Life Down South

When it comes to vibrant social discourse and a search for innovative ideas of how participatory politics might progress, the global South is usually ahead of the more apathetic North. That was evidenced in The Take which I blogged about a couple of months ago, as well as being well documented in many other places.

Lately, I’ve been really enjoying Nick‘s observations about life in Bolivia, particularly the context he’s been providing on the disturbances that have greeted Bolivia’s new taxes on foreign gas companies. It is easy to observe that international trade regulations are of more immediate concern for those in the world’s poorest countries, but given how important they are to the lives of all of us, the level of awareness in South America puts many of us in richer lands to shame.

On last night’s edition of The World (an hour-long news programme co-produced by the BBC and NPR), Brian Byrnes brought a report from the world’s first Museum of Foreign Debt, located in Argentina. You can get audio here and see photos here. (The museum has actually been open for a while and Christian Science Monitor ran this piece back in July 2003).


  1. Hey have you read “confessions of an economic hitman” – i think that’s the name of the book. I came across it when looking around for Noreena Hertz stuff.

  2. I’ve picked it up in bookshops and come very close to buying it, but have yet to succumb. If you read it, I’d love to hear what you make of it.