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Blog Post of the Month: Realization of the Dream

Leszek J. Sibilski's picture

Each month People, Spaces, Deliberation shares the blog post that generated the most interest and discussion.

In October 2014, the most popular blog post was "Realization of the Dream" by Leszek Sibilski.  

In this post, Leszek describes the "changing faces" of his students in university courses and ponders whether terms like “minority” or “cultural differences” will one day be obsolete as his students come from increasingly diverse backgrounds. 

While acknowledging that there is still plenty of space to improve, Leszek reminds us that focusing on differences can limit our ability to connect with each other. He writes, "Instead of building societal firewalls, we should expose the negative vocabulary for classroom and public discussions in order to raise public awareness supported by mutual understanding."
 

Hope Amid Despair: Surviving the Ebola Crisis

Sheriff Mahmud Ismail's picture



When I heard Aminata Bangura’s story, it sent a shiver through my spine.

The five-year-old recently lost both of her parents to the Ebola virus, and she is now going back to an empty home, not sure whether her extended family members will ever be as kind to her as her real parents, whether her playmates will ever play with her again or whether she will ever have the chance to go to school again.

Blog links October 31: Frightful ethics? Ghastly preferences, Spooky Stata help, and more…

David McKenzie's picture
  • From the Stata blog: how to put the Stata user manuals on your ipad.
  • Chris Blattman discusses the controversy surrounding a field experiment being done by political scientists in the Montana election – much of the controversy seems very odd to a development economist –especially a concern that political scientists might actually be doing research that could affect politics….Dan Drezner notes the irony “political scientists appear to be damned if they do and damned if they don’t conduct experiments. In the absence of experimental methods, the standard criticism of political science is that it’s not really a science because of [INSERT YOUR PREJUDICE OF CHOICE AGAINST THE SOCIAL SCIENCES HERE]. The presence of experimental methods, however, threatens to send critics into a new and altogether more manic forms of “POLITICAL SCIENTISTS ARE PLAYING GOD!!” panic.”

Prospects Daily: Treasury yield curve becomes flattest since November 2012, U.S. Q3 GDP growth beats expectations, Brazil unexpectedly increases interest rates

Global Macroeconomics Team's picture
Financial Markets

The difference between short-and long-term U.S. Treasury yields, known as the yield curve, fell to the lowest level since 2012 on speculation the Federal Reserve will hike interest rates sooner than expected while inflation remains muted. The 2-year Treasury yield rose 1 basis point to 0.49%, while the 30-year Treasury yield slid 3 basis points (bps) to 3.02%. Accordingly, the gap between them shrank to 2.53% (or 253 bps), the least level since November 2012.

Why are Tunisian Public Enterprises in the Red … Does it boil down to governance Issues?

Gael Raballand's picture

The unit that monitors the productivity of Tunisian public institutions and enterprises recently published an aggregate report on the performance of public institutions and enterprises from 2010 to 2012. It is worth paying attention to because the report is both the first of its kind since 2007, and the first to be published on the website of Tunisia’s Prime Minister.

In Praise of Cranks and Contrarians

Sina Odugbemi's picture

I hope you have been fortunate enough to meet a few of these. They live amongst us, but they are really an archetypal category: The Outsider. Our settled views on the great issues of the day, our rules and norms, our codes of conduct, all these things annoy them. They mock us. They dispense rudeness with great liberality. They are stubborn, self-willed and ferociously argumentative. They dress as they please. They behave as they please. They dance to the rhythms of drums that the rest of us cannot hear. They annoy, even madden us; yet, every healthy community needs them; every truly diverse and vigorous public sphere needs them, as well.

Cranks are eccentrics. They are capricious in behavior or appearance. And they are almost always contrarians: whatever the majority opinion is, they are against it. Loudly. Vehemently. Yet there is one fundamental reason why we should not only tolerate but celebrate the cranks and contrarians in our midst: every major shift in public opinion started as a view propagated by a few bloody minded contrarians, boldly, even recklessly, taking on the received or conventional wisdom of the day.  We often credit huge social movements for a lot of the progress we have made as human beings, but before the social movements formed crucial path-clearing work was done by tough, rock-ribbed eccentrics and contrarians.

Promoting Shared Prosperity = Reducing Inequality

Mario Trubiano's picture


In a recent blog post, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima highlights a critical issue all of us working in international development must address: How can we reduce the extreme inequality between the haves and the have-nots around the world? Oxfam’s launch of the Even it Up campaign takes the organization’s research findings on inequality another step further by offering policy solutions to help tackle this growing problem.

Oxfam’s report offers new evidence of an ever-widening gap between the rich and poor that threatens to undermine poverty eradication, examines the causes of the inequality crisis, and proposes concrete solutions to overcome it.


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