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Impatient dictators: how snap elections shore up authoritarianism in Eurasia

Authoritarian states are using all-too familiar constitutional mechanisms to consolidate power.

When Harry weds Meghan

Some bashed the monarchy and called the royal wedding a non-event. A minority voice claimed that the wedding was no big deal. (He was wrong).

Crece (otra vez) la milicia en Rio de Janeiro

Inicialmente, las milicias aseguraron territorio, garantizaron la ley y el orden, y lograron cierta legitimidad. Pero se han convertido en bandas criminales despiadadas, que compiten con las de narcotraficantes. English

Rio de Janeiro's militia on the rise (again)

Initially, the militias secured territory, guaranteed law and order, and achieved some legitimacy. But they have become ruthless criminal gangs, competing with those of drug traffickers. Español

‘Nice Irish girls don’t have sex’ is the old idea at the heart of historic abortion rights battle

Even if abortion is legalised in Ireland, this mindset must be challenged if women are to fully access their reproductive rights.

When the name Yazid is neither good nor bad

Syrians lack a common history and will continue to do so as long as the oral history of each group remains different from the one presented in slogans of national dissimulation. العربية

عندما لا يكون يزيد شريراً أو خيّراً

الحقّ أنه ليس للسوريين، بخلاف ما يُحكى كشعار، تاريخ مشترك ما دام التاريخ الشفوي لكل جماعة مختلفاً عن شعارات التقية الوطنية؛ هذا التاريخ الجامع لتناقضاتهم لم يُعترف به ليُدفن كما يليق به. English

Steven Pinker’s ideas are fatally flawed. These eight graphs show why.

It’s time to reclaim the mantle of “Progress” for progressives.

Lib-pop politics: Italy’s new government is more neoliberal than populist

The fear is that populism, Italian style, has achieved power. But neoliberal policies rule more than ever, tinged with populism, opening the way to Lega’s far-right, racist (and neoliberal) politics. 

“Just be fair”: when does journalism undermine its own reputation?

 “I don't think I have ever seen another media organisation targeted by the full force of the State, as WikiLeaks is.” Interview with Stefania Maurizi.

Oral culture and identity in Syria - Dossier

What are the origins of sectarian consciousness in Syria? Did it appear from nothing or was it always dormant and waiting to erupt? العربية

Intercultural Cities: "Diversity as an advantage"

On World Day for Cultural Diversity what do Barcelona, Montreal, Hamamatsu, Tanger, Haifa, Ballarat and Mexico City have in common?

Presidential elections in Colombia: polarisation or deterioration of the political conversation?

Political polarisation consists of the amplification of divergence and consequently displacement towards extreme ideological positions. When this intensifies, the centre becomes more narrow, but this is not happening in Colombia. Español

Presidenciales en Colombia: ¿polarización o deterioro de la conversación política?

La polarización política consiste en la ampliación de la divergencia y el consecuente desplazamiento hacia los extremos ideológicos. Pero cuando se intensifica, el centro tiende a reducirse, y eso no ocurre en Colombia, al menos hasta 2016. English

Who benefits from sensationalised media coverage of abortion? Hint: not women, whose lives are at stake

Media outlets too often cover abortion-related news in inaccurate and derogatory ways. Activists and progressive journalists must work together to change this.

Zionism: the history of a contested word

These polarising terms should be shelved, and taken out only when we are discussing political philosophy, which most of the time, we are not.

Welcome to the ‘New Dark Age.’

A terrifying new book by James Bridle calls on us to embrace uncertainty.

The fault lines of Welsh politics have been redrawn

Plaid Cymru's leader argues that the UK parties are no longer pretending to represent Wales.

Police bring charges to your work place, bed bugs instead of torture and a hunger strike

The latest in freedom of assembly news from Russia, via OVD-Info. 

Heritage peacebuilding in Iraq

After years of funding being pumped to Iraq’s NGO sector based on US military needs, local civil society is rebuilding itself based on Iraqi priorities, not least of which is heritage.

Rebirth of a small dark stranger: The Black Dwarf, the British New Left, and 1968

The radical newspaper Black Dwarf burst onto the scene in 1968 with an iconic cover. It didn't last but its spirit lives on.

No monopoly on David Kelly’s death: Miles Goslett responds to David Aaronovitch’s criticism

The author of An Inconvenient Death asks why Aaronovitch has spent so much time on a book he believes worthless – and argues that Aaronovitch’s own writing on the subject does not stand up well to scrutiny.

Iran eyes Israel: the fire next time

How a military exchange gives Tehran insight into a sworn enemy.

For the frontrunners in the race to be mayor of Moldova's capital, city hall is no place for politics

32714373_1839874162718477_6334540156975972352_n.jpgThis Sunday, Chișinău votes in the first round of mayoral elections. But as oligarchic forces line up to take the city, one thing is clear: the public sphere has been cleared of real politics. 


“In two years of picketing, 15 miners of working age have died”: how Rostov miners are fighting against all odds for their wages – and respect

For two years, workers at a bankrupt mining company in southern Russia attempting to recoup their outstanding wages. All this in a town with 100% unemployment. RU

Owning the future: why we need new models of ownership

From the national to the firm level, new models of ownership can begin to reshape how our economy works and for whom.

Why misunderstanding identity politics undermines the goals of a just society

'Ideal citizens' should not be defined by a white patriarchal system.