This week's editor

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Why does Germany insist on a failed programme for Greece?

The elephant in the recent Eurogroup meeting room was Greece's 2010 failed structural readjustment programme, admonished by Yanis Varoufakis as 'fiscal waterboarding'. Why does Germany persist in defending it?

Greece and the eurogroup: capitulation or breaching austerity's dam?

George Papandreou cancelling his referendum was a capitulation. Tsipras and Varoufakis achieving new space and flexibility and four months to achieve a genuinely new approach was quite an achievement.

Poland: trust no one but the law

Last week the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg rejected a Polish appeal on CIA-prison cases involving the violation of numerous human rights' guarantees on behalf of two Guantanamo detainees. This was an important lesson. 

Defending human rights in a digital age

Public Debate: Defending human rights in a digital age is being livestreamed from Goldsmiths media and communications department, University of London at 5.30.pm GMT this evening. Read more.

Migrants in the Mediterranean: mourning deaths, not saving lives

For as long as the humanitarian impulse to rescue the desperate and the destitute is trumped by Europe’s focus on border control, the death toll will rise inexorably.

For the European Republic: a reply to Mameli and del Savio

Stefan Collignon responds to 'Against the European Parliament', authored by Lorenzo del Savio and Matteo Mameli. A European representative government is the best way out of the crisis.

Syriza and the rise of a radical left in Europe: solidarity is the keyword

The key protagonist in channelling bottom-up solidarity proved to be – not for the first time in Greece’s history - the institution of the extended family.

What freedom of speech? Of foxes, chickens, and #JeSuisCharlie

Most Europeans, at both elite and mass level, have a grossly inflated idea of the extent of freedom of speech in Europe, a direct consequence of the uncritical and self-congratulatory discourse on the topic.

Not so strange ideological bedfellows: Syriza and the Independent Greeks

As the European Commission sets the limits of economic policy all over Europe, it becomes increasingly difficult to think of economic issues independent of the question of EU integration.

“Primero, tomaremos Atenas; luego, tomaremos Madrid”

El objetivo principal de Podemos es aglutinar una amplia mayoría, lo que en la práctica significa poner en pie un partido de clases medias que deje atrás el eje Derecha/Izquierda y ocupe la centralidad política. English.

An open letter to Dimitri Sevastakis, the newly elected Syriza MP for Samos

We cannot just sit back and wait for the government to act for us – any government. We believe that nothing will change unless the people as a whole are engaged, involved and united.

Who is afraid of Syriza?

If Syriza’s government is crushed by financial markets it would be hard to argue that democracy is still able to control capitalism. 

The balkanisation of Greece’s centre-left politics

Greece’s Pasok centre-left, one of the most prominent parties in post-1980 Europe is now a pale shadow of itself and a marginal presence in the continent’s social democracy. 

“First we take Athens, then we take Madrid”

The primary goal of Podemos is to marshal an ample majority, which means in practice to build a middle-class party, and to give up the traditional Left/Right axis for a position of centrality. Español.

Greece and the unlearned lesson of 1990

The EU might have predicted Syriza's overwhelming victory. After all, wasn't this the great unlearned lesson from the experience of east-central Europe over the last 25 years?

From Athens to Kobane, winds fill Kurdish sails

Could Greece, through democratic elections, become for Turkey what Tunisia became for Egypt in 2011 through mass protests?

The Collectivist, debt colonialism and the real Alexis Tsipras

As the new government’s statement on Mariupol reveals, Greece will leverage its position along a geopolitical fault-line to maximise its bargaining power. 

Charlie Hebdo numero 1178: all is forgiven?

Mutual recognition between people and cultures moves in mysterious ways, the cartoon its Rorschach test. 

Scapegoats for an insecure Europe

The crisis facing Europe could be perceived as a product of conflicting class interests in what Keynes called the capitalism of the casino. All the more important that it should instead be blamed on conveniently stigmatised Others.

Please mind the datachasm

They began to interpret things like him leaving the house without his mobile phone as indications that their suspicions were correct. Welcome to one half of the datachasm. Sleep safe.

After Syriza’s landslide: five predictions of a much similar future

In the end though, this will all probably lead mainly to more fragmentation, which will make fundamental change even more unlikely.

EU and the Arab world: 'cooperation' to fight terror is an excuse

Maged Mandour

The EU is following a bizarre logic, where support is given to autocratic regimes who benefit from the rise of extremist groups, instead of seeking reasons for the rise of radicalization among European youth. Why?

Greece’s election: filling Europe’s democratic void

The election is vital because at stake are two broader EU problems: the absence of a right to organise substantive opposition, and the de-democratisation of political decision-making.

Redefining laïcité: French integration and the radical right

Perhaps it is not the Muslim communities of France that must change, so much as the notion of laïcité.

Greece and the Eurozone: one crisis, two narratives

The ‘Greek story’ simply diverts attention from the real task ahead which is the correction of the serious ‘design faults’ of the monetary union in Europe. 

Spectral vessels

Powerful institutional agendas have acted to bolster the ‘ghost ship’ obsession. Such symbolism renders the specificities of Mediterranean migration opaque.

Charlie Hebdo – one week later

It has been exhausting having to confront the visceral divisions among us about the nature of what happened, the roles of religion, geopolitics, and racism. And the possibility that the west, thinking it ‘is Charlie’, has been spitting on their graves.

Subsidising climate change

We need to raise awareness about how the rich oil nations keep subsidising oil extraction whilst agreeing that the world needs to cut emissions. Taxpayers cannot passively let their governments do this.

‘Prevent’ in education within Hampshire

Prevent, a counter-terrorism programme, is a success in Portsmouth, where delivery took the significance of identity for young people into account. It can’t deal with events which can’t be prevented.

Charlie Hebdo: justice for all

I am for leaving believers in peace. Believers are individuals like any other, neither superior, nor inferior to atheists or agnostics. 

Steering a perilous course

Irregular migration across the Mediterranean has increasingly shifted from being a cause for shared humanitarian concern to mere ammunition in domestic anti-immigration debates. We must reject all forms of identity-based prejudice.

#QuiSommesNous? A Socratic dialogue on “L’Affaire Charlie Hebdo”

Freedoms are not unlimited but who, when and how can we limit them? Two colleagues agree to disagreeContent warning: graphic and potentially offensive imagery, including torture.

The Paris demo: I was there

Some say they have understood this call: only the future will tell. But the future is now. 

“Greece will neither want to leave the euro nor threaten to do so”

When the leader of a political party about to win government offers you the opportunity to implement policies you have been advocating for years, it is pure cowardice to shirk the task. Interview with the soon-to-be new Syriza Finance Minister. 

Of weddings and borders

The Italian film On the Bride Side and Greek-Macedonian project Renkonto deploy weddings as an artistic medium to rewrite the boundaries of European citizenship. Both pieces chart cross-border practices...

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