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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

“Francesc”

Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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?

Human rights at the World Forum for Democracy 2015

The Council for Europe's commissioner for human rights warns that Europe’s new security-oriented turn restricts fundamental human rights, a success for terrorists who want us to abandon our lifestyle and live in fear. Short interview.

‘Policed multiculturalism’ and predicting disaster

Counter-radicalisation in France draws on British and Dutch policies developed in the mid-2000s. It extends police action to areas of diversity management such as education, religion and social policy. With what results? Interview.

Safe spaces – a view from Yale

There are two aspects of the US college protests which we leave out of account at our peril if we are to see them in context, let alone judge them. Interview.

Safe spaces, the void between, and the absence of trust

A conversation about some of the factors behind the campus protests in the United States, and what they tell us more generally about our conditions of existence.

Democracy and belonging

In 2006, a conversation before a large audience in Rotterdam on the role that Muslims should play in European societies took place, between Dyab Abou Jahjah, then president of the Arab European League with its Antwerp headquarters, and Tariq Ramadan. openDemocracy’s Editor was there. Archive.

Freedom and control in the surveillance age (Part 1)

What (if any) is the 'right level' of surveillance? openDemocracy's editors introduce a new partnership with the World Forum for Democracy.

Participatory representation: an interview with Paolo Gerbaudo

For too long we have regarded participation and representation as mutually exclusive concepts. From the Squares and Beyond partnership.

Renewing the Latin American connection

All the countries of those sitting around this table were born in genocide. In the case of Brazil, we were the world champion of slavery. So we are based on that! Sweet but violent. From the Squares and Beyond partnership.

Learning from social movement failure

I think we see four different pathways to failure in the Arab uprisings which are well worth examining… From the Squares and Beyond partnership.

Moving beyond the squares: anticipating the debate

On July 3-4, the LSE will jointly host a seminar with openDemocracy on the impact of the movements in the squares from 2011 onwards. Do they contribute to the democratic renewal of our democracies and if so how? A conversation.

There they must no further go

Andrew Kötting’s film By Our Selves retraces a four-day walk made by the poet John Clare: “start moving and the path reveals itself”. At the Open City Documentary Festival on 20 June 2015.

Relationship remembered

Andrea Luka Zimmerman’s film Estate, a Reverie, is an unruly celebration of extraordinary everyday humanity. At the Open City Documentary Festival on 21 June 2015.

In new gods do we trust?

Do you expect the machine to solve the problems? In this wide-ranging interview with the Director of the Open Rights Group we discuss bulk collection, state bureaucracies, the pre-crime era and trust.

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