About David Hayes

David Hayes is deputy editor of openDemocracy, which he co-founded
in 2000. He has written textbooks on human rights and terrorism, and was a contributor to Town and Country (Jonathan Cape, 1998). His work has been published in PN Review, the Irish Times, El Pais, the Iran Times International, the Canberra Times, the Scotsman, the New Statesman and The Absolute Game.

He has edited five print collections of material from the openDemocracy website, including Europe and Islam; Turkey: Writers, Politics, and Free Speech; and Europe: Visions, Realities, Futures. He is the editor of Fred Halliday's Political Journeys - the openDemocracy Essays (Saqi, 2011)

Articles by David Hayes

This week's editor


Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Britain’s economy: fog minus zero

An endless recession has changed politics and livelihoods. But in a many-sided national argument there is no consensus about its lessons, says David Hayes.

David Widgery, 1947-92: against oblivion

It is twenty years since the premature death of David Widgery, a singular radical who combined a prolific writing and political life with work as a medical doctor in London's East End. A man always "alive to things" is recalled by David Hayes.

Britain's misty political season

The halfway point of Britain’s five-year parliament finds all the main parties under pressure to adapt to a changing political environment, says David Hayes.

An Olympics dream

A thrilling opening ceremony turned London’s mood from cynical towards euphoric. But after artistic seduction comes political reduction, says David Hayes.

Britain's holiday from reality

A season of high spectacle in London offers only a temporary respite from the United Kingdom's economic and political troubles. But the two kinds of experience also overlap, says David Hayes.

A global democracy manifesto

"We want to be citizens of the world and not its mere inhabitants." A group of leading intellectuals has composed a document arguing that deeper and more extensive forms of democracy are essential to cope with the demands of globalisation and its associated transformations of governance. The document is being launched in a series of international events that begin at the London School of Economics (LSE) on 27 June 2012. It is published here, followed by a list of the fourteen author-signatories (eight of whom are also openDemocracy authors).

Bob Dylan at 70: revolution in the head, revisited

The most influential and original musician of the 1960s generation remains a figure of protean creativity half a century on. The wealth of attention devoted to Bob Dylan as he reaches his 70th birthday is testament to a career of astonishing range. It also reflects the complex legacy of a formative decade which Dylan’s songs and persona helped to define, says David Hayes.

(This article was first published on 24 May 2011)

Bob Dylan: a conversation

The celebrations of the 70th birthday of the great American musician Bob Dylan include many personal journeys through the archives of memory. Here, David Hayes recalls a thrilling series of concerts Dylan performed in 1981...and a late-night encounter.

(This article was first published on 24 May 2011)

Fred Halliday: an unfinished voyage

The core themes of a new book of Fred Halliday’s openDemocracy columns underline his work's enduring vitality, says David Hayes.

[This article was first published on 23 March 2011}

A refound monarchy and a lost republic

The celebration of Queen Elizabeth’s sixty years on the throne coincides with the best of recent times for the British monarchy. The moment and the mood will pass, but the wider challenge to the institution’s paralysed opponents is enduring, says David Hayes.

Scotland, and the end of romance

A high-stakes constitutional tussle over the future of the United Kingdom is under way. The political transformation of Scotland since the 1950s will help to shape the outcome, says David Hayes.

Margaret Thatcher, between myth and politics

A sympathetic film portrayal of Britain’s most divisive modern prime minister fits a broader mood of reappraisal of her years in power, says David Hayes

London, the intimate megacity

London’s mayoral election might be overshadowed in 2012 by royal and Olympic pageants, but it’s more revealing of the city’s heartbeat than either, says David Hayes.

After St Paul's: the smoke this time

An encampment around St Paul’s cathedral in London casts a new light on this icon of British wartime defiance. But the epic days of the 1940s may have something to teach the protesters in return, says David Hayes.

England, a country of the mind

The tendency to press reality into a heritage mould traps England in political aspic, says David Hayes.

9/11, ten years on: reflections

A terror-filled day of mass murder in the eastern United States imprinted itself on the world's consciousness - and became the prelude to a decade of further violence. openDemocracy writers reflect on the impact and legacy of the events of 11 September 2001.

England’s two solitudes

A four-night outbreak of riotous disorder in London and other English cities in early August 2011 is a potent argument for social repair. But lack of agreement on fundamentals could soon prove fatal to progress, says David Hayes.

Derick Thomson at 90: Gaelic poet in the world

Ruaraidh MacThòmais (Derick Thomson) has as poet, scholar, teacher and editor made a profound contribution to Gaelic literature over six decades. The quality and range of his work deserve belated recognition in the context of the culture he has done so much to enlarge, says David Hayes.

The London bombs, five years on: a digest

The coordinated bomb-attacks on London’s transport network on 7 July 2005 (“7/7”) left dozens dead and hundreds wounded, and marked the lives of millions in the city and beyond. The political, intellectual and security issues raised by the event were extensively discussed on openDemocracy in the ensuing months. A retrospect of unforgettable days, by David Hayes.

(This article was first published on 7 July 2010)

The foreign correspondent: James Cameron, 1911-85

A voice of wry observation and quiet authority that made humane sense of distant events to a domestic public helped James Cameron become the most respected international journalist in post-1945 Britain. But is there room for his world-reporting craft in a very different media age, asks David Hayes.

In with the bricks, out for life

A recollection of openDemocracy’s early days, by David Hayes.

Ten years, ten articles: a retrospect

openDemocracy is ten years old. Its deputy editor David Hayes chooses his favourite articles from the archive, one from each year of publication.

Cornelius Cardew: a life unfinished

The English composer Cornelius Cardew (1936-81) was among the most adventurous, controversial and innovative musicians of his generation. After an initial association with Stockhausen and the European avant-garde, he became engaged with the aesthetic ideas of John Cage and the New York school. A leading figure in the experimental music of the 1960s, Cardew is widely acknowledged as a pioneer of indeterminacy, graphic notation, free improvisation and performer involvement.

Thinking of Cambodia

I was thinking about Cambodia tonight.

I remembered the Ben Kiernan story about his first visit back after the genocide, and how he asked a Khmer Rouge cadre what had happened to an arrested man in a village. “We killed him for the time being”.

I remembered the story of how the peaceable Cham were hunted down and massacred because they were not pure Khmer.

I remembered reading Francois Ponchaud and Lek Hor Tan on the pathology of absolute power, and then finding a leftist magazine discussing the Kampuchean “workers’ state”.

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