A look back at ReformCard: the political reform score card

ReformCard is a measurement tool to rank each political party based on the quality of their policies on political reform to inform the election 2011 debate. It provides the 25 proposals for political reform in Ireland which we believe provide the best possible combination to transform the political system and ensure it is fit for purpose in the 21st century.The starting point is that Ireland’s economic crisis exposed the malfunctioning of the political system. We need to change how politics works to ensure this never happens again.

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Interview on the history + future of the Net

Jerry Brito, a tech thinker and writer for Time Magazine interviewed me about my recent book, A history of the Internet and the digital future as part of his 'Surprisingly Free' podcast series with techies. Jerry has an interesting background: he's an academic, but he has also lead some interesting projects - see below - … Continue reading Interview on the history + future of the Net

Principles, Norms, and Constraints: building a new national approach to digital issues

Discussion document for the new IIEA National Digital Principles Group: We are present at a unique moment in time when the shape and character of the emerging digital area is becoming clear. To grasp the opportunity, consider as historical precedents the decades following Gutenberg’s Press, or early decades of the Industrial Age. Strategic and inventive … Continue reading Principles, Norms, and Constraints: building a new national approach to digital issues

Reformcard event (Dublin city centre) Monday 21st

Come meet Reformcard on Monday 21st! Just four days before the Irish General Election, come and meet political representatives and hear them explain their plans for reform. Reformcard has teamed up with Transparency International Ireland to host a free public forum on Reform. The Facebook event page is: http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=198142726878511 Date: 21 February 2011, 1.00pm. Venue: … Continue reading Reformcard event (Dublin city centre) Monday 21st

Call for Civic Hackists!

There is a strong community element to the Political Reform Scorecard idea because the weighting of the importance of different areas of reform will - or should be - determined by crowd voting. Also, the ongoing tracking of implementation and performance will rely on a flow of government data. We're looking to build a site … Continue reading Call for Civic Hackists!

proposal for a Political Reform Scorecard

A colleague of mine, Joseph Curtin, came up with a simple idea: why not rank, and then track, optimal political reform measures? Building on that core I elaborated a second stage that would begin after the election of a new government, at which point the system would become a way for people to engage with … Continue reading proposal for a Political Reform Scorecard

My interview on ABC Australian national radio about Wikileaks

I spoke on BBC World Service and then ABC radio on 9 December about Wikileaks. Transcript of the Australian interview below MP3 download audio This transcript was typed from a recording of the program. The ABC cannot guarantee its complete accuracy because of the possibility of mishearing and occasional difficulty in identifying speakers. Johnny Ryan: … Continue reading My interview on ABC Australian national radio about Wikileaks

Links worth clicking: David Simon of The Wire

David Simon, one of the duo behind The Wire, The Corner, and Generation Kill, on society and news journalism: http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/video/2009/aug/29/david-simon-edinburgh-interview-full http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k8E8xBXFLKE (skip the first 6 minutes of preliminary dialogue) (part 1) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LJNkL12QD68 (part 2) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhPZYjRgqTI David Simon, "Does the news matter to anyone anymore?", The Washington Post, 20 January 2008.

Civic Hacking (citizen activism online, and very 2.0)

Researching two-way politics and online citizen activism in the US for the forthcoming book, I spoke to John Tauberer recently. Josh set up the website GovTrack.us, an "independent, nonpartisan website that started the "civic hacking" movement in the United States". The site contains data on the status of legislation, voting records of senators and congressmen, … Continue reading Civic Hacking (citizen activism online, and very 2.0)

A marvelous sentiment

Adam Curtis, the BBC documentary maker with a keen eye for archival footage and historical trends said this, during an interview with the Register: “We should be saying to people ‘I’m going to take you out of yourself and show you something you haven’t thought of, which is either awesome, or incredible, or will inspire … Continue reading A marvelous sentiment

The Lisbon Treaty & the Irish Voter: Democratic Deficits and the Three Painful Steps

Article I co-wrote with Joe Curtin, a colleague at the IIEA, in openDemocracy The Lisbon treaty and the Irish voter: democratic deficits Link: http://www.opendemocracy.net/article/the-lisbon-treaty-and-the-irish-voter-democratic-deficits Johnny Ryan and Joseph Curtin Ireland’s rejection of the European Union’s “reform treaty” exposes a democratic deficit in Dublin more than in Brussels, argue Johnny Ryan & Joseph Curtin, who offer … Continue reading The Lisbon Treaty & the Irish Voter: Democratic Deficits and the Three Painful Steps

Assessing the recommendations of the coalition for a realistic foreign policy in their January 2005 statement in the Economist.

"Americans should be deeply concerned that we are so unpopular in the region inasmuch as it makes it harder, rather than easier, for us to achieve our major national security objectives in the Middle East".[1] In The Economist’s first edition of 2005, the coalition for a realistic foreign policy (‘the coalition’ hereafter) published a statement … Continue reading Assessing the recommendations of the coalition for a realistic foreign policy in their January 2005 statement in the Economist.

Unipolar moment or unipolar era?

UNIPOLAR MOMENT OR UNIPOLAR ERA: THE FUTURE OF AMERICA'S ASSERTIVE GRAND STRATEGY February 2005. In the run up to the 2000 election, Condoleezza Rice laid out the central tenet of candidate Bush’s foreign policy manifesto: ‘Foreign policy in a Republican administration will … proceed from the firm ground of the national interest, not from the … Continue reading Unipolar moment or unipolar era?

Principled failure: British policy toward Rhodesia, 1971-72

The History Review 2004. Copyright Johnny Ryan 2004. INTRODUCTION The choice lies starkly between a compromise settlement, which by definition will not satisfy anyone but which will gain for the Africans substantial new opportunities for advancement, and a rapid and complete polarisation of the races and the prospect of conflict.[1] In May 1972 the Foreign … Continue reading Principled failure: British policy toward Rhodesia, 1971-72