only search openDemocracy.net

This week's editor

Dawn Foster, Co-Editor

Dawn Foster is Co-Editor at 5050 and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Even when guns are silent, the ideas behind them threaten. Warfare and conflict resolution urgently need to be explained, their causes clarified, and creative solutions explored.

Khomeini to IS: paths of revolution

The Middle East's political map survived decades of tumult. Its long-term unravelling began with Iran's uprising in 1979.

Yemenis on the Houthi ascent to power

The Houthis took control of Sana’a on 21 September, striking a deal with the government after weeks of protests. Yemenis have mixed feelings about their rising power.

On structural violence in Palestine

The structural violence, economic inequalities, and pervasive injustice that characterise Palestinian society under occupation have created a crisis of the spirit.

Tony Blair, a crusader for peace

The shadow of the United States-Israel military relationship looms over Tony Blair's peace-envoy role in the middle east.

[This article was first published on 28 June 2007]

To eliminate WMD we need to disarm patriarchy

Civil society must stop the use of chemical weapons being used as a pretext for US-led bombing in Syria. A gendered understanding demonstrates that the only sustainable strategy is to pursue disarmament and strengthen international humanitarian law.

State-building vs intervention, or how not to help

Together, distorted understanding and flawed policy have compounded the problems of weak states in the global south. A different approach to state-building is needed, says Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou

Young Afghans in the UK: deportations in the dead of night to a war-zone

Each year around 400 children forced by war to leave their families and homes in Afghanistan seek sanctuary in the UK. Lisa Matthews writes for Young People Seeking Safety Week on the young adults who, having rebuilt their lives, are now at threat of return. 

"We want peace. We’re tired of war"

"If we live violence every day, how can we work for the development of our country so that we can benefit from human rights like other countries and like other women?"  - Julienne Lusenge speaking about her work as a women's human rights defender in the DRC

Women of Senegal: agents of peace

The physical and moral suffering undergone by the valiant people of Casamance is incalculable and, as usual, it is the women and children who pay the highest price. From their position as victims, women have decided to become committed agents of peace, says Ndeye Marie Thiam.

The Egyptian opposition: from protestors to revolutionaries?

The failure to translate the momentum of the heady days of the January 2011 protests in Egypt into an effective revolutionary force is closely related to the organisational forms adopted by oppositional movements. This poses broader questions for social movements worldwide, argues Maha Abdelrahman

Kenya, between hope and fear

The violent aftermath of Kenya's previous election is present in everyone's minds as Kenyans elect a successor to Mwai Kibaki. But the past five years have brought many other issues to the fore, says Daniel Branch.

International courts: justice vs politics

The tribunals judging crimes in Rwanda and former Yugoslavia were intended to deliver justice for victims of genocide. But several recent cases suggest that politics may be getting in the way, says Andrew Wallis in Kigali.

Syria's war, Israel's trap

The prospect of a chaotic endgame in Syria and more instability in Egypt is leading Israel further in the direction of a "fortress-state". This military entrenchment reflects not strength but vulnerability.

Militarising Education

The incursion of the military into the British education system will mean that alternatives to war and peaceful ways of resolving conflict will be more difficult for young people to explore. In the long term we will all pay a heavy price, says Emma Sangster.

The war between the president’s men

The Russian regime may present a united front to the world, but behind the scenes the cracks are beginning to show. In the week when Putin fired a senior government member, Dmitry Travin looks at the people and the issues that divide them.

The least bad: the US elections from Israel-Palestine

For Palestinians and Israelis, a Democrat victory would be bad and a Republican victory worse. While Obama continues to seduce the deluded among us, Romney is making lethal calculations

Can rancour in the south Caucasus go beyond tit for tat?

For close on a millennium Azeris and Armenians co-existed reasonably peaceably. At the end of the Soviet period tensions erupted and they have been bubbling ever since. No need, thinks William Gourlay, because they are actually quite similar. Is it just a case of ‘must try harder’?

America's military: a far-right threat

A lax recruitment policy has allowed neo-Nazi and other extremists to enter the United States army. The violent consequences are increasingly being felt in the domestic arena, says Matt Kennard.

Reconsidering war with Iran

Short and long term human, political and economic consequences of any war require innovative approaches to prevent the crisis becoming war: such a case clearly exists with Iran and her nuclear ambitions.  

DR Congo: the politics of suffering

A rise in violent tension in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo, across the border from Rwanda, is the latest phase of a conflict unresolved since the Rwandan genocide of 1994. The wider story it tells is one of state failure in the DRC, says Andrew Wallis.

We Are Fed Up! The power of a new generation of Sudanese youth activists

The recent protests in Sudan attest to the rise of a new generation of Sudanese youth activists. At the heart of this emerging political force is Girifna, a youth-led movement which has been using internet power, confrontational street tactics, and advocacy to stand up to the regime of Omar al-Bashir.

Bitterlemons, the next stage

An innovative Israeli-Palestinian collaboration offering regular analysis of middle-east affairs is ending regular publication after eleven years. Its co-editors, Yossi Alpher and Ghassan Khatib, explain why.

False syllogisms, troublesome combinations and Primo Levi’s political positioning on Israel and Palestine

Twenty-five years after his death, Primo Levi's legacy has been the object of many debates and reinterpretations. Distinguishing his true words from those forcibly put into his mouth is a crucial step towards understanding the thought of a major witness of the horrors of the twentieth century.

With its firm support for Assad, Tehran is running a great risk

It is no easy thing to let your best friend go. But Iran needs to change its attitude towards the Syrian regime if it wants to stay a relevant player in the Middle East.

China’s veto on Syria: what interests are at play?

China's motivations regarding how to deal with Syria differ from those of Russia, and constitute a new, more assertive foreign policy. However, engaging the government and its opposition on equal terms might come back to haunt China in the future.

Bulgaria, the end of innocence

The bombing of Israeli tourists in the resort of Burgas suggests that Bulgaria's strategic choices have made it vulnerable to terrorist attack, says John O'Brennan.

Bulgaria, terror and aftershock

An attack on Israeli tourists in the Black Sea resort of Burgas is a moment of profound alarm for Bulgaria. It also highlights changes in the country’s international profile, says Dimitar Bechev in Sofia.

Turkey and the Armenians: politics of history

A new generation's encounter with the Armenian genocide of 1915 is producing fresh understandings of Turkey's - and the middle east's - modern history, finds Vicken Cheterian.

Bosnia twenty years on: victims return to Višegrad to bury their dead

The author recalls the atrocities committed around Višegrad twenty years ago and suggests that even today, twenty years later, ethnic tensions remain a serious problem in Bosnia and Hercegovina and reconciliation between the different ethnic groups is tenuous at best

War minus the shooting: Russia vs Poland at Euro 2012

Ukraine_Euro

‘War minus the shooting’ was George Orwell’s definition of sport, unpleasantly brought once more to mind during the recent battles between Russian and Polish football fans. There is a long history of animosity over sporting events between the two countries, but there could be a way forward, says Zygmunt Dzieciolowski

Azerbaijan: the geopolitical conundrum

Ukraine_Euro

The recent Eurovision song contest catapulted Azerbaijan into world news and focused attention on its internal problems. But foreign policy issues are a cause of considerable concern too. The country is caught in between Iran, Russia and the West and finding a way to meet the needs of all of them is going to be extremely difficult, says Elkhan Nuriyev.

Srebrenica: genocide and memory

Bosnian Muslim citizens weep and pray near coffins prepared for a mass burial at the Memorial Center in Potocari, near Srebenica Bosnian Muslim citizens weep and pray in Potocari, near Srebenica, after Mladic arrest, July 2011/Demotix/All rights reserved

The Bosnian Serb massacre of around 8,000 Bosnian Muslim men and boys in Srebrenica in July 1995 has left deep wounds. Ed Vulliamy revisits the scenes of a terrible crime, meets families and survivors, and reports on the search for human remains and justice.

Lines in shifting sands: Russia’s response to the Syrian uprising

Russian policy in the Middle East has been largely driven by pragmatic calculations of trade and geopolitical influence, in direct opposition to notions of liberal interventionalism and the ‘Arab Spring’. This week’s shocking massacre by Syrian forces in Houla, however, has fundamentally challenged the durability of that approach. Will Russia now fall in line with the position of its western partners? wonders Margot Light.

Karabakh: 'frozen' conflict nears melting point

Amid signs that Armenia and Azerbaijan may once more be edging towards armed conflict over the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh, Wayne Merry argues that the West needs to act fast, rather than allow an old and fruitless mediation process to meander on.

Mob justice in Lithuania: who can stand up to the madding crowd?

Next year Lithuania assumes the European presidency. Host to international conferences and a role model for other ex-communist countries, the country is currently gripped by a titillating case of alleged child abuse. It is being played out against a background of mob rule, support from politicians and complicity on the part of the police. How can this be? asks Violeta Davoliūtė

Syndicate content