Exposing the false prophets of social transformation

A growing group of elite storytellers present radical solutions to global problems, but their ideas actually inhibit real change and strengthen the status quo.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

Exposing the false prophets of social transformation

A growing group of elite storytellers present radical solutions to global problems, but their ideas actually inhibit real change and strengthen the status quo.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

The art of self-reliance: stories from the refugees who stay

Ending the 'migration crisis' means creating decent and liveable lives. The ability to become self-reliant in even the most disadvantaged of circumstances is worthy of illumination and support.

Film review: 'Moskvitch, My Love' (dir. Aram Shahbazyan)

As a testament to Soviet nostalgia, the plot of Moskvitch, My Love is peculiar: a father's blind pursuit of a car he can neither afford nor drive, hoping for a son who will never return.

 

The rise of Brazil's 'free journalists'

By disrupting common-sense narratives, Brazil’s alternative media is raising issues on behalf of a silent majority. But remaining independent is a challenge.

Red alert for the BBC: a response to Enders Analysis

The debate about the BBC's forthcoming Charter Renewal is inherently political.

Dreams of return find new meaning on Zaatari's third anniversary

The permanence of the Zaatari Syrian refugee camp in Jordan is not accepted by all, but is a truth that is transforming lives and attitudes inside the informal city.

Sweets Way Resists: a community reclaims 'regeneration'

Having been evicted, and facing demolition, the London Sweets Way estate campaigners have taken democracy into their own hands. 

Paying for human rights violations: perceptions of the Colombian peace process

New research shows that providing context for human rights issues yields a broader range of responses to peace talks in Colombia. A contribution to openGlobalRights’ debate on Public Opinion and Human Rights. Español

Lebanon’s refugees: resisting hegemony through culture

Seenaryo, a small independent theatre project that starts this week with Syrian and Palestinian children, seeks to foster an alternative political proposal in a situation where politics has emphatically failed. 

Iran’s nuclear deal reconsidered

Business delegations are flying in daily, making the most of this opportunity to establish themselves in Iran when Republican opposition to the deal is compromising US prospects at this critical early stage.

A hotchpotch of hope

The Labour Party machinery has long been prone to imagining outcomes within the narrowest, safest, and statistically verifiable ranges of business as usual. No wonder it’s panicking over the ‘Corbyn surge’.  

Prospects for Paris

Where should the climate movement be focussing its energy?

Exposing the false prophets of social transformation

A growing group of elite storytellers present radical solutions to global problems, but their ideas actually inhibit real change and strengthen the status quo.

Turkey’s bombing campaign against the Kurds will affect domestic parliamentary politics

Strikingly, during the hastily convened NATO meeting on Tuesday, secretary general Jens Stoltenberg refrained from directly mentioning Kurdish militant groups.

Humanitarian pauses in Yemen?

To re-emphasise, it is now estimated that 80% of the country’s population, over 21 million people, are in need of assistance, 1.3 million officially displaced.

BBC Green Paper: red alert on funding

The government has promised a nit-picking examination of all the BBC does, focusing on how to redefine its mission as well as reform and improve its services in the internet age.

13 things about the Labour leadership election

What does the Labour leadership election tell us about the state of British politics?

Salvaging the luminosity of a lost city

While the murder of hundreds of women in Juárez, Mexico, eventually attracted international attention – and with it, sensationalist headlines – photographer Itzel Aguilera’s work engages with the complex realities of her city.

The previous sole superpower

A little history of Great Britain excerpted from Galeano's late-in-life masterpiece, Mirrors: Stories of Almost Everyone.

Australia's cruel treatment of gay asylum-seekers

Australia continues to resettle homosexual refugees in homophobic Papua New Guinea. Gay men seeking asylum are both required yet unable to declare their sexuality for fear of persecution.

Should western countries support Tunisia and if so how?

The new Tunisian leaders would prefer that westerners invest in Tunisia by building factories and processing plants, creating thousands of jobs for Tunisians at home and quality goods at fair prices.

The crushing of Syriza: an Aesopian fable

In 2010 the image of ‘ending up like Greece’ was that of a Dickensian debtors’ prison. In 2015 it is that of hell.

Apologists for terror or defenders of human rights? The Cage controversy in context

The attack on Cage is part of the more general assault on politically active Muslims and an attempt to push Muslim organisations to the margins of public life.

Fair Game? The BBC and the future of sport on free-to-air television

Providing ‘free’ access to sport is one of the BBC’s vital public roles. If this function is to be preserved in a post-broadcast age it must be reinforced by state legislation.  

The Greek referendum: a peculiar situation and an infamous act

A close adviser to Greece’s former Finance Minister, Yanis Varoufakis, gives an insider view of the government negotiations with the Eurogroup. Interview by acTVism Munich. Deutsch.

New constitution, old faces in Armenia

President Serzh Sargsyan is pushing for constitutional reform. Is it only about staying in power?

 

A spectre is haunting Europe — the spectre of democracy

Since Greek voters rejected Troika rule by a landslide, the Hellenic citizenry presents a threat far greater than the government it elected. It must be punished.

Amnesty International: adopt the proposed policy on sex work

CATW’s opposition to Amnesty International’s ‘draft policy on sex work’ is misguided. A coalition of sex workers’ organisations and advocates fills in the gaps in this open letter to AI.

The 2015 US Trafficking Report: signs of decline?

The US Trafficking in Persons Report exposes exploitation and holds governments to account. But creeping politicisation and a reluctance to address the political economy of TIP are compromising its credibility.

No, you can’t ‘be the change’ alone

Positive thinking may be useless or even damaging, but negative thinking is unlikely to change the world for the better.

Review - 'Benign Violence: Education in and beyond the Age of Reason'

Ansgar Allen's book traces our obsession with assessment, standards and measurement in modern education. It is both an unsettling history and a provocative call for resistance.