Spotlight on Bosnia

Football, politics and society

From corruption in Italy to racism in Poland, football is the second theme of our Joining the dots series.

Gem from our archive

A selection of our best articles on Europe.

EU 2.0? Towards sustainable integration

Kalypso Nicolaïdis

Reinventing democracy in Europe

As guest editors for openDemocracy (9-13th July 2012), Ash Amin and Pep Subirós chose the theme of reinventing democracy in Europe. The theme springs from a seminar hosted in May at the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona.

The economic and social travails sweeping through Europe can be traced to an imperceptible but seismic shift in the ground of European democracy. This is the takeover and corruption of democratic politics by an amalgam of economic and political elites, a change poorly compensated for by the rise of new forms of democratic protest and resistance. Read more.

Main image: Teatro Valle Occupato, Rome, courtesy of European Alternatives


Challenging the populist right - European precedents

The European left should be the most committed and consistent advocate of democracy, human rights and the rule of law in order to prevent discrimination. But further than that, it should espouse a cosmopolitan politics to manage diversity in a progressive manner. And that politics is inconceivable unless the individual citizen is understood to represent its basic unit.

Debating “the commons” in post-socialist Bulgaria

The absence of solidarity with other causes and the persistence of neoliberalism in Bulgarian protests against the Forestry Act underline the need to adapt our understanding of "the commons" to new contexts. Neoliberal discourse and developmentalist ideology still control the imaginations of the majority of people from across the class spectrum.

Alternatives to the nationalism of the conspicuously ignorant

The accounts, symbols and feelings that we have about national identity were largely imagined, created and popularized in the nineteenth century. The word ‘nationalism’ itself dates from the early nineteenth century and marked the increasing use of national identity in order to make political claims. So to argue that national identity is pre-political is itself a political statement. 

Feminist practice in the 15-M movement: progress and outstanding issues

As a protest space created by men and women, 15-M has not developed tools for recognising the patriarchal logic to be found at its heart, and transforming them from a feminist perspective. The result has been to render violence invisible and to silence women’s voices. 

Exploring the commons

Today's rediscovery of the notion of the commons stems directly from the need to regulate and to explore how to enable the collaborative action of a multiplicity of protagonists who are autonomous and so not governable by simple authoritative mechanisms.

The commons: beyond the market vs. state dilemma

Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel Prizewinner who died this week, pioneered this work. Value is created through the logic of sharing with others in an open and even casual way. Innovation is no longer a monopoly, unassailably colonised by mercantile initiative.

Reinventing Democracy

If democracy means rule by the people for the people, it has broken down. At pivotal moments in the past, altering the rules of the political has been a defining trait of the organised left, able to project a new social order out of latent concerns, as well as develop the means to alter the grammar of politics

Reinventing democracy in Europe: introducing the week

The economic and social travails sweeping through Europe can be traced to an imperceptible but seismic shift in the ground of European democracy. This is the takeover and corruption of democratic politics by an amalgam of economic and political elites, a change poorly compensated for by the rise of new forms of democratic protest and resistance.

Reclaiming democratic demands from the populists

As citizens lose confidence in democratic institutions, xenophobic populist parties thrive and join their voices to the critique of the state of national and European democracies. Their arguments often coincide with those of liberal or leftist critics, but their goals are radically different

Democracy in crisis: two and a half theories about the operation of democratic capitalism

Global financial market-driven post-democracy is well able to describe the logic that governs the realities of contemporary markets and politics, but cannot explain why these realities are justified, universally beneficial or sustainable

Reclaiming Europa and the uncontrolled power of business

The common denominator of Greece's and Europe's (and the world's) problems is the uncontrolled power of business. Politics has become privatised. On behalf of ‘efficiency’ the defence of the common good was outsourced to business groups. With the result that is unfolding in front of our eyes.

On social destitution, misdirected protest and the missing crisis of capitalism

The current crisis was not imposed by technocratic elites, but by democratically elected centre-right and centre-left governments.  It is to a great extent due to the weak response from society that neoliberal capitalism is consolidating further, as governments are imposing exactly the ruinous policies that were at the root of the financial crisis.

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