This week's guest editors

The role of Palestinian women in resistance

Despite fighting deeply rooted patriarchal structures, for decades Palestinian women have played an integral role in resistance. Without the prioritization of the emancipation of women, national liberation will not be achieved.  

The selective awareness of Wisdom 2.0

Take an ancient practice, remove it from its context, strip away its ethical imperatives and sell it for a profit. Is the goal of the corporate mindfulness movement to comfort the already comfortable? 

Understanding the Chinese Communist Party: a conversation with Yu Keping

The challenges of changing a revolutionary party into a ruling party, as seen by no new Martin Luther, but a modernist.

Democracy blooming at the margins: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Ukraine and Taiwan

The terrifying spectre in these countries is not of ravenous foreign capital, though there is plenty of experience with this too, but of the persistent suffering of being an oft bloodied geopolitical borderland.

A startup fever with a Middle Eastern twist

Young Arab entrepreneurs throughout the Middle Eastern region (the "youth bulge") are collaborating to revitalize their local economies and attracting international investment. 

Bulgaria: leaving no man's land behind for the EU open door

One lesson we are learning is that although Brussels is important, it is not a universal solution. Brussels is used as an excuse in Bulgaria so that we do not worry about political lobbying, the judicial system, and the media, because somebody else has the big stick. An interview with Dimitar Bechev. 

Energy descent




These new value systems do not mean we will adapt to less, but rather we will return to core essentials, empowering individuals and local communities.

Not enough demand for green growth? Ask for it.

If change is slow to come from international agreements or business boardrooms, it could come from interconnected people who measure their success based on the sustainable impact their money and actions have. Aggregate environmental and social impact is the key.

Myanmar’s long walk to democracy becomes even longer

The deafening silence from the international community on the incidents of last week displays a worrying underpinning weakness in its understanding of the Myanmar context.

The colours of a potential Indian prime minister

Transparency and accountability are hardly Mr Modi’s forte. Modi’s record in decentralised governance also fails to impress. Voters have no idea who will be in his ministerial team, and what their views are likely to be.

Turkish elections: money and the media

Measures aimed at limiting reporting by major independent news resources allowed Erdogan’s media to create an unquestioned atmosphere of electoral victory.

Reclaiming feminist visions of empowerment

Glib and glossy visions of women’s empowerment, designed to avoid actual power structures, are being avidly promoted by corporations and the development industry alike. A new book by Srilatha Batliwala reminds us of what lies at the heart of feminist empowerment work.

In Turkey's political contest, rule of the law is the real loser

The events of the past three months threw a stark light on the way the AKP government and Gülenists used the justice system in the past for common political ends. The result has been a clear erosion of the rule of law. Turkey’s voters deserve better than that.

Exploring Erdoğan’s unwavering support in Turkey

The fear of possible military coups have never left the collective imaginary of all forms of Turkish public, including the conservative constituency.

Creating a culture of participation

As part of our series of interviews with practitioners and activists, Participation Now researcher Hilde C. Stephansen spoke to Mikey Weinkove of The People Speak, an artists’ collective that creates ‘tools for the world to take over itself’. Their many projects include Talkaoke, a mobile talk show, and Who Wants To Be?, an ask-the-audience game show.

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.

Turkey’s election failings may lead to yet another legitimacy crisis for Erdoğan

In line with the AKP government’s rudimentary understanding of “democracy” that considers it synonymous with elections, Erdoğan has reiterated countless times that the solution to all problems, including the allegations against his government, lay in that holy of holies: the Ballot Box.

The Goebbels effect

Let us stand still and recognize what has happened in the Dutch repudiation of Geert Wilders and embrace of Moroccan-Dutch – in all its ambivalence – but not cheer it, yet.

From Facebook movements to city square movements

Use of the internet has not led to a predominance of virtual actions and movements over mobilizations in ‘physical space’. On the contrary, since 2011 the occupation of urban public spaces - and more particularly symbolic spaces - has been a major feature of these movements.

From Occupy to online democracy: the Loomio story

Flexibility was important, with people being able to change their position if their mind was changed by a persuasive argument or new information. Democracy is a skill we can practice with people wherever we are. 

Engaging EU citizens in policy making

As part of our series of interviews with practitioners involved in public participation initiatives, Participation Now researcher Hilde C. Stephansen spoke to Deirdre Lee at Insight-NUI Galway, about Puzzled by Policy, a European Commission funded project that aimed to engage citizens in the policy making process.

Internalised oppression

Palestinian officials too often assume the role of oppressor, condemning spontaneous reactions to Israeli violations and promoting meek submission in its stead. They cast the Palestinian people in the roles of suspect and offender. Such attitudes only feed into the occupier’s spin on reality.

Feminism helped me survive a forced marriage

I have Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder as a result of fleeing a forced marriage a decade ago. Writing and feminist activism helped me find a space for survival. This is the second article in Transformation's series on the politics of mental health.

French local elections on suburban housing estates

It is, in a sense, a good sign for racial integration to see that the “new French” are voting just like the old ones.

Taking responsibility for Friern Barnet Community Library

“Barnet claims to know what people want.  But if you go into some of the libraries in Barnet, I would have to say that they probably don’t know what people want.” Nick Mahony talks to the Chair of Trustees of a library saved by occupation for the community in north London.

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