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About David Hayes

David Hayes is a co-founder of openDemocracy. He has written textbooks on human rights and terrorism, and was a contributor to Town and Country (Jonathan Cape, 1998). His work has been published in PN Review, the Irish Times, El Pais, the Iran Times International, the Canberra Times, the Scotsman, the New Statesman and The Absolute Game. He has edited five print collections of material from the openDemocracy website, including Europe and Islam; Turkey: Writers, Politics, and Free Speech; and Europe: Visions, Realities, Futures. He is the editor of Fred Halliday's Political Journeys - the openDemocracy Essays (Saqi, 2011)

Articles by David Hayes

This week’s World Forum for Democracy 2017 editors

Georgios Kolliarakis

Georgios Kolliarakis political scientist, is a senior researcher at the University of Frankfurt.

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Introducing this week’s theme: Media, parties and populism.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The 2011 outlook: ideas and agents

Where are the sources of inspiration that can improve global and national prospects in 2011? openDemocracy writers across the world offer their thoughts.

(The first contributions in this collection were published on 3 January 2011)

A free media: Tasneem Khalil’s project

The work of a Bangladeshi journalist offers a different perspective on some of the professional and ethical dilemmas raised by the WikiLeaks project, say Timothy Sowula & David Hayes.

Edwin Morgan, 1920-2010

The poet and translator Edwin Morgan has died at the age of 90 in his beloved home city of Glasgow. David Hayes salutes a "Glasgow internationalist and Scottish universalist", who made the world new for generations of readers.

Kyrgyzstan: the absence of mercy

The humanitarian crisis in southern Kyrgyzstan fits all the requirements for international intervention. So why is it not happening, ask Natalia Leshchenko & David Hayes.

The World Cup kaleidoscope

What is the football World Cup really about? A London pub conversation between four friends on the eve

(This article was first published on 29 May 2002)

Britain's compromise revolution

Britain’s voters have forced a two-party system to begin to operate by a three-party logic. And it’s about to get even more interesting, writes David Hayes in Australia's Inside Story.

Bob Dylan's revolution in the head

The love of millions for Bob Dylan's work ensures his place in post-1960s musical and popular culture. As Dylan turns 65, David Hayes offers a restless birthday tribute.

(This article was first published on 24 May 2006)

Britain's election: backing into the future

A contest made thrilling by the spectacle of three middle-aged white men in suits is open to the end, says David Hayes in Australia's Inside Story.

Fred Halliday, 1946-2010: a tribute

The death of political analyst and international-relations scholar Fred Halliday extinguishes a voice and a light that have illuminated world politics for more than forty years. David Hayes pays tribute and presents a selection of his work for openDemocracy.

Amnesty: human rights, political wrongs

An intense controversy over Amnesty International's association with people who reject its universalist principles has been sparked by its treatment of a senior figure who raised the issue. Here, a global petition signed by prominent writers and activists poses questions to the human-rights organisation and defends the now suspended Gita Sahgal; and Amnesty’s own statement reaffirms its values.

(This article was first published on 22 March 2010)

Iran: from protest to politics

The contest between Iran’s state and the opposition movement that arose after the presidential election of June 2009 is now at a critical point. How confident is the regime, where is the “green movement” going, and what should the international community do? openDemocracy writers examine the impasse.

2010: global cracks, human prospects (part II)

More openDemocracy authors reflect on a volcanic decade in global politics - continued from part I

2010: global cracks, human prospects

A volcanic decade in global politics ends amid deep unease about the world’s ability to rise to key 21st-century challenges. openDemocracy writers draw breath and look ahead by reflecting on three questions:

1) What was the most significant trend in the century's first decade?

2) What do you most hope for, and most fear, about the decade to come?

3) What idea do you see fading and/or emerging in 2010 and beyond?

1989: moment, legacy, future

How does the great uprising of 1989 look now, in the perspective of twenty years? Many questions still surround the events when “we the people” became the subjects of history in east-central Europe, the Berlin wall fell, the communist governments in the region disintegrated, and the cold war expired. What did people want, and have they got it? What and who made the change possible? Who benefited, who lost? Was it a “real” revolution (and is that a good or bad thing)? If it was not the end of history what was it the start of? Is it too early to be disappointed, or too late to be hopeful? The fact that 1989 was also the year of Tiananmen, the Soviet withdrawal from Afghanistan, Brazil’s return to democracy, and the Iranian fatwa emphasises both its pivotal character and its contemporary resonances. On the anniversary, openDemocracy writers from around the world reflect on 1989 and the world made in its shadow.

Arthur C Helton: a tribute

Arthur C Helton, director of peace and conflict studies at the Council on Foreign Relations and a columnist for openDemocracy, was killed in the bombing of the United Nations headquarters in Baghdad on 19 August 2003. His colleague and co-columnist, Gil Loescher, was critically injured. Caspar Henderson & David Hayes pay tribute on behalf of openDemocracy.

(This article was first published on 21 August 2003)

East-central Europe to Barack Obama: an open letter

A group of politicians and scholars from Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Romania, and Slovakia expresses concern to the United States president about the consequences of Washington’s inattention to a vital region, and makes six proposals for a new era.

The signatories of this letter are: Valdas Adamkus, Martin Butora, Emil Constantinescu, Pavol Demes, Lubos Dobrovsky, Matyas Eorsi, Istvan Gyarmati, Vaclav Havel, Rastislav Kacer, Sandra Kalniete, Karel Schwarzenberg, Michal Kovac, Ivan Krastev, Alexander Kwasniewski, Mart Laar, Kadri Liik, Janos Martonyi. Janusz Onyszkiewicz, Adam Rotfeld, Vaira Vike-Freiberga, Alexandr Vondra, Lech Walesa

(This article was first published on 22 July 2009)

The moon landing: an openDemocracy symposium

When the Apollo 11 rocket landed on the moon on 20 July 1969, openDemocracy asked some of its contributors to offer their thoughts. At the time, we were still publishing on vellum. David Hayes tracks down the archives - now buried deep in a vault at a secret location somewhere in England - and transcribes a selection of our material from this landmark in history.

(This article was first publshed on 21 July 2009)

Somalia: between violence and hope

The endemic conflict in Somalia continues to devour lives and divert resources from the reconstruction of the country. Only a political solution that offers Somalis the promise of a better life will bring it to an end, say Harun Hassan & David Hayes.

(This article was first published on 15 July 2009)

A new politics? Move out of Westminster...

...and let light, air, ideas, energy and people into a modern parliament, says David Hayes.

Plus: Edwin Morgan's poem, Open the Doors! (2004)

(This article was first published on 12 June 2009)

Iran's election: people and power

The official result of Iran’s presidential vote, a decisive win for the incumbent Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, has sparked intense protest. The post-election contest raises many questions about Iran’s political future. Here, some of openDemocracy’s Iranian contributors offer their first reflections.

(This series of contributions was published on 15-18 June 2009)

Cambodia: a patient waiting

The response in Cambodia to the emergence of the H1N1 virus is a singular example of how a predominantly rural country is preparting for the threat of an epidemic without borders, say Michel Thieren & David Hayes.

Iran’s election and Iran’s system

The anticipation of a vital presidential vote in Iran creates an expectation of change that political conditions may not satisfy, say Sanam Vakil & David Hayes.

The G20 and the post-crisis world

The G20 summit in London has provoked a great mobilisation of campaigners for global justice, fairness, equality and sustainability. Their emerging coalitions may play a key role in shaping the politics of the post-crisis era, says David Hayes.

Also in this article: comments on the G8 by Paul Kingsnorth, Susan George, Duncan Green, David Mepham, and Ann Pettifor; and the full text of the G20 communique after the London summit on 2 April 2009]

American democracy promotion: an open letter to Barack Obama

An international group of over 140 scholars, experts and journalists urges the new American president to put democratic reform and respect for human rights at the heart of his engagement with Arab and Muslim regimes and publics.

Barack Obama: hope, fear... advice

A new, young, African-American president opens a fresh political era in the United States and the world. openDemocracy authors offer their thoughts on the prospects.

(This article was first published on 19 January 2009)

The politics of ME, ME, ME

The shrillness and point-scoring of much internet-based discussion - on topics as diverse as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and chronic fatigue syndrome - is narrowing the space where a larger political dialogue should be, say Keith Kahn-Harris & David Hayes.

The world's American election: a conversation

The United States presidential election has provoked huge attention in the rest of the world. But there are different kinds of engagement. Some are explored on the day of the vote by three friends in a London cafe, as imagined by David Hayes.

A politics of crisis: low-energy cosmopolitanism

The global financial turmoil is opening new fissures in the world's political crust. All the more need to make a cool assessment of the prospects for left and right, say Andrew Dobson & David Hayes.

(This article was first published on 22 October 2008)

France's troubled Afghan role

The intensifying Afghan war reverberates in Paris.

Japan: suicide by drowning

Another year, another prime minister. Noriko Hama dissects Tokyo's politics

Russian war, Georgian democracy

What is the war between Georgia and Russia about? Tbilisi's education minister sets out a strong case

Authority, credibility and openDemocracy

How does openDemocracy's editorial thinking inform its work, and how can it earn the trust of its users in a media environment where this quality is both precious and elusive? A conference on "credibility in the new news" was the occasion for David Hayes, openDemocracy's deputy editor, to explore this theme.

Kosovo declares independence


The Kosovo assembly in Pristina announced on 17 February 2008 that the territory was an independent state. This is the full text of itshistoric declaration.

What kind of country?

The lesson of the July 2005 terror attacks is that Britain must become either secular or multicultural – and choosing the latter means setting up a Muslim parliament, says David Hayes.

(This article was first published on 28 July 2005)

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