Articles by: Alice Watanabe

BSG Students, Governance, cooperation and law

Image sources: Flickr Creative Commons - Dilma Rousseff (left) side: Copyright Rede Brasil Atual 2010 (http://goo.gl/uUOw5e) and Aecio Neves (right) side: Copyright Gláucia Rodrigues 2013 (http://goo.gl/IMmByD)

One Election, Two Countries

Against a backdrop of high polarization and economic recession, Brazil’s presidential election represents a maturity test for voters and presidential contenders alike. In a country that has been dubbed “the social media capital of the universe,” social networks play an increasingly crucial role in electoral campaigns. But for some Brazilian […]

by × 22 October 2014 ×

BSG Alumni, Governance, cooperation and law

Image source Flickr: Jordi Bernabeu Farrús

Hong Kong: Above and Beyond in Students’ Idealism

Like the typhoon that lashed Hong Kong last month, the Occupying Central Movement and student-led strike are in full swing.

Metaphorically, “One Country, Two Systems” is a “symbiosis” – like that of a crown fish and an anemone. While the symbiotic union between the two is usually mutualistic, it can turn antagonistic if inherent contradictions are ill-managed.

by × 13 October 2014 ×

BSG Alumni, Governance, cooperation and law

Image source: Flickr Pasu Au Yeung

Do you hear the people sing? A fight to define who we are

In the 2012 film adaptation of Les Miserables, there was this scene towards the end where the students realised none of the local Paris citizens have joined them in their protests and they were effectively deserted to fight on their own. For all the songs that were sung, speeches that were given, none of the citizens were stirred enough or believed in the cause enough to “join in their crusade”.
As the protests in Hong Kong continue, there is a worry that we face a similar parallel to Les Miserables if the current protests do not get enough popular support from the local public.

by × 03 October 2014 ×

BSG Students, Governance, cooperation and law

Kiribati Image source: Australian Government Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Global Risks: Climate Change Mitigation and Adaptation Failure in Kiribati

Every year since 2005, the World Economic Forum in Geneva has published a Global Risks Report, analysing the major challenges facing the world. This year, failure to mitigate climate change was listed 5th out of 31 risks, followed at 6th by a greater incidence of extreme weather events. Thousands of miles away, residents of the small islands of Kiribati did not need to read the WEF report to learn that climate change is a serious threat to the world. Living on atolls where most land is less than 3-4m above sea level, they know firsthand how vulnerable they are and what is at stake if we fail to mitigate global climate change.

by × 16 September 2014 ×

Admissions and Life at the School, BSG Students

A beautiful morning on the Sebangau River

River Stories

It is noon and we are stuck in the middle of the river. The boat driver and park guard strain against the boat, but it doesn’t budge. Everything is silent, except for the choir of insects that keep trying to gain entrance into our ears. A macaque sneers at us from the forest and lopes off, leaving us to our fate.

by × 01 September 2014 ×

Admissions and Life at the School, BSG Students

The first boat of Amsterdam Gay Pride Parade 2014 in memory of the MH17 victims, 193 of which were from the Netherlands. Image source: Manjit Nath

Internalizing BSG-ism

I took more than a week’s time to pick a title for this blog-post. Finally I decided to settle with the word ‘internalize’, which is indeed a ‘gifted word’ from Professor Paul Collier to our MPP cohort. Without going into that story, let me write six lines for the outside-BSG […]

by × 19 August 2014 ×

BSG Students, Economic growth and resilience

Factory image source: danielfoster Flickr

Enterprise citizenship: a model for change

It was Saturday afternoon, and I had just come to the end of my second week in Nairobi. A friend of mine has her finger on the pulse, and she had heard that an Australian girl was running boozy brunches out of her leafy backyard in Lavington – so along […]

by × 14 August 2014 ×

BSG Students, Economic growth and resilience

A kaharingan shrine by Srilekha Sridhar

Perambulating in Palangkaraya

“There are only two seasons in Palangkaraya,” I was told, “raining and not raining.” Currently, we’re experiencing the ‘not raining’ season: hot during the day, less hot during the evening and humid all the time.

Almost feels like home.

by × 11 August 2014 ×