This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Sri Lanka’s twin challenges

The Commonwealth heads of government meeting in Colombo was the occasion for renewed demands that the state account for the brutal ending of its war with the Tamil Tigers in 2009. But Sri Lanka's appalling human-rights record does not only apply to its violent past: today too civil-society organisations are under heavy authoritarian pressure.

Excluded and silenced: Women in Northern Ireland after the peace process

There is a backlash against women’s agency in Northern Ireland in a number of different ways, all of which impact on the ability of women to participate fully in initiatives intended to deal with the legacy of the past and support the transition out of conflict.

Walmart's Black Friday strikes: a new dawn for organised labour?

Walmart has been extremely hostile to the concept of worker collective voice, and this hostility, in time, led to it becoming a major innovator in anti-union tactics. But labour is organising differently and fighting back.

Grand colonic tour: Theroux does Angola

Unimpressed by the savvy interviews with new oligarchs advertising their art and charity credentials, and nervous expats’ claims that the country is improving by leaps and bounds, Theroux doesn’t pull any punches.  (Book review)

Rapprochement under Rouhani: Iran and Britain

The reconciliation with Britain as part of a broader policy of détente has paid off more quickly than expected during the second round of nuclear negotiations between the P5+1 and Iran in Geneva.

Modi as future Indian PM? Development, camps, the ‘Muslim Vote’

Is it not contradictory that Modi stands exonerated of any role in the pogrom of over 3,000 Muslims in Gujarat whose Chief Minister he was, whereas even the construction of a toilet or fixing of a lamppost is squarely attributed to Modi’s personal achievement in the area of development?

The Erbil explosions – designed to change the strategic climate of the KRG

When is a terrorist attack a terrorist attack?

Ukrainians are in the EU, even if Ukraine isn’t

If Brussels doesn’t learn its lesson from a tactical defeat by Russia and prepare a plan for secure economic integration with Ukraine, tens of millions of Europeans will remain outside of the EU’s borders.

Immunity and impunity in peace keeping: the protection gap

Trafficking and sexual exploitation are an integral part of armed conflict and its aftermath. Madeleine Rees argues that the lack of political will and an interpretation of law that works in favour of perpetrators - including those working in international peace keeping institutions - must be addressed

The quest for gender-just peace: from impunity to accountability

Yakin Erturk reflects on the six years she spent working as the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, and argues that in order to build a gender- just peace, dis-empowering patriarchy and engaging with the feminist agenda of empowering women must be the guiding principle for all peace initiatives.

Gulf states and Iran: don't moan, act

The international deal over Iran reveals the weakness of Arab Gulf diplomacy. It's time for a new approach, says Khaled Hroub.

Syria and Libya, a slow meltdown

The diplomatic agreement over Iran is welcome. But it also conceals policy failure and media neglect in two arenas of deepening war and insecurity: Syria and Libya.

Sexual violence in Bosnia: how war lives on in everyday life

Rape has been recognized as a war crime in international and Bosnian law, but women survivors seldom receive the reparation they are owed. Meanwhile, persistent male violence makes daily life in Bosnia-Herzegovina a battleground for many women.

Drones over the world

US drones are often thought of as focused entirely on action against Al-Qaeda and associates, particularly in Pakistan. But the CIA's expanding global net extends into the Pacific, linked to the surveillance operations of the National Security Agency.

Typhoon Haiyan: natural disaster meets armed conflict

The huge destruction in the Philippines in the November typhoon hit a poor region already long affected by violent conflict. The two are deeply related, says Colin Walch, who was conducting research in the area when the typhoon struck.

Towards a twenty-first century society of control?

These highly complex systems literally disintegrate the spatial and geographical unity of political subjects, that is citizens, into streams of rights-less digital bits of data flow. No democratic system can survive and thrive in this context. But there is no going back.

Unreformable: an end to stop-and-frisk in NYC?

Under Mayor Bloomberg and Police Commissioner Ray Kelley stop-and-frisk has been a racist technology of control wielded by an unchecked police force. With large-scale popular mobilisations against police racism and violence, and de Blasio set to take over as mayor of New York City, reform of stop-and-frisk seems in sight. But is such a practice reformable? 

Exiting the Vampire Castle

We need to learn, or re-learn, how to build comradeship and solidarity instead of doing capital’s work for it by condemning and abusing each other. This doesn’t mean, of course, that we must always agree – on the contrary, we must create conditions where disagreement can take place without fear of exclusion and excommunication.

Syria: CW disarmament enters critical phase as hell breaks loose

If by any chance a rogue group gets hold of CW – even from an entirely different source – and uses them, we will be back to the prospect of missile strikes again. Knowing that to be the case, some rogue groups may well set out to provoke just that.

From 'Silence Would Be Treason' - the last writings of Ken Saro-Wiwa

No, Shell are merely hoping that the government will succeed in “pacifying” the Ogoni and then they will move in proudly and calmly to continue to steal. They are in for a fight they will never forget.

How to reverse a slow-motion apocalypse 


A movement isn’t called that for nothing.  It has to move people.  It needs lovers, and friends, and allies.  It has to generate a cascade of feeling - moral feeling.

Nothing left? In search of (a new) social democracy

(Real) social democracy is not just unknown to several generations of voters, but it is contradictory to their individualist or ethnicized worldview. So far the analyses and prospects do not look promising. 

Put Vaclav Havel in any election today and he would lose. Is that OK?

In our series on the Polish left, an interview on the future of politics in Europe and beyond with the sociologist, founder of the Krytyka Polityczna movement in Poland, and director of the Institute for Advanced Study in Warsaw.

Researching Occupy London

Those few cold months camped outside St Pauls were a fragile attempt to create a political subject beyond the terrain of politics as usual.

Where the buffalo shouldn't roam

In Romania traditional livelihoods and rare animal species are about to give way to a bizarre, private project to introduce American buffalo. It's part of a rural exodus, and EU law will make future land grabs even easier.

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