ACUNS – Review of “2119: The Year Global Democracy Will be Realized”

ACUNS – Review of “2119: The Year Global Democracy Will be Realized”

“Leif Lewin’s 2119: The Year Global Democracy Will Be Realized is not, as the title might suggest, a work of political fiction. Rather, it is an attempt to bring attention to the need for a long-term perspective as opposed to short-term solutions which, out of pragmatism, dismiss what, according to the author, should be the ultimate aim: global democracy. While recognizing that it constitutes a utopian goal, Lewin emphasizes that it is “no more utopian than it was on the national level when the idea of citizens’ accountability was originally presented” (275). The reasoning behind the title is precisely that it took two hundred years to implement democracy within the nation-state following the emergence of democratic theories and, therefore, it might only take another two hundred years for a democratic world order to emerge if one takes the Treaty of Versailles as a baseline for calculations…

…In the second part of this publication, Lewin critically engages with four different models for global governance—federalism, cosmopolitanism, corporatism and stakeholder democracy—demonstrating a clear preference for the first. The main reason for this preference is in line with his previous arguments as the federalist model is the only one in which global and equal suffrage is defended. Although cosmopolitan models share some features with federalist ones, the all-affected principle—the idea that the right to vote is dependent on the extent to which one is affected by a given issue—sets them apart. They are also separated by cosmopolitans’ polycentrism—based on a complex system of multilevel governance – in which the state remains the key actor. Federalists, on the other hand, in their more idealist incarnations, advocate for a global authority that is superior to other levels of government. Although Lewin does not provide the reader with any detail of how this model would look like in practice, he mentions that it would entail a reformed United Nations as a sovereign, supranational actor, but that only issues that are global in nature would be handed at a global level…”

Source: ACUNS


Economist Survey: Yuan Can Become World Reserve Currency

“The Chinese yuan can overtake the dollar as the leading international reserve currency, a new poll of institutional investors indicates.

The authors of the survey, conducted by the Economist Intelligence Unit and commissioned by State Street financial services, polled 200 senior executives at institutional investors with knowledge of their exposure to yuan assets. Half of the respondents were from the firms headquartered in mainland China (including Hong Kong and Taiwan) and the other half were based elsewhere.

The report accompanying the survey points out that by the end of 2013, the yuan has risen to become the second-most-used trade financing currency and ninth-most-used currency for payments globally.

A majority – 53 percent of respondents said that they believe the yuan will one day surpass the dollar as the top currency in international holdings of foreign-exchange reserves. In China 62 percent expressed this opinion, compared to 43 percent of respondents outside the country.

Last May International Monetary Fund analysis showed that the dollar had slumped to a 15-year low, heightening concerns that it may lose that status as global reserve…”

Source: Russia Today


Plan May Have Big Impact on North America’s Economic and Cultural Integration

“The summit of President Barack Obama with his counterparts from Mexico and Canada produced a little-noticed plan that may have a big impact on North America’s economic and cultural integration in coming years.

While much of the media coverage of Wednesday’s summit in Toluca, Mexico, focused on the leaders’ agreements on energy and security issues, their most important talks may have centered on a dramatic increase of academic and student exchanges, as well as joint scientific research and innovation centers.

According to senior Mexican officials, at a U.S.-Mexico meeting during the summit, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto showed Obama a poster with a graphic explanation of a new Mexican plan to increase the number of Mexican students in U.S. colleges from the current 13,800 to 100,000 by 2018.

The poster, a copy of which was emailed to me, shows that Mexico plans to double its students in U.S. colleges to 27,000 this year, add 46,000 by 2015, 64,500 by 2016, 82,000 by 2017 and 100,000 by 2018 — for a combined total of 319,500 students over the next four years.

The Mexican plan, known as “Proyecta 100,000” also contemplates increasing the number of U.S. students going to Mexico from the current 4,100 to 50,000 between now and 2018…”

Source: Dallas News


High Seas Need International Police Force

“The former UK foreign secretary and president of the New York-based International Rescue Committee, David Miliband, is urging the creation of a seagoing police force to bring order to the “wild west” free-for-all on the high seas that is damaging the health of the world’s oceans.

Miliband and the former Costa Rican president, José María Figueres, who together serve as co-chairs of the Global Oceans Commission, will formally unveil their ideas for ocean reform in a report next June.

But the two leaders have begun to sound out international reaction to a set of proposals for protecting oceans, from a crackdown on illegal fishing to a clean-up of the vast churn of plastic particles in the Pacific and expanding marine protection zones.

The two men will preview their ideas at a high-level gathering in California on Tuesday organised by the Economist and National Geographic…”

Source: Guardian


Belgium sends ‘burden’ EU citizens letters asking them to leave the country”

“Some 2,712 citizens of other EU countries have been asked to leave Belgium for being an unreasonable burden on the welfare system.

The number of people being told to go has more than tripled in three years.

Even having a job is not enough to be allowed to stay, as is the case with Italian accordion player Silvia Gurria, who has lived in Brussels for three years. Gurria has an integration work contract and 30 percent of her salary is funded by the state.

“When you receive an eviction notice, you cannot work, you don’t have an identity because they take away your identity card. So you don’t qualify for, and can’t access, a range of administrative benefits and activities. I think we should denounce this situation,” said Gurria…”

Source: Euro News


EU has secret plan for police to ‘remote stop’ cars

The European Union is secretly developing a “remote stopping” device to be fitted to all cars that would allow the police to disable vehicles at the flick of a switch from a control room.

Confidential documents from a committee of senior EU police officers, who hold their meetings in secret, have set out a plan entitled “remote stopping vehicles” as part of wider law enforcement surveillance and tracking measures.

“The project will work on a technological solution that can be a ‘build in standard’ for all cars that enter the European market,” said a restricted document.

The devices, which could be in all new cars by the end of the decade, would be activated by a police officer working from a computer screen in a central headquarters.

Once enabled the engine of a car used by a fugitive or other suspect would stop, the supply of fuel would be cut and the ignition switched off…”

Source: Telegraph


Replace dollar with super currency: economist

“The World Bank’s former chief economist wants to replace the US dollar with a single global super-currency, saying it will create a more stable global financial system.

“The dominance of the greenback is the root cause of global financial and economic crises,” Justin Yifu Lin told Bruegel, a Brussels-based policy-research think tank. “The solution to this is to replace the national currency with a global currency.”

Lin, now a professor at Peking University and a leading adviser to the Chinese government, said expanding the basket of major reserve currencies — the dollar, the euro, the Japanese yen and pound sterling — will not address the consequences of a financial crisis. Internationalizing the Chinese currency is not the answer, either, he said.

Lin urged the international community, especially the US and European Union, to play a leading role in currency and infrastructure initiatives. To boost the global economy, he proposed the launch of a “global infrastructure initiative” to remove development bottlenecks in poor and developing countries, a measure he said would also offer opportunities for advanced economies…”

Source: China Daily


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