only search

This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

When traditional communications outperform digital technology: Rohingya refugees

Community radio projects in the world's biggest refugee camp in Bangladesh demonstrate the significance of context-specific humanitarian responses and the power of effective communication. 

Bangladesh teen protests are proof that politics is not the preserve of adults

Student-led mass protests in Dhaka challenge the notion that political consciousness begins at adulthood.

Free Shahidul Alam: the Bangladeshi photographer exposing injustices around the world

Alam must be released immediately to continue his vital work as a voice for the powerless.

The long road to gender equality in southeast Asia

Singapore may soon elect its first female president – but the struggle for gender equality in the region is far from being won.

Surviving a machete attack: the story of Bangladeshi-American freethinker Bonya Ahmed

The growth of religious fundamentalist forces in Bangladesh poses life-threatening challenges to atheists and secularists.

Politique de l’Internet : un guide féministe de navigation sur les flots du pouvoir en ligne

Nous sommes en mesure de reconnaître l’importance de nos décisions techniques, et ceci nous permettrait, au final, de nous réapproprier le pouvoir et le contrôle sur notre activisme dans la sphère numérique aussi bien que dans le monde réel.

Internet politics: a feminist guide to navigating online power

Recognising the political importance of our technical decisions is within reach, leading ultimately to reclaiming power and control of our activism in the digital sphere as well as in the offline world. Français Español

Las políticas de la internet: Una guía feminista para entender el poder en línea

Reconocer la importancia política de nuestras decisiones técnicas es algo que podemos hacer y que nos permitirá reivindicar poder y controlar nuestro activismo tanto en la esfera digital como en el mundo físico.

Belling the trolls: free expression, online abuse and gender

Freedom of expression is fundamentally about power: about who gets to speak or express themselves and on what terms and platforms.

‘We Are Tonu’: Why has the murder of a 19 year old student sparked mass protests in Bangladesh?

The death of Sohagi Jahan Tonu, a university student at Comilla Victoria College, led to massive protests and a social media outcry. What prevented this from just being another rape and murder case in Bangladesh?

What is driving the increase in child marriage in Bangladesh?

Human rights activists in Bangladesh say that if draft legislation being considered by the government is passed it will enable parents to forcibly marry off girls as young as 14.

Bangladesh: contempt of court vs freedom of speech

A blogger was convicted in Dhaka for his writing. A group of people who backed him in the press now faces the same charge. Why is this happening in Bangladesh?

The murder of Avijit Roy: championing illiberal liberals

Despite rising political violence in Bangladesh, the west has reserved its outrage for the murder of a secular Bangladeshi-American blogger. But his site tended to curtail rather than uphold free speech.

Women in Bangladesh: silenced victims of state terror

International outrage focussed on Bangladesh’s labour violations remains indifferent to a concurrent reality: the increased targeting of women and girls as subjects of political violence. 

Rana Plaza: the bottom-up route to workers’ safety

The wellbeing of outsourced workers in emerging countries is often linked to western ethical consumption but the aftermath of Rana Plaza has shown that union power at source is key.

A year after Rana Plaza, still unearthing its causes

After years of trade liberalisation, corporate self-regulation, and a global race-to-the-bottom, we need to consider what kinds of systemic reforms are needed to improve worker safety and welfare worldwide, and ask ourselves whether the disaster at Rana Plaza is the natural outcropping of a system we created.

Rana Plaza: the struggle continues

A year after the huge loss of mainly-female Bangladeshi garment workers’ lives at Rana Plaza, unions are still fighting for compensation for the victims, safety at work and a living wage

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.

Bangladesh: playing the long game

Greedy parties and fickle voters delay the advent of a healthy democracy.

After Rana Plaza

Why were NGOs left to pick up the pieces in the aftermath of the Rana Plaza factory collapse?

Is slavery invincible?

The right not to be enslaved is one of the two absolute human rights that cannot be violated on any ground whatsoever. However, 65 years after its denunciation, slavery continues to resist the corpus of human rights. Why the asymmetry ?

R2P - perspectives from India

Using the Responsibility to Protect (R2P) to justify decisions to intervene militarily abroad is often self-serving. Countries like India are ambiguous about the right to intervene because the practice is deeply inequitable. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, R2P and the Human Rights Crisis in Syria.


Crisis of modernity and secularism: the cases of Egypt, Turkey and Bangladesh

Whenever democratic space has opened up, people have been eager to choose those who not only provide a better solution for their economic and social problems, but who can also offer them a recognition of the authenticity of their cultures.

Violence and displacement in suburban Dhaka

A combination of violent rural and urban displacement have produced rings of poverty and exploitation on the outskirts of Dhaka, one of the world's fastest growing cities.

Investing in food security? On philanthrocapitalism, biotechnology and development

Africapitalism and philanthrocapitalism represent a progressive convergence of business principles with social philanthropy. But vigilance is needed to ensure long-term success amid shifting debates about GM crops and their regulation.

Professor Ghulam Azam: a flawed conviction and miscarriage of justice

On the basis of a flawed trial bereft of substantial evidence, my father has now been sentenced to 90 years in prison. The Bangladeshi people must decide whether justice for crimes past is really being acheived for a better, more cohesive Bangladesh.

Is Bangladesh spiralling out of control?

The massacre of Hefazat protesters in Dhaka by Bangladeshi security forces, followed by the government’s initial denial and subsequent justification of casualties, raises serious questions about the future security and stability of Bangladesh.

Bangladesh, in the ruins of the future

Bangladesh's modern experience of industrial disaster highlights the fragile conditions in which many of its urban workforce toil. But the country has an earlier history of large-scale developmental ambition, far from the metropolis, which equally defined the lives of those involved. The trajectory of these "ruins of progress", says Delwar Hussain, can illuminate the challenges of the present.

Government corruption leads to industrial accidents, not global brands

Corrupt political systems create conditions for industrial tragedies, not the presence of global brands. 

The well of the past: the power of religion in Bangladesh

While secularism can be seen as a point of departure for Bangladeshi nationalism from the 1950s onward, the post-1971 reality is that it is now being imposed without taking into account the increasingly religious mindset of the overwhelming majority of Bangladeshis.

Reason and responsibility: the Rana Plaza collapse

The Rana Plaza tragedy was an outcome of a corrupt system that is rotten to the core. Who should - and can - be held accountable?

Backlash against Bangladeshi bloggers

The bloggers of Shahbagh are facing a backlash – hunted by fundamentalists, denounced in mosques as atheists, arrested by the government. Those abroad are under threat. Meanwhile activists are still demanding justice and cyber movements are using their mobilising power to deal with disasters.

Religion and after: Bangladeshi identity since 1971

Secularism was one of the cornerstones of Bengali nationalism, but its spirit was enforced only by pen and paper. How can demands to ban religion from politics be satisfied?

Bangladesh justice: damned if you do, damned if you don't

"One must ask what is the point in a trial where the only acceptable result is execution": have politics irreversibly stolen fair and impartial justice from the victims of the 1971 War of Liberation?

Free speech and Bangladesh's growing climate of fear

The latest conviction and death sentence handed down by the ICT has already sparked further protests. As the state-sponsored clampdown on the press quickly grows to encompass anyone willing to speak out, what does this mean for demands for accountability?

Syndicate content