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This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Muddling through in Mosul

The west has treated ISIS as enemy number one while local actors see it as a sideshow in a political arena stretching from the Mediterranean to Iran. What does the defeat of ISIS in Mosul mean for Iraq?

A controversial law takes aim at Ukraine’s anti-corruption NGOs

New moves to make the work of Ukraine’s NGOs “transparent” only highlights how the fight against corruption is being undermined. 

We cannot afford to be traumatized: the reality for grassroots advocates

When human rights defenders are both advocates and victims, self-care can seem like an impossible luxury. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on mental health, resilience and human rights. العربية. Español.

Why the UK was wrong to back Trump's envoy against UN nuclear disarmament talks

Ignoring protests from the US, UK and some NATO countries, two-thirds of UN member states appear determined to conclude a nuclear ban treaty this year.

Human smugglers roundtable: on border restrictions and movement

Are border fortifications/restrictions a useful or counterproductive response to mass movements of people?

Love, anger and social transformation

The politics of the future must embrace all that makes us human: our anger, our pain, our joy and our love.

Will Brexit deliver a united Ireland?

Everything has changed in Northern Ireland. But what does that mean for the century-old question of partition?

Trump: justified yet unpredictable

The airstrikes were justified. But Trump’s policymaking is dangerously unpredictable.

Should funding agencies also share in the sacrifice of social change?

The furor over Pepsi's fake protest ad resurfaces questions around the Ford Foundation president's decision to join their board. (Originally published December 5 2016).

Fighting stigma: protecting the mental health of African rights advocates

Human rights advocates in Africa face significant challenges in getting past mental health stigmas in order to get help. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on mental health and human rights. Français. العربية.

Why we're not taking the new porn laws lying down

Who cares about a bunch of queers flogging each other when there’s a migrant crisis and article 50 has been triggered? We do.

The uses of Chinese philosophy

The work of Confucius is a political tool for China's one-party state. But ancient Chinese thought can still jolt the modern world towards fresh awareness. 

The Gibraltar rock reveals the rubble of democracy

Gibraltar is caught in the crossfire of a historical dispute between the UK and Spain. As tensions grow, the question that becomes most apparent is one of democracy. Español

Evidence of trauma: the impact of human rights work on advocates

It’s time to think seriously about the effects of trauma on human rights activists. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on mental health and well-being in the human rights. EspañolFrançais

‘The best Roma in the village is the Roma who works as a servant’

On this year's International Roma Day, three writers reflect on how Roma slave labour was used to help build Europe's prosperity, and how Roma communities are still suffering the after effects.

Formula 1 will land in Bahrain next week. Do we forget the country’s human rights abuses?

In past years the Grand Prix has taken place alongside violent repression, even deaths, in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Human rights campaigners fear what the 2017 race might trigger.

The SNP and the progressive alliance

As Scotland leaves the UK, it should also help the rest of the UK to mend its democracy.

Britain’s secret wars

A new report on the use of special forces against ISIS opens a window onto Britain's changing military strategy in the Trump era.

In Russia, 26 March continues

Two weeks after Russia’s anti-corruption protests, activists and participants are still being tried, arrested and intimidated across the country. Русский

Migrant activists disrupt the Department of Health

Migrant solidarity is vital in the fight for a national health service, as 'pay upfront' card machines start to be used by patients' bedsides this week.

For Moldova’s journalists, surveillance is the new norm

Digital and personal surveillance has become a fact of life for Moldova’s journalists. My story is the tip of the iceberg. Русский

Gender and care in times of global economy

Gender and care – a complicated relationship in times of global economy. An interview with Rhacel Parreñas, Professor of Sociology and Gender Studies at University of Southern California

Testosterone Rex: is the hormone the essence of masculinity, or is it far more complex?

Cordelia Fine talks about her new book – and how viewing risk as a “male” characteristic can mean we overlook risks to women’s lives.

The power of sign

As Sweet Honey in the Rock’s sign language interpreter, Shirley Childress dedicated her life to deaf rights.

The passive revolution of Islamists in Turkey

It is sometimes said that theories are fishing nets in which to catch the truth. Let us apply Gramsci’s net to some daily debates taking place in Turkey.

And you thought Trump was bad

European leaders have found their nemesis in Viktor Orbán, whose legislation closing down the Central European University constitutes an ethno-nationalist and authoritarian challenge to Europe's liberal order.

Sliding towards autocracy

A defining characteristic of this populist form of autocracy is the rejection of diversity and the attack on democratic institutions. Orbán is succeeding in both.

After walking 5,500km through hell

The stories from a week in France’s only humanitarian centre for registered refugees show us that their work is needed now more than ever. Français