This week's guest editors

Everyone likes the idea of fair, accountable and effective international institutions to cope with global economic, environment and security issues. But what form should they take? David Held and Paul Hirst argue for gradual reform within. George Monbiot advocates root and branch democratisation of the UN, and the creation of a new economic order. Other contributors identify key dilemmas and suggest creative solutions.

North African diversities: Algeria in flux

Algeria’s circles of power and their relationship to a complex society and history are hard to grasp. Francis Ghilès describes his own route to understanding the country in the post-independence era, when the heavy legacy of the past mixed with the confident idealism of the present.

Justice for asylum seekers: Back to the drawing board, Ms May

The British High Court has found the level of support given to asylum seekers ‘flawed’: a political calculation rather than an assessment of what constitutes an essential living need. We must force reason back into the system, says Sile Reynolds.

Tunisia, from hope to delivery

Tunisia has turned a political corner. But great economic problems remain which require careful management and good government, says Francis Ghilès.

Genocide and justice: where now?

Two decades after the Rwanda genocide, the promised hopes of international accountability for such crimes is in trouble. Andrew Wallis examines the ingredients of a crisis that is both legal and political.

Latin America: re-election and democracy

"Very few are willing to step down and many of those who did are trying to come back." The political ambitions of Latin America's political leaders are reshaping the region's democracy and constitutional practice, says Daniel Zovatto.  

North Korea: elite shame, world test

A credible United Nations report on North Korea demands a humane and practical response to its people's degradation, says Kerry Brown.

France and Rwanda's genocide: a long wait

The belated trial of a suspected genocidaire in Paris highlights the complex political relationship between Rwanda and France. It also reflects problems in the hard road to international justice, says Andrew Wallis.

Putting development to rights: a post-2015 agenda

A lesson of the last decade's work on the Millennium Development Goals is the need to rethink current approaches to development, says David Mepham, the UK director of Human Rights Watch. The key requirement is to see development not just as material improvement, vital though that is, but as a process with human rights at the very heart.

China vs Facebook: intimate rivals

The Chinese state and the United States company are engaged in an epic if undeclared contest over control and wealth-creation, says Kerry Brown.

Brazil in 2013: a historic adventure

A big year in Brazil marked by huge street protests and a major corruption trial creates new tests for the country's democracy, says Arthur Ituassu.

North Korea's family purge

Kim Jong-un's execution of his uncle casts a revealing light on the tensions and weaknesses within the Pyongyang regime, says Charles K Armstrong.

China's visitor: Cameron in Beijing

The British prime minister's trip to China was presented as a mission to expand trade links with an important partner. But whose interests was he really representing, asks Kerry Brown.

Due diligence for women's human rights: transgressing conventional lines

On international human rights day, Yakin Ertürk discusses the new vulnerabilities faced by women, including refugee womenand the new opportunities for remedy offered by the international human rights system.

Isa Muazu, the hunger striker and us, the monster

A man in detention in Britain is close to death having refused food and drink for over 80 days. The government’s response has been to issue an ‘end of life plan’. His death could be a death sentence for us all.

Chile's coup: the perspective of forty years

The military seizure of power in Chile on 11 September 1973 continues to influence the country's politics, and its reverberations around the world were also to last for decades. Alan Angell, a distinguished scholar of Chile, reflects on the legacy of the coup and the reasons for its enduring impact.

Chile, 11 September 1973: death and birth of a nation

The military coup of forty years ago inaugurated a long period of dictatorship and human-rights violation. But its profound legacy also includes long-term economic and political effects, says Patricio Navia.

The future of Scottish immigration

The depiction of Scotland as being welcoming to newcomers is an important aspect of Scottish national identity, but what are the prospects for immigration reform in the case of Scottish independence? Joanna Wiseman reports from the Edinburgh Festival of Politics. 

The UK migration debate: lessons from America

Why have US activists have been more successful than their British counterparts in building a constructive immigration dialogue within mainstream politics, asks Katy Long.

Poverty: a human rights abuse in the UK

Internationally poverty has been recognised as a violation of human dignity and, when a consequence of government policy, a violation of human rights. What does this mean for women seeking asylum who are forced into poverty in the UK, asks Amanda Gray.

Paraguay: Brazil’s dirty little secret

Paraguayans' resentment of their giant neighbour draws on both long memories and modern inequities. A shady new president may fuel not dampen it, says Andrew Nickson.

Egypt’s coup, liberals' dark chapter

The military's deposition of Egypt's elected president has been welcomed by the Muslim Brotherhood's liberal opponents. This is a historic error that carries big costs and risks, says Khaled Hroub.

Anti-immigrant sentiment: time to talk about gender?

The way in which gender figures in the picture of anti-immigrant sentiment is rarely discussed, yet anti-immigrant sentiment, wherever it is found, represents a rejection of ‘feminized’ populations and a concern with a national illusion that is distinctly masculine.

Lost childhoods: age disputes in the UK asylum system

Children seeking asylum in the UK are regularly disbelieved about how old they are and can end up facing harmful, protracted disputes. The culture of disbelief so often criticised in the Home Office has seeped into some local authorities, says Kamena Dorling.

UKIP on the march in Britain

The success of the UK Independence Party in local elections indicates a lack of trust in mainstream politicians on migration. This leaves the pro-migration lobby with a bigger role than ever, and some challenging questions about how to impact on public opinion

Venezuela: legacy of populist revolution

The transition of power in Venezuela raises the question of how populism and democratic institution-building can coexist. This has a wider relevance across Latin America, say Fabian Bosoer & Federico Finchelstein.

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