This week's editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Arab autocracy & revolution

Maged Mandour

Until now, the struggle between autocrats and revolutionaries has been confined within national boundaries. But as the trend shifts towards a pooling of autocratic regimes’ resources, any future confrontation must be regional. 

Britain in Bahrain: hopes and fears

A naval-base agreement between two royal states suits both sides. But money, along with security a big part of the deal, could also undermine it.

This week's window on the Middle East - December 16, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Who cheered Mubarak’s acquittal on?

Britain in Bahrain: eyes wide shut

 A new naval base in the Gulf reveals both the flaws in Britain's strategic thinking and the limits of its military capacity.

The Bahrain Debate: rethinking the conflict

This debate hopes to recreate a historical moment for civil society participation and action, by arriving at a more articulate understanding of the nature of the conflict that enables us to suggest practical solutions.

For history’s sake, the Arab peoples have revolted

Not only did the Arab peoples revolt, but the power of their revolts was so significant and threatening to the regional geopolitical order that the regional powers had to diffuse the collective consciousness at any cost.

Saudi's husseiniya massacre: sectarianism coming home to roost

The murder of Shi'a worshippers in the Eastern Province, by fighters who are returned jihadis, is the latest instance of blow-back. The Saudi regime must quickly change course.

How Bahrain spies on British soil

The Bahraini government has been using sophisticated malwarecomplete with technical support from its manufacturerto remotely conduct surveillance operations on its political dissidents living in the UK. 

This week's window on the Middle East - November 3, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: A Syrian fearing exile and return.

Interview with imprisoned Bahraini human rights activist Nabeel Rajab

Rajab speaks about his experience in a Bahraini prison, the failure of western media and governments to support human rights in the Gulf, and the challenges facing his country's pro-democracy movement.

Assessing Bahrain’s fiscal stance

The key to fiscal policy reform lies in ending the political stalemate through democratisation and public participation in policy making.

ISIS airstrikes: how to rehabilitate dictators and destroy the revolution

Maged Mandour

The American intervention will strengthen the hand of Arab autocrats against their opponents, Islamists and non-Islamists alike. It lends credibility to the 'war against terror' rhetoric that these regimes use as a suppressant to the revolution.

This week's window on the Middle East - August 20, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Israel, Hamas and the making of the New Arab World.

In Bahrain, tourism goes dry

The latest ban on serving alcohol or operating nightclubs in three star hotels in Bahrain will likely deal a hefty blow to parts of the hotel industry and will certainly ‘cramp the style’ of many a Saudi and Qatari tourist.

Not the end of the "Arab Spring", is it?

Much has happened in the Middle East in the last four years, but in Europe, the development of the state and of democracy took four centuries and many wars.

Activists in Bahrain denounce Al-Khalifa anti-Shi'ite policy

Earlier last week, on 7 May, political activists affiliated to Bahraini opposition groups delivered a letter to UN Secretary General Ban Ki moon, calling for his office to take a stand against the Bahraini regime’s systematic targeting of the Shi’a community.

The fate of Gulf migrant workers is deeply connected to the fate of the Arab uprisings

The more the Gulf states pay a reputational cost in the west for maintaining this system of exploitation, the harder it will be for them to resist demands for serious reform. 

Holding BAE accountable for its deadly actions

Next week anti arms trade activists will be heading to Farnborough to attend the BAE Systems AGM and put new Chair, Sir Roger Carr, on the spot with questions about his company's associations with human rights abusers.

Britain and Bahrain: still allied against democracy and human rights

An interview with Maryam al-Khawaja, a leading Bahraini human rights activist, on the continuing protests in Bahrain, the regime’s continued repression and the UK’s involvement in the ongoing situation.

The Arab Spring popular uprisings – myth and reality

It is critical to recognize the significance of this revolutionary chapter in the modern history of the Middle East and the creative conceptions and articulations of resistance that shattered the system of domination, particularly the popular roots of these uprisings amongst the urban and rural poor.

This week's window on the Middle East - March 20, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, The continuous battle against sexual harassment in Egypt.

Status quo in Bahrain

As the struggle in Bahrain continues, people in the west need to hold their governments accountable for their support of despotic regimes. 

The Arab Spring and the changing balance of global power

From an empirical-analytical point of view, what has happened in the Middle East and North Africa since Mohammed Bouazizi died? This is not an opinion piece, but an assessment of underlying factors which have put pressure on the aspiration for justice and political reform launched by the Arab Spring. (5,000 words) 

Bahrain’s attempts at subsidy reform

The burden of debt is being pushed onto the shoulders of citizens, and so subsidy reform may tip the delicate balance of the political and economic impasse.

This week's window on the Middle East - January 17, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Corruption in Bahrain.

Corruption in Bahrain

The Crown Prince’s renewed anti-corruption effort faces serious threats, particularly from powerful elites with a deep vested interest in maintaining the fig leaf of impunity.

Prospects for a GCC-Iranian rapprochement?

A US-Iranian rapprochement over Iran's nuclear programme could improve general US-Iranian relations, leading to the lifting of Iran's painful sanctions. Could this in turn encourage improved relations between the countries of the GCC and Iran? 

Whose Police?

Do the police serve the public, or are they a force of elite control? openSecurity's series opens up this question to citizens, analysts and activists around the world: where does security come from?

Chasing accountability; facing impunity

Bahrain's attempt to hold the state security services to account is channeled through campaigning, lobbying and of course the revolution itself. But what help are the official channels, and the law?

Policing Bahrain: the long arm of the British

Just after the Arab Spring was brutally crushed in Bahrain, Britain's John Yates, the former Assistant Metropolitan Police Commissioner, became an advisor to the Ministry of Interior. What happened next?

The history of British involvement in Bahrain's internal security

John Yates is only the most recent Briton to be given a public role in Bahrain's internal security. Since founding the Bahraini police force, the British influence is as strong as ever.

The Islamic state in context

Almost by default, the swelling numbers of young Arabs, especially in the culturally vibrant centres of the Arab world (Cairo, Tunis, Beirut, Damascus, Casablanca, Kuwait, Manama), will create plurality - in social views, political positions, economic approaches, and in social identities and frames of reference.



Palestine, peoples and borders in the new Middle East map

Today’s Sunni/Shiite regional war is the direct product of the Bush/Blair war on Iraq. The divide is all the more dangerous because of the Levant’s confessional mosaic. These events are changing the very nature of the states in the region, and the peoples that lie within them. Where do Palestine’s borders now lie?  

Bahrain's rights, Britain's failure

Britain's lack of support for freedom of expression in Bahrain is a flawed and self-defeating policy, says Nicholas McGeehan of Human Rights Watch.

Propaganda war marks the second anniversary of the Bahraini Spring

Bahrain’s Arab Spring has developed into an ugly sectarian battle, pitting the Al-Khalifa regime, with the support of Saudi Arabia, conservative Sunni clerics and most of Bahrain’s Sunni minority on one side, against activists for the country’s Shia majority on the other. This development has suited the regime.

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