Monday, August 8, 2011

Participación en Radio Universidad (Costa Rica)

En el seno del proyecto que Juliana Martínez Franzoni y yo estamos llevando a cabo sobre el Estado social universal en países periféricos, tuve la oportunidad de conversar con Juani Guzmán en el Programa Desayunos de Radio Universidad.  El programa se puede escuchar aquí.  Fue interesante poder tratar de vincular nuestra investigación con el debate presente en Costa Rica y en otros países--algo que Juliana tiene que hacer todos los días en su nuevo papel de miembra de la Comisión Técnica sobre la Caja Costarricense del Seguro Social. Algunos puntos claves: (1) La importancia del universalismo como principio de la política social y la necesidad de convertirlo en una de las bases de cualquier propuesta política progresista; (2) Necesidad de entender mejor los requerimientos institucionales, políticos y económicos de ese universalismo.

Educating for the Digital Era

The NYT reviews an interesting book book by Cathy Davidson on teaching students in the new global era.  In her book, she criticizes term papers and argues that students write much better when engaging with blogs.  I actually believe that there is still a lot of room for a well-thought essay that forces students to think in an organized and synthetic way and to take their time.  Nevertheless, there is a larger point: we must integrate digital resources better in the classroom--even at the MA and PhD level.  I have made some attempts through this blog... although not very successful (writing once every three months does not help).

New:  And here the blog of the author with an interesting discussion on how to enrich education at all levels.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

The false radicalization

Gillian Tett is usually excellent, but here  she reproduces a false argument about recent polarization in the US (and some other parts of the world?).  According to her "On one side of the spectrum, Tea Party activists have been brandishing the constitution and declaring “no surrender” on fiscal issues, even at the risk of sparking an American default. On the other side, leftwing parts of the Democratic party have been equally intransigent."  

Where are those leftwing parts of the Democratic party?  How much power do they have?  Is defending the (small) social system that the US have "radical"?  The real radicalization has taken place from the right alone and the Tea Party is succeeding in mainstreaming ideas that are unsustainable and inflexible.