Tag: human rights

Chase Madar on the US’s growing state security apparatus

George Miller’s guest on Le Monde diplomatique‘s October 2012 podcast is New York-based human rights lawyer Chase Madar.

His article in this month’s edition of the paper is entitled “Land of the Ever Less Free”, and it looks at how America’s security state apparatus hasĀ  been significantly augmented under President Obama – contrary to election promises.

So today the federal government employs 30,000 Americans to monitor the phone conversations of their fellow citizens, and in 2011 alone Washington classified 92m documents, almost double the number made secret just two years before.

Chase Madar explores some of the causes and effects of a bloated security state in this interview.

To listen to the interview, click here.

Polity podcasts: Sylvia Walby – The Future of Feminism

Walby Future of FeminismSylvia Walby is Professor of Sociology and UNESCO Chair in Gender Relations at Lancaster University. Her publications include Theorizing Patriarchy, Globalization and Inequalities, and Gender Transformations.

I interviewed her recently about her latest book, The Future of Feminism, described by a reviewer as “[a] balanced and thoughtful assessment of the changes feminism has wrought and the challenges it faces”.

1. I began by asking her if she could understand the forces and pressures that created the widespread assumption that we are living in a post-feminist age. [Click here]

2. In her book, Sylvia Walby discusses how feminism has changed form from its early days. I asked her to give me a tour d’horizon of those variant forms here. [Click here]

3. Sylvia Walby contends that the “depth” of a democracy is critical to determining how successfully a feminist agenda can be pursued within it. I asked her to expand on this notion here. [Click here]

4. Despite progress, violence against women remains a problem in many different contexts. Given the range of different interventions – global human rights, international co-ordination, local grassroots – I asked Sylvia Walby if it was possible to assess their relative effectiveness. [Click here]

Sylvia Walby 4

5. If Sylvia Walby had been asked twenty years ago about where she thought the feminist agenda would be today, how accurate would her assessment have been? [Click here]

6. “Promising start, but major challenges ahead” is the heading of one of the final sections of the book. How optimistic is Sylvia Walby that those challenges can be met? [Click here]

To listen to the complete interview, click here.

To watch a short video about the book, click here.

Burma – Failed state: Le Monde diplomatique podcast

Rangoon, BurmaBurma’s military regime, the State Peace and Development Council, has if anything become more repressive since the scenes of confrontation which the world witnessed on its television screens during the saffron revolution of 2007.

In this month’s podcast, George Miller talks to journalist Rajeshree Sisodia about her article on contemporary Burma in the July edition of Le Monde diplomatique.

They discuss the Orwellian climate of fear which prevails in the country and life in the refugee camps across the border in Thailand, home to thousands of Burmese who have fled their country.

Rajeshree also talks about China’s growing investment in – and consequent influence over – Burma, and assesses the medium-term prospects for change.

To listen to the podcast, click here [13:49].

Photo by Sam Hummel.