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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The illusion of security

It seems as if the political process has been poisoned by the intelligence agencies, who are given more power with less accountability requested every time they fail. Interview.

We’ve moved forward since 9/11

'A lot more people are aware that the decisions made by policymakers, the positions taken by the media in the wake of 9/11 in the United States, were mistakes.'

Let’s not make Paris the French 9/11

It will only exacerbate the causes of terrorist attacks, diminish society’s capacity to cope rationally with risks, and permanently damage freedom, democracy, and international law.

Minorities within minorities: how Le Pen attracts some Muslim votes

It is not a “choice” in the proper sense, it is rather an instinct to reach the surface in order to breathe. It offers them a home in which the restlessness of “to be” can be resolved.

Front National: victorious defeat

After Sunday's regional elections, will the French be able to stop FN from finally breaking through the fragile glass ceiling? And what about the renewed political world that voters want?

The paradox of the Syrian conflict and its politics

While the French president has won public approval and international backing for the fight against IS, differences persist about the necessity of coordinating with Russia.

Paris – 3 weeks on

"It is fundamental to search for explanations within our society, notably the social and economic exclusion of part of the population in France."

Paris attacks November 13: ending the cycle of vengeance?

After the worst attacks in their history, the Spanish and Norwegian governments had the courage to respond differently from the Anglo-American mimetic knee-jerk response - an example France should follow.

The rise of the Front National is only part of the problem

The ‘shock’ is not the rise of the Front National, but the failure of the system to bring forward a positive alternative.

French regional elections warn of an impending disaster for the EU

For the first time in its history the Front National is a legitimate contender in French politics. What does this mean for France and Europe as a whole?

Foxes in the hen house: COP21 fuelled by four of Europe's worst drivers

Some of Europe's worst contributors to climate change are sponsoring COP21. Let’s bring power back to the people. Climate change is too big an issue to be kidnapped by corporate interests.

French regional elections: what hope for regional movements?

France's new regional reforms seem designed to hurt regionalist parties in one of the EU's most centralised countries. Do Alsatian and Breton parties stand a chance on December 6?

Syria: to bomb or not to bomb? That is not the question

Recognise and accept the hard reality that there is no quick fix to the ISIS problem, no one solution: bombing is not the only option.

Three realities of the Isis conflict

The west must prioritise civilian wellbeing in any intervention. What might help?

European democracy after Paris

Ironically, as political distrust and dissatisfaction are at all-time highs in Europe, the vast majority of people are still willing to give unprecedented powers to the leaders they don’t like or trust. 

Paris as a test case for the west

One effective way for western governments to keep their people safe is to press for fundamental reforms in countries where armed extremists thrive, rather than subverting democracy at home.

Letter from Paris: which side will prevail?

The state of emergency is being used to harass ecological activists and to block demonstrations denouncing the irresponsibility of governments in facing up to climate change, during the COP21 meeting.

Why the west cannot defeat ISIS

Maged Mandour

ISIS has emerged from the wounds of the Arab world—for which the west is to a large extent responsibleand current airstrikes are pouring salt into these wounds.

The answer to Paris may be Paris

Paris is about to host the COP21 - a mammoth UN conference on climate change. It is exactly this event that might be a unique opportunity to send a decisive strike to ISIS and its economics.

Why did ISIS target France?

ISIS has clearly expanded its theatre of operations beyond the Middle East but why did it target France?

We don't need another "war on terror", we need a policy change

We need a serious debate about the failure of the "war on terror". Here are a few proposals for an alternative strategy.

Democracy and belonging

In 2006, a conversation before a large audience in Rotterdam on the role that Muslims should play in European societies took place, between Dyab Abou Jahjah, then president of the Arab European League with its Antwerp headquarters, and Tariq Ramadan. openDemocracy’s Editor was there. Archive.

If ISIS uses chemical weapons, the west will be partly responsible

How can the international community respond effectively and promptly to this growing threat, not just to the Middle East region, but to the world?

Which lives do we mourn? And other questions we no longer decide for ourselves

What control does Facebook have over our experience of tragedy?

Blame games

The perpetrators of the attacks on the London Underground in 2005 were also born and raised in Britain. So much for the British-French dichotomy.

Plus c'est la même chose: racist connotations of the “new” terror

This simplistic stereotyping of 1.6 billion people as extremists is not only ridiculous but also has serious political implications.

París: composición de lugar

La massacre del 13/11 revela la escala de la amenaza de ISIS. Es vital una respuesta coherente. English. Português.

Why fear is our enemy

"It is a France made up of diversity, plurality, of people coming together and mixing, that the terror wants to shut down, to silence through fear, to make disappear through horror. And it is this open society that we must defend because it is our most secure and lasting protection against terrorism."

After Paris: live news should challenge narratives, not recreate them

After the Paris attacks there is a desperate desire on the part of major news organizations to create and drive the narrative of terror attacks, when what they should be doing is questioning and interrogating narratives.

In war

In this nomadic, undefined, polymorphous, and unsymmetrical war, the populations on 'both shores' of the Mediterranean are taken hostage. And Europe has a nearly irreplaceable function.

A message to my country: refugees are victims of terrorism, not its source

The new right-wing Polish government is trying to use the Paris attacks as an excuse to scapegoat refugees and stir up nationalist fervour. This is my message to them. Polski.

The Paris attacks

No European country, even Britain, can defend herself any more on her own and each one is now a potential target for ISIS.

IS attacks and not playing their game

For the terrorists, best would be to be left alone to consolidate. Next best would be an epic all-out confrontation with western infidel ground forces. We should not give them what they want.

The demon of Death, a letter from Paris

The real goal of the attacks in France, as well as those in the Shia southern suburb of Beirut a few hours before this, is through fear, to spread division.

Paris has been hit at its heart

The roots of these terror attacks are deep. They lie partly in Syria and Iraq, but also partly in our French and European cities. 

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