Explaining the mysteries of the Spitzenkandidaten. WHAT is the best way to enrage a European diplomat? This is not an attempt at a joke. You could suggest that his or her government pay more into the European Union budget, or accept a diktat from Brussels to take in more refugees. Urging a speedier cut in national budget deficits rankles in some countries; pressing for more defence spending irritates others. But this week, at least, the most reliable method for inducing puce-faced rage in the Brussels diplomatic corps has been to utter the word Spitzenkandidaten. It falls upon them like a curse.
It works like this.
International Commissions and the Power of Ideas
The system was applied, chaotically, for the first time in Why so controversial? Spitzenkandidaten are a step towards turning them into something worthy of the name.
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For its detractors, including most European leaders, the whole business is an illegitimate power grab by the parliament that undermines elected governments and possibly breaks EU law. It also thins the ranks of candidates for the commission job, because sitting heads of government will not turn themselves into lame ducks by declaring an interest six months before the election.
That used to mean dealmaking between government heads behind closed doors, ensuring that those national governments remained in charge of the Brussels machinery.
International Commissions And The Power Of Ideas
But the parliament in turn notes that the rules give it the final power of approval. Over the next five years Esther served as the co-chair and Jan as the secretary and e-newsletter editor. Together with a small core of other anthropologists, we have managed to sustain a line of communication across national boundaries, largely through cyber spatial flows of information, ideas, and plans for activities such as the IUAES workshops at the WCAR NGO Forum in South Africa. As a former president of the Indian Anthropological Association IAA , she served as a major liaison between the Commission and the Secretariat responsible for organizing the inter-congress held in Kolkata in December Twenty researchers working in various parts of India were brought together for the meeting, where important substantive, conceptual, methodological, and ethical issues related to doing applied research on AIDS were considered.
Wu Ga, a local scholar, the Commission was able to hold panels that lasted throughout the days of the Congress. A large number of Chinese scholars participated and in addition to holding sessions in English, several sessions had the local women presenting in their own language, that was painstakingly translated by Dr. Wu Ga for the benefit of all present. As recognition of her contribution she was elected as the Co-Chair of the Commission as Prof.
Faye Harrison stepped down to let Subhadra Mitra Channa take over as the chair. The effort has been to focus not just on women and their problems but to bring a gendered methodology to bear on multidimensional issues involving both theory and the applied aspects of the social sciences and humanities. With technological achievements and what is deemed as economic growth, a large number of humanistic problems involving deepening inequalities, human rights and environment are cropping up by the day.
By focusing on Dalits, Racism, economic and political marginalization the Commission has been able to expand its scope to actually demonstrate what a gendered approach is capable of achieving. The China Congress was also specifically important for the Commission as its members were honored with Subhadra Mitra Channa presenting one of the Key Note addresses and Prof. Faye Harrison giving a Distinguished lecture. It is a testimony to the enthusiasm of the participants and their unyielding commitment to the cause of the Commission that from the 27th of July to the 31st, the entire duration of the Congress, this room was alive and full of participants from morning till late evening, and except for tea and lunch breaks, did not lie idle even for one hour.
This Commission was particularly enlivened by the participation of local Chinese scholars, who demonstrated their dedication and scholarship by debating and discussing on a range of issues that involves and foregrounds women and were able to show that talking about women is not just talking about women but of society, history and politics in its entirety.
International Commissions and the Power of Ideas
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