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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

Can Cambodia overcome its ruptured past?

Decades after the Khmer Rouge genocide, Cambodia remains a fractured nation with an untold history. An emotive new film, Angkor Awakens, tells this tragic story in full, and finds plenty of cause for hope at the end.

The drowned and the saved: Foucault's texts on migration and solidarity

This is (along with Islamism and neoliberalism) one of a certain number of global issues on which Foucault can be credited with having shown a degree of prescience; and the future he foresees is sombre.

“The refugee problem is a presage of the great migrations of the twenty first century.”

This is an interview with Michel Foucault conducted by H.Uno, translated by R Nakamura for Shûkan posuto and published in August, 1979. In October, this timely if not prophetic text was translated from the French for openDemocracy by Colin Gordon.  

How land rights are politicising Cambodia's women

Land grabbing and forced evictions have created an activist movement among women who traditionally conform to strict gender roles.

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.

Violence visited on Cambodian garment workers

Cambodian garment workers make around $80 a month, taking on long hours of overtime in harsh conditions. Now workers across the country are standing up for themselves to demand more—but the fight for a better wage in Cambodia is a dangerous one. At least four garment workers were killed this month during a crackdown on protesters demanding a decent wage from the government and international clothing companies. This video shows the workers who are standing up—and the violence consistently employed to keep them quiet.

What's a woman worth?: wages and democracy in Cambodia

In demanding higher wages, Cambodian women are refusing the status of the proverbial “second-class (global) citizen,” undervalued and over-determined by gender discrimination. If men take over the frontline of the movement, they will de facto doom its greatest potential in raising wages, along with women’s status and worth. Read in French, Spanish.

Norodom Sihanouk, a Cambodian life

The man who was variously Cambodia's anti-colonial leader, king, prime minister, prince, and exiled figurehead is inseparable from his country's modern history, says David Chandler.

Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia: changing but unsinkable

It is too easy for armchair analysts, in the cosyness of their far away study, to deliver a death sentence to the historical reputation of a man who did what he thought was the only, the final thing to be done.

N Korea food crisis set to continue

N Korea food crisis set to continue. Turkey and Iran to collaborate against Kurdish rebels. Southeast Asia flooding kills hundreds, displaces thousands. Obama announces US troop withdrawals from Iraq. All this in today’s security briefing...

Israeli Foreign Minister urges boycott of PA – Hamas government

Israel Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman calls on the International Community to boycott potential Hamas – PA government. Syrian crackdown intensifies as demonstrators continue to defy the regime. Clashes continue between Thai and Cambodian troops over a disputed border region. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

North Korea makes direct food aid appeal

North Korea makes direct appeal for food aid, highlighting worsening food security situation. Tensions ease on Thai-Cambodian border as refugees return hom. India-Pakistani peace talks to resume, say sources. All this and more in today’s briefing…

Guinea elections 'postponed' after violence, fraud and delays

Presidential run-off elections in Guinea are postponed after a weekend of violence and ongoing delays in preparation. Four of the most senior surviving Khmer Rouge cadres indicted In Cambodia. eight killed in minibus blast in southeast Turkey. Growing row over Trident renewal threatens coalition. European row over France’s treatment of Roma migrants deepens after EU official compares France’s Roma policy to Holocaust. All this and more in today’s briefing.

Wikileaks release 90,000 documents relating to war in Afghanistan

US condemns release of tens of thousands of classified Afghan war documents. Duch, Pol Pot’s infamous prison chief, is jailed for 19 years. Tehran reacts angrily to further EU sanctions on Iran. Bangladeshi war crimes court issues first arrest warrants. All this and more in today's security briefing.

Political crisis deepens as Pakistan faces amnesty deal turmoil

Pakistan faces amnesty deal turmoil. US security firm Blackwater is accused of running covert operations in Pakistan. A leaked UN report finds the UN-backed offensive in DR Congo is failing. The US rejects landmine ban treaty. Khmer Rouge prison chief expresses remorse. All this and much more in today’s security briefing.

Arab governments and Iran trade accusations after Houthi crackdown in Yemen

Saudi offensive against Houthis provokes Arab-Iranian diplomatic row. Cambodian refusal to extradite Thai ex-PM freys neighbourly relations. Taliban footage shows dominance in Nuristan. Somali pirates strike again. Security firm Blackwater in bribery scandal. FARC rebels kill nine Colombian soldiers. All this and more in today's briefing.
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