“Do not fear to be eccentric in opinion, for every opinion now accepted was once eccentric.”
- Bertrand Russell
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.
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.
The effort by Spanish judge Baltasar Garzón to investigate killings of civilians during the era of General Franco’s dictatorship has made him a legal target. The process raises profound legal and moral issues, says Pia Navazo.
The leading religious authority of the Church of England has disappointed many of the hopes invested in him. Rowan Williams has indeed failed to address the challenges facing the Church and the Anglican Communion, not least its historic entanglement with state power. This is the project that his successor must understand, says Theo Hobson.
The capacity of new or fragile democratic regimes to deliver development is being closely debated as international agencies prepare for a landmark summit in South Korea. The core issue at stake is presented by Alina Rocha Menocal.
A focus on the violence of an Arab and Muslim minority skewed western policy for a decade. The great events of 2011 are a chance to think afresh, says Jane Kinninmont, whose life was altered by witnessing the 9/11 attacks.
America’s excessive reaction to the 9/11 attacks was the prelude to a decade of damage and injustice on a vast scale. An understanding of what went wrong is essential to progress in the next ten years, says Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh.
The tragedy of 11 September 2001 was used by authoritarian forces in the United States as a political opportunity. The ensuing damage to liberty, legality and democracy has been deep, says Mariano Aguirre
The student movement convulsing Chile is aiming for social inclusion and reform of the model that improved the lives of millions in the 1990s. It should be seen in its own terms and not as a mere outpost of a global trend, says Patricio Navia.
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About 50.50 50.50 is openDemocracy's section dedicated to exploring issues of gender equality and social justice at the global level.
are committed to promoting human rights and inclusive democracy through
dialogue and debate. But a global debate without the female half of
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In the months following the start of the Arab Revolutions, articles and analysis poured into openDemocracy from contributors across the Middle East and Europe. Gradually, the impact of Tahrir Square began to extend well beyond the Middle East as democratic inspiration travelled from east to west. Arab Awakening tries to capture that inspiration and use it to help us read a rapidly changing world.
"As students of politics is it is vital to study the power of imagination."
-Professor Charles Tripp, SOAS