This week's editor

Jeremy Noble, editor

Jeremy Noble and the oDR team edit the front page this week.

Introducing Bill McKibben: social movement creation today

Is one of America’s most prominent environmentalists, Bill McKibben, heading up a leaderless movement? If not, what kind of leader is he? Book review.

Why the precariat is not a “bogus concept”

The precariat, a class-in-the-making, is the first mass class in history that has systematically been losing rights built up for citizens. So, why is it the new dangerous class and how is it differentiated from other class groups in the evolving global labour process?

Why Obama shouldn’t fall for Putin’s Ukrainian folly

Russia and the west have conspired to tear the country apart. Both sides must stand down now or face the consequences.

Ukraine: a nonviolent victory

Dramatic words or violent acts were not how the Ukrainian people ousted an authoritarian leader and his cronies. Civil resistance shredded the legitimacy of a repressive and corrupt government. The nonviolent movement dissolved the consent of the people and the loyalty of regime defenders on which Victor Yanukovych depended.

Welcome to the age of resistance

I plead guilty to the indictment of avowed optimism. We have entered an age of resistance for which we must build an analytics. New forms, strategies and subjects of resistance and insurrection appear regularly without knowledge of or guidance from Badiou, Zizek or Negri.

Kleptocracy: final stage of Soviet-style socialism

The tumult in Ukraine marks a wider crisis of the corrupt post-Soviet model. The impact will be felt most acutely in Russia itself, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

Two bob each way on democracy: book review

The author of The Life and Death of Democracy reviews The Confidence Trap: A history of democracy in crisis from World War 1 to the present by David Runciman (Princeton, 2013).

An Armenian perspective on Khojali

Many civilians were killed in the war between the newly independent states of Armenia and Azerbaijan in the early 1990s. But the disputed period raises larger questions of common suffering, says Gerard Libaridian, adviser to Armenia's president at the time, who reflects on one incident that casts a long shadow.

Social room: making a more civil society

The US school shooters weren't just pathological murderers, they were responding to suffocating beliefs about masculinity. The 'sea of pink', Nelson Mandela and the AIDS memorial quilt show that to thrive, everyone needs more social room.

The constituent assembly of the commons (CAC)

This bottom-up lawmaking project is an opportunity for us to reflect on the role the law can play as a strategy of struggle and resistance against the neoliberal policies of commodification and privatization. 

What is the fifth estate?

For the first time since 1848, a renewed Europe from the bottom up is possible: with the new social coalitions of the Fifth Estate.

Climate politics: a melting glacier...

A new political tone on climate change in Britain is matched by a breakthrough in understanding the retreat of tropical glaciers.

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.

The undeluded going astray in Bosnia

The process of integration into the European Union, which has been stagnant for a decade now, has exposed the sad reality of a total lack of political will on the part of Europe. Let’s be more specific. In Italian. In French.

Yemen, and the Tunisian example

A political agreement in Yemen is under strain. But its very existence confirms the Arab revolutions' key breakthrough, says Hazem Saghieh.

The BRICS of collapse? Why emerging economies need a different development model

They have pursued GDP growth with little or no investment in human, social and natural capital. This does not bode well for the future of the world economy.

Fallujah revisited

Saudi Arabia’s virulently sectarian geo-policies are behind the resurgence of Al Qaida in Iraq.

The Arab Spring and the changing balance of global power

From an empirical-analytical point of view, what has happened in the Middle East and North Africa since Mohammed Bouazizi died? This is not an opinion piece, but an assessment of underlying factors which have put pressure on the aspiration for justice and political reform launched by the Arab Spring. (5,000 words) 

Acts, affects, calls

What art accomplishes in performing politics is to govern (placing beings into play with one another) bodies through affects. This is to realize that building broader coalitions and involving more people will require calling them forth not merely with arguments (life is no argument) but also through affects.

Bosnia, and vanishing European leadership

Bosnian citizens' protest against corruption and misgovernance also reveals the deep flaws of the country's ethno-nationalist system. But where is Europe?

Why an empty space (a tent) in an occupied theatre? (During a meeting on the city and art).

It was brought there without any intentions other than that of being here as a sign speaking for itself. This was the action: setting up a light emergency tent. 

Nuclear disarmament: the case for engagement, not division

While understanding the humanitarian consequences of nuclear weapons are key to acheiving disarmament, efforts for a new convention outside the nuclear non-proliferation treaty will only fragment the nuclear debate further.

Drones: who wants what and why?

The use of drones responds to a simple equation: fewer casualties of one’s own soldiers and maximisation of enemy casualties. And it’s also about selling the idea that the more technology involved, the ‘cleaner’ the war.

Why does Putin fear Maidan?

The popular upheaval in Ukraine reveals how the Kremlin thinks, says Carmen Claudín.

Enough talk about intersectionality. Let's get on with it

Feminists today are occupied by seemingly endless Twitter debates. But this is a politics of representation: our attention needs to move towards a politics of change. What are we not doing while so many of our movement's resources are being used like this?

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