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This week's editor

Ray Filar

Ray Filar is co-editor of Transformation and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Human rights in Europe should not buckle under mass surveillance

Privacy is a fundamental human right essential for living in dignity and security. This is why it is necessary that European countries pause and get back on the right track.

Trust and suspicion under ‘policed multiculturalism’

‘Policed multiculturalism’, removes decisions regarding community relations from political discussion by presenting them as matters of ‘security’, to be decided in governmental or bureaucratic circles by security professionals.

Surveillance and the 2015-16 refugee crisis in Europe

The EU deals with 320 million third country nationals every year, immigration officials, according to FRONTEX, needing only 12 seconds to make a decision on their entry. So why the crisis?

The problem(s) with Varoufakis’ DiEM25 manifesto

Can the EU really be democratised? A response to Varoufakis' new programme

Back from the dead and standing on Travellers’ Doorstep – the case of the EU PNR Directive

This framework places the movement of travellers, including EU citizens, under constant monitoring, irrespective of the fact that they are a priori innocent and unsuspected of any criminal offence.

Developing a global privacy regime in the age of mass surveillance: four key principles

Europe leads in the field of the protection of privacy, with legislators, particularly courts, addressing head-on the fundamental human rights challenges posed by executive action authorising mass surveillance.

The role of independent supervision in upholding privacy in the age of surveillance

This independence is even more important in an age where surveillance of individuals takes place on a mass scale, also benefiting from the potential in big data use.

'Commons sense’: you either see it or you don’t

Some of the debates regarding agency, change and commoning that flowed through openDemocracy in 2015.

The illegal kitchen spoon: the story of the Let's Help the Refugees Together group

We only asked for shelter for a few hours while the worst storm raged, but no charity organizations or churches we contacted were willing to help — an important turning point.

Human rights at the World Forum for Democracy 2015

The Council for Europe's commissioner for human rights warns that Europe’s new security-oriented turn restricts fundamental human rights, a success for terrorists who want us to abandon our lifestyle and live in fear. Short interview.

Eastern Europe's crisis of compassion

Why has eastern Europe has become synonymous for animosity towards refugees and migrants?

The fateful marriage: political violence and violence against women

Pervasive and diverse, instances of violence against women can only be fully comprehended in the political contexts that give them purpose and meaning.

Worried about the return of fascism? Six things a dissenter can do in 2016

Commentary misses the point: the legitimacy of Trump or Le Pen comes not from the sudden appeal of a new brand of right-wing populism, but their legitimisation by mainstream politics.

Caputalism: will capitalism die?

Reduced growth is, for various reasons, a systemic problem. The more reckless the gambling on the markets, the more the entire system balances on a knife edge…

The illusion of security

It seems as if the political process has been poisoned by the intelligence agencies, who are given more power with less accountability requested every time they fail. Interview.

More religion?

It is an error for politicians and institutions to invite British Muslims to think about extremism as Muslims, rather than as citizens.

The difficulty of 'neoliberalism'

Disagreement over words is surely to be welcomed in a pluralist intellectual and political culture. Why is neoliberalism so provocative? Why is it Blairites in particular that are so provoked?

A threat to whom? Some implications of the rise of “extremist rhetoric”

“We need to call in question how, as a society, we allow our security and democracy to be defined.”

2015 and the struggle for Europe’s core

2015 was the year that everyone could see that the European emperor is not (not any longer) wearing clothes. Worse, the emperor didn’t even deny that he was naked! 

When soldiers speak out

‘Soldiers have spoken out, protested, and revolted in almost every war in history. We need this resistance… one of the single strongest factors in bringing wars to an end.’

We’ve moved forward since 9/11

'A lot more people are aware that the decisions made by policymakers, the positions taken by the media in the wake of 9/11 in the United States, were mistakes.'

Let’s not make Paris the French 9/11

It will only exacerbate the causes of terrorist attacks, diminish society’s capacity to cope rationally with risks, and permanently damage freedom, democracy, and international law.

Spain’s December 20 General Elections: start of a new historical cycle

Being able to foster ‘real’ change in favour of the oppressed while, at the same time, responding to their need for security would be a great achievement for any political entity. Español

Smile again

For those disappointed with the prospects offered to us by the supposed ‘crisis of capitalism’, Podemos represents more than a breath of fresh air; it has been a shot of adrenaline. Español.

Facing violence: thoughts from Geneva

To counter ISIS and address the other crucial crises that poison our days we need a regime change – at home.

Podemos: radical blueprint for democratic reform

Iglesias' party proposes a radical opening up of the state through citizen participation in decision-making, and administration as a weapon against oligarchic power. 

Podemos in the debate of the ‘Left(s)’: elections and aspirations for change at the ‘End of History’

Podemos has not given up on being part of the left, it has simply renounced being part of this left that can be content with losing, time after time. Español.

Intervention at Forum Europa: “Politics should have an ethical basis and be humanistic”

“There is no place for me to speak. And that’s because you have everything tightly controlled. The media is in the service of power, a corrupt power – this has been more than demonstrated.” Español.

On the decaffeination of Podemos as an anti-Establishment force

There is no way of concealing the increasingly open contradiction that exists between Podemos’s ‘upper echelons’ with their statist policies, and the citizens that propel the party from below. Español.

How have the international media covered migration in 2015?

Moving Stories, reviews media coverage of migration in the European Union and in 14 countries across the globe and finds that journalists routinely fall into propaganda traps laid by politicians.

"A Gramscian party in a non-Gramscian world." An interview with Paul Mason

#ThisIsACoup, a four-part documentary series that sets out to ‘tell the story of how the European Union destroyed the first radical left government in modern history’, premiered on Tuesday. An interview.

Reversing the inverted pyramid: a brief genealogy of Podemos’ origins and development

The duty of a revolutionary is not simply to win, but to forge the transformation of society, beginning from an ethical transformation of oneself. Español.

Political communication, social transformation and democratic alternatives: critique of the Podemos experiment

To mortgage all political communication to media is a mistaken deal, from a perspective informed by the political economy of communication. Español

Podemos: the schizophrenic road from public squares to the institutions

If they are not going to win anyway, as seems to be the case, would it not have been better to compromise less and work toward a more profound political change as an opposition? Español.

To be, or not to be: Europe under siege

In the short term, Europe can only survive as a way of solving common problems, worth having insofar as the EU stabilises crises and protects the economic wellbeing of its citizens.

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