Finlands anti-war prime minister, Anneli Jäätteenmäki, was forced to resign over her conduct in relation to a leaked memo on Iraq. As questions to American and British leaders intensify over their own record in the prelude to war, does Finlands Iraqgate reveal a political culture where consistency between words and actions still matters?
How can the experiences of Iceland and Estonia in establishing national Genes Banks contribute to a global understanding of genes and ownership? An American life sciences historian recommends adopting the model of labour unions as a way to inform donors and public about all the variables of research and consent. Could Britain, with its strong union history and recent creation of the UK Biobank, be a pioneer of such genomic solidarity?
The spectacular growth of the World Social Forum has outstripped its opaque structures of governance. How should it be reformed? To be effective, must it become a decision-making body, or instead reinvent itself as a smaller theatre for delegated representatives? Should it cut its shadow relationship to the World Economic Forum? These questions of governance reflect fundamental issues of political direction for movements seeking a way beyond the current globalisation model.
Part 2 of The new information ecosystem: cultures of anarchy and closure
Politics begins with the way we use words, George Orwell reminded us. At a precarious moment for relations between Muslims and their others it is important to recall that Allah is not the name of the Muslim god; that God, Allah and Yahweh are different words for the same deity.
The draft EU constitution isnt all that its supporters like Ben Crum claim: deep compromises on the substance are shown up in divided or absent leadership structures, the bifurcated presidents of Commission and Council being the most obvious example. Why not be honest about federalism?
Silvio says, Gerhard groans, Raffarin Raffarindes. Plus, ©Mother Teresa gets legal.
The scale and sophistication of attacks on United States forces in Iraq reinforce the problems of American military planners and ground troops alike. Is this a pre-planned campaign, or an insurgent resistance to the occupation fuelled by the depredations of war and the failures of reconstruction?
In both the United States and Britain, there is passionate contest over the legitimacy and honesty of government attempts to justify war with Iraq, especially claims of the existence of active Iraqi chemical weapons programmes. In an interview of profound insight, the man responsible for chemical weapons destruction operations in Iraq from 1991-94 talks to Anthony Barnett and Caspar Henderson of openDemocracy about the true extent of Iraq's capacity to produce, store and deliver weapons of mass destruction.
What should a National Security Strategy for the United States in the 21st century look like? Two Heritage Foundation analysts see twin dangers in Charles Penas focus on homeland security and Philip Bobbitts emphasis on alliance-building: isolationism and internationalism. The challenge for the US is to avoid both neglect and overstretch, and to pursue a realist foreign policy that can ensure its global hegemony for centuries to come.
The Head of Information of the Estonian Genome Project Foundation replies to Tiina Tasmuths critique and argues that those with dissenting views are few while the majority of Estonians support the countrys Gene Bank project.
When it comes to globalisation, where does wishful thinking end and clear-headed analysis begin?
The arrival and settlement of significant Muslim populations in Europes heartlands is often met with political oppression, security obsession, and religious suspicion from its governments and media. It need not be so, says a British Muslim convert: Muslim migration could reinvigorate Europe, if the continent can learn to think globally, resist irrational reflexes, and rediscover itself in the encounter with its most significant other.
The European Unions common agricultural policy is coming under sustained attack from all sides. Should it be scrapped, or reformed? An insider from the office of the commissioner for Agriculture for the EU explains some of the principles of reform decoupling, degressivity, modulation and argues that the reformed Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) emerging from the Doha Development Round, will lead to a fairer, and sustainable, Europe wide policy.
As the European Union initiates widespread reform of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP), Krzysztof Mularczyk tells the sorry tale of Polands failure to prepare its huge agricultural sector to meet the challenge of accession. Is Poland set to benefit from the new CAP?
The US administrations relentlessly positive view of developments in Iraq is at variance with the reality on the ground. High American casualties signify well-organised resistance, while efforts at peace-building and democratisation look increasingly inadequate. On current trends, there are troubles ahead for American policy and strategy in Iraq and the wider region.
The far-right Vlaams Blok gained ground in Belgiums May 2003 elections on an anti-immigrant, nationalist platform. The journalist Nick Ryan spent time there with suits and skinheads. This extract from his book Homeland tells the gripping story of their attempts to save their identity from globalisation and mongrelisation a battle fought on the streets, in pubs and in the parliament.
Silvio reigns over Europes parade, Mugabe meets Gaddafi, Bush heads to Africa
A persistent western narrative views the internet boom in China as a vehicle for the opening of a closed society that is hitherto shielded by an informational Chinese Wall. The impenetrable wall may always have been a fiction; in any case, the information explosion of Chinese cyberspace challenges stereotype and heralds the emergence of a new social force: public opinion.
China has been experiencing a digital explosion.
The 50th anniversary of the 17 June 1953 uprising was filtered through current concerns, including a powerful ostalgie for the progressive elements of the old German Democratic Republic. East German historians have proposed an interpretation of the uprising which puts the workers protest at the centre. Its achievement should be celebrated, they argue, as it compelled GDR politicians and their Soviet masters to defuse the tensions that the mass strike produced.
This week's editor
Heather McRobie is a regular contributor to 50.50
Heather McRobie is a regular contributor to 50.50