asem6 logo01At the heart of discussions regarding the possibilities of regional and global governance is the existing belief that there is a possibility for countries to find common points of intersection. The hope that countries can pursue social, economic and political development along the same lines as each other despite being separated by national, linguistic and cultural boundaries, it may be said, is what drives many states to establish cordial international relations amongst themselves. It is in this optimistic context, perhaps, that the establishment of the Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM) has been envisioned and is continuously pursued, despite existing challenges and concerns to its fruition over the past two decades.

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media-tool-kitMedia and communications work can make or break a political or electoral campaign. Existing media institutions are  fast (and in this digital age, even instantaneous), effective, and cost-efficient channels for spreading information and  political messages by any interested party with the means and the energy, from global conglomerates or national  governments armed with public relations machineries to a smart-alecky teenager fueled by caffeine and hormones.  

An incisive article in a newspaper can lead to the collapse of a government. Video footage shown on TV or viewed  on Youtube can fuel public outrage that may lead to lawmakers enacting new laws or doing away with old ones.  Effective communications work can produce messages and symbols (e.g. meme, see below) that can consolidate  consensus for a particular political perspective, for example, rally public support for a politician or pillory a political  opponent.

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Prof. Dr. Thomas Meyer

University of Dortmund, Germany

Prof. Dr Thomas Meyer

 Confronting the Historic Alternatives

 Most of you will remember the famous prophesy by Francis Fukyama, the US’s leading political intellectual, shortly after the fall of the Soviet Union in 1992. He said: world history has reached its final destination with the end of the communist empire in 1989.  What he meant was that it had become clear by then that history has nothing else in store for humankind as liberal democracy. Moreover, what he had in mind but did not speak out frankly was: democracy American type –libertarian democracy understood as elections plus free markets – is the ultimate solution of the riddle of human history, the riddle of how humans could best live together in each country and globally.  

Seldom was a prophesy so obviously mistaken from the very moment on when it was made. Of course, it is a part of the American dream that the US- type of democracy is destined to cure the world. Yet, today we see not only that the redeemed nation is a place of large scale social exclusion of citizens from wealth, security, good education, social participation and power. But, what Fukyama ignored is that this type of exclusive democracy, or elite libertarian democracy is challenged since long by a more profoundly democratic alternative that was built in Europe in a century of pressure by strong labour and social movements and has found support in many parts of the world. 


Selected Video

Advocacy Posters

socdemasia.2013.syria.poster-small socdemasia.2013.nuke.poster-small

Recommended Readings

how capitalism failed the arab worldcapitalism last stand