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ISIS's plan, and the west's trap

The pattern of conflict since 2001 teaches a lesson that western states refuse to learn. - free thinking for the world

ISIS's plan, and the west's trap

The pattern of conflict since 2001 teaches a lesson that western states refuse to learn. - free thinking for the world

This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Erdoğan and Putin: unalike likeness

The leaders of Turkey and Russia are often compared. But their differences are more instructive than their similarities.

(This article was first published on 22 November 2014)

Why we should oppose British air strikes against ISIL in Syria

Britain’s Prime Minister says we should not undertake air strikes lightly – he is right: we need to think about legitimate state building, not replying to terror with terror.

United for climate justice, we will march together

Whatever our faith, we will unite for climate justice this Sunday.

COP21: Five keys for unlocking the climate negotiations

With next week's Paris climate summit fast approaching, five core issue will be central to a successful outcome. What are they and how will they contribute to climate change?

Ali Smith's Public Library: civic space and intimacy

The 'serious playfulness' of Ali Smith's most recent collection is underpinned by reverence for civic space and the written word. The two come together in the form of public libraries...

We need to rethink radical Islam's appeal

The Paris attacks invite us to reassess our ways of dealing with the spread of Muslim fundamentalism in western Europe. Is 'containment' enough?

Ukraine is caught between war and reform

Two years on from the protests that ignited Maidan, Ukraine is suffering from a clash of agendas.


ISIS's plan, and the west's trap

The pattern of conflict since 2001 teaches a lesson that western states refuse to learn.

Eight steps to achieving forgiveness

Foregiveness can be incredibly difficult. Here's how to practise it in a meaningful way.

Why scrapping nursing bursaries is a disaster - a student nurse speaks

George Osborne announced the scrapping of nurse training bursaries in this week's Spending Review. He seems to have forgotten why nursing bursaries were introduced in the first place.

Why the BBC’s independence is the best guarantee of its creative freedom

The BBC should have an effective system of regulation that guarantees its editorial independence and creative freedom, including the freedom to fail.

The media and public intellectuals: Fred Halliday vs Noam Chomsky

If the media lionises one and demonises the other, the favoured man must surely have been right on the big issues of the last 15 years. Right?

Another ‘Dodgy Dossier’ for war

Undeterred by the disastrous results of ‘regime change’ in Iraq and Libya, western powers have for four years been determinedly trying to help regime change in Syria along.

The will of Idomeni

The individuals stuck in Greece have begun a hunger strike, their determination challenging the arbitrary distinction between refugees and migrants. How long must they sit there?

Belgrade Waterfront - the dark side of 'urban renewal'

The development project known as the "Belgrade Waterfront" vividly illustrates the mechanisms of dispossession and exclusion in the Serbian 'transition progress'.

Playing with people’s emotions

'Every time the western media decides what to air, and who to call a terrorist, they generate a lot of debate in our country.' A leading Pakistani digital rights activist on the politics of counter-terror and surveillance.

Crimea needs a cure

DIY diagnoses, shortages of basic medical supplies, drugs and doctors. This is healthcare in annexation Crimea. Русский


The new challenge for the UK's nuclear debate

As Osborne doubles nuclear research support for small modular reactors in the UK, has he ignored the new, multiple terror risks this brings in its wake?

Mariupol elections: will Donbas voters be represented in Ukrainian politics?

The Donbas is being airbrushed out of Ukrainian politics. This will only build another barrier to a united and democratic country. Русский


A discord between demonstrators and the organizers of antigovernment protests in Brazil?

Demonstrators in Brazil recognize that both the government and the opposition are guilty of corruption, despite the selective discourse of the groups coordinating the demonstrations. Português. Español. 

Eyes wide shut – Germany, the immigration crisis and Merkel’s winter of discontent

Rarely has a democratic country moved so rapidly from seemingly perfect political stability to a widespread feeling of crisis, confusion and near chaos as Germany has done over the past six months.

Post-democracy in Armenia? How the new Constitution will depoliticize Armenian society

Is the new constitution an attempt by Armenian capital and oligarchs to signal to EU elites and European capital that they are determined to fulfil transnational capital’s wildest dreams? A conversation.

Mourning Paris, Beirut and Kabul

Most western commentators describe ‘the events’ in Paris as entirely different, an attack on our way of life. Which ‘way of life’ is under attack in Kabul and Beirut? 

Elona Kastrati: fame, feminism, and sanitary pads

Nineteen-year-old Elona Kastrati became internet-famous overnight, after she hung sanitary pads covered in feminist statements in a German city centre on International Women’s Day. Then she moved to her parents’ homeland – Kosovo.

Violence against women in Spain: who cares?

Ahead of next month's election all the political parties have commented on the level of violence against women, but public concern remains low. Is this the wake up call?  

G4S disputes claims that transgender asylum-seeker had to share bedroom with man

Neglect, contempt and hostility — how the UK government really welcomes refugees.

Reactions to Mr Osborne’s autumn statement

Today, UK's Chancellor George Osborne set out the Conservative Government’s fiscal plans for the current Parliament and beyond. First reactions to the Chancellor’s speech from four members of the network Economists for Rational Economic Policies (EREP).

Why the west cannot defeat ISIS

Maged Mandour

ISIS has emerged from the wounds of the Arab world—for which the west is to a large extent responsibleand current airstrikes are pouring salt into these wounds.

The aid crisis for Syrian refugees

As the war is prolonged, families are exhausting their savings. Without a massive re-thinking of how aid is delivered and distributed, refugees in the region are going to look for ways to leave.

Fear and loaning in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Republika Srpska’s controversial referendum

While Europe's focus is on the Middle East and the threat of terrorism, Bosnia and Herzegovina may hold a referendum that puts the country's fragile peace at risk.