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About Harry Blain

Harry Blain is a Graduate Center Fellow pursuing a PhD in Political Science at the City University of New York. He has previously lived and worked in Sydney, Edinburgh and London. Follow him on Twitter @Hblain.

Articles by Harry Blain

This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Who can we trust?

How can we cultivate a healthy skepticism of our institutions even as we rely on them for information, knowledge, and crucially, protection from aspiring autocrats?

Why is the American left so prejudiced about the South?

Smugness and complacency are no basis for effective action on poverty, inequality and racism throughout the USA.

The dangers of political sainthood

If our aim is to learn from individuals who somehow rise above their time, we should treat them more like ordinary human beings.

Gentrifier heal thyself?

There are limits to living our political convictions. How can we navigate them?

Can there be a progressive patriotism?

The left must find a way to incorporate love of country into a new political vision.   

NATO expansion in the Balkans: a dangerous gamble

NATO’s attempts to rapidly incorporate fledgling Balkan states could yet backfire.

Why the left needs to re-embrace the First Amendment

Censorship of the alt-right is tempting, but history tells us it will backfire. 

Reclaim Adam Smith

Smith’s warnings about unchecked corporate power backed by the state should be heeded today. Some of the United Kingdom’s conservative political thinkers were often surprisingly radical. Edmun...

Guernica and the perversion of the Spanish Civil War

The memory of the Spanish Civil War has become a leading reference point for self-styled 'liberal interventionists'.

How NATO is becoming a threat to Europe

Sometimes, Europe marches to catastrophe; often, it stumbles there.

My 350 on Donald Trump: learning from Orwell

"One option is to dismiss Trump’s win as irrational. This, we should remember, is how many on the left responded to the rise of inter-war fascism in Europe."

The damage done by the EU’s revolving doors

José Manuel Barroso is not the only senior European official to go through the 'revolving door' into the corporate and financial world.

Scotland would not be independent inside the EU

Will Scotland get special treatment from the EU just because it voted remain?

The BBC is failing the public in its coverage of government surveillance

Historically close to Britain’s national security state, the BBC is still its friend today.

Should environmentalists think twice about their support for the EU?

Brussels is a haven for the fossil fuel and motor industry lobbies, while the EU is increasingly undermining its own environmental protections.

What we’ve learned from fifty years of Saudi arms deals

Arms deals with Saudi Arabia say a lot about British political culture and foreign policy. And not in a good way.

When the BBC met the Terrorism Act

Why was the laptop of a BBC journalist seized by counter-terrorism police?

Why Britain needs the Homes (Fitness for Human Habitation) Bill

The Citizens Advice Bureau estimates that around 740,000 families in the English private rented sector are living in homes that present a severe threat to their health. 

Should Labour be 'the party of home ownership'?

False hopes about a ‘property-owning democracy’ are central to the story of Britain’s ‘great housing disaster.’

What now for the car industry?

“Dieselgate” is both a complete outrage and an act of desperation from an industry losing its glory and relevance.

How corrupt is the House of Lords?

The list of scandals is astounding, but many don't make the front page of the Sun on Sunday.

“Whose side are you on?” Public broadcasters and counter-terrorism

When it comes to state surveillance and “terrorism”, there is a long history of political pressure, control and manipulation over the arm of the media entrusted with the explicit mission of serving the public. 

Why the British elite loves Waterloo

For the British ruling class, June 18, 1815 was a high point: most battles since have been disastrous.

Confronting Britain's military-industrial complex

The "special relationship" between the defence establishment and private arms companies is not an election issue. We need to make it one.

The BBC and the arms trade: a silent scandal

In its recent appointments to the BBC Trust, the government has deeply associated our public broadcaster with the arms trade. Why aren’t we talking about this?

"Our turn to talk": why we should listen to Occupy LSE

Universities are increasingly becoming factories, churning out obedient citizens and “human capital.” It's time to fight back.

Putin still has plenty of friends in London

If we take a brief look back at our history of “getting tough” with Russia, we can see where our political and financial elites really stand.

Will Prince Charles' "heartfelt interventions" extend to arms sales?

The Prince of Wales and his family have a shameful record of collusion with the British arms industry.

Survival Day: reclaiming Australia’s history

Why should Australia acknowledge its bloody past on Australia Day? Firstly, this is a fundamental question of dignity.

Review - "The People's Referendum"

Peter Geoghegen’s new book weaves together local stories and histories to provide subtle insights into Scotland’s political future.

Are we leaving a Londoner to die in Guantanamo?

Imprisoned for nearly thirteen years and twice cleared for release, Shaker Aamer is still waiting to return home.

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