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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Activism and political organising in academia: a conversation with Ilan Pappe

Maybe resistance over Palestine in academe is part of a larger project: the creation of a fundamental change in the way we do knowledge, and in the way we produce knowledge. A conversation.

“We’re not just here to learn – we can lead too”: young women human rights defenders speak out

Young activists from four continents talk about their local struggles and what motivates them.

The end of anonymity? Trump and the tyranny of the majority

Worldwide, there is an administration-sanctioned attack on anonymity, online and off.

“You black bastard” Offensive, friendly banter, somewhere in between or both?

“There is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere” and certainly not in Britain or Australia.

Method in Trump’s madness?

A look at Donald Trump’s 'travel bans' with an eye to the harvesting of personal data, and the EU-US Privacy Shield, now on life support.

The Australian Senator for Beijing?

“Perhaps his mistake was to say something sensible about Australia's relations with China, not something we normally expect from our politicians.”

Bring them here

“We are generous to refugees on the one hand and we penalise undocumented refugees on the other. The two practices co-exist and one is often played off against the other.”

A brief guide to the Don Dale scandal

The shock of politicians was always hard to take seriously. The problem is not a lack of knowledge. It’s that Australian governments refuse to act on what we do know.

Self-immolation and asylum in Australia: ‘This is how tired we are’

The slow violence inflicted upon the 28,621 individuals seeking refuge in Australia waiting on bridging visas to hear whether they can remain, can be seen as a form of state sanctioned “letting die.” 

Far away view of Brexit

“To go to a referendum was curious… the UK has a regime of representative government that works to ensure that popular concerns have only limited impact on the conduct of government.”

Doing business at the border: abuse, complicity and legality

As abuses in Australia’s detention centres become increasingly stark, there are growing calls for the boycott of a global system of inhumane, but profitable, mistreatment of refugees.

Papua New Guinea High Court ruling: the asylum seeker detention centre on Manus Island must close

But the main power blocks in Australia politics – the ALP and the Coalition – show no signs at all of even blushing, now that the Manus Island game is up.

Asylum seeker dies from self-inflicted burns

An Iranian asylum seeker has died after setting himself on fire at an Australian detention centre on the remote Pacific island of Nauru.

Is #LetThemStay Australia’s anti-apartheid moment?

People inside and outside of Australia stand up to challenge a system that seeks to construct physical and imagined borders that separate people based primarily on their race and creed.

Australian medics refuse to be silenced over refugee abuse at detention centers

A new gag law has turned refugee policy into a free speech issue, mobilizing health professionals to oppose the government’s policy more strongly.

Why Australia can’t keep its prime ministers

Enter our new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Let's be clear: the right's program will not change now that its leader has.

Australia's cruel treatment of gay asylum-seekers

Australia continues to resettle homosexual refugees in homophobic Papua New Guinea. Gay men seeking asylum are both required yet unable to declare their sexuality for fear of persecution.

Enduring civilisation, enduring empire?

The "Indigenous Australia: enduring civilisation" exhibition at the British Museum leads to the overarching question of who is authorised and best equipped to tell the story of the artefacts displayed, and on whose terms.

Survival Day: reclaiming Australia’s history

Why should Australia acknowledge its bloody past on Australia Day? Firstly, this is a fundamental question of dignity.

Subsidising climate change

We need to raise awareness about how the rich oil nations keep subsidising oil extraction whilst agreeing that the world needs to cut emissions. Taxpayers cannot passively let their governments do this.

Fossil addiction: is there a road to recovery?

There is no shortage of knowledge about global environmental and climate problems. Nor was there 40 years ago. So why is nothing happening?

‘Terror Australis’: the language of Australia’s domestic war on terror

Australia’s politicians and press are ratcheting up a rhetoric of pure Islamophobia. These escalating tactics are aimed, as ever, at forcing a shift in the balance of freedom and security, in favour of the latter.

WW1 and the battle of the national myth

For anyone sensitive to the pervasive signs of militarisation, there is no doubt that the centenary invites unwelcome forms of commemoration. Look at the distortions in the documented history of bloodshed in Gallipoli in 1915.

The ISIS twitterati and the online jihad

ISIS and Al-Qaeda—which includes ISIS rivals the Al-Nusra Front in Syria—are competing over the same ‘talent pool’ of marginalized and angry Arab and Islamic youth, and ISIS is winning hands down.

The silent sea: Australia’s refugee policy and international scrutiny

Within Australia’s brutal treatment of refugees, there has been an enormous gulf between those who advocate on behalf of asylum seekers, and a “mainstream” discourse of intolerant and cynical public opinion. Why has international civil society remained so silent?

Dangerous silence: debating "honour killings"

The recent decision by the “Festival of Dangerous Ideas” to cancel Uthman Badar’s talk on “honour killings” begs the question of what is more dangerous: having a dangerous idea, or not wanting to talk about it?

Australia’s one hundred days of truth-telling

Operation Blame the Victims was in full swing again today as Scott Morrison insisted that it was the unarmed men who received the beating who are to blame.

The Rohingya refugee making factory

If the production of refugees was an industry, Myanmar would be among the world’s market leaders. And of all its products the Rohingya would be one of the most lucrative. A niche but growing market of global proportions, the culmination of decades of tireless endeavour to hone a specialist craft.

Australia and the boat people – the same descent into a dark place emerging worldwide

It is high time that we started to view the situation of immigrants and asylum seekers for what it is. A global, moral dilemma, not a numbers game or exercise in economic expediency. 

Extending a hand or raising a fist to the state?

From mobile phones to crowdsourced election monitoring, an in-depth look at how communication technologies are transforming citizen engagement and societal accountability in Southeast Asia.

The failure of international summitry

How can cooperation be designed to be in every nation’s best interests in the long and short-term? And how can we, citizens, make failure so costly that politicians have no choice but to cooperate?

Beware, secret trade deals can seriously damage your health

Freedom of Information requests to disclose TPP texts have failed on the grounds that they are a matter of “national security”.

When anarchism goes pop

In current protest culture the estranged ideologies of anarchism and progressive populism are coming together around a critique of the neoliberal “corporate state” and a new imaginary of mass insurgency.

Muslims, Australian cricket and high politics: the case of Fawad Ahmed

From the outset Fawaz Ahmed insisted that as a Muslim he (unlike Usman Khawaja) would not wear the team shirt with the sponsor’s logo, that of Victoria Bitter.

No more sources

Revelations by Edward Snowden, National Security Agency dissident, have grave implications for the role of journalists in the ‘Fourth Estate’ and the primary duty of source protection in the era of mass-surveillance.

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