In Turkey, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation is co-operating with the Turkish think tank Association for Liberal Thinking (ALT) with the aim of strengthening the knowledge of freedom, democracy and market economy among Turkish youth with considerable political interest. (more…)

In the Federation of Bosnia-Herzegovina (FBiH) – the part of the country of Bosnia-Herzegovina (BiH) where a majority of the population is Muslim – Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation co-operates with Stranka Demokratske Akcije (SDA), one of the oldest and biggest democratic parties in the country. (more…)

Beijing recently reported considering lifting the ban on foreign websites such as Twitter, Facebook and The New York Times within the Shanghai Free-trade Zone, reports the Hong Kong based South China Morning Post (SCMP). The Chinese government is also to open up for foreign telecommunication companies to be able to act in the same region, which according to sources is likely to expand over the upcoming years to cover the whole Pudong district, which covers 1,210.4 square kilometers, SCMP says.

Could this be the beginning of a new and liberal Internet policy for China ahead? Facebook and Twitter played an important role in the recent political movements in the Middle East and the Chinese authorities are still concerned about “the impact of new media on social stability”, SCMP says.

Read more at South China Morning Post or Forbes.

Seminar for a more democratic world

September 24th, 2013   News | Seminars

September 23, the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation arranged a half day seminar for local politicians from the Swedish Moderate party, to inform about our work and the challenges we face in dictatorships and newly developed democracies. (more…)

Career Opportunity at CES

September 23rd, 2013   Career

The Centre for European Studies (CES) is currently looking for an experienced and innovative person to fill the position as Research Officer responsible of economic policy, based in Brussels. The CES is the political foundation of the European People’s Party (EPP).

Read more about the position

Eva Gustavsson, Managing Director at Jarl Hjalmarson Stiftelsen

Eva Gustavsson, Managing Director at the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation

September 6, Eva Gustavsson, Managing Director at the Jarl Hjalmarson Foundation, spoke at a democracy seminar organised in relation to the opposition party Proyecto Venezuela‘s congress in Caracas. In her speech, Mrs. Gustavsson pointed out that Venezuela is an oil rich nation that lacks bread and other essential supplies, a result of the current socialist regime’s policies.

Read more at Noticias 24 (på spanska)

China’s new anti-defamation laws are according to analysts without a doubt a smokescreen for the government to control general online views. On September 9, the Chinese government announced new anti-defamation laws which are being criticized for cracking down the freedom of speech. Chinese officials say that “people have been hurt and reaction in society has been strong, demanding with one voice serious punishment by the law for criminal activities like using the internet to spread rumors and defame people” meanwhile analysts uphold that “the new guidelines are clearly a way to crack down or control general online views.” China has lately experienced a wave of embarrassing political scandals with the effect of resignation of several prominent officials. In the wake of that a lot of journalists as well as a high-profile blogger have been arrested in recent weeks. With the new laws, people whose rumors are visited at least 5000 times or being quoted at least 500 times would be liable for prosecution and could therefore face up to three years in prison.

Read more on BBC News

Gary King, Jennifer Pan and Margaret Roberts recently made an experimental study of censorship in China with deeper analysis on which criteria published material being censored on the internet. With the already known fact that the system is based on passive, observational methods, with well known inferential limitations, they generated casual and descriptive inferences through participation and experimentation. They did among others create numerous accounts on social media sites, submitting different randomly assigned types of social media texts and from there on detecting which types particularly being censored.  They did also set up confidential interviews and meetings with Chinese firms to install the same censoring technologies as existing sites, pretending to set up their own social media site in China. They came to conclusion that material that criticizes the state, its leaders, and their policies are more likely being published than material with collective action and that social media sites have more flexibility than was previously understood.

Read more about the Harvard study

Anders Aslund writes today in the Moscow Times on how Russia’s imperial ambitions affect its relations with neighboring countries, most recently in connection with the creation of a Eurasian Customs Union.

Read the article ”Push for Customs Union Turns Friends to Foes”

On September 14, 1987, red the first e-mail sent from China: “Across the Great Wall we can reach every corner in the world.” This line appears perhaps a bit bizarre with the fact that China today possesses one of the most efficient and advanced censorship systems in the world when it comes to the internet. The Economist explains briefly in its article how China managed to break the net with controlling it though its so-called Great Firewall and Golden Shield. China is ranked as the third most restricted country in the world for internet freedom in 2012, only preceded by Iran and Cuba.

Read the article from the Economist