Alexander Street Press and open Democracy Partner to Launch Global Views and Voices: Web site brings diverse voices together for scholarly debate
(Alexandria, VA – May 10, 2004) Two Web publishers from opposite sides of the Atlantic, both known for giving voice to those who otherwise would go unheard, have joined forces to create an innovative scholarly tool for fostering democratic thinking. openDemocracy, Ltd., of London, creator of openDemocracy.net, the global online magazine of politics, current affairs, and culture that is used by scholars and news networks around the world, and Alexander Street Press, the Virginia-based publisher of semantically indexed full-text humanities databases, unveiled the project this week – inviting the world to preview the database with free and open access until June 4, 2004.
Launching with more than 1,600 articles, photo essays, and open debates, Global Views and Voices delivers an exceptionally diverse mix of perspectives from some of the best-known writers and thinkers across the world, together with voices that typically are not heard – the Southern and Northern, powerful and developing, influential and new. Along with the commissioned materials are thousands of article level links to related materials from important Web publications.
Stephen Rhind-Tutt, president of Alexander Street, said, “We knew that scholars of the twenty-first century are seeking out e-zines, blogs, think tanks, NGOs, and other online sources to get the broadest reactions to current events. openDemocracy is clearly the leader in this kind of publishing, and we knew that our indexing and organizing expertise would be a perfect complement to their efforts.”
Annette Kelley, CEO/Publisher of openDemocracy, adds, “The new product will give libraries the kind of database they’ve needed. It takes everything, from our archive to our current materials, and organizes it in a way that will bring huge new value to the articles and debates. Students will be drawn into the global conversations and forced to draw their own conclusions.”
Well-known contributors include authors Paulo Coehlo, John le Carré, Jacob Ross, Ian McEwan, Nawal el Saadawi, and Ariel Dorfman; world renowned academics David Held, Saskia Sassen, Manuel Castells, Paul Gilroy, Tariq Modood, Fred Halliday, James Curran, Hugh Brody, Gilles Kepel, Godfrey Hodgeson, Takashi Inoguchi, Tom Nairn, and James Galbraith; activists and campaigners Anita Roddick (founder of The Body Shop), and George Monbiot (author of Age of Consent); former high-ranking politicians Mary Robinson (former premier of Ireland), Erkki Tuomioja (Finland’s ex-foreign minister), Schlomo Ben Ami (former Israeli minister), Carl Bildt (former Swedish prime minister), and Mazin Ezzat (a general under Saddam in Iraq); scientists Vandana Shiva and Pervez Hoodbhoy; Sorious Samura (award-winning journalist and documentary filmmaker from Sierra Leone); and Esther Dyson (Internet pioneer, thinker, entrepreneur).
The project juxtaposes the views of the well known with those of citizens with local perspectives. For example, Farida Khan from Bangladesh debates with Anita Roddick over justice in the Asian garment industry; Jo Wilding’s on-the-spot reports from inside Fallujah under siege are juxtaposed with comment and analysis from Washington and Europe; American Muslim Sven White debates the French headscarf ban with one of its architects, Patrick Weil; journalist Sorious Samura tells how Jesse Jackson saved his life in Sierra Leone; Weigui Fang reports on Internet censorship in China and Hossein Derakshain on the same issue from Iran; and Gil Loescher writes about the bomb in Baghdad that left him severely injured and killed his colleague Arthur Helton. Throughout Global Views and Voices, experience and opinion are combined with insight and analysis; the powerful and the powerless engage, debate, and present their views.
Eileen Lawrence, Alexander Street’s vice president of sales and marketing, explains, “We knew that openDemocracy.net was being used by individual faculty and students all over the world. Now we can bring our customers a scholar’s version, thoroughly organized and indexed, subscription based, and continually growing.”
Todd Gitlin, Professor of Media at Columbia University, said, “…the globalization we need most of all is globalized argument. [The database] is genuinely, profoundly internationalist. It doesn’t regard any world view as sacrosanct. It is therefore a precious resource that deserves the widest circulation and deepest respect.”
From now through June 4th, access to the prototype version of Global Views and Voices is freely available (no password required). Visit http://alexanderstreet.com for more information. Reviewers will be invited to explore the first full release of the database in June. Please contact Jennifer Heffelfinger, manager of marketing and public relations (email@example.com or 800-889-5937 ext. 5).
Alexander Street Press, L.L.C., is an academic publisher of electronic full-text databases in the humanities and social sciences. Founded in June 2000, the company publishes collections in history, literature, women’s studies, sociology, ethnic and diversity studies, popular culture, film studies, the arts, and other areas. Alexander Street Press is located in Alexandria, Virginia.
EDITORS: For additional information on Alexander Street Press and its products, please contact Eileen Lawrence, Vice President, Sales and Marketing, 800-889-5937, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit http://alexanderstreet.com.
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