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About Tony Curzon Price

Tony Curzon Price was Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy from 2007 to 2012, where he is now contributing editor and technical director. He blogs at

Articles by Tony Curzon Price

This week’s front page editor

Clare Sambrook

Clare Sambrook, investigative journalist, co-edits Shine a Light.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

When is "saving marriage" not a conservative program?

A reading of Zola's Germinal coincides with the debate on marriage to suggest a radical defence of the institution

Devaluation could exacerbate inequality rather than reduce it

Continuing our Devalue or Else series, Tony Curzon-Price replies to John Mills, arguing that further devaluation could even increase the earnings divide across UK industries. Could this effect be enough to offset the equality gains from increased employment?

"Judaism, All that matters". An openDemocracy podcast

An openDemocracy podcasted conversation around Keith Kahn-Harris' latest book (1 hr)

London's not yet ready to love its bankers

The author finds himself debating whether the intelligence squared forum in London should vote to "love its Bankers", in a meeting well-stocked with the subject themselves.

The Cold White Heat of Today

The powerful impact of a new installation in London by Russian architect Alexander Brodsky

No light at the end of the Heart of Darkness

An annual return to the home my grandfather retired to and a rifle through the rump of his library sparks off a reflection on the way in which the main questions raised by Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" are answered - far from optimistically - in his "Lord Jim"

The post-Lehman financial system is its own source of risk - so why put up with it?

The cost of credit to the financial system is now higher than it is for industrials. The financial system has become a source of autonomous risk. Why do we need it, then?

G4S's Buckles is no bungler. Analysis of an interview

Nick Buckles, CEO of G4S, was not the speech-and-thought-challenged buffoon he appeared to be on his mea-not-so-culpa interview on the BBC's flagship Today program. Indeed, the story seems much more interesting than that

"But you told me I could, Sir". Bob Diamond's "bent for the job" defence

Bob Diamond, ex-Barclays chief, defends himself by saying he got a nod and a wink from the Bank of England and the Treasury, all of whom were happy to see LIBOR fixing as a "noble lie". It wasn't. The lie just shows how ignoble was the system it sought to uphold.

Harder than cracking Diamond

The resignation of the Barclays chief, if welcome, should not be allowed to obscure the need for fundamental reform. And Britain - that large hedge-fund with a small country attached - is deeper in need of it than anyone else.

Not enjoying the football. But ever interested by it

Is football racist to its core? The author starts out having thought so, but his experience of a particular group of joyful fans makes him wonder whether an inclusive tribalism might not be possible - even desirable

LIBOR's poker

The City's Financial Services Authority has given Barclays Bank a massive fine for lying about its cost of capital in the obscure process that sets a key price in the financial markets. It shows again that finance is too important to be left to the so-called market.

The immorality of tax-dodging - reserve some indignation for the State

The basis of taxation - especially of the super-rich, but also of the increasing numbers who feel no great traditional or ethnic attachment to the nation - must be solidarity, whose only sustainable basis is a common view of the good we're building. The State needs to recognise its duty in supplying that if we are to solve our fiscal crises

Modern Greek history podcast, parts 2 and 3

Parts 2 (50 mins) and 3 (50 mins) of the generalists' introduction to modern Greek history take us from 1920 to the present day. Part 1, 1820-1920, is here, and the two articles that have served as anchors for the conversation are here (Doxiadis on the historical roots of current economic structure) and here (Takis Pappas on the political history that led to crisis)

End in sight to "Othering the Union". Hope for Europe.

The European debt crisis is political more than financial, as argued by George Soros. But the solution to the political problem needs to confront domestic political elites throughout Europe, jealous of their power, with the dishonesty of their stance. Hold on tight - this process provides hope for genuine democratic transformation throughout the Union

History podcast - the birth of modern Greece

In this hour-long informal conversation, Terence Mitchison provides the historian's background to the modern Greek state - from Venetian/Ottoman contestation to the Balkan wars of the 20th Century, the rise of Ataturk and the great population movements in the early 1920s. Parts 2 and 3 are available here.

Osborne's Mansion House speech - it's so hard to be honest, guv

An attentive reading of the UK Chancellor's (finance minster's) latest speech to the City reveals the strain of ignoring what really limits Britain's ability to formulate a good response to its own double dip recession or to play a constructive role in the Eurozone crisis. In both cases, the root cause is the absence of true democratic legitimacy that pervades the Westminster/City nexus

Liberty's wings will get badly burnt by "Flame"

The "Flame" worm is a reminder just how fragile is the digital space of freedom that we have known. I used to think that the dire warnings from Jonathan Zittrain of an end to generativity and network openness were unduly pessimistic. Here's why I've changed my mind

"Written on the Heart" - the difficulties of navigating loyalties by the light of love and mercy

David Edgar's play about the writing of English Bibles in religiously turbulent Tudor and Jacobean England reverberates with echoes of our time

The attractions of mystical anarchism

Rousseau, according to Simon Critchley, sees the problem of politics more clearly than many: if political institutions are to be self-created - autonomous - then what will motivate the "violent individualist" to assent to their constraints? Simon Critchley discusses his new book, The Faith of the Faithless (1 hr)

Journalist or Citizen?

A short extract from the VociGlobali panel discussion at the Perugia journalism conference. Framed as an answer to James Curran's question: "Why has the Internet changed so little", the author proposes that the culprit was an optimistic confusion and causal reversal between Citizen and Journalist

Desertec video - solar power from the Sahara

A Scriberia animation describes the "Desertec" project - using solar power concentrators in North Africa and bringing power to Europe with High Voltage DC lines. Why not?

Welcome Magnus - incoming Editor-in-Chief

Our outgoing Editor-in-Chief introduces us to his successor, Magnus Nome, and invites us to share the kind of ambitions he has had for openDemocracy over the last six years and onwards into the future.

"A woman inside" - interview & review

A fringe play by a prison therapist about the impact of incarceration on femininity presents an intense and brutal world, yet one in which humanity still gets a redeeming look in.

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Do we need the ghost of the father or of the son?

A production of Hamlet reminds the author of other ghost stories, including the contemporary literary whodunnit and myth, Luis de Miranda's "Who killed the poet"?

The Judo of Clicktivism - why Europe's democratic deficit stops a European political identity from emerging

The clicktivism of very targeted campaigns, like Londoners on Bikes, Move Your Money or the Big Switch will transform our democracies. The important lesson from micro-campaigning is that identity follows political relevance, not the other way around. There are lessons here for European democracy - European political identities will be built through the right single-issue political campaigns, however hard it will be to convince citizens that their efforts will be well spent

The problem is not party funding - it's parties full stop

There's no surprise that it costs a lot to dine with the British Prime Minister. But calls for party funding reform are misguided – we need to undermine the parties, not strengthen them.

The code in the machine. A conversation with Luis de Miranda

2012-02-27_1446How has the digital realm changed us? Has it given us a way to understand the liberating aspects of order, and is this how the today's thinking about alternatives differs from that of generation '68? Listen to a podcast that prefigures some of the themes that will be covered on our Friday March 2nd London event.
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Jimmy Wales or Kim Dotcom - is anti-SOPA about fundamental principles or competing commercial interests?

In this podcast, Tony Curzon Price talks to Albert Wenger, partner at Union Square Ventures, the venture capital fund behind a lot of the most innovative and visible web companies of today, to try to understand: is anti-SOPA activism more about principle or about the competing interests of big Tech vs. big Entertainment

Credit rating agencies: the wrong institutions for public judgement

Whether the ratings agencies get this or that decision right or wrong - they were probably right in the case of the European downgrades - is not the point. They have become the buck-passing agencies for weakened states. The most important public judgements of credit-worthiness ought to be made in public institutions, not behind corporate doors

High pay: what Machiavelli would have recommended a politician do

It's true that high pay for bosses serves no purpose except keeping them (and their headquarters) in the country. The only real solution is economic policy coordination. In its absence, Machiavelli would have been proud of the proposals and statements on display this new year in the UK

Why I wish I could condemn Cameron's decision whole-heartedly but can't

It is now that we really need a genuine democratic European movement with strong civil society roots. But it doesn't exist, and in its absence, the Commission is an untrustworthy institution.

"Free" and membership

Time to pay up for the wonders of the economy of "free". Become an openDemocracy Friend or Member

Clearing Zuccotti Park: the strange resilience of democracy with a thin skin

The occupation of Zuccotti Park was only the visible tip of a movement whose significance and power goes well beyond the tent city. The next moves of the movement need to remember the nature of the symbol they are building. The author's 2c: they should virtualise while spreading physical meetings to many ad hoc locations

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