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This week’s front page editor

Claire Provost

Claire Provost is editor of 50.50 covering gender, sexuality and social justice.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Yellow fever in France

Almost everyone agrees on the analysis of what caused this movement: the growth of inequalities, the marginalization of certain regions and social categories, austerity and neoliberal politics. Then accounts diverge.

Yellow Vests – the first battle

They want Macron to know that they are the people and they will be ignored no longer. So perhaps there is democracy in the streets after all.

Demands of France's yellow vests as uploaded by France Bleu, November 29

"MPs from France, we inform you of the People's Directives for you to transpose them into LAW. "

What next for the Gilets Jaunes?

The movement today is national, and in part nationalistic, very difficult to talk to about the reform of Europe. Nevertheless, it is a challenge to a pan-European movement like DiEM25.

Message from Commercy: the time of the communes still rings out!

Commercy's Yellow Vests offer a political solution to the movement: autonomous local committees, direct democracy, sovereign general assembly, delegates with a precise mandate revocable at any time, rotating responsibilities.

The stories fascist Europe tells itself, and how to correct them

What can the UK learn from those fighting the far right across Europe? Take history seriously

Fortress Europe: Macron hikes university fees for non-EU students

The students that the government is hoping to dissuade from studying in France are the young people of its former colonies. How does this square with ‘patriotism as openness’?

Protest in Paris: End of the world versus End of the month

After the COP21 in Paris, Macron wanted to become the world leader on Climate Change. But what could seem accurate policy measures not always are perceived as fair politics.

The myth of the Will of the People

Populism lives by the thought that the presence of the people in government is sufficient to wrest control from an unrepresentative elite.

The lessons of the World Cup for our victim culture

If these rebels hadn’t somehow found the courage to strike out in bold, new and, frankly, dangerous directions, we would all be the poorer for it.

A Voltaire for our age; what can the Enlightenment teach Brexit Britain?

The referendum and its ensuing political ramifications have left very few in Europe desiring to emulate the example set by Brexit. How different it was in Voltaire’s time!

An agora on the European political space: why is Europe the decisive political space for the Left?

All countries within the European Union – and beyond – face the epochal challenge that there is no longer a shared conception of what a state is. A starting point and an invitation.

Offensive liberalism: Emmanuel Macron and the New European Politics

Can President Macron save the EU as a legitimate liberal institution, through a deliberate re-politicisation of European politics? What he attempts also has the potential to destroy it.

An open letter to UK university lecturers

Whether it’s the restructuring of lecturers' pensions in the UK or the introduction of selective entrance requirements to French universities — the struggle is one and the same.

The revenge against the commons

Why France’s biggest police operation since May 1968 is prepared to kill for Macron’s neoliberal nightmare (10k words).

Relaunching French – a very messy business

Like-minded thinkers find it rather depressing that the Francophone equivalent of the battle Salman Rushdie fought 30 years ago – against the concept of “Commonwealth literature” – has yet to commence.

The ‘Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention’: and how it exposes the absence of any serious intention to help Syrians

Diplomacy should focus on the humanitarian situation and the need for civilian protection rather than or as well as finding a political solution.

Darkest Hour: another film about 1940

Is this film any better at history than Dunkirk? Does it matter when you have such a multi-faceted central character as this ‘real war leader ’? Review.

Whose human rights? The marginalisation of dissent in France and spreading

The use of human rights to criminalize the French Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign sends out a warning alert.

The ‘Europeanization’ of schooling: what is a European education?

In an ambitious future, education as a common good means an education enjoyed by the whole community, built by citizens culturally capable of influencing, acting and imagining alternatives.

Gassing and selective applications of a ‘Red Line’: lest we forget

The gassing of people is considered exceptionally inhumane, officially a categorical “red line” dividing good from evil. This belief now threatens to trigger an escalation with unpredictable consequences.

The myth of the Swedish education miracle

The Swedish model is not especially efficient or good, but it is the one that has pushed as far as possible the post-authoritarian logic in modern European education.

Fear of forgetting – heroines who changed history

Simone De Beauvoir and Gisele Halimi were indefatigable. They wrote to every responsible official in the judiciary, military and government – up to General de Gaulle. Lest we forget.

Anti-feminism and anti-gender far right politics in Europe and beyond

The proclaimed support of the EU for gender equality is seen as one element in a wider programme of colonization, whereby what was once Marxism is now replaced by gender politics. Book review.

‘Happy 18th birthday! You’re out’

Tougher internal controls under Macron are only giving police more powers, allowing them to conduct identity checks in emergency shelters. Brutality towards migrants is likely to become even more common.

Combatting loss: refugees, employment and social entrepreneurship in Turkey

Turkey, at the crossroads of refugee flows, hosts 3.4 million refugees, while not granting them refugee status but a state of exception. Hospitality and hostility go hand in hand.

Western complicity is fuelling Yemen’s humanitarian crisis

A besieged and starved population has been pushed to the brink of famine. The UK, US and France need to re-evaluate their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

The good conscience of French intellectuals: the case of Thomas Guénolé and the French left of Jean-Luc Mélenchon. An open letter

Our right to live freely in the Diaspora is under attack, from both Christian and Zionist supremacism.  

Watching the watchers: the G5 Sahel Force has a human rights problem

If history is a lesson, without a robust human rights framework, international missions are more likely to add to, rather than prevent, violence.

A year on from the opening of ‘la bulle’: an invisible crisis driven underground

“I left Afghanistan because I didn’t want to kill for the Taliban... I could not do that, but European life is very dangerous too: I never thought it would be like this.”

One Zionist view of the Balfour Declaration

The State of Israel came into being thirty-one years after the Balfour Declaration, precisely because Zionist Jews were done entrusting their fate to others.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s populist gamble

The irony is despite dismissing notions of left and class, the sociology of Mélenchon’s electorate is clearly left-wing and their vote is a class vote against the right and extreme right.

Critical voices in critical times: Fanon, race & politics - an interview with Mireille Fanon-Mendès France (part 2 of 2)

Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, activist, scholar, and daughter of Frantz Fanon, talks about the enduring relevance of his ideas and passions in contemporary political life.

Critical voices in critical times: Fanon, race & politics - an interview with Mireille Fanon-Mendès France (part 1 of 2)

Mireille Fanon-Mendès France, activist, scholar, and daughter of Frantz Fanon, talks about the enduring relevance of his ideas and passions in contemporary political life.

DiEM25 anti-austerity campaign France 2017

We promised Macron that if he “becomes merely another functionary of Europe’s deep establishment we will oppose him... ” Now the time has come to do exactly that.

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