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This week's editor

Backsliding on civic space in democracies

An open civic space is a key ingredient of a successful and rights respecting democracy. Sadly, there’s a gaping hole between principle and practice. Español  

New ideas need old buildings

Creativity is a renewable resource, heritage is not. Unleashing the creativity of citizens is an empowering process, but we should not forget that new ideas need old buildings. Interview Português

A hollow referendum

Instead of articulating a brand-new direction for the country, the referendum simply served to legitimize and solidify the powers that President Erdogan has held since July 2016.

Why the right to science matters for everyone

The right to science influences everything from freeing wrongfully accused prisoners to crop rotation—but what happens when that right comes under threat?

Badly-timed, ill-conceived and fraudulent, yet Turkey’s opposition could be the one to gain from Erdoğan’s presidential referendum

The Turkish political system will have to reach a new level of democratic maturity, to challenge Erdoğan’s monopoly of office in a way that would bring forward positive change.

The five 'infections' of the social democratic 'family' in the Western Balkans

Social democracy is failing all across Europe; but it's impotence in the Balkans especially is having serious consequences for the region.

Human rights after Hitler: and the essential role of the global popular

A timely and groundbreaking book breaks the silence over a little-known UN agency operating between 1943 and 1948, the UNWCC – a key chapter in our war-time experience. Excerpts.

Quo vadis Alsace? Politics in the land of paradox

Why are so many people in Alsace voting for the Front National?

The BRICS Bank needs a bold and participatory strategy for sustainable development

The NDB has up until now operated largely in the dark, with little to no transparency about proposed projects or real engagement with civil society. Español Português

Tabqa Dam: the key to capturing Raqqa

An interview with Sinan Deniz, a Kobane-based ANF journalist embedded with the SDF forces in their battle to take the Tabqa dam and liberate Raqqa from Islamic State control.

Three ways the fossil fuel industry influences the UK political system – and three things you can do

Climate change is one terrifying symptom of a broken economic system which needs a drastic redistribution of power. You can help.

Conflict in Syria: stop instrumentalising women’s rights

The international community is not listening to us. It must depoliticise the fight against sexual violence and humanise the countering violent extremism strategy.

Three humanitarian proposals

"The people we rescue are increasingly reporting having been exploited, abused, beaten, kidnapped for ransom or tortured along the journey from their country of origin to the Libyan coast."

Why engaging with perpetrators isn’t possible in Iran (yet)

Engagement with Iranian human rights perpetrators might help someday, but in the current political climate it’s simply not possible. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on engaging with perpetrators. فارسی (Fārsi/Persian). 

UN talks to ban nuclear weapons: what can they achieve?

What should the nuclear ban treaty include – and what difference does it make, if nuclear-armed governments refuse to join the talks?

In praise of melancholia

Without knowing the extremes of sadness and joy we can never fully know or feel all that life is.

It’s time to regulate the gig economy

Technology is used to monitor workers doing platform-based work. It can also be used to regulate work and protect workers.

Migrant smuggling to the EU – the need for a coordinated response

From national authorities to EU institutions and international organisations, it is imperative that efforts to tackle the threats are coordinated.

The making of a demagogue: how Erdoğan became Turkey's strongman

Ece Temelkuran’s Turkey: the Insane and the Melancholy (2016) chronicles Erdoğan's paranoid style of politics and his lurch into authoritarian populism.

Citizenship and democratic production

Citizen producers take advantage of networked knowledge and benefit from new available production spaces. New skills and know-how are required, however, for the inclusion of all social sectors. Español Português

There is a simple way to get the election coverage you want

Theresa May has called a snap election. That means we need real journalism. There's only one way to get it...

The truth behind Front National's change of heart

Despite its suggestive rhetoric and its appeals to the lower classes, the party's disguise as a champion of "the people" is a sham, and must be uncovered.

Why is she frit?

What is the British prime minister afraid of?

How to lose the next war in the Middle East: the short answer, fight it!

It’s hardly a brilliant observation to point out that, more than 15 years after the "global war on terror", the entire region is a remarkable mess.

Organising freelancers in the platform economy: part one

To understand the future of work we need to explore the diversity of platforms and how they are used in the modern economy.

Fighting back, in the back of beyond

Across Russia, active citizens are fighting for their neighbourhoods, livelihoods and against systemic corruption. The moment when these agendas meet will be an important one.

French tragedy or farce: the 2017 presidential election – 1

Why Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s late surge? Are we about to see de Gaulle's fifth republic replaced by a sixth? And in 2017, what does a Citizens' Revolution look like?

DiEM25: an example of internal democracy in action

For an inspiring example of internal democracy in action, look no further than DiEM25’s briefing paper on the French elections.