Sociologist from Malta

Saturday, November 28, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (71) Gatekeepers

There are so many fingers in the pie that it is not surprising that financing of/for political activism - from candidates to crusaders - is elbowed out of the debate. Better choose to be free than to be sucked in the swamp. 

Monday, November 23, 2020

#Ħsibijiet (70) Politics of Prejudice

When analysing political controversy we should adopt grounded research rather than allowing pre-determined narratives prejudice our critique.

Sunday, November 22, 2020

Ħsibijiet (69) The usual networks

The usual networks who gang to destroy those not in their club are conspicuous by their silence when it suits them.

Wednesday, November 11, 2020

Ħsibijiet (68) - Political money

 If one really wants to tackle the financial links between business and politics, one good starting point is to lobby for change in the loophole-ridden electoral expenses/revenue declaration for candidates. One can also look into 'invisible' money (undeclared, camouflaged, in kind etc, both in terms of expenditure and revenue) and agendas of networks close to politicians, both in terms of expenditure and revenue. But there are so many fingers in this pie that I wouldn't hold my breath. Many beneficiaries from this, no wonder it is elbowed out of the agenda!

Monday, November 09, 2020

Ħsibijiet (67): Discursive voids

When contradictory discourses are combined together this is referred to as "‘interdiscursivity’ (Fairclough, 2015, p. 38), where discourses with largely independent and sometimes antagonistic sources combine in novel ways to create a culturally resonant and ideologically potent fusion.” (Matt Guardino, 2017)

Maybe we can take this to another dimension - Tonkiss (1998) refers to 'discursive silence', which in turn is similar to the concept of “nondecision”, which was advanced by Bachrach and Baratz (1970). Here the power of a discourse is expressed in how it is left out of the agenda, for example by elbowing it out in favour of other discourses or by attempting to ignore the elephant in the room.

Such concepts can help us understand how political agents try to influence public discourse, often in contradictory ways. Amid the noise,  such analysis is required to help understand how power works.  

Friday, November 06, 2020

Villas at Ħal-Ferħ - Feedback to the Planning Authority

I submitted the following, regarding Public Consultation: Partial Review of the North West Local Plan and the Hal Ferh Development Brief - Phase 2

 

Attn: Ministry for the Environment, Climate Change and Planning

nwlp@pa.org.mt

customercare@pa.org.mt


Re:  Partial Review of the North West Local Plan and the Ħal Ferh Development Brief – Phase 2


With reference to the above, I am hereby reiterating my request with respect to Phase 1 of the same Development Brief (ref. my correspondence dated 30 May 2020). Thus I am requesting that the Planning Authority employs a Social Impact Assessment (SIA) process.  In this regard, please refer to my correspondence dated 31 May 2019 to the PA regarding SIAs. To date, I have not been informed of any policy update in this regard.

A copy of my correspondence can be obtained from this link: 

Dr Michael Briguglio
Sociologist




Tuesday, November 03, 2020

Ħsibijiet (66) - Niddefendu l-pluraliżmu u l-libertajiet

Ejjew nipproteġu l-libertajiet li rebħu l-ġenerazzjonijiet ta' qabilna kif ukoll dawk ta' żminijietna. 

Ejjew ukoll nuru rispett lejn persuni, ideat, kulturi u ħsibijiet differenti, f'kuntest politiku u soċjali ta' inklużjoni u agoniżmu bejn avversarji, u mhux mibgħeda u antagoniżmu bejn l-għedewwa. 

Sabiex ikun hemm din l-isfera ta' deliberazzjoni, rispett u toleranza, jeħtieġ li jkun hemm sens ta' komunita' u difiża effettiva tal-valuri bażiċi ta' soċjeta' demokratika u liberali: Dik is-soċjeta' li faċli tikkritikaha, iżda li sadanittant ma narawx nies iridu jaħrabu minnha.  

Niddefendu l-pluraliżmu, iżda mhux akkost li nitilfu l-istess pluraliżmu.