This week's editor

Jeremy Noble, editor

Jeremy Noble and the oDR team edit the front page this week.

Forever a refugee: A "Syrian-Palestinian" in search of identity

Millions have been displaced since the uprising in Syria kicked off three years ago. This is the story of Salim, a Palestinian from Syria, who no longer identifies himself as a citizen of any particular place.

The pros and cons of Ban the Box: a gathering debate

In Newark, New Jersey, inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history are delayed until a conditional offer of employment is made.

Not polished enough! Have Swedes had enough of the far right?

In an increasingly unequal Sweden, the far right has been able to capitalise on growing insecurity for its xenophobic ends—but it faces strong public resistance as Swedes go to the Euro-polls

Mass surveillance and institutional racism: two sides of the Swedish coin

Last year, it was revealed that the Swedish state indexed all Roma living in Sweden and made its secret services actively cooperate with GCHQ and the NSA. Why has nobody drawn a connection between these two facets of mass surveillance?

Surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

A discussion of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to the question of a balance between data protection versus national security. It has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy.

Sweden's surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

Over the years, Sweden has become the biggest collaborating partner of GCHQ outside the English-speaking countries, and a key member of the Five Eyes network.

García Márquez and "the Latin American who came in from the cold"

Former Swedish deputy foreign minister and UN ambassador Pierre Schori remembers circumstances and characters, including the late prime minister Olof Palme, that linked him to Gabriel García Márquez, in the work they did on Latin America.

Sex workers in democratic societies

While there are certainly gendered imbalances in the actual structures of current sex markets, these imbalances are created, reinforced and strengthened not by sex work itself but by laws criminalizing sex work and by treating sex workers as second-class citizens without rights.

The same creed: a conversation about Scandinavian democracy with Bo Lidegaard

"In my eyes, there is nothing in the Scandinavia model that suggests that we cannot compete. Actually, there is a lot to suggest that we are the most competitive social model on earth". Interview.

Sweden's super election year

Sweden will hold crucial national elections in September. Does that leave any political space for the European elections in May? Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Welfare benefits are calculated by political objectives not empirical calculations

"Humans as persons of necessity exist in social relationships." Adequacy of Minimum Income Schemes is a debate that is gaining traction across the EU.

Sweden's dirty little secret

Swedish police authorities have secretly established illegal databases of Romani people in a program originally designed for counterterrorism operations. Sadly, this is nothing new in Sweden's century long campaign against the Romani people.

Why did the Stockholm riots occur?

How could this occur in a country known for its developed democracy, egalitarianism, and well-functioning integration policy model? The police are important.

Husby and territorial stigma in Sweden

This statement appeared at the beginning of June in the Swedish broadsheet SVD, calling for a public investigation into the recent uprisings in Swedish suburbs.

The pyres of Spring

The riots which besieged Stockholm's suburbs in late May, are not indicative of some ‘exclusion’ from mainstream Swedish society, but of the absence of society itself.

A dramatic intervention

Of course, American support for costly drama is welcome, and helps keep the UK in the game, but the fact is that US-commissioned drama is simply in a different league.

Folkhemmet

In this excerpt from ‘Sweden: the reluctant nation’, published as part of Counterpoint’s ‘Europe’s Reluctant Radicals’ project, Göran Rosenberg explores the history of the Swedish political ideal of ‘folkhemmet’ [the people’s home].

Female Islamic leadership in Sweden

In Sweden, women establish religious authority as they are appointed leaders in Muslim youth associations. Their commitment is intertwined with identity politics, leading their activism out beyond the mosques and classrooms and into civic centres and television studios

When soldiering gets sexy: the militarization of gender equality and sexual difference

Up in Arms continues to track the figure of the soldier in contemporary culture as a consequence of NATO’s wars. How does militarism – the belief in the superiority of military values and methods – shape or perhaps even challenge gender stereotypes in countries that send troops off to war?

Burning cars in the banlieues as acts of citizenship

The worlds of concrete, the car and masculinity are ways to delve into acts which have only so far attracted attention for their violence and destructive capability. 

Friction zones and emergent publics in Stockholm parklife

Finding ways to deal with friction zones in public spaces such as parks is highly pertinent for both urban democracy and urban sustainability. Some friction is central to genuine democracy, whereas too little or too much is not.

Hate speech and violent right wing extremism in Scandinavia

Incitement to hatred against 'non-Scandinavians' is widely circulated on the internet, contributing to the legitimizing of right-wing extremist violence and the political exclusion of immigrants. If this does not endanger the political system as such, we should worry that it jeopardizes the right to security for many.

Of incontinence pads and private equity

Recent revelations on the privatised health and elderly care sectors in Sweden make for an excellent example of the worst excesses that the profit-motive can lead to in formerly state-run sectors.

Europe’s radical right: recognising and managing the ‘threat’

Safeguarding communities and nations from the potential threats of radical right narratives is not about controlling or prohibiting their political parties: but about bridging gaps between political leadership and communities.

Words of welcome: 2011 Olof Palme Prize

On January 27, in its 25th award ceremony, the 2011 Olaf Palme Prize for International Understanding and Common Security was given to Lydia Cacho Ribeiro and Roberto Saviano for their tireless and often lonely efforts to expose criminal networks despite great personal risk. Before the award, the Prize chairperson addressed the two honoured guests and an illustrious audience.
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