Diana Skelton's Blog (9)

Poverty, Powder Kegs, and Stereotypes

Have you ever heard it said that “poverty is a powder keg”? That image has been used by leaders like Bill Clinton and Desmond Tutu in an attempt to spur society to overcome poverty — a worthy goal. But unfortunately that same image feeds the stereotype of the poor as violent, dangerous, and undeserving of help. In every country, this prejudice leads society to distrust the homeless, beggars, or street children.…



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Added by Diana Skelton on July 29, 2015 at 9:57am — No Comments

Advocating for Better Humanitarian Aid

The United Nations is planning a World Humanitarian Summit (WHS) — scheduled for May 2016 in Istanbul — in order to improve the effectiveness of aid to victims of both armed conflicts and…

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Added by Diana Skelton on April 9, 2015 at 11:07am — No Comments

Judgment and Longing to Belong

I really should have known better.

A few days ago, I was chatting with a French friend of mine. When our conversation turned to the Charlie Hebdo shootings, I began reeling off questions—when she lost her temper with me.

“You’re piling on!”

“But I was only asking questions! There are so many things about France that I don’t understand well…

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Added by Diana Skelton on February 12, 2015 at 4:16am — No Comments

When Elephants Fight: Why We Need More Sustainable Community Organizing

“Why are you wasting time by reaching out to people who can’t be bothered to come to meetings, or who don’t dare open their mouths? You’re bottom-dragging.”

I was shocked when I heard the words “bottom-dragging,” a terribly insulting way to refer to efforts to connect people with one another. The questions, asked of us by the…

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Added by Diana Skelton on October 15, 2014 at 6:14am — No Comments

Poverty and Shame in Pakistan

Screen shot 2014-07-29 at 10.52.40 AM

Here is another of the videos done by Oxford University faculty Elaine Chase & Robert Walker

They write: "The link between poverty and shame has…

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Added by Diana Skelton on August 6, 2014 at 6:05pm — No Comments

Time and Tide — and Twitter Trends — Wait for None

The oppressed have been silenced and unheard for as long as oppression has existed. But the rapid changes in communications in recent years are transforming the nature of what it means to…

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Added by Diana Skelton on July 30, 2014 at 5:00am — 9 Comments

Shaming People Won't Get Them Off Welfare

This is a really excellent article by Oxford's Robert Walker about his research on poverty and shame:

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/29/shaming-people-welfare-work-policy

Added by Diana Skelton on July 2, 2014 at 12:53pm — No Comments

The Bottom Billion: An Antidote to the Violence of Competition

“Competition breeds excellence” is a mantra I heard growing up. But excellence at what exactly? Some of the most competitive business schools in the United States have trained finance wizards to gamble on the value of basic human necessities, like food and homes, winning huge profits for themselves, while bankrupting many others. In the weeks following the Haitian earthquake,…

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Added by Diana Skelton on June 26, 2014 at 12:30pm — 2 Comments

The Gated Communities of Machines: Virtual “Life”?

“In prosperous sections, especially in the ‘young married set,’ there were many women who had nothing to do. Though they had few servants, yet with gas stoves, electric ranges and dish-washers and vacuum cleaners, and tiled kitchen walls, their houses were so convenient that they had little housework, and much of their food came from bakeries and delicatessens. They had but two, one, or no children; and despite the myth that the Great War had made work respectable, their husbands objected…

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Added by Diana Skelton on June 5, 2014 at 7:47am — No Comments

Carnegie Council

Killer Robots, Ethics, & Governance, with Peter Asaro

Peter Asaro, co-founder of the International Committee for Robot Arms Control, has a simple solution for stopping the future proliferation of killer robots, or lethal autonomous weapons: "Ban them." What are the ethical and logistical risks of this technology? How would it change the nature of warfare? And with the U.S. and other nations currently developing killer robots, what is the state of governance?

As Biden Stalls, Is the "Restorationist" Narrative Losing Ground?

U.S. Global Engagement Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev notes that former Vice President Joe Biden is, in foreign policy terms, most associated with a "restorationist" approach. How does this differentiate from other candidates? What approach will resonate most with voters?

Democratic Candidates & Foreign Policy after Iowa, with Nikolas Gvosdev

With the (incomplete) results of the Iowa Caucus putting the spotlight on Pete Buttigieg and Bernie Sanders, what do we know about their foreign policy platforms? How do they differentiate themselves from Joe Biden? Senior Fellow Nikolas Gvosdev shares his thoughts and touches on voters' possible perception of Sanders as a "socialist" and how climate change could become an issue in this election.

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