This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

Rethinking the origins of 9/11

As 2013 came to an end ‘9/11’ continued to cast a violent shadow in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the US response betrayed a failure to understand its origin.

China and the Great Game

Almost all discussion of Afghanistan after 2014 hinges on the withdrawal of western forces. Yet into that gap a major power is stepping—China. China’s involvement in turn poses major questions, vis-à-vis Pakistan, India and their own point of friction—Kashmir.

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.

Ukraine, and a Europe-Russia crack

The conflict in Ukraine is part of a wider tussle over eastern Europe's political orientation. The European Union remains pivotal to progress, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

Anti-Semitism, Islamophobia or racism? Anti-Jewish and anti-Muslim racisms and the question of Palestine/Israel

Both anti-Muslim and anti-Jewish racisms have become part of daily ‘common sense’ constructions everywhere in time of global crisis, expressing insecurity and hostility against ‘the Other’, ‘the terrorist’, ‘the usurper’. The Palestine/Israel question has helped to encourage these conflations and racialisations. Conference report.

Georgia and migration: a policy trap

Europe's politics of migration control are being exported to Georgia with potentially dangerous results, says Gavin Slade.

Britain's Bulgaria-Romania phobia

The panic in Britain over prospective Bulgarian and Romanian immigration is based on misunderstanding of European rules. It is also at odds with the country's best traditions, says Dimitar Bechev.

South Sudan: grim legacy of neglect

A power-grab by rebels would come with huge civilian casualties and also set a bad precedent in a country with long ethnic rivalries, lacking a professional military and with an armed civilian population.

Indian elections: democracy reaffirmed?

The election results which have just come in have been stunning. BJP won thumping majorities in Madhya Pradesh (165/230), Rajasthan (162/199) and a comfortable majority in Chhattisgarh (49/90).

Iran deal: the view from Saudi Arabia

Iran’s adoption of an actively conciliatory foreign policy has set the stage for Iranian-Saudi cooperation and for further developments to take place.

Mandela and Cuba: another memory hole

Recognition of the role of Cuba in aiding the ANC whilst the western powers backed apartheid is hardly serviceable in maintaining the conventional Cold War narrative. Hence the media's impressive avoidance of the context of the Castro-Obama handshake and its significance. 

Washington’s wedding album from hell

The US launches drone strikes against groups or individuals whose behavior simply fits a “suspect” category: young men of military age carrying weapons, for instance (in areas where carrying a weapon may be the norm no matter who you are). 

Appraising Ethiopia’s Saudi policy

We are full well aware that we should not kid ourselves about the likely short- and long- term costs of severing all bilateral ties. What we are proposing of course is limited in scope and time. 

Lampedusa deaths: identification and families’ right to know

It is a principle that those who perish or go missing in humanitarian disasters should be identified. This principle should also be applied to migration tragedies, though it is infrequently acted on by governments.

The Chilean presidential elections and foreign policy

Chile has been elected as one of the ten non-permanent member of the UN Security Council (2014-2015). What might the future mandate for foreign policy look like under Chile’s new president? This survey suggests some implications for the region as a whole. 

On western military interventionism

Things are not as clear cut as one would like to believe: like war and peace, black and white, good or evil. As in real life, there are few obvious moral, or immoral solutions. Take Mali.

Why the US should join forces with the Baathist regime in Syria

The Baathist regime is indeed guilty of great war crimes, but the human cost of a failed state would be a greater catastrophe. Washington should have learnt this lesson from Afghanistan, Somalia and Iraq.

Who’s afraid of partisan politics?

Bi-partisan deal-making is often celebrated as progress, but is it any basis for transforming politics in America? This is the final article in our series on trans-partisan politics.

Non-violence: past, present, future

An informative guide to non-violent activism worldwide offers a valuable, positive resource through difficult times. It is also a tribute to the lifelong work of its co-editor, Howard Clark.

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.

Shifting tides for Egypt’s bloggers

Egypt's blogosphere and twitter world was buzzing with reminders of how the army and the ministry of interior violated human rights on various occasions. On the other hand, the mainstream media was buzzing with songs cheering the army and the Minister of Defense.

EU and US both threatened by secret trade talks

This week’s talks, like the previous rounds, will happen behind closed doors. The negotiating texts will be kept secret from the public but not from the ca. 600 corporate representatives who have been named ‘cleared advisors’ for the United States.

Is the WTO deal good news for multilateralism?

Resolving gridlock involves the search for a new kind of politics that builds on the many and various partial solutions to global challenges that can be found today. The only alternative is collective drift.

Anti-Semitism and the Jewish future in Europe

An oft-quoted new survey seems to suggest that many Jews in Europe are not living with the peace of mind and sense of security that every ethnic and religious group ought to enjoy. This survey, however, has several limitations.

Pondering participation

Is there a profound contradiction between subjective expression and effective political deliberation, such that the first type of participation should be described as superficial? 

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