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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

What UK-EU relations do we want and what is the 'good society'?

An interview with Catherine West, MP, secretary and co-founder of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on UK-EU Relations, scrutinising Brexit negotiations and pushing for a progressive relationship with our European neighbours.

Next steps in the democracy argument

Any engagement approach not focused on getting the widest possible range of voices, and creating multiple environments in which they feel comfortable will be no improvement on the current system.

Humanitarian Corridors: beyond political gesture

Around 300 people have entered Italy from Lebanon via safe and legal routes pioneered by faith groups. This pilot project holds great potential as an innovative approach to the so-called ‘refugee crisis’.

Kafka on the shore: European asylum law and the slow death of due process

These are not simply draconian measures to curb refugee movement towards Europe, but populist ideals presented to the European Parliament as an authentic means of terminating its “refugee crisis”.

Small steps in the struggle for digital rights?

In this rapidly expanding internet, the kinds of rights we need are often difficult to pin down – though pin them down we must if they are to be protected.

Jackie Walker: a suspense mystery

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, to be suspended once may be regarded as a misfortune; twice looks like carelessness. But whose?

Slovakia: when seeing means myopia

Observation is one tool for approaching an understanding of socio-economic marginality – especially in its racialised forms – but mere observation is not enough.

Nonlethal security – supporting peace by reducing the damage of war

Military technologies are becoming increasingly lethal and unpredictable year by year and month by month. There’s more than one alternative.

Refugees return to Kozarac in Bosnia to rebuild community

Re-making Kozarac is about overcoming dislocation, chronicling the return and restoration of a community in Kozarac in northwestern Bosnia-Herzogovina. Book review.

The food fight is on

World Food Day, 2016: Agribusiness mega-mergers would rubber-stamp destructive industrial farming. Europe’s fightback gathers in Romania.

Arresting the mass detention of migrants: ‘Build trust, not walls’

The pragmatic development of alternatives to detention with civil society at the fore can help to arrest the slide into the abyss of mass detention of migrants in Europe. 

Kosovo youth engaged in greater political participation - more still to be done!

“These platforms utilise the skill sets of young participants, enabling them to take initiatives that will contribute to the community and promote democratic values and participation.”

A Europe united against refugees

Hungary may have been first to literally wall off some of its frontiers, but its example has since been copied, by the French and the British. Francais.

The long reach of Orbán’s referendum experiment

Orbán’s anti-Brussels rhetoric never contains any hint of Huxit; he would have too much to lose. But it affects the community of law that underpins the EU.

Can the fabric of a diverse society be undone? Diary of an EU citizen in the UK

“A few days later the PM and the Health Secretary, Hunt, have ready a proposal to train more British doctors - the same Hunt who has upset the majority of British doctors.”

European net neutrality, at last?

Article 3 of the Regulation defined the legal foundations of net neutrality in the EU, including the operators' obligation to "treat all traffic equally."

The arts and humanities: tackling the challenges of mass displacement

When we let people die rather than provide safety, we face not a ‘refugee crisis’ but a crisis of values. The arts help define those values which shape the kinds of societies we want to live in. 

Anti-Immigration Referendum Sunday in Hungary

Our first major interview on openDemocracy was on the ‘Post-Fascism’ thesis recently expounded by the Hungarian philosopher in the year 2000. Here, Tamás regretfully revisits concept and reality. LeftEast interview. Serbo-Croat.

Post-humanitarianism in situ: Moria in flames

Did ultra-nationalist locals burn down the hotspot, was it the migrants themselves who did it, or was it the result of agent provocateur actions?

Unsafe Turkey, unsafe Europe

We need to look at the profound political, legal and ethical costs of reducing refugee flows.

European refugees and Twitter

The political parties, professions and media that were registered as the most active in the Twitter storm #DiaMundialdelosRefugiados were those from the centre left.

Self-organised struggles of migrant care workers

How do migrant workers successfully enact labour and social rights? ‘Respekt’, a local network established by Polish live-in care workers in Basel, Switzerland, challenges widespread assumptions held by unions.

Escaping from asylum to act as citizens: political mobilization of refugees in Europe

These forms of protest (except for the Sans Papiers movement in France) were for many years largely ignored by a wider public. This changed fundamentally in 2012.

Jeremy Corbyn – a mainstream [Scandinavian] social democrat

If there is such a thing as a ‘best practice approach’ in public policy the Nordic model would probably be it and, at any measure, a useful benchmark for Britain to move towards.

I am a human, speaking to you

This is a collaborative article, written by a Syrian refugee minor with additional information from the refugee communities of Konitsa Refugee Camp, Greece, with support from a collective of non-aligned academics.

Being a Kurdish-Turkish mistake

As a Kurdish child, I grew up in Kirkuk under the Baath regime thinking I was an existential mistake: but I liked being a mistake. I still like being a mistake.

A call from Damascus

Alors que j’attendais’, a theatre piece from Damascus currently touring European festivals, makes us understand that the people whose lives are being destroyed are exactly like us. Review.

Europe’s Greek tragedy deepens out of sight

While European leaders continue to hail the EU-Turkey deal – under which refugees arriving in Greece since March are threatened with deportation – its human toll ruins the lives of thousands.

United against Spain’s Gag Laws: change bottom-up

The most worrying consequence of the Gag Laws is the population´s fear of exercising their freedoms, in particular freedom of expression and information. Español

Path to authoritarianism: the collapse of the politics of accommodation

The alternative is to recover the constitutive elements of the politics of accommodation, the core ideas of democratic public life mediated by the rule of law and accountable to all citizens.

We need bolder politicians

“We have seen a lengthy period during which politicians have deliberately disengaged from important aspects of what they should be doing, leading to a lot of disillusionment with politics.”

Governing Google

As for Google, without a more ‘joined up’ EU legal and regulatory framework integrating digital rights and economic concerns, users may need to look to solutions outside the law.

Erdogan’s unexpected ally

By failing to condemn ongoing human rights violations in Turkey, the Council of Europe Secretary General betrays the regional human rights system he is supposed to promote. Originally published on 1 September 2016, updated September 6.

The Council of Europe has its right to reply

The Council of Europe made the following reply to the authors of 'Erdogan's unexpected ally '.

Is Zionist a rude word?

“How are we to understand the amazing increase in rhetoric about antisemitism, quite divorced from any actually discernible increase in antisemitism itself?”

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