This week's editor

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Adam Ramsay is co-editor of OurKingdom.

The end of a temporary advantage

Western powers are indeed trying to tell China how to behave, both implicitly and explicitly, but the idea of the West needs rethinking. A response to Xiaoyo Pu in the 'emerging powers and human rights ' debate. 

Elemental Dr Watson?

Michael Edwards explores a new documentary about three people who are confronting environmental degradation in a spirit of transformational activism.

Questioning the intelligence: Obama's decision to supply arms to Syria

The red line threshold has finally been crossed – but on unverified intelligence, encouraged by appetites for military intervention. It is Iraq all over again.

On Prism, the Snooper's Charter, whistleblowers, spies and secret courts - what can we say?

In February 2009 the Convention of Modern Liberty gathered a distinguished crowd who cared about the issues raised by a growing UK surveillance state. Their words are worth revisiting today. 

An unholy alliance

Private companies and intelligence services have entered an unholy alliance: The former collect vast amounts of private data, the latter scoop it up without much oversight.

The case of the ‘Brutal Savage’: Poirot or Clouseau? Why Steven Pinker, like Jared Diamond, is wrong

Steven Pinker claims to prove scientifically that the world is now more peaceful, accusing some critics of succumbing to myth. The author argues that Pinker is promoting a fictitious, colonialist image of a backward ‘Brutal Savage’, which pushes the debate back over a century and is still used to destroy tribes. (Long review)

After austerity: a new limit to growth?

The current focus on policies for returning to economic growth threatens to obscure the problems of sustaining growth on a finite planet. A new study hopes to respond to this threat.

Sex changes, groupies, and drag queens - all in the family

Our Sunday Comics columnist dips his toes into the water and considers the social and sexual flexibility of the parrotfish, finding resonances with his own kind



Gridlock: the growing breakdown of global cooperation

Economic and political shifts in large part attributable to the successes of the post-war multilateral order are now amongst the factors grinding that system into gridlock.

Our final century? Threats to the survival of the human race in the 21st century: Part 2

Film: Martin Rees speaks to TalkWorks on nuclear disarmament, threats confronting humanity in the 21st century and what must change as part of the 2013 Global Perspectives series.

Our final century? Threats to the survival of the human race in the 21st century: Part 1

Film: Martin Rees speaks to TalkWorks on nuclear disarmament, threats confronting humanity in the 21st century and what must change as part of the 2013 Global Perspectives series.

A century on the edge - and of hope: Part 2

Film: Paul Rogers speaks to TalkWorks on nuclear disarmament, threats confronting humanity in the 21st century and what must change as part of the 2013 Global Perspectives series.

A century on the edge - and of hope: Part 1

Film: Paul Rogers speaks to TalkWorks on nuclear disarmament, threats confronting humanity in the 21st century and what must change as part of the 2013 Global Perspectives series. 

Kremlin games: when programming meets politics

THE CEELBAS DEBATE// Russia has a booming and influential video-game market. The authorities want to capitalise on the industry, but do they really understand how it works? 

Haiti, cholera and the UN: the case for isolation vs infection

One of the most powerful international organisations is pitted against vulnerable people in the poorest country in the Americas. The accusation: that the UN is responsible for Haiti's cholera epidemic. What measures should now be taken? Who, if anyone, is to blame?

Indian farmers trapped and desperate

A wave of suicides has swept through the Indian farming community in recent years as, driven into heavy debt by deadly competition, many small farmers don't see another way out. A market-fundamentalist Indian government has so far refused to take its responsibilities to stop this growing epidemic.

Czech nuclear power in the shadow of geopolitics

The upgrade of Temelin, a nuclear power station, has become the backdrop of a power struggle between the Unites States and Russia. Worryingly, a discussion on Czech energy policy is being silenced by the competition of foreign strategic interests.

Is Erasmus Europe's success story?

In our new 'Eminent Europeans' series, we ask the continent's share of intellectuals - philosophers, artists or scientists - to share their vision of Europe. In the first article, Jan Truszczyński, the European Commission's Director-General for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, explains why the Erasmus programme is one of Europe's biggest achievements.

North Korea’s missiles: peepholes into alien territory

It is here in South Korea where you will find the most prevalent sense of bitterness and anger towards the belligerent communist state.

When the possible death of humanities is a progressive development

MOOCs (massive open online courses) and more freely available lectures and university content are transforming the education landscape, and alliances between academia and corporations are ever-increasing. But this revolution in education might pose a lethal threat for hardly commodifiable disciplines such as those of the humanities. 

An interview with Jimmy Wales

On Sky News, Dermot Murnaghan sits down with Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, to discuss the media, old and new.

India Burning

When the rice harvest season finishes in a few weeks, fields in India will turn black as farmers burn thousands of acres. This practice shows one of the failures of the Green Revolution, with devastating regional and global consequences. A food-security-obsessed India cannot ignore these issues for much longer.

The internet and Tolstoy’s vision of history

The digital age brings with it the promise of micro observation and indefinite memory. This will bring about a different approach to history - similar to what Tolstoy described one and a half century ago.

What can be done about vote counting fraud in the US elections?

The consensus is that this presidential election may all come down to Ohio and a few other “swing” states, as in 2000 and 2004. If there are any voting irregularities to be found this time around, Ohio will be the place to look first.

The fight for a genuinely democratic Europe

In France, the Manifesto of Appalled Economists underlined some of the country’s most prominent economic concerns about the European response to the global crisis. It was signed by over 700 economists and more than 6,500 concerned citizens. Today, we publish their call for a more open, more democratic European Union.

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