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About Rosemary Bechler

RB, editor

Rosemary Bechler is a mainsite editor of openDemocracy, and a member of the coordinating committee of DiEM25.

Articles by Rosemary Bechler

This week’s front page editor

Rosemary Bechler

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy's mainsite editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Left populism over the years

A conversation about the rise of the right-wing since the turn of the century, what this tells us about liberal democracy, and the deepening of democracy needed in response.

The danger of nationalisms today: a four-part essay on the lethal logic of the Monocultural National Us

Nationalisms of one kind or another have been with modern human society for centuries. Why write now to urge new attention to the current upsurge in nationalisms?

The cure for the abuse of nationalism? More democracy

If democracy is to survive, there must be a step change to an empowerment which comes from government by the people. Pt.4 of 4.

How the lethal logic of the Monocultural National Us is at work in Zionism and Brexit

The Monocultural National Us wreaks havoc all over the world. How do we loosen its grip on our imaginations, and what might this mean for the defence of our democracies? Pt.3 of 4.

Our nationalist stories about ourselves can be benign or dangerous – how can we tell the difference?

Why it is so difficult to differentiate between good and bad nationalisms, and why the World Cup might help us. Pt.2 of 4.

Which conflicts strengthen a democracy, and which tear it apart? How Europe is finding out

Outlining a couple of debates, and the concept of the Monocultural National Us. Why should we be on the look out for its presence in our lives? Pt.1 of 4.

In memory of Razan al Najjar: Steve Bell's cartoon

An Israeli army sniper shot the 21-year-old nurse while she was trying to care for injured protestors in Gaza. This is Steve Bell's tribute to her.

The ordinary virtues of cities

Talking to Phil Wood, co-founder of the intercultural cities model, last November, about love of cities, intercultural city planning, innovative local government, human rights and ‘ordinary virtues’. Interview.

Breivik lawyer: how to avoid the Trump trap

Geir Lippestad defended Norway's biggest mass murderer. Now the former Vice-Mayor of Oslo talks about what's he's learned about how to combat hatred and create a 'win-win' for intercultural cities. Interview.

Fireworks nights

“There feels like a massive push towards ‘diversifying’ the arts. It makes me feel uncomfortable when at the centre of that push we find mainly white, middle class people.”

Fighting in the left corner

“We are an organization with one staff member, and a limited amount of energy because nobody in the political and activist left wants to talk about Brexit! “

Intercommunication in Barcelona, past and future

"Instead of talking about the Greek debt and its creditors and the European Central Bank, we decided that a people-to-people message could be much more effective to lift up their spirits."

Meeting Lofa

“In the Kenyan camp there are second generation and third generation refugees,” I said, “Can you imagine somebody being in there on a permanently temporary basis? It’s hopeless.” It opened their eyes a bit I hope.

Let’s not ‘politicise’: let’s skill

"We are very aware, when it comes to the whole Greek experience, that one of the problems the political left faces is … what it means to be able to implement your own ideas."

Safe spaces, bagpipes and houmous

“This is the safe space I was talking about… a totally open space people can feel safe in, because stories are shared, barriers are broken and everyone is welcome.”

Change in a consensual way

“Because often when it comes to politics, I am sort of a leader. But here I was a follower: and it was a good experience.” An interview on thoughts arising from Team Syntegrity 2017.

From Fake to Fact – and then?

Do all of us need to move outside our ‘comfort zones’ and self-imposed ‘echo chambers’, both  to come up with better diagnoses of the populist challenge, and to define constructive political action collectively ?  

Wherever people meet

"Are people right to trust themselves and others to build a better and more equal society? I came to the Forum to see how." Report-back from the World Forum for Democracy 2017.

While the sun shines

A conversation with Ashish Ghadiali, film-maker, party activist, autonomous individual, about reinventing politics through culture and democracy.

Introducing this week's theme: Strasbourg's World Forum for Democracy 2017 looks at 'media, parties and populism'

openDemocracy is partnering with the World Forum for Democracy 2017. This week we ask: what media, what political parties, what politicians do we need to re-connect with citizens? Is the problem fake news or fake democracy?

On DiEM25’s electoral wing: reply from a CC member to thoughts on ‘a historic moment’

 A transnational movement-party, a hotbed of grassroots democracy capable of supranational solutions – why that matters to me.

The importance of Europeans sticking together to achieve a progressive Europe

Thoughts arising from Brexit for the DiEM25 September event in the Bozar in Brussels on the ‘Real State of the European Union’. (speech)

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."

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