Region Asia

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Since May this year, when I started writing this blog, I have started appreciating the strength of Indian democracy. As I followed the unraveling of the national elections, and thereafter the elections in various states of our country, I became acutely aware of the power of Indian voters and their ability to choose their own destiny in a peaceful and democratic manner.

Narendra Modi as grafity
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PM Modi faced its first stern test in the elections to the state assemblies of Maharashtra and Haryana. Avani Tewari explains in the India-Blog why the Modi magic works.

What is the state of the caste monster in twentieth century India? Have the forms of discrimination and inequality altered? What is the experience of belonging to a less privileged caste?

Dossiers

2014 is viewed as one of the most important years since the Afghan transition process began, over a decade ago. Western troops are being drawn down and more importantly, the first presidential and provincial elections autonomously organised within the country, will present a further important step within the political transition process. This dossier provides analyses, profiles, interviews, as well as studies that will shed light on the events of what is an important year for Afghanistan.

India finds itself in a difficult transformation process. This dossier strives to make the country in its diversity more tangible. And to correspond with the upcoming parliamentary elections, it also makes room for a variety of socio-political and economic policy analyses and debate, and aims to define India’s foreign policy role.

The 2013 elections in Cambodia are hardly expected to be free and fair. In this dossier, we examine what this means for the future of the country. Through analyses, interviews, films and studies, we pursue a critical discussion about Cambodia’s development, and give a say to Cambodian and German representatives of civil society and politics.

Publications

Since the fall of the Taliban, Youth have emerged as an important political and economic force in Afghanistan. They are one of the most important demographic groups, with nearly two-third of the population being under the age of 25 years.

Women in Afghanistan have achieved significant progress in terms of working in public life since the international intervention in 2001. Despite of insecurity, patriarchal attitudes and discriminatory mindsets they have effective presence in parliament, media, government and civil society to contribute in democratization and stability of the country.

Cover image of the study "New Citizen’s Activism in India"

New forms of protest movements have made their entry into the political arena in recent years in India. This study revisits the recent history of new protest movements in India. It analyses their causes and actors, their dynamics and forms of action, and their supporters and critics.

Gender

Humaira Saqeeb

Humaira Saqeeb was born in Kabul in 1982, during her school years she was a refugee. Today she is editor-in-chief of the "Women News Agency" and member of the “Women Political Participation Committee”. We talked to her about the ongoing violence against women in Afghanistan.

Duniya Mohsini is a university lecturer. She has been teaching for the last 12 years and is much liked by her students. Currently, she is doing a Ph.D. course in literature at a university in Tajikistan. She has been a frequent contributor to Rah-e Madaniyat Daily.

 

Democracy

Indian Parliament in New Delhi
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Narendra Modi campaigned on the slogan that “good days will soon happen”. His promised reforms did not happen yet. But it is too early to judge him.

Karzai Portrait
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This year’s election is not the first fraudulent election the country has experienced. An assess of the structure of power and the behavior of Afghanistan's elites vis-à-vis democratic forms of power.

Video

Dr. Adil Najam is a leading global expert on issues related to developing country environmental policy, especially climate change. In this interview, that was conducted on November 11, 2013 in conjunction with our lecture series "Understand Pakistan", he speaks about his expectations for the COP19 in Warsaw. He underlines the importance of international agreements and calls for immediate action. He doesn't expect a significant accord to be signed in Warsaw this year - even though he wishes an agreement to be made.

 

Ecology

Old Parang - Arunachal Pradesh, Indien
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In 2003 the Indian government had launched an initiative to built 162 hydropower sites by 2017. The centrepiece of this scheme was to be the state of Arunachal Pradesh in the north east of the country. It seems highly unlikely however that even one of these projects will succeed in producing a single unit of power.

Indian voters read regional newspapers at a MNS rally in Mumbai
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Avani Tewari is a 19 year old law student from New Delhi, pursuing her studies from Jindal Global Law School in Sonipat. In this web dossier Avani is writing down her reflection on the main debates in the media after the elections and her personal impression of the political discussion.

Perspectives Asia

This second issue of "Perspectives Asia" provides a forum for the voices of authors from various Asian countries to express their thoughts on possible development models for the region. How can we achieve prosperity for all, without doing long-term damage to nature or threatening the subsistence of entire populations?

In this issue, our authors report on conflicts stemming from coal and copper mining in Afghanistan, India, and Myanmar. The articles on Cambodia and on Inner Mongolia in China illustrate how the traditional economic models and ways of life of indigenous populations suffer from the unrestrained exploitation of raw materials.

All Issues

Events

26. Jan.
Book presentation and discussion about the situation in Bosnia and Herzegovina one year after the protests
Berlin
9. Feb.
Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, Berlin

Introduction

The aim of our projects in Asia is to support the democratisation of the region and promote the recognition of human rights. Our work also focuses on promoting environmental sustainability and social justice.

Video: Urvashi Butalia on Women's Rights in India

Recordings

Southasian Perspecitves on the West
with Pankaj Mishra (Historian) and Nadeem Aslam (Writer) on September 12th, 2014