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Urgent: expose the Brexit dark money

openDemocracy has worked for two years exposing the dark money driving Brexit. We have many more leads to chase down. Please give what you can today – it makes a difference.

Urgent: expose the Brexit dark money

openDemocracy has worked for two years exposing the dark money driving Brexit. We have many more leads to chase down. Please give what you can today – it makes a difference.

This week’s front page editor

Thomas Rowley

Michael Edwards is editor of oDR.

Africa: rushing for the exit

Africa’s economic collapse and corruption mean that Europe’s efforts to stem immigration from the continent will remain futile until the underlying causes are addressed.

American Empire: history and future of an idea

The George W Bush administration's advocacy of pre-emption puts the notion of America as an empire at the centre of contemporary political debate. An understanding of this notion can be deepened if modern American power is viewed in the light of other imperial experiences, says Stephen Howe.

Global comparisons in policy-making: the view from the centre

The principle guiding successful governance is changing. Until recently, policy ideas evolved (and too often failed) within a vacuum of national experience and cultural superiority. Today, the global commons – a shared space of experience, knowledge, and experiment – is transforming the way political systems think and operate. One of the architects of the New Labour reform programme in Britain, writing in a personal capacity, maps a key transition.

A step in the wrong direction

The argument of Tony Klug for an international protectorate to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict is flawed by unrealism. In particular, external forces would be incapable of the detailed military planning and enforcement necessary to ensure security in the contested territories. The way ahead, rather, starts from practical day-to-day cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian security forces. This is the cumulative, difficult, but unavoidable route to an internal settlement.

Afghanistan and Iraq: regroupment or insurgency?

The ‘war on terror’ is in trouble in its two largest theatres of operation. Resistance to security forces is intensifying in the Afghan and Iraqi hinterlands, even reaching into Kabul and Baghdad themselves. In both countries, a long-term military campaign is in sight.

Kim, Colin, Football and Pizza

North Korea’s nukes, Mauritania’s mystery, Pizza politics


Iraq after the war is a place of fragments. Wendell Steavenson, who stayed in the country for three weeks after the fall of Saddam, portrays the chasms of fear, confusion and anger in the moment of "freedom".

A new way for British government?

In advance of a global summit of centre-left leaders in London, Geoff Mulgan has mapped a vital cultural shift in the inner life of British governance – from ‘we know best’ to ‘we learn best’. The openness and practicality of his argument make it both welcome and deceptively radical, says Anthony Barnett; but does it, like Tony Blair's 'Third Way' itself, also carry some Old Britain paternalism into the new media age?

The US and global democracy: the test case of Central Asia

From 19th century imperial rivalries to Soviet communism and now the ‘war on terror’, the states of Central Asia have been targets of manipulation in the great games of superpower politics. Today, the domestic impact of US strategic ambitions is increased repression and denial of human rights. America may secure short-term political influence, but the lasting achievement of its current policy will be radical disaffection among the region’s people.

GM and the intensification of farming

The argument over genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) needs to be seen in the context of wider agricultural policy. In itself, the technology is neutral and may even have possible benefits. But the use of GMOs by farmers tied to the distorting economics of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) will only intensify the latter’s disastrous environmental impact. Rather than ban GMOs, it would be better to reform the CAP and tax agrochemicals.

The Convention: between football fans and the Holy Roman Empire?

One of the most outspoken dissidents on the European Convention, Austrian Green MEP Johannes Voggenhuber, here interviewed by openDemocracy’s Julian Kramer, reflects on the successes and failures of the seventeen-month process – from the Charter of Rights to Giscard’s “autocratic, autistic” style…

The Convention endgame: beyond bad bargains?

Two Brussels insiders review the logjam over proposals for how Europe shall be governed, and the bargains being sought behind closed doors over crucial questions of institutions and power-balance.

From Evian to Taliban

Problems in Pakistan, the silent voice of Europe, Swazi charm offensive.

Africa: listen, women, it is possible!

The key to unlocking Africa’s cycle of poverty is women’s education, says the 23-year old coordinator of the Campaign for Female Education Association (Cama). On the occasion of the UN girls’ education initiative, she helped organise a moving petition signed by hundreds of Zimbabwean women to mobilise support behind one of the most effective of all development strategies.

A roadmap without a driver

The West Bank settlements where around 200,000 Israelis live are a key element in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute. The Israeli prime minister’s inflexibility over the issue, unpopular among his own citizens, threatens to undermine the new roadmap to peace. Can the Americans take responsibility for the process – and for Ariel Sharon?

Ending African hunger: GM or agro-ecology?

Where Gordon Conway champions biotechnology as a solution to hunger in developing countries, Liz Orton offers a radically different vision of agriculture for Africa – sustainable, low-tech and founded on local knowledge.

Biotechnology and hunger

The food security, life-chances and freedom of African farmers can be immeasurably improved by the greater use of biotechnology – as is already evident in China. Scientific research, terms of trade, and global politics still present obstacles, but the direct choices of poor farmers themselves will resolve this passionately contested argument.

The United States in Iraq: power without authority

The American occupation in Iraq is facing low-level but increasing resistance from elements of the local population. Pre-war projections by the Pentagon’s civilian leadership of the numbers of US forces needed are already proving misjudged. The costs of the US’s strategic choice in Iraq are coming into view.

Spanish lessons: a reply to Pere Vilanova

Despite huge public dissent over its support for war in Iraq, Spain’s ruling Popular Party suffered only marginal damage in the country’s municipal elections. The most severe lesson of the results is the failure of the Spanish left to understand the changes that are transforming Spanish society, and to match the right’s reinvention with its own.

The Week in 1 Minute: Putting Gezi into perspective (June 3 – 9 on openDemocracy)

We have spent the week, poised between Europe and the Middle East, putting Gezi Park into perspective, with Nathalie Tocci concerned for Turkey’s democracy, Neophytos Loizides identifying a crisis of majoritarianism, and Ali Gokpinar, shining a spotlight on relations between business, media and government

Kashmir: a roadmap to peace?

The election of a new government in Indian-controlled Jammu & Kashmir in September 2002 has opened the way to an initiative by India’s prime minister to restart discussions with Pakistan over the future of the disputed territory. In the light of historic India-Pakistan tension, twelve years of murderous violence, and the complex shades of Kashmir’s politics, is there at last real hope of a resolution of this dangerous conflict?

The migration time-bomb: American lessons for Europe

Will mass immigration prove a similar threat to the integrity of European society and culture as it does to America’s? For the author of “Alien Nation”, the book which helped to catalyse the modern anti-immigration argument in the US, the current ‘great wave’ from third to first world is undesirable, economically unnecessary, and driven by a misplaced sense of guilt over past racism and colonialism.

Mehmet and Edeltraud too: prospects for a multicultural Germany

The German Bundestag’s first parliamentary representative of Turkish descent is currently in Washington, comparing how minority groups organise themselves politically in the United States and Germany. Recently named ‘Multicultural Man of the Year’ by a German radio station, he turns a sometimes appalled gaze on his homeland, and asks how far Germany has to go to fulfil a truly multicultural vision.

Rummy's intelligence review

US credibility, Hu’s globetrotting, Rwanda’s new era?

Translating the word of God: the King James Bible

Committees seldom produce genius, still less aspects of the divine, argues this young writer. But the translating of the King James Bible in 1604 did just that.

Afula: wounded heart of Israel

An indiscriminate assault on a small town in the country’s heartland prompts this Israeli writer to melancholy yet affectionate reflection.

The African state and global governance

The scale of Africa’s political and social crises, exacerbated by the HIV/Aids pandemic and reinforced by failures of governance, make it a global dependent.

Beating Bush - the neo-neo-Democrats

Another lightning raid on American political debate from Dominic Hilton. Fresh from skewering the neo-cons, the Democrats are in his sights. What do they want? Why won’t they get it? And where does this leave…democrats?

World or homeland? US National Security Strategy in the 21st century

A year after 9/11, the Bush administration articulated a new security doctrine that committed the country to worldwide military intervention in pursuit of democracy. This strange fruit of Wilsonian idealism and neo-conservative ambition is triply misconceived: it will guarantee damaging over-extension of resources, fuel bitter resentment of the United States, and abandon homeland security to the chimera of global control. It is not empire that the US needs, but modesty.

United States security for a new world: a reply to Charles Pena

The US’s national security document of 2002 is a partial answer to the global challenges of terrorism and weapons proliferation. Charles Pena’s critique, by contrast, recommends a disengagement from the world that would entail even greater danger for the homeland. The real US need is to articulate a strategic doctrine that puts military pre-emption in the service of wise politics, alliance-building, and – eventually – a new understanding of international law.