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This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Archaic left challenges the World Social Forum

The forthcoming World Social Forum in Mumbai (formerly Bombay), India may be the largest civil society meeting on the planet. But is it at risk from far left elements that would undermine its purposes? Peter Waterman anatomises the thinking of the ‘entryists’.

Russia, globalisation and democracy

What are the uses of art in a world of power?

The Vision Thing: a response to Cancúnblog

The lesson of openDemocracy’s debate on the fallout from the Cancún summit is that campaigners for global change who want to move from protest to power need to extend their sights beyond the short term and single issue.

Ayodhya: India's endless curse

The decade-long Hindu nationalist campaign to build a temple on the site of a destroyed mosque in Uttar Pradesh state is motivated less by religious zealotry than by the cynical political calculation of India’s ruling party.

Modern India’s joyous embrace of globalisation – with its attendant bounty of branded white goods, ever-expanding choice of cars, shopping malls and flyways – cannot conceal its ruling class’s obsession with a mythical medieval temple in the town of Ayodhya in Uttar Pradesh.

Migration needs global regulation

People Flow proposes a regulatory system that is nationalist and discriminatory. Instead we need a global system of regulation based on the principles of free movement and universal justice.

The travails of occupation

The Iraq war is breaking lives and confounding expectations. Will the Coalition’s latest economic and security initiatives help resolve the problems of occupation, or reinforce them?

The Mother of all Misjudgements

Israel & Europe, Saddam the Believer, Plus ‘laughter, love, peace for all human beings’

Eight days in Iraq

Yahia Said, returning to Iraq after a twenty-five year absence, finds a people yearning for freedom, normality – and an end to violence.

The political psychology of Hindu nationalism

Why does Hindu nationalism take an aggressive, exclusive form? This is a question of psychology as well as politics. Rajeev Bhargava, in New Delhi, examines the worldview of activists who use "Indianness" as a weapon against their Muslim, Christian, and secular fellow-citizens.

A fair amount of sunshine

At the English seaside the girls Harriet and Hindy walk the shoreline between the Caribbean and Britain - between grey tea, grey donkeys and the grey, grey sky and the vibrant, lost colours of home. An exclusive extract from Donna Daley-Clarke’s novel-in-progress, “A Lazy Eye”.

Indios agitados

As gay marriage, the economy and Iraq vie for space in US political discourse, dramatic events play out in the Latin American 'backyard', illustrating the complex effects of globalisation.

Shirin Ebadi and Iran's women: in the vanguard of change

The award of the Nobel peace prize to Shirin Ebadi on 10 October 2003 sparked intense political and emotional reactions in Iran. Nazila Fathi measures the significance of the independent human-rights lawyer's achievement

<i>No-man's Land</i>

A seascape of language, memory, and distance by Imtiaz Dharker

Domesticating East German communism through celluloid and bricks

The daily life as well as the politics of East Germany can be read in the way it organised and practiced space. What remains amidst the ‘archeological ruins’ and growing frictions of a unified Germany is the cult of Ostalgia. Ines Geisler sees this as a new space where the tensions between past and present, the truth of experience and its cultural processing, are revealed.

How Denmark faces immigration

In Denmark, the radical shift in recent political debate about migration and asylum is registered in language as much as in public policy. Ulf Hedetoft charts the way that a new discourse is changing the way Danes talk to each other about the strangers in their midst.

American Collective

Focus on the US: Bush’s briefs, Rummy’s run-ins, Boykin’s bluster

10 Fascinating Facts

You’ve read Moses, Mohammed and the Dalai Lama. But these ten tablets of wisdom from the supreme master will leave you gasping.

Affluence and anger: a song of praise

The inequitable sharing of wealth makes the poor miserable and the rich guilty. How do Christians cope with a world of unfairness? Can celebration of a society of decent affluence be combined with anger against its injustices?

Iraq: whose strategy is working?

The escalating wave of armed attacks in Iraq is targeting humanitarian agencies, locally-recruited personnel and United States forces alike. The impact of occupation on the region brings further dangers. America has only one card left to play.

The postponed drama of return

The filmmaker Elia Suleiman and the scholar Edward Said – both Palestinians – each had what the other sought: words that cut to the truth of their experience. Across divides of age, class and aesthetics, the street kid pays tribute to the gentleman.

A Different Ocean (concluded)

Sienna knew that the ocean might not release her until it had drunk her breath and added her life to its own. But the encounter with Jonko and Sookramer was different. The concluding part of Jacob Ross’s memorable story.

Who is afraid of Disneyfication? A response to Sonja Hegasy

In spring 2003, Sonja Hegasy argued in openDemocracy that Arab intellectuals’ evasion of the challenge of globalisation was central to the Arab world’s culture of victimhood. Here, Mona Abaza – writing before the death of Edward Said, a key reference-point in the argument – responds that the seizure of Enlightenment values by an American-led imperial project undermines the search for an equal relationship between east and west.

America's Iraqi dilemma

The drastic security problems facing United States forces in post-war Iraq confound the optimistic forecasts of six months ago. Strategic planners are rethinking, but in circumstances beyond their control.

Y.K.L: abused in Ivory Coast, rejected in London

Y.K.L survived terrible torments in her West African homeland only to be denied asylum in Britain. On London’s streets, she joins the forgotten, global army of the displaced.

Managing Britain's People Flow

The People Flow discussion on openDemocracy has charted the question of how Europe should address the mass movement of migrants over the next fifty years. This issue has multiple national dimensions too. Here, leading participants in Britain’s migration policy debate how one nation-state is coping with the challenge of finding definition and cohesion in a world of flux.

Smoking Guns

Iranian uranium, Transatlantic spats, French fags

Peaced Off: My Nobel Hell

Yassir Arafat, Henry Kissinger, and Menachem Begin have all been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. So where did it all go wrong for Dominic Hilton?

A Different Ocean

“Nobody in de world kin dive like we”. Sienna Miller’s life on the edge of The Silent, the lagoon far below her island village, starts to shift with the arrival of two white strangers. The first part of Jacob Ross’s haunting story of belonging and self-discovery.

Wanted in Iraq: a roadmap to free elections

The post-war turmoil in Iraq is exacerbated by a vacuum of political authority. Neither the Coalition Provisional Authority nor its appointed Governing Council offer Iraqis what they really need.

Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq

Are the ideas of the conservative political philosopher Leo Strauss a shaping influence on the Bush administration’s world outlook? Danny Postel interviews Shadia Drury – a leading scholarly critic of Strauss – and asks her about the connection between Plato’s dialogues, secrets and lies, and the United States-led war in Iraq.

What was initially an anti-war argument is now a matter of public record. It is widely recognised that the Bush administration was not honest about the reasons it gave for invading Iraq.