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About Rosemary Bechler

RB, editor

Rosemary Bechler is a mainsite editor of openDemocracy.

Articles by Rosemary Bechler

This week's editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Diary of an organiser: Team Syntegrity 2017

I have been a qualified facilitator for more than two decades, but had almost forgotten what this extraordinary three-and-a-half day process was like. Would it be different in the twenty-first century?

Exploring two Alternatives

openDemocracy meets up with Denmark’s fastest-growing political party, Alternativet, and The Alternative UK, who inspired by them, have just launched their own ‘friendly revolution’. Interview.

Human nature as victim in Colombia

"We are part of nature – human and non-human. The relationship between both and in permanent interaction creates ‘the territory’." Interview.

Introducing this week's theme: World Forum for Democracy on "Democracy and Equality: Does Education Matter ?"

Since November's World Forum for Democracy 2016, openDemocracy has been exploring how education can rebuild democracy in a world of deepening inequalities. This week, we brought our latest evidence together.

The Kiron family

We revisit the social start-up that gives refugees access to higher education, meeting a 24 yr.old Syrian beneficiary and a Kiron co-founder, both of whom’s future plans build on this ingenious scheme. Interview. 

Dialog macht Schule: taking dialogue into schools

A highly innovative German school programme uses dialogue to move beyond the us versus them of our polarised societies. We find out how well this works. Interview.

Chilling effects: the politics of anti-semitism in the UK

A former specialist adviser to the House of Commons Social Services Committee has written a detailed critique of the Home Affairs Committee’s Report on anti-Semitism. We find out why.

Inequality and protest – getting it right

We are making a choice, “Can we live with the outcomes of this economic system? Or are we going to have to change this system?”

Wise young people

"These young people, they really don’t want to feel like victims: they really want to act and to instigate change." An interview to mark Human Rights Day.

Closing plenary remarks on a paradox

Many of the most innovative projects we encountered at this year's World Forum for Democracy on education, inequality and democracy involve a transfer of power.

SOLE in Argentina: the issue is how to create the right questions

The goals of the project were to reach low-resourced community schools with a new way of integrating ICT use for a sector of society that usually doesn’t have access to educational innovation.

Kiron provides refugees with opportunities to study

The Berlin-based social start-up Kiron Open Higher Education delivers higher education to refugees. Through an innovative blended learning model that consists of online and offline elements, bureaucratic, financial and legal barriers are overcome.

"In democratic schools I haven't seen any bullying at all."

"All the problems in education you can relate back to the coercion in schools. To me the forcing of children is really against the rights of the child."

So what is the purpose of education?

"After a year, in the fall of 2013, I wanted to investigate the possibility of working towards being Minister of Education."  Simone Haenen told her story at the World Forum for Democracy 2016.

"Any citizen should be able to open a school."

Ramin Farhangi in conversation with Rosemary Bechler and Arleen Pimentel at the 2016 World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.

"What is a fair and good way of measuring human rights education?"

Antonia Wulff in conversation with Rosemary Bechler and Kelly McBride at the 2016 World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.

Introducing this week's theme: Strasbourg's World Forum for Democracy 2016 asks how education can renew democracy

openDemocracy is partnering with the World Forum for Democracy 2016 to draw inspiration from a wide range of innovative grassroots and political initiatives worldwide, and kick-start the debate on what education can do for democracy and what democracy can do for education.

"If democracy is going to work, it's got to be practised in school as well as talked about."

Derry Hannam in conversation with Rosemary Bechler and Margarete Hentze at the 2016 World Forum for Democracy in Strasbourg.

Moazzam Begg and The Confession, Part Two.

"Whatever you want to think about Moazzam Begg...  the film demands that you recognize that the rule of law, that quintessential British value, has not been exercised in our time."

Portrait of the artist and The Confession, Part One

An interview with the director of The Confession, Moazzam Begg’s story commissioned by BBC Storyville and the BFI - one of the most resonant modern stories for our times.

What UK-EU relations do we want and what is the 'good society'?

An interview with Catherine West, MP, secretary and co-founder of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on UK-EU Relations, scrutinising Brexit negotiations and pushing for a progressive relationship with our European neighbours.

Educating for democracy

"In education our duty is to... help people cultivate a desire to seek out truth and separate it from lies. This needs open debate, not closure." Interview for the World Forum for Democracy 2016.

Introducing this week's special theme: 'Cities of welcome, cities of transit'

openDemocracy and its partners brought activists, academics, and policy makers together in Barcelona late last July to discuss a way forward for refugee-related activism and city welcome policies. 

Democratising Europe – a transnational project?

What role does national self-determination and 'self-government’ play in European and human emancipation today? Yanis Varoufakis replies for DiEM25.

We need bolder politicians

“We have seen a lengthy period during which politicians have deliberately disengaged from important aspects of what they should be doing, leading to a lot of disillusionment with politics.”

Interview with Adrian Zandberg, Partia Razem

If you don't have a Left that is able to question unjust social relations and give viable perspectives on changing the world for the better, then politics dies. Lithuanian (part1, part 2)

On superdiversity in a ‘crisis mood’

“Recognising the need to question our categorisation and how we pigeon-hole society doesn’t only have analytical power. It also provides us with a different way of looking at society.” An interview.

My 350 on BREXIT: Why the Guardian could not be more wrong

"The BREXIT vote was a vote to ‘take back control’ in an international system where this is nowhere on offer."

Democracy – a call to arms

David Bernet’s profoundly European film, Democracy, is that rare thing, a documentary about the complex system that is democracy, and a triumphant democratic law-making process at that.

If the EU didn’t exist, we would have to invent it

A serious attempt at democracy, in the sense of being able to influence the decisions that affect our lives, can only be done through solidarity with those in the European Union. Interview.

After Snowden, can technology save our digital liberties?

In this wide-ranging interview with human rights lawyer and former Privacy International head of advocacy Carly Nyst, we discuss surveillance politics, radical thinking, and human rights on the internet.

Paul Gilroy in search of a not necessarily safe starting point…

A conversation about university education today that rearranges some of the deckchairs on the Titanic.

What kind of hope is a promise?

“If progressives focus too much on the institutional sphere, the right wing can take the streets – they’ve done it before. If we don’t, someone else will.” Interview with the author of Hope is a Promise. (5,800 words)

'Commons sense’: you either see it or you don’t

Some of the debates regarding agency, change and commoning that flowed through openDemocracy in 2015.

Freedom and control in the surveillance age (Part 2)

The Strasbourg Forum met soon after the Paris attacks, at a time of fear. Under such conditions, we ask in this week's feature: can our democracies resist the marginalisation of dissent?

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