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Colleague and Context Posts for the Week of July 16, 2023
Newsletter #135 —July 16, 2023
Highlighting links suggested by our readers. Please send us links to things that you find useful.
Left / Right Conflict
At High School Debates, Watch What You Say — High school debates have long been praised for helping students learn how to constructively grapple with controversial issues. Now, unwelcome news that they are moving away from that role.
World Health Organization Pushes Sweeping Censorship Treaty — Time to think about how a solution to one problem (rampant medical disinformation) may be creating another more serious problem – global censorship of anyone who challenges the elites.
Fighting for a U.S. federal budget that prioritizes peace, economic security and shared prosperity — An online tool to explore budget trade-offs between the military and other spending priorities. The National Priorities Project asserts that the budget should reflect our priorities--but does it?
Highlighting things that our conflict and peacebuilding colleagues are doing that contribute to efforts to address the hyper-polarization problem.
Left / Right Conflict
Civility, civil disobedience or something in between — When does civility become compliance and when does activism that might further divide serve a tactical function that outweighs a more passive approach? A bridge-builder considers this question.
Big Picture Thinking Projects
Collaborating Across Differences to Reduce Authoritarianism: A Literature Review — A literature review exploring the question: What are the practices that support groups that come together to collaborate across differences to reduce authoritarianism?
Effective Problem-Solving Efforts
Weighing difficult choices for a more promising future — Our choices will determine whether we continue on the path of dehumanizing one another in ways that fracture society and promote conflict, or will we change directions so that America can thrive again.
Developing a Unifying Vision
Principles of Ethical Government — Mormon Women's Principles of Ethical Government are good advice for everyone. They stress the importance of the rule of law, human rights, civic duties, and mutual accountability.
International Storytelling Center — The International Storytelling Center believes that storytelling can yield a better life and a better world for the tellers and the listeners
Beyond Intractability in Context
From around the web, more insight into the nature of our conflict problems, limits of business-as-usual thinking, and things people are doing to try to make things better.
Why this governor is promoting ‘healthy conflict’ — Genuinely good news, the incoming chair of the National Governors Association, Utah Gov. Spencer Cox (R) plans to focus his attention on the cultivation of "healthy conflict" and the ability to "disagree better."
Alexei Navalny: This is what a post-Putin Russia should look like — From Russia's most prominent dissident, a thoughtful proposal for how Russia, in the post-Putin period, could restructure its government in ways that reduce the risk of aggressive authoritarianism.
Race / Anti-Racism
For DEI Supporters, Perpetuation of Racism Is Good Business — All political movements should guard against the tendency to become a self-perpetuating bureaucracy -- one that undermines, rather than advances, the movement's core goals.
The Great Convergence: Global Equality and Its Discontents — Amid our continuing anguish over Increasing inequality, an essay that takes a global perspective – one that reveals that, at that level, inequality is decreasing, not increasing.
With civil war dangerously close, seven leading Israeli activists and thinkers have an idea ... — In Israel, where the process of hyper-polarization has brought the country to the brink of civil war, creative ideas for diffusing the crisis.
It Turns Out That the Debt Matters After All — After years of resolving political disagreements by spending (and borrowing) ever more money, news that the economic rationalizations for limitless borrowing may be incorrect.
Our two-party political system isn’t working. The fix? More parties. — Another creative idea for diffusing the United States' hyper-polarized politics worth considering – change the rules in ways which encourage more political parties.
In France, Nihilistic Protest Is Becoming the Norm — From France, the story about a new kind of political upheaval – one in which large numbers of people have become so alienated from the rest of society that they just want to tear it apart.
News in a Digital Age — A major report from the Rand Corporation exploring the many ways in which the high-tech information revolution has transformed the flow of information regarding political issues.
The Russian Mutiny and the Inherent Instability of Autocracies — Important reminders about the limits and instability of autocratic power
The Age of Mass Protests: Understanding an Escalating Global Trend — The fact that mass protests seem to be increasing worldwide suggests that there are deeper dynamics at play -- it's not just local politics.
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