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This week’s front page editor

Rosemary Bechler

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy's mainsite editor.

The Second Chechen War: Testimony of an Eyewitness

Chechen journalist Abdul Itslayev lived out the Second Chechen War in his native village. Against a backdrop of rocket attacks, murder and robbery, he tried to piece together what, in fact, was happening. RU

The ancient city of Damascus: Shwam, and what I know about them

Ancient history, as well as political and demographic changes, shaped the relationship between the Shwam and other communities, as well as between the poor and rich Shwam. العربية

الشوام وما أدراك ما الشوام

يتفاعل التاريخ القديم، السياسة وتغييرات الديموغرافيا كلها في نسج علاقة الشوام بغيرهم، وببعضهم. English

Labour must reject biased IHRA definition that stifles advocacy for Palestinian rights

Appeal by Palestinian civil society to the British Labour Party and affiliated trade unions.

Naipaul: an abandoned child looks and relooks at the motherland

Naipaul always felt that his books would stand the test of time. But which of his books on India, after multiple visits to his ancestral land, will stand that test?

Brazil’s light pink tide and its legacy

Pink tide governments in Brazil were not efficient in reducing social inequalities, but all other realistic political alternatives are much worse. Español

The first rider of the apocalypse: the silent taxi driver

Despite the recent triumphant headlines about Greece, the country is entering the most dangerous phase of its political and economic odyssey: the normalisation of life in and as a debt-colony.

Is the Nicaraguan mega-canal failure good news for indigenous communities?

The issue of the mega-canal project is very telling of how Nicaragua's ruler, Daniel Ortega, deals with public affairs, and particularly with indigenous communities. Español

Brexit disaster narrative: whose interest does it serve?

Underestimating one’s opponent and denying the possibility of the worst is not a sound political strategy.

Why transforming the economy begins and ends with cooperation

Co-ops might not transform people, but the act of cooperation often does. 

Iran vs America: history's scars

Disparate national memories fuel a perilous rivalry.

Understanding the mainstreaming of the far right

It is essential to move beyond electoral politics to understand the way the far right is being mainstreamed. It involves asking, “ is there any such thing as public opinion” ?

عندما كنت مُستمعاً

واليوم وبعد سنوات طوال من مسيرتي في الإذاعة بين مستمع لها وعامل بها، أيقنت أن للإذاعة حضور قد لا تستطيع التغلب عليه وسائل الإعلام الأخرى.

No, the existence of trans people doesn’t validate gender essentialism

Finding the middle ground between our bodies and our cultural influences has always been a paramount idea in feminism—and the politics of transitioning are no different. 

Rotherham: the silencing of Muslim voices

Amrit Wilson challenges the dominant narratives about Rotherham and child sexual exploitation – and asks who is really responsible for the way the far right have been able to exploit the issue.

Sudan and the uphill war on inflation: context and bleak prospects

It is becoming increasingly difficult to imagine the continuity of the NCP leadership in the face of sustained economic deterioration.

Flesh of my flesh: democracy and totalitarianism

Every year, on the European Day of Remembrance for Victims of Stalinism and Nazism, should Liberal Democracy be left out of the discussion?

The long legacy of Frederick Douglass

A new book seeks to simultaneously situate Douglass among his contemporaries and the political challenges of today.

Apropos of AMLO: It's time to leave behind the term "populism"

That the term populism has become so commonly used does not mean, however, that it is useful for those who want to understand our changing political reality. On the contrary, if anything the term hampers understanding of that reality. Español

A propósito de AMLO: es hora de dejar atrás el término “populismo”

La popularidad del concepto de populismo no significa que éste sea un término útil para quienes desean entender nuestra cambiante realidad política. Por el contrario, el término nos ayuda poco a entender esta realidad. English

25 alternativas feministas a los medios mainstream en España y Latinoamérica

De los temas más divertidos a los más trascendentales, estas plataformas cubren la actualidad con una perspectiva feminista. English.

Colombia: Regulating protests, organizing consciences

The incoming Colombian president has called for "leaving hatred behind" and "joining forces" to undertake a new chapter in Colombian political history. However, this unitary discourse results in an act of inevitable political coercion. Español

Ahed Tamimi: illegally blond

The racialisation of blond operates on many levels in Israeli society and is related to a complex and multilayered structure of oppression. 

The political economy of anti-trafficking

Politicians are far more likely to back anti-trafficking measures that don’t disrupt prevailing power balances at home. That’s a major reason why so many interventions fail. 

25 feminist alternatives to mainstream media in Spain and Latin America

From the most playful topics to the most serious, these platforms provide alternative coverage of current affairs – with a feminist lens. Español.

Why Russia needs a grassroots campaign against political repression

Political repression is ramping up in Russia, but a network of people ready to stand against it is yet to emerge.

Social activism and the economics of mental health

Apolitical volunteering is ill-equipped to address the structural causes of depression.

How this DIY magazine is making space for taboo topics in Russia

Under conditions of growing self-censorship, small media can often raise questions avoided by Russia’s national media – but of real concern to readers. RU