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
Philippe: What is the World Cup really about? Money, pure and simple. This is a beanfest for global corporations. The statistics on sponsorship, advertising, and merchandising are staggering. The top fifteen sponsors – McDonalds, Budweiser, NTT, Gillette, the usual suspects – will pay FIFA, the world governing body, £375 million to display their images at the tournament. Adidas is paying ten teams around £60 million to wear their products. And the money is not just decoration – it has colonised the very soul of the game. Brazil is a franchise of Nike.
The greater and more influential an artist, the harder she or he can be to see. Can this be true of Bob Dylan, who turns 65 today? It is difficult to imagine the history of the last four and a half decades in popular music without him, so pervasive has his impact been – and not just in the west (dozens of countries around the world, from Russia to Japan and Chile to [South] Vietnam, had "their" Bob Dylan in the 1960s).
The bomb attack on the headquarters of the United Nations operation in Baghdad on 19 August 2003 which killed the UN special representative in Iraq, Sergio Vieira de Mello, injured more than 100 and killed at least eighteen other people. Among the dead was Arthur Helton, the co-columnist of openDemocracy’s humanitarian monitor.
The other half of this openDemocracy partnership, Gil Loescher, was critically injured in the blast, and has been transferred to hospital in Germany; at the time of writing he is in a critical condition.
Arthur’s death is a dreadful loss to his family, friends and colleagues. Our thoughts and condolences are with them. We are with Gil and his family in spirit too.
This tragedy impacts heavily on openDemocracy. Arthur was a good friend of this enterprise and one of the people who made it what it is. He and Gil first approached us with a project and a vision that chimed with what we wanted to do: to facilitate serious, constructive global conversation on key issues of our time. We built up a strong working relationship from which we never ceased to learn new things.
Arthur was a serious, indefatigable scholar with extraordinary range. He was warm and humorous too. I (Caspar Henderson) will not forget his kindness when I visited him in the grand premises of the Council on Foreign Relations in New York earlier this year, and the touch of irony with which he showed me a photographic tribute to his work in the hallway of the Pratt house. In contrast to the pictures associated with many of his colleagues, which mainly showed important guys in suits and ties shaking hands or dramatic shots of military situations, Arthur’s picture showed a refugee mother and child. “The token soft-power guy around here”, he joked.
Arthur and Gil’s humanitarian monitor combined expert understanding of the many dimensions of humanitarian crises – legal, political, logistical, military, historical – with a willingness to think beyond current models. This search for complex and changing truths led them to interview many of the key figures in the field – from government ministers and UN administrators to refugees and asylum-seekers at the sharpest end of policy.
Because of their true seriousness and refusal to posture, their column reached out to and was read by influential actors and thinkers across a range of bodies and ways of looking at the world, including the military and academic communities, international institutions and activists. Sergio Vieira de Mello was an enthusiastic reader of their work on openDemocracy, recommending it warmly to others (according to reports, Sergio and Arthur were meeting together when the bomb went off).
Arthur and Gil’s columns for openDemocracy on Iraq were only part of their concern with crises of human displacement, food insecurity, health and shelter deprivation – and how these problems are dealt with (usually inadequately, and often without taking to heart the lessons of the past) by state, humanitarian and other organisations. There was huge and important work to be done here, and for openDemocracy’s global membership to engage with. We had hardly begun.
We salute Arthur Helton. We will miss him very much. We commit ourselves to building on his work and helping to make real the better world to which he dedicated his life. There is much to do.
Dear President Obama,
We have written this letter because, as intellectuals and former policy-makers in central and eastern Europe (CEE), we care deeply about the future of the transatlantic relationship as well as the future quality of relations between the United States and the countries of our region. We write in our personal capacity as individuals who are friends and allies of the United States as well as committed Europeans.