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Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Through the Vatican white smoke

Pope John Paul II's successor will be chosen by a secretive, top-down process. Austen Ivereigh, press secretary to one of the cardinals involved, calls for reform in the way the church is governed.

'Dove with olive branch', Pablo Picasso

To mark the 32nd anniversary of Pablo Picasso’s death, openDemocracy launches its “Image of the week” series with his line drawing “Dove with olive branch”.

Kyrgyzstan: revolution or not?

The complex events in Bishkek and elsewhere in Kyrgyzstan have radical implications, say Yasar Sari & Sureyya Yigit.

Through the Vatican white smoke

Pope John Paul II's successor will be chosen by a secretive, top-down process. Austen Ivereigh, press secretary to one of the cardinals involved, calls for reform in the way the church is governed.

Pope John Paul II and democracy

In his long life, the Polish pope, Karol Wojtyła, was at the forefront of the struggle for liberty. But in his twenty-six years at the Vatican, where did this towering figure stand on democracy? The distinguished writer Neal Ascherson dissects an ambiguous legacy.

Who won Zimbabwe's election?

Andrew Meldrum, in Pretoria after Robert Mugabe expelled him, reports on a decisive moment for Zimbabwe’s people – and his own intense love-affair with the country.

A Zimbabwean life

As Robert Mugabe wins a majority in the Zimbabwean parliamentary elections, Emily Barroso tells the story of “John”, one of his former pupils.

America's nuclear gamble

United States policy towards nuclear weapons proliferation on the eve of the Non-Proliferation Treaty five-year review sends a warning signal to the world.

Democracy from America? An Arab's advice

Any United States effort to bring democracy and freedom to the middle east needs to respect eight principles of action, says Rami G. Khouri.

An encounter with Mr X

George Kennan’s prescient understanding of the dynamics of the cold war is surprisingly relevant to the era of “war on terror”, says Fred Halliday.

Kyrgyzstan questions

What happened in Kyrgyzstan – riot, revolution, conspiracy, geopolitical game? Mary Dejevsky, in Bishkek, probes a central Asian mystery.

Why can't politicians tell the truth! ever?

Britain’s election: a crisis in the opposition Conservative party exposes the country’s malaise of political distrust, says Dominic Hilton.

US Bank or World Bank?

The neo-conservative hawk Paul Wolfowitz may become head of the World Bank - by appointment. Time for democracy to choose who rules the world, says Alex Wilks.

If it's politics, it's just not cricket!

As Britain’s general election approaches, an anti-terrorism law reveals to Dominic Hilton why British politics is beyond a joke.

It's the oil, stupid

Washington doesn’t yet get it, but in the Gulf region the view is crystal-clear: the geopolitics of oil is driving United States military strategy in Iraq

In Larger Freedom: Kofi Annan's challenge

Can the United Nations be reformed to make it a guarantor of human security and development in the 21st century? Johanna Mendelson Forman on the ideas and politics of a historic report.

Have faith in the People!

The ban by some Imax cinemas in the United States of films referring to evolution teaches Dave Belden a lesson about the right's distrust and the left's frustration.

Parallel politics in Iraq

As politicians squabble in Baghdad, does a gathering of Iraqis in Cairo more truly represent the country’s interests?

Purple Hearts: Back from Iraq

“The dead tell no stories. It is the wounded that survive and present us with our own complicity”. To mark the second anniversary of the start of the Iraq war, openDemocracy presents ten portraits from “Purple Hearts: Back from Iraq”, the acclaimed photography collection on wounded American soldiers, by the award-winning photographer Nina Berman.

Remembering Ken Saro-Wiwa

Ten years after the judicial murder of human rights activist Ken Saro-Wiwa by the Nigerian military, Ken Wiwa pays tribute and says that the best memorial to his father is a campaign for “creative justice”.

Iraq: the way forward

Can the war be won? Tim Garden, former assistant chief of the UK defence staff, maps a minefield.

Iran: the coming war

Will the United States attack Iran? Eight major arguments say no. Each one dissolves on inspection, says Dan Plesch.

Kirkuk: microcosm of Iraq

Want to understand Iraq two years after the start of the war? Take a look at Kirkuk, says Kurdish journalist Omar A Omar.

Iraq united: Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim interviewed

Abdul-Aziz al-Hakim, leader of the largest party in the victorious Shi’a coalition likely to dominate Iraq’s new government, talks to Anwar Rizvi about uniting Iraq, defeating insurgency, and keeping faith with an Iran threatened by United States attack.

Trust me, I'm a politician

Britain's election: what’s causing voter apathy? Dominic Hilton visits Birmingham, England’s second city, where a vote-rigging scandal and Conservative leader Michael Howard offer some answers.

Dominic Hilton's 2005 election forays into the heart of the British political system begin with “His Majesty King Blair 1”

Pulled from the Rubble

The August 2003 UN truck bomb in Baghdad was one of the worst attacks in the organisation’s history. How do you react when you find out your father is one of the wounded, and the only survivor from the most devastated part of the building? Suddenly politics becomes personal. How do you even begin to rebuild your life after such an event? You make the acclaimed documentary film “Pulled from the Rubble” telling your family’s story. Margaret Loescher talks to Maryam Maruf about the decisions of a filmmaker, the failure of American foreign policy, barbeques, and her dad, Gil.

Don't stop the war

The Iraq war protestors still pound the London streets, but Andrew Mueller returns from visiting British troops in Basra convinced they are wrong.

What the hell is 'civil society'?

As popular movements sweep much of the world, the term “civil society” can be heard on many lips. Michael Edwards of the Ford Foundation has written a short book on the three meanings of the concept. Neera Chandhoke, from New Delhi, casts a sceptical eye over his argument.

Afghanistan from Taliban to heroin

There are echoes of Colombia in Afghanistan’s booming drug economy. Did the United States defeat the Taliban only to lose to a poppy?

Santiago is the next step

The Club de Madrid’s international summit has united pro-democracy and anti-terrorism agendas. The Community of Democracies’ meeting in Chile must sustain the momentum, says George Soros.