USA: Voices Without Votes

There are few subjects that spark the imagination of bloggers worldwide – and United States foreign policy is one of them. Today, Global Voices is launching a new website with Reuters that opens a window on the global conversation about the 2008 presidential election in the USA.

It's called Voices Without Votes.

Voices Without Votes

Global Voices challenges people to listen to people beyond their own borders. We translate back and forth from blogospheres in the Middle East, Asia, Africa, South America, and Eastern Europe in hopes that people may come to understand and care for one another across borders.

We also encourage international media to talk to and report on the concerns of ordinary citizens around the world. Hopefully, looking at US politics more closely through a kaleidoscope of world blogs will be a compelling and thought-provoking experience. Send us links to blogs you would like us to link to, including your own.

Our Middle East and North Africa Editor, Amira Al Hussaini is going to be editing the website with help from other Global Voices editors and volunteers. Check in regularly at Voices Without Votes until Americans finally hit the polls and elect a president in November 2008.

Meanwhile, the world is still talking! Are you listening?


  • I will check in regularly for sure.

    Thank you. A very worthy endeavor…

  • reader

    I have to say that I’m a little disappointed to see Global Voices devoting so much energy to the US. Wasn’t GV supposed to give coverage to countries that get less attention in the media? Media from all over the world are talking so much every day about these elections (which unfortunately will last until November), don’t think more coverage on the US is needed, even if it’s from non-American blogs…

  • Hi reader – as a temporary project, I think it’s a useful exercise that will lead to more longterm readers for Global Voices. We discussed it in our community of volunteer writers and editors, and most people thought it was a good idea. There is a lot of writing about US foreign politics in blogs around the world, that could be covered in US blogs. Media all over the world may be talking about the election, but how many of them mention what world bloggers are saying without a push? It’s an opportunity to engage in dialogue!

  • hlp

    I agree with Solana. Good exercise. Come on… many of us are following the USA elections.

  • Voices Without Votes…

    It’s Super duper Tuesday and I am in the Big Apple. Shopping? No.. think again! I am working on this…

  • […] Reuters + Global Voices = Voices without Votes 6 02 2008 La gente de Global Voices, equipo del que humildemente soy parte en su versión en Español, se toma muy en serio esto de la infociudadanía y desde hace tiempo captaron muy bien el poder que puede llegar a tener una comunidad virtual bien organizada. Lo cierto es que gracias a esa organización, nada más y nada menos que Reuters les ha invitado a conformar una especie de ‘alianza estratégica’ para seguir de cerca los acontecimientos alrededor delas elecciones presidenciales en Estados Unidos… El comunicado/invitación va más o menos así: Hola a todos, Hoy, Global Voices inicia un nuevo website junto a Reuters que abre una ventana a la conversación global acerca de las elecciones presidenciales de 2008 en los Estados Unidos. El sitio se llama Voices Without Votes (Voces sin Votos). Hay varios temas que encienden la imaginación de los bloggers del mundo entero -y la política exterior de los Estados Unidos es uno de ellos. Global Voices llama a la gente a que escuche a las personas más a allá de sus propias fronteras. Traducimos de blogósferas del Medio Oriente, Asia, África, Sudamérica y Europa Oriental con la esperanza que la gente pueda llegar a entenderse y preocuparse por aquellos al otro lado de la frontera. También alentamos a los medios internacionales a hablar y reportar sobre las preocupaciones de los ciudadanos comunes de todo el mundo. Esperamos que, observar la política estadounidense más de cerca a través del caleidoscópico mundo de los blogs, sea una experiencia importante y estimulante. Envíennos enlaces a blogs que les gustaría que vinculáramos, incluyendo el suyo propio. Nuestra editora del Medio Oriente y África del Norte, Amira Al Hussaini, estará editando el website con la ayuda de otros editores y voluntarios de Global Voices. Sigan con regularidad Voices Without Votes hasta que los americanos vayan finalmente a las votaciones y elijan un presidente en Noviembre de 2008. Mientras, ¡el mundo sigue hablándote! ¡Escúchalo! […]

  • DHH is an independent, not-for-profit global campaigning organization that works to ensure that the views and values of the world’s people inform global decision-making. (Avaaz means “voice” in many languages.) Avaaz receives no money from governments or corporations, and is staffed by a global team based in London, Rio de Janeiro, New York, Paris, Washington DC, and Geneva.

    From the Avaaz website: :

    Dear Friends,

    Yesterday, the leading candidates for the next President of the United States became clear. They are Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and John McCain, and the winner will decide whether the nightmare of the Bush foreign policy is reversed or continued for another 4 years.

    US citizens will choose their president, but global public opinion matters to them–they know that US respect in the world has plummeted under Bush, and they want a President who can deliver change. In the next few days, our uniquely global community has a real chance to influence the finalist candidates as they develop their campaign strategy.

    Click below to read and endorse our letter to the candidates. We’ll publish it in US newspapers and deliver it personally to the Clinton, Obama and McCain campaigns–we need at least 100,000 people to sign it this week – so please sign and forward this email to friends right away:

    The message of the letter is simple: we are all in this together. The world is ready to partner with the US, but we need to see a real change of course from the Bush years. The letter is based on a poll of the Avaaz community, which found that our top 3 requests for change in US policy are:

    • Help the world stop global warming
    • Respect universal human rights
    • Use diplomacy to prevent war and resolve conflict

    There is a real chance that the candidates could adopt this simple agenda for change, but every day brings more risk that they will commit to another direction. Sign below and forward this email to all your friends and family:

    American power is declining in the world, but it still has enormous ability to do good or do harm. It will take decades to undo the global harm done by George Bush’s disastrous Presidency. Let’s help make sure America’s next leader takes a different path.

    With Hope,

    Ricken, Iain, Pascal, Ben, Galit, Graziela and the whole Avaaz team.

  • It’s blogs such as this one that will ultimately make a difference in the world.

    Constructive Sovereignty is an emerging theory pioneered by John Maszka intended to address globalization’s increasing onslaught against state sovereignty. The theory maintains that states are not the primary actors, their constituents are. Therefore, their preferences are not fixed. Since states merely represent the preferences of their constituents, they will only adhere to and ultimately embed those international norms their constituency will accept. Rather than push for larger and more powerful international organizations that will impose global norms from the outside in, the theory of Constructive Sovereignty posits that ultimately change must come from the inside out. That is to say, from each state’s own constituency. As each state’s constituents become more and more international, they will become more receptive to international norms and they will voice their acceptance of these norms both politically and (especially) as consumers. It is therefore a central pillar of the theory that privatization is not only the driving force behind globalization, but also that private enterprise possesses the incentive to implement those international norms reflected in the preferences of consumers (profit). As private enterprise meets the increasingly international demands of consumers, it will itself become more international in scope. The cycle is self-perpetuating. In this way international norms are embedded and viewed with legitimacy by each state’s constituency, while state sovereignty is maintained and respected.

    For the seminal paper go to


    John Maszka

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