This week's editor

Heather McRobie

Heather McRobie is an editor at 5050.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Mourning the Mediterranean dead and locking up survivors

Although the EU, US and others have demonstrated a willingness to intervene militarily in Libya or Syria, a willingness to take responsibility for the consequences is woefully lacking. 

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.

Spain’s hologram protests

Millions of Spaniards have engaged in protests over the past four years. As of July 1 they can be subject to disproportionate fines and even jail for exercising their democratic rights to freedom of expression, assembly, protest and information. Interview.

Crisis in the Mediterranean: Europe must change course

As leaders of European Union member states prepare to meet to discuss the Mediterranean refugee crisis, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights sets the bar for an adequate response.

What the EU must do now to halt this tragedy on its shores

There are answers to the Mediterranean migrant-deaths crisis. They just require the European Union, whose foreign ministers met yesterday, to grasp the political nettle.

Europe's war on migrants

The unending series of mass drownings in the Mediterranean of migrants and refugees are not unfortunate tragedies: they are the dread outworking of the occluding of humanitarian concern by the rhetoric of border control.

Where is another Europe now?

Europe either hangs together or - as the American revolutionaries liked to point out - the nations of Europe will be hanged separately.

Britain and the European debate on the uses of secrecy in court

EU scrutiny in the field of the use of closed materials in UK courts is of paramount importance for the future of democratic systems of justice, even if it polarises once more the positions for or against Brexit.

The good, the bad and the ugly: when SYRIZA meets Europe

The EU has shown three simultaneous faces to Greece: ‘the good, the bad and the ugly’, to use a cinematic metaphor, all of them with the same message but with a different delivery package

Breaching the long litany of unlesses: a response to Simon Glendinning’s ‘Saving Europe from salvation'

The risk to Europe is a perpetuation of crisis by implacable erosion, and with this the abdication of political institutions from protecting the interests of citizens that they are responsible for and to.

Philosophy as a model of active and responsible life

The task of philosophy then becomes an opportunity to dialogue. We have to risk being in search of what joins us in our dissimilarity. 

On Solidarity

The idea of solidarity has its roots in the history of the workers’ movement, and as this is usually excluded from conventional tales of human endeavour, it is seldom understood. 

Heretical Europe: Jan Patočka as symbol of dissident contingency

Post-Europe, for Patočka, must be acutely aware of its own contingency even when it proclaims (above all when it proclaims) the sanctity of universal principles.

Europe in a labyrinth and the material power of ideas

The Greek government has the mandate to revive the idea of solidarity and social justice, but also the idea of the economy itself.

The crisis of means without ends: two forms of rationality in the foundations of Europe

Patočka calls for a renewed effort in Europe today to reestablish some kind of equilibrium between “the rationality of means” and “the rationality of ends”.

Athens, a flourishing polis

Amid the crisis, the Athens city council won the Bloomberg Philanthropy sustainable development and EFTA solidarity awards. 

Digital citizenship: from liberal privilege to democratic emancipation

On the anniversary of the Magna Carta, a call for a new debate on the conception of citizenship. Let’s seize the opportunity to transform our utopian dreams into everyday life.

Introducing three old ideas for a new Europe: flourishing, solidarity and care for the soul

These ideas--care for the soul, flourishing, solidarity--are ideas that according to Jan Patočka could be useful for reinterpreting our political space, in the face of a crisis which is shattering it.

The struggle against anti-Semitism

Anti-Semitism is on the rise in Europe. And no, that is not because Israel faces ever-growing criticism.

Introducing this week’s theme: Old ideas for a new Europe

We have asked a diverse group of political activists and intellectuals to offer their reflections on these three old ideas - flourishing, solidarity and care for the soul – from the perspective of their activities and experiences.

Still a chance for another Europe?

On the output side of Europe’s political system, we have an abdication of responsibility by representative institutions in the face of citizens’ demands. But the Greek elections mark a turning point.  

The Podemos wave

Never before has it become so clear that we live in societies that are politically democratic but socially fascist. The Podemos wave is a metaphor for every single attempt to find a progressive solution. 

Europe adjusting the noose around its neck

Steadfast, chins high, and completely oblivious to the momentous changes happening around it, the ossified political mainstream of Europe is marching towards the abyss.

What about an international education?

The 2012 US federal law denying visas to Iranian students comes into conflict with the educational mission of the US State Department. 

A Great German Greek Grexit Game?

Curzon Price is clearly right that the “game” is not “chicken.” It is not zero-sum. But the real question is, is it a game?

High-stakes European poker: a reply to Curzon Price

Frances Coppola responds to ‘The Varoufakis game is not chicken’, authored by Tony Curzon Price. Greek exit now would be disastrous for both Greece and the Eurozone. 

Economic egoism and liberal dogma

By reducing European solidarity to a question of rules, Germany has become a problem for the European Union.

Antisemitism: the Middle East connection

The basis of Palestinian opposition to Israel’s actions has little to do with it being a Jewish state. Had it been a Hindu or a Buddhist state, the Palestinians would have been no less embittered. This article was a submission to the UK Parliamentary report into antisemitism emanating from the Middle East conflict, made in November 2014.

How European Union switchboard "demoicracy" works

The complexity of the changing nation-state under the duress of globalization is currently snagged on a simplistic drive to fast-forward the past, driven by the desire to stay local.

What is Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) on about?

The opportunities and temptations of a newcomer among Germany’s political parties.

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.

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