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This week’s front page editor

Julian Richards

Julian Richards is managing editor of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Italy's election, M5S and the case for Hegelian transformation

The first option for Italians is believing they can draw their bridge up and return to some mythological past which preceded the globalization game that the country has lost out in.

Want to get a feel of where Italy is heading? Look at the Five Star Movement

Luigi Di Maio’s appointment as the party’s PM candidate, stating he would seek other forces’ support in the absence of a clear governing majority, marks an important step change.

The Italian electoral campaign and the issue of immigration: a Twitter analysis in the aftermath of the Macerata attack

Interestingly enough, the presence of hashtags such as #itaexit and #noEU suggests a clear link – in the ‘national closure’ discourse – between anti-immigration and anti-European sentiment. 

The guilt, dignity and pedagogy of shamelessness

For centuries, Europe’s Christians have shut Jews behind ghetto walls. Now, Polish Christians intend to shut the voice of Jewish suffering into a ghetto of silence behind a legal wall.

Don’t call it an echo chamber – it’s a spatial contract

Don’t focus on the reverberating sounds of the echo chamber, look at the structure that has formed it, before you even realised, and right before your eyes.

Listen to a recorded audio version of this article.

Join voices against the fascist cult of violence – “Long Live Life! Down with Death!”

After recent events in Macerata, Italy, we are beginning to realise that we need thousands of daily acts of resistance to banish fascist ideology.

Europe: from revolution to counter-revolution

Liberal values have been betrayed and we are witnessing a concerted effort to dismantle the system created after the fall of the Berlin Wall – a counter-revolution.

Green Brexit?

Recent months have seen green added to the red, white and blue Brexit boasted by Theresa May. Green Party peer and Leave voter, Jenny Jones, explores the thinking. Interview.

The EU as Britain’s constitutional stabiliser?

More than it thinks, Britain may need its membership in the EU for the preservation of its national integrity and of its ancient constitutional settlement.

Austrian passports for South Tyroleans are fine – or almost so

There is one thing calculated to diffuse Europe's nationalisms: the feeling a person can have – or develop over time – of belonging to more than one country.

Can the battle against Big Tobacco be won?

The tobacco industry’s relentless behavior, including a massive 'astroturf' campaign, led French MEP Françoise Grossetête to assert that it cannot be considered a ‘normal’ industry.

When bully boys dictate the West’s agenda, Turkey invades Syria with impunity

How can bully boys and aggressors label a resistance movement ‘terrorist’ when the whole question of Turkey’s accession to the EU turned around its democratic deficits?

The magnificent oomph: securing a progressive Brexit

Yanis Varoufakis addressed a packed room of Labour Party MPs and councillors on fighting present and future battles with 'Norway plus', yesterday evening at the House of Commons. 

هل سيتوقف الانتظار يوماً ما؟

إن الانتظار اليوم هو مسلسلُ سوري بامتياز والسوريون هم من يؤدون كلّ أدوارهِ دون أن يعرفوا متى سيتمكنون من التخلصِ منه.

Can Bulgaria achieve its Balkan ambitions?

Bulgaria’s new role as president of the Council of the EU has started with a bang – quite literally.

Anti-feminism and anti-gender far right politics in Europe and beyond

The proclaimed support of the EU for gender equality is seen as one element in a wider programme of colonization, whereby what was once Marxism is now replaced by gender politics. Book review.

‘Happy 18th birthday! You’re out’

Tougher internal controls under Macron are only giving police more powers, allowing them to conduct identity checks in emergency shelters. Brutality towards migrants is likely to become even more common.

Fighting in the left corner

“We are an organization with one staff member, and a limited amount of energy because nobody in the political and activist left wants to talk about Brexit! “

A second referendum on the deal with the EU: a multi-option poll

More than anything else, perhaps, the UK now needs something which is not just accurate but also inclusive.

Milo Yiannopoulos, product of the crisis of post-modern politics

A troll who might as well be the new prototype of the 21st-century politician, what Milo does to us is what we have done to the world. Therein lies the challenge.

Combatting loss: refugees, employment and social entrepreneurship in Turkey

Turkey, at the crossroads of refugee flows, hosts 3.4 million refugees, while not granting them refugee status but a state of exception. Hospitality and hostility go hand in hand.

Birmingham: a better city and a stronger economy

The first of four excerpts from the forthcoming ‘Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham’: on the move to white-collar jobs.

Reclaiming the right to life: hunger strikes and protests in Denmark’s deportation centres

This movement aims to make public the consequences of this politics of dehumanisation; politics that ‘kill slowly’ which are structurally produced and legitimized by law. 

Are we living through a new “Weimar era”? Constructive resolutions for our future

It has been argued that progressives should drop the 1930’s analogy altogether, on the grounds that this risks identifying the threat posed to democratic societies as inherent in the very demos itself.

The Demirtaş verdict and ‘enemy criminal law’

Open letter to Selahattin Demirtaş, MP and co-president of HDP, in pre-trial detention since November 4, 2016.

Catalan elections: all that for that?

Facilitators, middlemen, discrete openings so that both sides could start to talk to – and not scream at – each other again and try to reach a compromise, are these now European dirty words?

The origins of populism: bogus-democracy and capitalism

The reality of racism, hatred, anger, insecurity and inequalities is spreading irresistibly. There is no way of escaping from all these daily phenomena unless there is an alternative systemic project to challenge it. Español.

Left-transformation versus left-populism: why it matters

The perception of political justice that transforms is very different from the discursive tool of the “national will” used by populists who degrade democracy by equating it with the ballot box.

Childless proletarians: ten years after the ‘great recession’, would you start from here?

Far-right populism, with its emphasis on nationalism, cultural ‘purity’, anti-immigration, and security, might become a much stronger catalyser of votes, even where this has not yet happened.

Catalonia and the theatres of recognition

Isn’t it the case that fellow Europeans not only have the right to comment on the affairs of their neighbours but that doing so is a political virtue which ought to be cultivated?

The good conscience of French intellectuals: the case of Thomas Guénolé and the French left of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. An open letter

Our right to live freely in the Diaspora is under attack, from both Christian and Zionist supremacism.  

Principled pragmatism: defending normative Europe

European security and defence policy, once propelled by Franco-British cooperation, has been held back of late by Nato enthusiasts. Without the UK, can the Commission advance a new Defence Action Plan? Book review.

The Left is dead, carpe DiEM!

As Machiavelli teaches us, political action is nothing but the result of the struggle between the will of political subjects and everchanging conditions which are not of their own choosing. Français.

La gauche est morte, carpe DiEM !

Comme nous l’apprend Machiavel, l’action politique n’est rien d’autre que le résultat de la lutte entre la volonté de sujets politiques donnés et des conditions muables que ces derniers ne sont pas à même de choisir. English.

Kurds’ choices: heed history or the US?

Who controls Syria’s borders? The US and Israel are encouraging Syrian Kurds to fight the regime and its allies for border control. The ensuing mayhem might unravel the Mideast and far beyond.

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