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This week’s front page editor

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Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Founder, Director and Editor of democraciaAbierta

Testing the argument for social living

Passion spills over the fields of green and brown where a calm assessment of real alternatives is needed. Progress towards sustainability is possible, but requires a portfolio approach that addresses the needs of different environments and geographical regions.

The world turned upside down

What if the roles were reversed? Would corporate chiefs throw chairs?

New Zealand television picks up the pieces

After the single-channel conformism of the 1970s and the free market typhoon of the 1980s, New Zealand is trying to establish a public service culture in a commercial broadcasting environment. The head of news at Channel 4 went there to learn, advise – and report.

Europe must face globalisation

Democracy is spreading across the world, but so is disillusion about its workings. The key to the paradox is globalisation, says the Finnish foreign minister. Globalisation is potentially positive, but to make the best of it a common approach is needed, rather than ‘them and us’ politics. The EU in particular must face this challenge, if it is to deserve the loyalty of its people.

A respectable radical

Behind the conventional facade of the latest Worcester Woman in our series of interviews is a rich inner world, reflecting twentieth century pain and twenty-first century hopes.

The centre at the edge

Telling the stories and advancing the rights of indigenous peoples – from the high Arctic to the World Bank – has been Hugh Brody’s life-work. Mapping the imaginative territory of hunter-gatherer lives, languages and perceptions, he draws fundamental conclusions about human nature. If the essence of our civilisation is revealed in its relationship with those beyond its frontier, what does that say about us? Anthony Barnett, Todd Gitlin, David Hayes and Tom Nairn ask the questions.

The gulf between us

Two recent European films of human migration and disconnection, Paul Pawlikowski’s Last Resort and Michael Haneke’s Code Unknown, offer contrasting narratives of the immigrant-as-hero. But do they both give equal space to their characters and open up a true dialogue with their audiences?It is nearly half a century since, in his classic film essay The Gangster as Tragic Hero, Robert Warshow first drew the attention of cinema-goers to our perennial fascination with the hero-as-outsider.

Having a word

If you think you’ve got a grip on language, this poet would like a word with you.

Governing freedom

The net is rule-governed space as well as dynamic technology and business medium. But who wrote the rules? An ICANN pioneer tells openDemocracy the story of how the net community harnessed political imagination to create its own forms of governance, and asks: can a global civil society now emerge, with political parties to help make that governance accountable?

Public service television: Bohemian decline and fall

The inner politics of Czech television itself became the news last December, as staff protested another managerial change in the public broadcasting system. But was this a principled challenge to political interference, or a case of programme-makers run wild?

A speech: America's vision for Europe

The US president’s transatlantic visit was marked by a major speech in Warsaw about Europe’s identity and expansion. In these extracts, George Bush challenges the “false lines” that still divide the continent, and articulates his vision of Nato enlargement to the borders of Russia.

How did Europe begin?

In the perspective of history, George W Bush’s programme for Europe is flawed, Judith Herrin argues. Byzantine reality, not classical rhetoric, is the indispensable resource for modern understanding of the European Union’s responsibilities to its citizens and neighbours.

Towards Ennistone - a swimmer's journey

On the far side of sewage there is water. York overflows, Highgate invigorates, the River Itchen enchants. The author of Waterlog excavates the watery subconscious of the English landscape and sees reflected in it our need for intimacy and playfulness with nature.

Planning is the problem

The new urbanism represented by Richard Rogers is shallow and authoritarian. Its impulse to confine people in high-density settlements has disastrous social and economic effects. The truly radical answer is to dismantle the planning system, allow people to live where they wish, and nurture a creative mix between town and country. Let Swindon breathe, the Yorkshire Dales thrive, and Glasgow flourish!

Disinterring the past

The artist Arshile Gorky was a complex figure in denial of his past, haunted by a tragic history yet creating images of vigour and freshness that still astonish. Fifty years on, a fellow Armenian explores his mystery - and infuses her own ancestors with new life.

Where's the passion, where's the fairness in our politics?

Politicians? Vicky would stop them running things at all. Labour looked promising once. But to a single mother, battling racism and postcode health, they’ve failed to deliver fairness. She gives us her perspective in the following interview.

The real world of public service

While it is attractive to toy with the idea of broadcasting left to a free market it is clear that this cannot maintain diversity of output.

Inside the palace of glass

The international conferences of the new world order are regularly seen through the eyes of media, protestors, and spin-doctors. But what is it like to be a participant? The director of the Overseas Development Institute was in Amsterdam to discuss poverty with the World Bank. This is his witty, compelling account.

Europe and German Imperialism - A reply to Pat Mizak

The arguments against European Integration and the European Central Bank are weak. The rejection of the Nice Treaty has only shown that people are ill-informed.

Public broadcasting: imperfect but essential

The British experience shows that the public service model can offer a foundation of excellence across the broadcasting spectrum – as well as keeping us all honest. The story of Independent Television News reveals how commercial invention and imaginative regulation once worked in concert. Can they do so again?

Best of both worlds

She dislikes politics but always votes, believes in monarchy but is caustic about the royals. In her interview, this farm manager’s wife tells us that playing bridge with Minnesota on the net is second nature. But is there a place in her world view for the London ivory tower?

Ignorance and Arrogance: Europe's Twin Pillars

The majority of Europeans think - peddle more slowly and have a clear sense of direction.

On the beat, with the public

This police officer would not have her 24-hour job any other way, even in a small town with no respite from drugs, alcohol, racism, and petty crime. But why does she see the answer in changing the culture of government? Read her answers here.

Justice in the world's light

The man who ruled Chile for twenty years was brought to account by judges in Spain and Britain, and ultimately Chile itself, for crimes against humanity. Does this globalising of justice run roughshod over national sovereignty? The architects of Pinochet’s arrest tell their story. The piece is followed by two responses from openDemocracy readers.General Augusto Pinochet was Chile’s president – some would say dictator – from 1973 to 1990. In the Autumn of 1998, he visited London for a medical check.

Ireland and Europe

The Irish 'no' vote sparks off some thoughts on Europe from openDemocracy readers.

Bringing oxygen into the magic circle

The debate about public service broadcasting has been conducted in a pre-web frame. The whole argument is being altered by the experiences of new forms of public information as we go digital, says the British Film Institute’s head of education.

Yugoslavia and Europe : breaking up, making up

A decade of war and dissolution in ex-Yugoslavia makes the region the test of whether a post-Cold War Europe is possible. What will Europe become when the Balkans is no longer its simple mirror-image?

Troubled links to the narrow land

Everyone outside Israel with a stake in the country walks on eggshells in times of crisis. But what happens to memory and hope in the perspective of violence without end? A thoughtful report from the emotional front line.

We are all the future

Resisting new supermarkets and seeing a plc purchasing her health centre has taught this Worcester Woman far more about the modern world than Westminster’s childish waffle. In this interview, she reveals that democracy for her means accountability and an end to facelessness. But how to breach the circle of power?

Ireland's 'no' is EU's opportunity

The Irish people’s rejection of the Nice treaty is a roadblock to EU reform and enlargement. It is also a demand for a new political culture in the EU. Will the politicians and bureaucrats at last respond to democratic challenge?