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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The new reforms that are hollowing out Estonian education

Looking to make education more accountable, Estonia is in fact moving further from the idea that education should serve the common good. 

Estonian elections: hope for change or just more of the same?

With Estonian political parties seemingly wedded to the free-market, neoliberal policies that have defined the country since independence, is there any chance of an alternative?

There and back again? Media freedom and autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe

Collusion between the press and politicians is not confined to western Europe. Central and Eastern European countries are also plagued by their own mini-Murdochs – and in these more fragile democracies, they represent an even bigger threat.

Charter 12: Estonia's stab at direct democracy

After Iceland, Estonia is the second European country to engage in a radically novel democratic experiment. Against growing contempt for corrupt and out of touch political elites, Estonian civil society is betting on crowdsourced constitutional reform.

"Political technology": why is it alive and flourishing in the former USSR?

Since the 1990s, post-Soviet elites have used manipulation, corruption and the government machine to maintain their grip on power. But with countries' paths diverging over time and with little opposition to speak of in many cases, Andrew Wilson asks: why is there still a need for these dark arts?

Xenophobia: Europe’s death knell

The Europe that is dying is the one that remains hostage to its past. Another Europe is not only possible but is in fact fast becoming an urgent necessity. This would be a Europe of vitality, open to connections, that has let go of its civilisational conceits

The case for pragmatism: a view from Estonia

The complex realities of international politics make a wise and patient foreign-policy approach the only sensible one - especially for Russia’s smaller neighbours, says Rein Müllerson.

France approves sale of high-tech warship to Russia

International concern about sale of French amphibious warship to Russia. US aims for new sanctions on Iran “within weeks”. 197 people indicted for murder over Philippine massacre. Sir Lankan opposition leader treated “like an animal”. All this and much more in today’s security briefing.
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