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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

From Venezuela and Peru to Bangladesh and Hungary, openDemocracy writers track a turbulent era of new political challenges and mobilisations.

"Less-lethal" weapons in Jerusalem: "The purpose of these bullets isn’t corresponding to the reality"

Israeli photojournalist Tali Mayer, 28, was shot by a black-tipped sponge bullet while reporting on a demonstration. This led to her project with the ACRI, a member of INCLO, photographing Palestinians injured by these crowd-control bullets.

How should states manage assemblies in the new age of protest?

With a sharp increase in protest around the world over the past decade, international and domestic standards for state protection and management of assemblies must be pursued.

This time, it’s different

Paul Mason’s Postcapitalism is a book for our times—and the decades ahead.

The five pillars of Islamophobia

Vague categories like ‘extremist’ and ‘radicalisation’ are trawling Muslims in a very large ‘counter-terrorism’ net.

Securitisation not the response to deaths at sea

The European Union has responded to the humanitarian crisis presented by refugee deaths in the Mediterranean—but only through the lens of border control.

Turkey and the Armenian genocide: the next century

For the Armenian diaspora, today is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day—but not in Turkey. Perhaps members of the country’s Kurdish minority can help shake up a polarised narrative.

‘Your face now looks permanently in pain’—awaiting sentence in Egypt

The sister of a US-Egyptian activist on hunger strike in a Cairo jail, whose cause has been taken up by Amnesty International, issues a cri de coeur on the eve of a critical court appearance.

After the demonstrations ...

The popular outpouring in France, taken with the climate marches in September with which it would not at first be bracketed, may be a harbinger of change.

Burkina Faso: where democracy has always run on protests and coups

The military officer who has assumed power in Burkina Faso after protests dislodged its longstanding president has said civilian rule will be restored. Expect more protests if it isn't.

Hong Kong: the stakes are high

Beijing knows that the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong is not just about the future of the former British colony: the party monopoly on the mainland is ultimately at issue.

Climate summit, climate justice

The climate summit called today by the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, will not bring the commitments needed to avert global chaos. Only popular mobilisation for climate justice can do that.

Egypt: time to end the diplomatic farce

Many Egyptians are smarting from the betrayal of their revolution while the military-backed regime tightens its grip. The international community can no longer ignore this.

Shadow of military looms large over Pakistan street protests

The military is never far from politics in Pakistanand it may be implicated in the latest political crisis, as opposition forces led by Imran Khan challenge the legitimacy of the government of Nawaz Sharif.

Why are police becoming more like soldiers?

Militarisation of the police is a developing phenomenon, spreading into nominally democratic societies as the bonds of popular consent to the status quo weaken.

Egypt’s cover-up

The military-backed authorities in Egypt refused entry this week to two top officials of Human Rights Watch, seeking to launch their report on the massacre a year ago in Cairo. They blocked the messengers but they may have more trouble blocking the message.

On Israel-Palestine and BDS

Those dedicated to the Palestinian cause should think carefully about the tactics they choose.

Arrested democracy: why Thailand needs a new social contract

The Thai military may think its May takeover has run smoothly but authoritarian dictates and an elite power monopoly will not keep the country together in the longer term.

Twenty-first century protest: social media and surveillance

The internet is a two-edged sword—a vehicle for mass surveillance on the one hand and the organisation of civil-society protest on the other.

How Egypt can turn the tide on sexual assault

Egypt’s ruler, Abdel Fatah al-Sisi, has responded to the growing outcry over mob sexual violence against women in public places by setting up a ministerial committee. More, much more, however needs to be done.

They got up, they stood up: the Global Day of Citizen Action

Activists around the world have been standing up for their rights and freedoms. Photoessay.

Brazil: a country of jangled nerves

As the World Cup opens, few Brazilians are heading for the beach to samba: behind the stereotype is a country which has accumulated a perfect storm of social and economic insecurities.

Tiananmen Square: official silence, public restiveness

In the twenty-five years since the Tiananmen Square massacre, China’s party-state appears to have stabilised its rule by instrumental middle-class support secured for material gain. The next twenty-five years may not, however, be so certain.

The Euro-sceptic Trojan horse: challenging the EU from within

Euro-sceptic political parties exploited public insecurity to make gains in the elections to the European Parliament but pro-Europeans should engage with the ‘Euro-critics’ rather than defensively shunning dissent.

Venezuela: taking the counter- out of revolution

Venezuela is politically polarised and so is much of the coverage of it. But just as the violence is now kaleidoscopic the international response must become more complex.

Striking behaviour: Chinese workers discover a weapon against labour-market turmoil

In theory, workers in China are promised security through official trade union representation and the rule of the Communist Party. In practice, confronted with the endless churning of a globalised labour market, they are increasingly voting with their feet.

Ukraine: what next?

There was a way out of the Ukraine crisis this week, through dialogue and accommodation. But the regime, backed by Russia, chose to pursue victory instead. It will be a Pyrrhic one—but the international community can shorten the agony.

Breaking up with lame: protests in Bosnia

On the fifth day of ongoing demonstrations in Sarajevo, a routine is establishing itself and there is a feeling of something new in the landscape of Dayton-constitution Bosnian purgatory – citizens are breaking up with their fears.

Turkey: trade unionism on trial

As the Erdogan government in Turkey takes an increasingly authoritarian turn, trade unionists have been in the firing line. But a mass trial in Istanbul, little noticed by the international media, has not gone entirely the government’s way.

How was he to know? The cracking of the Ukraine regime

Ukraine’s parliament has abandoned the law to curb public protests only recently introduced and the prime minister has resigned. What lies behind these dramatic events?

Civil society under threat: could international law help?

In the name of ‘traditional values’ and raisons d’état, authoritarian governments and dictators around the world are targeting the civil-society organisations who animate the public square. Democratic states and the UN must stand up for international legal standards.

From utopia to dystopia: technology, society and what we can do about it

The superficial post-war dream that technology would solve the world’s social problems has transformed into a nightmare of electronically enabled global surveillance and suppression. Yet with consumer-oriented industries replacing the military as the main driver of innovation, citizens are acquiring tools through which they can co-ordinate their emancipation.

Thailand, the politics of justice

The contrasting treatment of those accused of verbal insults of the monarch and those responsible for violent repression casts a sorry verdict on the process of justice in Thailand, says Tyrell Haberkorn in Bangkok.

Building a culture of love: replacing a culture of violence and death

What unites people's movements from the Arab 'spring' to Occupy, is a new consciousness that a good life, with dignity, freedom, fairness and human security, is their right -  and by the law of love and logic, the right of every man and woman, says laureate Mairead Maguire.

Anti-deportation campaigns: ‘What kind of country do you want this to be?’

A new musical, Glasgow Girls, showcases the power of anti-deportation campaigns as both an expression of human solidarity and an essential device for holding states to account. But their key role, argues Jennifer Allsopp, is to build support for an asylum system that upholds the rights of all.

Is Putin afraid of the Caucasus?

Russian lawmakers have given preliminary approval to a law to allow governors to be appointed in the country’s 83 regions, reversing last year’s move to restore direct elections. As Daniil Kotsyubinsky reports, this issue is unimportant in itself, but it exposes the regime’s soft underbelly, unrest in the Caucasus.

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