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What drives euroscepticism? December 10, 2008

Posted by didacgp in Uncategorized.
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By Dídac Gutiérrez-Peris

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“(…) instruire c’est construire”

Victor Hugo, 1850

Even if some authors like Majone (2002) and Moracsivk (2002) find it exaggerated and too idealistic to speak about a “crisis of legitimacy”, for me there exist too many signs of an erosion between citizens and the European Union to still deny a certain “malaise” towards the European Union.

A “malaise” that could be defined first of all as a “crisis of justification,” as Hannah Arendt puts forward, that is: “as the feeling of losing the direction of things, when doubt is the reaction that a purpose or a project provokes”. In other words, a situation where citizens are unable to answer to the questions for what purpose? with who? and in which direction? in relation to European Integration.

To my mind, two main factors are shaping the current attitude of mistrust towards the European Union: first, the disinformation and second the political disconnection between European institutions and citizens.

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Government control over Media in Latin America December 1, 2008

Posted by emmanuelneisa in Uncategorized.
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By Emmanuel Neisa

In September, Alvaro Vargas Llosa, the son of the well known Peruvian writer, released Consecuencias, a four parts documentary about Latin America today. Through its four episodes – Autoritarismo, Populismo, Indigenismo, Dictadura-, the documentary explores the key events that marked Latin American history and that still influence it nowadays. The broadcasting rights were bought by National Geographic for Latin America but Venezuela’s government banned the part dealing with Chavez and Populism. This is not really surprising of a country where in 2004 the controversial RESORTE law (Law for the Social Responsibility of Radio & Television) was voted and where the broadcast license of Radio Caracas TV  -that was operating for 20 years- was denied a renewal, because it was accused of plotting against the Government.

Venezuela seems to be the only part in Latin America where the medias are controlled in such a strict way. In fact, since the end of dictatorships in the 80’s and with the democratization of the subcontinent, the media gained in autonomy and in some countries became extremely critical against governments, specially on issues related to corruption.

However, it would be ingenious to think that governments throughout Latin America have stopped controlling the media. A recent study realized by the Argentinian Association for Civil Rights and the Open Society-Justice Initiative explains what are the new mechanisms by which they continue to interfere. This not only raises the issue of the freedom of expression in Latin America, but also questions the real state of its democratization process, and opens the debate on how the continent will deal with these new threats. Even if this study focus on Latin America, its conclusions can be true for many realities.

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