north of Jerusalem, we organized two dialogue groups. The more politically oriented group had all the potential to take off, with an excellent group of people from each nation, yet it quickly ground to a halt for reasons that we could never comprehend. The second took a more personal shape and was active for many years under the leadership (on the Israeli side) of Professor Yoram Bilu, with the closely knit group meeting alternately in homes in Jerusalem and Ramallah.

The leader of the Jabel Mukabber group, Jamil Salhut, introduced us to the journalist Mohammed Manasra, who wrote for the communist paper, and his wife, Najah, who taught psychiatric nursing. They lived in Bethlehem behind the Civil Administration headquarters. Mohammed organized a number of dialogues, including several for high school students, which met in the neutral location of the Tantur Ecumenical Institute on the border between Bethlehem and Jerusalem. Our Danny Orstav, who felt strongly that the most important contacts were between youths, was very active in these meetings. Mohammed also arranged several meetings with young people in Bethlehem who had been badly wounded by Israeli soldiers, yet who maintained a friendly optimism and welcomed the chance to meet, without rancor, with Israelis.

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Medium 9780253018632

Five Poems · Poetry

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

Millery Polyné

After/Shocks of a dialectic or how I played the blame game for a brief moment

“Progress resistant,”

admiringly persistent—

after/shocks of a dialectic

between the bizarre and the mundane.

“What ifs” are like the August rain,

a deluge of self-doubt

tumble and spill from storied black alps.

Deforestation of a beautiful mind

tossed in Gobineau’s mahogany bottom drawer,

bloodied with le sel de la mer.

Sweetened thingification

rims the beloved rum glass shores

of Cap Français, Providence,

Bordeaux and Liverpool,

while the souls of Ginen are gashed

in a banal blue ledger—indices of power.

License and servility

compas through boardrooms on

alphabet avenues.

Hips and thighs

hypnotized by the brilliant cry of Septen.

One hand unmoored

along the spine of l’Artibonite,

the other

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Medium 9781576757611

Walking the Blues Away

Hartmann, Thom Berrett-Koehler Publishers ePub

From Walking Your Blues Away: How to Heal the
Mind and Create Emotional Well-Being

Never trust a thought that didn’t come by walking.


THE HUMAN BODY IS A SELF-HEALING ORGANISM. WHEN YOU CUT your finger, it heals. If you break your leg, it heals. Even if part of you is cut out in surgery, the surgeon’s wound heals. We heal from bacterial and viral invasions, from injuries, and from all variety of traumas. The mechanisms for healing are built into us. Five million years of evolution, or the grace of God, or both, have made our bodies automatic healing machines. So why wouldn’t the same be true of our minds and emotions?

All of the traumas that we experience in life leave their wounds; if humankind hadn’t had ways of healing from those emotional and psychological blows, over time society would have become progressively less functional. Instead history shows us that people usually recover from even the most severe psychological wounds, often learning great lessons or gaining important insights in the recovery process.

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Medium 9780253008374

10: Gender Issues in Reintegration: A Feminist and Rights-Based Analysis of the Experiences of Formerly Abducted Child-Mothers in Northern Uganda

Edited by Kenneth Omeje and Tricia Redek Indiana University Press ePub

A Feminist and Rights-Based Analysis of the Experiences of Formerly Abducted Child-Mothers in Northern Uganda

Eric Awich Ochen

THIS STUDY SEEKS to contextualize the experiences of formerly abducted child-mothers in northern Uganda within a feminist and rights-based perspective, paying particular attention to those aspects that imply gendered power relations and examining the extent to which gendered injustices are inherent in the experiences of formerly abducted child-mothers (see Haralambos and Holborn 2008; McLaughlin 2003; Saul 2003; Ramazanoglu and Holland 2002; Nicholson 1990). In exploring reintegration, I argue that a feminist perspective enables one to tease out political, socioeconomic, and cultural issues from the point of view of northern Ugandan girls and young women affected by armed conflict, abduction, and sexual abuse, and provides a theoretical location for analyzing their subjective experiences of the reintegration process.

In line with studies that have noted gendered power imbalances in the political economy, as well as in the socioeconomic and cultural circumstances of most communities affected by armed conflict (Frerks et al. 2005; DeBerry 2004; McKay and Mazurana 2004), I explore how the sociocultural structures, norms, and practices in “the bush” mirror—but also markedly differ from—what obtains in Acholi society both before and after the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) conflict. While elements of patriarchy pervade both rebel and “normal” or peacetime societies, the patriarchal dynamics in times of peace are experienced differently by most women and girls than in times of violence. Violence, force, and arbitrary violations of sociocultural values overwhelmingly define rebel society. In “normal” society, however, while the social structure is also regulative, gendered, and hierarchical, there is more room for freedom and choice.

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Medium 9780253018571

The Chief Sam Movement, A Century Later

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

ONE HUNDRED YEARS ago this summer, the SS Liberia set sail from Galveston Island, Texas, for the Gold Coast in West Africa. The boat transported a mere sixty passengers—most of them former slaves-turned-homesteaders from the new state of Oklahoma—but carried the dreams of thousands of African American exodusters. A few days earlier, hundreds paid admission to board the Liberia, to touch the brasses of the steamship “owned by Negroes” at the height of Jim Crow. At the helm stood a complicated West African missionary and global entrepreneur named Chief Alfred Sam. Sam had first come to the United States as a merchant trading in timber, rubber, and cocoa, but soon found himself organizing African American farmers and landowners who hoped to emigrate from the U.S. and settle his homeplace in the Akyem region of the Gold Coast. Meanwhile, many denied the movement’s reality. W. E. B. Du Bois proclaimed in the February 1914 Crisis, “There is no steamship in New York building for the African trade and owned by Negroes.”

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Medium 9780253018632

Blood and Ink

IU Press Journals Indiana University Press ePub

Jonathan M. Katz

I DONT REMEMBER if I asked for a history book, or if one was offered, but within days of moving to Haiti, a crimson brick of 902 pages had moved in beside my new bed in Pétionville.

The worn copy belonged to Scott Wilson, a Washington Post correspondent who, judging from the crevices along the book’s spine, had cracked it often on his sorties during the last coup. Wilson had left it with his former “fixer”—local driver, translator, informer, and guide—Evens Sanon. Evens, now plying his trade full-time for the Associated Press (AP), loaned it to me. The book had clearly been a longtime boon for my new fixer as well. One of Evens’ key jobs was to quickly ready neophytes to write about the country for an estimated audience of one billion. (In my case, he had about a week.) And while Evens’ navigation skills through the present were second-to-none, his historical bona fides were not as robust.

The text would thus need to do three things, for both of us: Offer an overview of Haiti’s history, be readable enough to keep my attention, and memorable enough to withstand the racket of quotidian noise that came along with the day job.

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