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This week’s front page editor

Claire Provost

Claire Provost is editor of 50.50 covering gender, sexuality and social justice.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Brexit and the British constitution: it doesn't work

If Parliament is sovereign and wants to vote, it votes. If someone else (the government) is in a position to “give” it the right to vote, it is not sovereign.

A very English take on Denmark

“Here’s also why Brexit happened. Europe is a mystery. Europeans come from a faraway land. Australia is nearer.”

Yellow fever in France

Almost everyone agrees on the analysis of what caused this movement: the growth of inequalities, the marginalization of certain regions and social categories, austerity and neoliberal politics. Then accounts diverge.

Marching with Dabrowski – what the centenary of Polish Independence can tell us about the radical right?

“I could not think of a better way to grasp what is behind the nationalist frenzy than to take part in their public events. On November 11, Poland celebrated National Independence Day.”

Labour's Brexit trilemma: in search of the least bad outcome

The great irony of Brexit is that most outcomes will lead to a loss of sovereignty and democracy. But there is a route forward.

Brexit Citizens Assembly: rising to the United Kingdom's crisis in democracy

On Brexit, as with every other big issue, the future will be negotiated not imposed.

The antisemitic turn of the “Alternative for Germany” party

The AfD wants to use Israel to exploit the false notion that whoever is pro-Israel could not be antisemitic, and to find strategic allies in its fight against Muslim immigration.

Yellow Vests – the first battle

They want Macron to know that they are the people and they will be ignored no longer. So perhaps there is democracy in the streets after all.

Demands of France's yellow vests as uploaded by France Bleu, November 29

"MPs from France, we inform you of the People's Directives for you to transpose them into LAW. "

What next for the Gilets Jaunes?

The movement today is national, and in part nationalistic, very difficult to talk to about the reform of Europe. Nevertheless, it is a challenge to a pan-European movement like DiEM25.

Message from Commercy: the time of the communes still rings out!

Commercy's Yellow Vests offer a political solution to the movement: autonomous local committees, direct democracy, sovereign general assembly, delegates with a precise mandate revocable at any time, rotating responsibilities.

The double standards applied to academic freedom

The political right is not only cracking down on academic freedoms, but has started simultaneously to become a fierce advocate of an aggressively anti-intellectual freedom of speech.

A People's Vote without a referendum

There is an alternative way of "letting the people decide" on an issue where MPs seem incapable of agreeing a coherent policy. The Greeks had a word for it: democracy.

Fortress Europe: Macron hikes university fees for non-EU students

The students that the government is hoping to dissuade from studying in France are the young people of its former colonies. How does this square with ‘patriotism as openness’?

On extremism and democracy in Europe: three years later

This introduction to the updated Greek edition of the 2016 book brings to its thought-provoking chronological account three more eventful years for the far right, populism, Euroscepticism and liberal democracy.

Time to talk some Brexit sense

Let us have an end to fighting the referendum campaign ad infinitum and ad nauseam. Now is the time to get real.   

Against a second Brexit referendum

The British people, failed by their natural representative, the Labour Party, opted for the nationalist radicalism of Farage’s UKIP. Thus, the demagogues won. But not those who voted for them.

The myth of the Will of the People

Populism lives by the thought that the presence of the people in government is sufficient to wrest control from an unrepresentative elite.

Theresa May spokesman sparks fresh suspicion of British ‘spying’ on EU officials

Unguarded comments about "intelligence", "transcriptions of conversations" and knowing "what the Europeans are thinking" prompt fury in Brussels

Brexit – the big swindle, a European view

We need to understand better why citizens’ rights have become, together with the Northern Irish question, such an incandescent issue in the Brexit negotiations.

The ‘new’ climate politics of Extinction Rebellion?

Creating a movement that can have the impact XR aims for will require confronting the political as well as the moral challenges posed by climate change.

Living in truth

A conversation with the Lithuanian writer about being a young artist and activist exiled by the Soviet Authorities during the Cold War, together with more recent challenges from Putin’s Russia.

For the people to have their say on Brexit, how best can the multi-option conundrum be resolved?

If the problem is multi-optional, the question should be multi-optional, and the ballot paper should be a (short) list, usually of about 4 – 6 options.

Political violence, civic space and human rights defence in the era of populism and authoritarianism

Academics and international donors alike have only recently considered targeted political violence as an integral part of global democratic decline and populist politics. There is much they could do.

Spies, kettling and repression - how British policing became militarised

There has been a move towards tougher legislation, ambiguous terminology, lower thresholds and legislation allowing police greater rights, together with an escalation of militaristic forms of policing in recent years.

The electoral system and support for populist parties in Europe

Radical left supporters might be more open to participating in strategic voting, compared to radical right voters.

Shattering Europe?

Why Trump’s Paris fiasco really matters, (and it isn’t about the rain on the parade.)

Labour and Brexit: a ‘sensible’ deal?

Isn’t now the moment to abandon the soft Brexit position, and come out for remain and reform as part of a far-reaching deliberative exercise in both Britain and mainland Europe?

We need principles, not rules, to fight antisemitism: the IHRA definition and the politics of defining racism

In the heat of argument, too little has been said about the implications of defining racism for legal and quasi-legal purposes, or the difficulty of separating the two domains.

The rest and the West: thoughts on Brexit and migration. Part One

Why the decisive political space for the Left is not Europe, but an inclusive democratic debate that alone can challenge the monocultural National Us.

Mental health and artificial intelligence: losing your voice

While we still can, let us ask, "Will AI exacerbate discrimination?" as the productive forces of mental health are restructured within a techno-psychiatric complex. Poem.

"Tickers of terror" – the crisis of Polish media as told by news crawls

As Poland prepares for another divisive and violent independence day holiday on 11 November (celebrating "100 years of independence"), we look at the polarising TV coverage of last year’s event.

Reflections on the ‘open letter’ debate: a middle way to approaching the radical right?

How should we study, present, and represent the radical right? Some from among the hitherto quiet observers speak up, in the interests of a broader conversation.

The tightrope of Brexit and class appeal: can Corbyn make it?

If Labour seeks to mobilize its traditional working-class base, changes in MPs´ backgrounds may be far more relevant than any change in its policies.

Migration complexity requires a less conditional compassion

We must not replace misleading and dehumanising portraits of migration with mono-dimensional accounts of vulnerability and victimhood, which paradoxically continue to set those on the move apart from us.

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