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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Another ‘Dodgy Dossier’ for war

Undeterred by the disastrous results of ‘regime change’ in Iraq and Libya, western powers have for four years been determinedly trying to help regime change in Syria along.

Playing with people’s emotions

'Every time the western media decides what to air, and who to call a terrorist, they generate a lot of debate in our country.' A leading Pakistani digital rights activists on the politics of counter-terror and surveillance.

Post-democracy in Armenia? How the new Constitution will depoliticize Armenian society

Is the new constitution an attempt by Armenian capital and oligarchs to signal to EU elites and European capital that they are determined to fulfil transnational capital’s wildest dreams? A conversation.

Mourning Paris, Beirut and Kabul

Most western commentators describe ‘the events’ in Paris as entirely different, an attack on our way of life. Which ‘way of life’ is under attack in Kabul and Beirut? 

Democracy and belonging

In 2006, a conversation before a large audience in Rotterdam on the role that Muslims should play in European societies took place, between Dyab Abou Jahjah, then president of the Arab European League with its Antwerp headquarters, and Tariq Ramadan. openDemocracy’s Editor was there. Archive.

Which lives do we mourn? And other questions we no longer decide for ourselves

What control does Facebook have over our experience of tragedy?

Why fear is our enemy

"It is a France made up of diversity, plurality, of people coming together and mixing, that the terror wants to shut down, to silence through fear, to make disappear through horror. And it is this open society that we must defend because it is our most secure and lasting protection against terrorism."

In war

In this nomadic, undefined, polymorphous, and unsymmetrical war, the populations on 'both shores' of the Mediterranean are taken hostage. And Europe has a nearly irreplaceable function.

The Paris attacks

No European country, even Britain, can defend herself any more on her own and each one is now a potential target for ISIS.

Paris has been hit at its heart

The roots of these terror attacks are deep. They lie partly in Syria and Iraq, but also partly in our French and European cities. 

“The refugee problem is a presage of the great migrations of the twenty first century.”

This is an interview with Michel Foucault conducted by H.Uno, translated by R Nakamura for Shûkan posuto and published in August, 1979. In October, this timely if not prophetic text was translated from the French for openDemocracy by Colin Gordon.  

The rights and duties of international citizenship

This statement was read by Foucault at a press conference on June 19, 1981, organized in association with Médecins du monde and Terre des hommes, in the presence of Yves Montand, André Glucksmann and Bernard Kouchner. 

The EU and its neighbours: enforcing the politics of inhospitality

Today marks the start of the two-day Valletta Euro-African summit on migration in Malta, but the outcomes of deterrence, surveillance and militarisation are already written. 

Lack of information: the true cost of asylum

The citizens of Europe are entitled to know the costs of helping refugees. If they are given all the facts it may actually reduce opposition to granting asylum.

Politics, security technologies, and civil society: the missing links

This is the point in time where polities should start thinking of security as a public good, where all involved are potential winners or potential losers. 

Does surveillance mean the death of democracy?

Civil liberties activists are busy writing the script of how digital surveillance killed our democracies. Yet, their true enemy lies elsewhere. Português. Español.

The EU could be a global standard setter on surveillance reform, but actions speak louder than words

Despite landmark court cases, many member states in the EU continue to push forward with overbroad surveillance laws.

The EU's nerve-wracking disconnect on surveillance

Each time an EU government is confronted with a threat to security, it nearly always plunges into knee-jerk reactions at the risk of undermining the very freedoms its officials claim to protect.

The ‘shadow play’ of Budapest

In the summer months, Europe starts to migrate. Tourist hordes invade the cities that used to be our home. What have become of our towns? When and how did they become virtual and unbearably cool?

“Do you agree?” Orbán’s dangerous waltz with the radical right

A sentiment shared by many Hungarians worried about the government’s xenophobic campaign is summarized by the poster that says,  “Sorry about our Prime Minister.”    

Scotland might keep the UK in Europe

Could Scottish ‘yes’ voters deprive the eurosceptics of victory in the EU referendum?

Late neoliberalism and its discontents

Social movements face 3 challenges: the symbolic challenge of constructing a new subject; the material challenge of mobilizing limited resources; and the strategic challenge of influencing a very closed political system. Español.

No, EU, Turkey is not safe for everyone

“Human rights and the rule of law in Turkey are at the worst level I’ve seen in the 12 years I’ve worked on Turkey’s human rights.”

Free movement, welfare tourism and refugees

“Economic migrant” was never a pejorative term among economists. If economic migration and asylum-seeking are kept properly distinct, the case for freedom of movement within the European Union is unanswerable.

European trust: the perfect storm

To entrust an increasingly sceptical public with more and more veto powers at the very moment when existing veto powers threaten the EU project - does not seem right.

Rebuilding trust in Europe will mean a new and more populist way of doing politics

The truth is that ‘trust me’ didn’t work and the much-vaunted expertise of the ‘third way’ politicians have contributed to the disarray we see all around us. 

Dublin is over: the rise of Europe's new migrant prisons

By getting the UNHCR and Frontex to more directly intervene in the first moments of arrival with identification and fingerprinting, the EU is attempting to retake control of movement throughout Europe.

Liquid democracy, its challenges and its forebears

Until today, particular decisions within software and product development have to be decided by privileged people. LiquidFeedback can democratize the decision-making process. An interview with the founders.

Rolling back corporate capture will take more than EU lobby transparency

If Europe is serious about regulating the car industry and protecting public health and the climate, it needs to stand up to the car lobby rather than allowing those resisting regulation to write it. 

More than a refuge, a welcome

In today’s world, it is essential to take welcoming into account in the cycle of reproduction of social life.

No maps, no manuals: retrieving radical republicanism, restoring popular sovereignty

Republicanism brings into sharp focus an articulation of common freedoms strived for under extremely varying political conditions, in different times and places, with the shared commonality of facing unequal odds.

Time to move beyond nuclear tribalism

"Question: Is nuclear power good or bad?

 Answer: No. Some nuclear is good, some is bad. For example, the Govt. should support an IFR."

European union – a cosmopolitan legal space

Porous borders really mean the acceptance that human beings move across borders, and that they should be able to move without being criminalized. The political philosopher in interview with Slawomir Sierakowski.

Anti-consumption in crisis

The film is about Skoros, a Greek anti-consumerist collective, solidarity/ies, and the joys of doing things differently.

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