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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

openDemocracy hosts debates. We do not advocate an editorial line. Editor’s notes are light, brief comments on aspects of the current edition - and how it relates to current events.

2007: the top fifty

openDemocracy published 750 articles this year. Here are fifty of the best!

The editor's pick of the year

openDemocracy asked its editor to choose his three favourite texts from 2004.

Parties for everyone?

George Papandreou outlines his approach to a new way of doing politics

Optimists in dark times

Why is an argument between two optimists worth time and attention in a dark world? openDemocracy editor Anthony Barnett defends the publication of Tom Nairn’s long and challenging response to Timothy Garton Ash

Tom Nairn vs Timothy Garton Ash

The lesson of Tom Nairn’s post–imperial critique of Timothy Garton Ash’s “Free World” is that nation–states and their peoples, not Anglospheric empires, will shape the 21st century. But this process needs a politics. Where is it?

A time to think hard

Bush’s re–election has opened a new historical period. Tough, clear thought on a global scale is needed to understand and democratically shape it, says Anthony Barnett.

After the tears

John Kerry’s supporters must now avoid finger-pointing and self-flagellation, says Anthony Barnett in New York – and instead build a new, international politics of globalisation to replace Bush’s politics of fear.

Bush has lost

The most important campaign of all, for democratic legitimacy and moral respect, has found the United States president wanting.

Why the United States and Israel?

The American election debate has ignored Israel and Palestine. All the more reason for openDemocracy to pose the issue in a responsible, serious way, says Anthony Barnett.

Reinhard Hesse - you were our wild side

Anthony Barnett remembers Gerhard Schröder’s speechwriter and a formative influence on openDemocracy for whom “nothing was foreign except the second rate", followed by the eulogy Anthony gave at the memorial meeting in front of the Chancellor and Foreign Minister Joskar Fischer.

America and the world after 9/11

The choices the United States made after 11 September 2001 raise fundamental questions of political judgment. Anthony Barnett outlines how openDemocracy seeks to answer them.

It's the long term, stupid

The United Nations is seeking to reinvent itself. The Iraq disaster should make sure the world listens, says Anthony Barnett.

Arguing Iraq

Several openDemocracy readers felt that our presentation of the Iraqi roundtable was biased. The editor responds.

Paying for Iraqi voices

We publish, you pay. The deal? Quality. The price? Modest. The reward? Your money funds Iraqis too. The catch? You have to read articles like this from the editor.

The Iranian option

As the United States abandons a key Iraqi ally, is its intention to focus on a new military target: Iran?

A world of equals

The abuse of Iraqi prisoners in Abu Ghraib prison poses the most severe question for the United States: can it consider non-Americans as moral equals?

Who brings democracy?

The recent experience of Spain, India and Turkey highlight a profound trend in international affairs: the globalisation of democracy.

Liberation after the liberation

One year on from Saddam’s fall, Iraq’s people need more help, interest and attention from the international community.

Voicing America

openDemocracy’s aim in publishing three new columnists covering America’s election is not neutrality but a well-argued partiality that will engage and include people from around the world.

Living through terrorism

The attack in Madrid should not be looked at as only European, or even only political, but in the context of a human chain of being and responsibility.

Tony Blair and Katharine Gun: the hollow centre

The shared character of Britain’s prime minister and the ‘whistleblower’ who exposed the workings of his intelligence agencies before the Iraq war illuminates a desperate truth: this is a national political culture at the end of its tether.

'Who is this Lord Hutton?'

After Hutton, Butler. The successive British inquiries into the fallout of the Iraq war, led from the heart of the political elite, are designed to protect the people from knowledge of their government’s misdeeds.

The Campbell Code

The Hutton report on the death of a British scientist blames the BBC and clears Tony Blair, but misses the larger truth of the Iraq weapons affair: the British government’s system of command and control

Whose American election?

The American presidential election belongs to the global community as well as the United States. openDemocracy intends to facilitate a dialogue between them.

Inside Saddam's Mouth

What does the stunning image of Saddam’s now empty mouth after his capture reveal of the nature of his regime and its fate?

‘We have got him!’, proclaimed Paul Bremer, the American proconsul in Iraq.

But what have they got?

Personally, I had half-expected Saddam Hussein to be found and probably killed in a remote farm. For those of us who recall the 1960s, the vile conditions of the rat-hole he hid in were familiar from the Vietnam war (although the National Liberation Front was always diligent enough to build tunnels with escape routes).

An emerging world politics

Mary Robinson, former president of Ireland, gives new light to openDemocracy’s classic question: who rules the world and how?

Gil Loescher's example

openDemocracy is proud that columnist Gil Loescher, badly wounded in the bomb attack on United Nations headquarters in Baghdad, returns to write for us.

In this edition of openDemocracy Gil Loescher describes how he was the only survivor amongst those meeting in Sergio Vieira de Mello’s office in Baghdad on 19 August 2003, when the UN office there was attacked.

The bones of Gil’s right hand had been exposed and shattered by the blast. But his wife Ann would not allow it to be amputated as Gil underwent surgery in Landstuhl, Germany.

Secrets, lies and war

openDemocracy’s interview with weapons inspector Ron Manley has a profound lesson for Britain’s hyper-centralised political culture

A new way for British government?

In advance of a global summit of centre-left leaders in London, Geoff Mulgan has mapped a vital cultural shift in the inner life of British governance – from ‘we know best’ to ‘we learn best’. The openness and practicality of his argument make it both welcome and deceptively radical, says Anthony Barnett; but does it, like Tony Blair's 'Third Way' itself, also carry some Old Britain paternalism into the new media age?

A world on the move

Nomads, immigrants, migrants, refugees – People Flow, the concept pioneered in a new openDemocracy debate, offers imaginative ways for the movement of people to be understood.

John Lloyd, the <i>New Statesman</i> and me

John Lloyd’s article for openDemocracy represents a sharing of a common ground of value in serious, responsible debate across divisions of left and right.

Bad omens

The era of pre-emptive war contains dark portents for democratic governance

A heart in New York

For openDemocracy, modern war brings new tests to our thinking, practice, and values.

The nuclear option

The participative world pioneered at the World Social Forum in Brazil is opening a space for fresh ways to think about and practice politics.

The wrong war: a response to Philip Bobbitt

An argument for war must attend to the Bush administration’s true intentions. Philip Bobbitt does not provide it.
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