Photo by Scott Dougall on Unsplash

Banal power for totalitarian systems

Hannah Arendt’s famous thesis is as often quoted as misunderstood. While she was proven wrong in assessing Eichmann’s historical role and personality, even where she erred, she did it in a creative, felicitous way. Eichmann’s evil deeds were indeed banal if we refer to the feudal autonomy of agency enjoyed by castellans in the banal regime of 9-10th century Read more about Banal power for totalitarian systems[…]

LÉ Róisín Rescues 371* Migrants in Three Separate Search and Rescue Operations 37 Nautical Miles NW of Tripoli, taken on June 27, 2016, (CC) Óglaigh na hÉireann

Death and rescue in the Central Mediterranean: overcoming the limits of private outsourcing

The search-and-rescue operations in the Central Mediterranean were overall successful in saving thousands of lives in the years 2014-2017. Compared with the previous years, the rescues reduced and stabilised the fatality rate for the persons attempting a dangerous sea crossing. Several NGOs contributed significantly to this joint effort coordinated by the Italian Coast Guard’s Maritime Read more about Death and rescue in the Central Mediterranean: overcoming the limits of private outsourcing[…]

Sirius

Barabbas’ version: analysis of a major terror attack in Rome, A.D. 64

(C) NASA/IPAC Our correspondent reports from the great city of the Caesars. A few months ago, on 19th July of the tenth year of divus Nero Claudius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, DCCCXVII a.U.c.,1 a raging fire destroyed large swathes of the city of Rome. To undiscerning eyes it looked like any of the previous fires that Read more about Barabbas’ version: analysis of a major terror attack in Rome, A.D. 64[…]

Participation without power and property in new governance models

Everybody wants more participation, not less. But the current social project for Europe ultimately offers a kind of feeble, diluted participation that we will affectionately call le objet petit p: a participation without effective decision-making powers, that does not affect social property relations. An ancient form of collective property still practiced in Northern Italy suggests Read more about Participation without power and property in new governance models[…]

Emperor Babur laying a garden

A user’s vision of a libre, decentralised Internet

In order to make the Internet a freer, more decentralised, less oligarchical place, users should have full control on their online identity and this should be separate from other online services like email, instant messaging, microblogging, social networking etc. Online services, in turn, should be based on open standards, yes like good old email and Read more about A user’s vision of a libre, decentralised Internet[…]

Referendum costituzionale 2016: essere indecisi è paradossalmente normale

Essere confusi e non riuscire a scegliere tra il SI e il NO nel referendum di conferma della riforma costituzionale del 4 dicembre in Italia è normale perché la differenza tra gli effetti delle due opzioni sul funzionamento dell’ordinamento della Repubblica nel medio e lungo periodo è minima. O così dice il paradosso di Fredkin. Sul referendum Read more about Referendum costituzionale 2016: essere indecisi è paradossalmente normale[…]

Colombia: referendum, low turnout and activist minorities

After 52 years of civil war and four years of negotiations, a wafer thin minority of Colombian voters rejected the historical peace agreement with the FARC-EP guerrillas. If the president and his adviser were searching for popular legitimacy, they miscalculated. One decision in particular seems ill advised, the lowering of the minimum threshold of votes Read more about Colombia: referendum, low turnout and activist minorities[…]

Restorative Justice and Political Violence in Democratic Societies

Review of: Guido Bertagna, Adolfo Ceretti and Claudia Mazzucato (eds.), Il libro dell’incontro: vittime e responsabili della lotta armata a confronto. Milan: il Saggiatore, 2015, 466pp., ISBN: 9788842821458. [Lit.: The book of the encounter: victims and militants of the armed struggle face each others] A shorter version of this review has been published on the Read more about Restorative Justice and Political Violence in Democratic Societies[…]

Reading Halliday in Hollywood

Watching El Cid – Anthony Mann’s movie – half a century after its release in 1961 it gives an unmistakable sensation of déjà vu. The representations of yesterday’s villains, the black-clad, fanatical hordes ready to “sweep up from Africa” and conquer “first Spain, then Europe and the whole world” carry uncanny similarities with today’s arch-villains, the Read more about Reading Halliday in Hollywood[…]

Justice and security in inter-cultural Europe

Research report on the qualitative comparative analysis for the ALTERNATIVE project (FP7): “Developing alternative understandings of security and justice through restorative justice approaches in intercultural settings within democratic societies” (2012-2014) Read the full report (pdf) on the ALTERNATIVE project website ALTERNATIVE media platform (videos etc.) Executive summary The ALTERNATIVE project could be imagined as an Read more about Justice and security in inter-cultural Europe[…]

In-Court Securitising Speech-Acts. On the continuous need for re-securitisation of state security

The so-called ‘Copenhagen school’ of security studies has stirred the waters of international relations theory, and perhaps of social sciences in general, since the mid 1990s. It is defined by its trademark epistemological move, reflexively defining security – or rather securitisation – through a speech-act and its consequences (‘it doesn’t matter what security is, but Read more about In-Court Securitising Speech-Acts. On the continuous need for re-securitisation of state security[…]

Restorative Justice: an Easter semantic reflection

Restorative Justice (RJ) is a way of responding to criminal wrongdoing or more generally – and tentatively – to situations where acts of injustice harm people. It has been articulated as a new approach to justice which challenges the standard, retributive justice of the institutionalised system of courts and laws mainly on three grounds (I Read more about Restorative Justice: an Easter semantic reflection[…]