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

The renewable revolution

Four reasons why the transition from fossil fuels to a green energy era is gaining traction.

Matching resistance to repression in China

For domestic rights defenders in China’s high-capacity authoritarian regime, strategic actions rather than tactics of sudden unrest can achieve more in a situation of slow-onset repression.

Banking on human rights

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank can contribute to the urgent socio-economic needs of people throughout the region, but only if member countries ensure its respect for rights.

Trouble in paradise

Months before Hong Kong’s Occupy unleashed popular frustration onto the streets, a refugee movement adopted occupation tactics to protest the social marginalization of asylum seekers.

China, the idea-hungry nation

China's restless intellectual energy carries an echo of Austria-Hungary in the pre-1914 years.

The right to Hong Kong

The protest camps have been cleared. But Hong Kong’s Occupy movement has laid bare the struggle for space that rages across the city.

Asia at the crossroads

Aside from China, nearly all the states in Asia make use of the trappings of democracy, such as elections, parliaments, and the separation of powers. A new report examines the future of democracy in Asia in the next 15 years.

China, questions of loyalty

What determines political survival among China's party elite? Where are the traps that ensnare men like Zhou Yongkang and Ling Jihua? The ambiguities of loyalty are a useful way to bring these questions into focus. 

Tamed by Beijing

The death knell for Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution was sounded even as the movement entered December. The final days saw Beijing play its hand well, through the careful application of minimal force and strategic patience.

China, the limits of exception

China's leaders present two stories about their country to the world. The gap between them is a recipe for growing tension.

Welcome to the not-so-new world order

The latest IMF report has confirmed what some have long argued – ‘rising powers’ like Russia and China are changing the world, but not in the way you might think.


The party rules

What lies behind the Chinese Communist Party elite’s foregrounding of the ‘rule of law’? With China's declining economic growth rate and widening income inequality, the basic rationale at the heart of the party's right to rule is at risk.

Weighing history in China

A memoir of the cultural revolution both reveals the human cost of that era in China and helps explain the curious strategy of its current leadership.

Hong Kong’s umbrella movement

The movement could benefit from encouraging splits within the seemingly unified voice of the elite, bound to have its internal conflicts. Then there are new challenges and new nonviolent opportunities, planned and unplanned.

Resistance, repression, and the cycle of violence in the Uyghur Struggle

Is the state actively engaged in decreasing participation in nonviolent resistance and delegitimizing Uyghur grievances by highlighting escalating violence?

Prominent Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti jailed for life

With its shocking outcome, this trial might result in an increase in violence in the Xinjiang region, where protests for the mistreatment of a moderate voice could motivate the more radical factions.

Violence in Hong Kong: the translated evidence

Hong Kong Democracy Now is a voluntary working group translating videos and articles to support international media coverage of Hong Kong’s civil disobedience movement.  They are maintaining an updated list of verified sources detailing police brutality.

The cause of labour is Hong Kong’s hope

The voice of the labour movement has been ignored in the international media coverage of Hong Kong’s Occupy protest. Trade unions have taken to the street not only in the name of universal suffrage, but for the sake of social justice.

Umbrella revolution: the academy reflects on Hong Kong’s struggle

Two professors in Hong Kong interview fellow academics, student activists and graduate students from mainland China in order to draw out Hong Kong’s history in relation to globalising forms of political expression. Colonial history, neoliberal urban governance, and Chinese authoritarianism all bear on the current unrest.

Hong Kong: the stakes are high

Beijing knows that the struggle for democracy in Hong Kong is not just about the future of the former British colony: the party monopoly on the mainland is ultimately at issue.

Why Hong Kong matters

Could mainland China not seek eventual convergence towards a democratic system, respectful of the full gamut of human rights? That actually is what the happenings in Hong Kong now are about.

With peace and love: civil disobedience in Hong Kong

Western media outlets have described Hong Kong’s accelerated wave of unrest as predominantly led by students. It has a much wider base than that. Months of steady canvassing and campaigning on the streets, and a promotion of emotive symbolism over violence, have garnered enormous sympathy for the Occupy movement.

Beijing-London: in the labyrinth

A visit to the party organisation at the centre of China's anti-corruption drive is a lesson in the concealments of power.

The common mind: the politics of English education in China

The great wave of English education in China is slowly affecting the educational system as a whole. And the centrality of education in Chinese society means that this transformation is having an influence not only on what people can say but perhaps also how they think.

The time is now: Hong Kong’s Occupy Central

“Can you not hear that clock ticking? Or is that just the beating of our hearts pounding ever harder? Time is not on our side; it is on the side of the adversary.”

In deep water: China tests its neighbours’ patience

China’s rapid growth is placing increasing demands on natural resources in the region but Beijing’s political rise is encouraging the dictatorship to flex its muscles as associated tensions rise.

“Love China and love Hong Kong”: whose mainstream opinion?

Hong Kong’s deep reservoir of discontent is not, as Beijing contends, the result of efforts by “anti-China” forces. They are the local reactions of people who have no influence over policies that are rapidly changing their home. 

An unexpected harvest: China, Ukraine and the west

Putin’s endless adventurism and its ensuing condemnation have only veiled China’s quiet harvest. Kiev, Moscow and Washington are all being pushed closer to the powers that be in Beijing.

A new, Eurasian, world order

China and Russia are at the heart of the world's shifting power-balance. But current cooperation between them is likely to give way to tension.

Britain – the state of the nation

The New York Times has called it a ‘crisis of identity.’ I think that is to put too much blame on the British people. I would call it a crisis of leadership. 

The Uyghur dilemma, 2009-14

Five years after ethnic tensions in western China's Xinjiang province exploded into violence, the political situation there remains troubled.

China and Habermas's public sphere

There is a public realm, and it nurtures a society of free citizens. The painful, complex evolution of this idea in the People's Republic of China is one of the great struggles of the modern world.

Forecasting India-Japan ties under Modi and Abe

India's newly elected prime minister Narendra Modi and Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe enjoy a friendship which signals increasing co-operation and integration of both nations' economic and defense plans in a new regional strategic partnership. 

Is China a fascist state?

We need to understand China in the context of a rise of authoritarian political parties and governments throughout the world. South America, far from perfect, is the only region of the world without a clear rise in the influence of anti-democratic, authoritarian parties and governments.

The contentious politics of China’s New Citizens Movement

Despite their many efforts to stave off greater mobilization inspired by the ideals of the New Citizens Movement, the Party must know that eventually the force of popular mobilization will be too great to disregard by mere omission.

Syndicate content