only search openDemocracy.net

This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Defending democracy, reinventing the left

Representative democracy can only strengthen if it resorts to more participatory and deliberative mechanisms, a new generation of public action built on co-construction.

What does an anti-Semitic party look like in Europe today?

As Britain debates antisemitism and the left, support for populist right-wing parties using hardline anti-Semitic messages is growing across the continent. 

Denaturalisation: a brief (French) history

Between November 2015 and March 2016, France went through a raging debate about denaturalisation (déchéance de nationalité). This is a brief history of a very controversial subject.

"Nuit debout": el regreso de los indignados en París

Lo que distingue a un movimiento social de cualquier otro tipo de mobilización es que no se centra en una reclamación específica, sino que cuestiona algunos de los valores centrales de una sociedad. English Português

« Nuit Debout » : citizens are back in the squares in Paris

What distinguishes a social movement from any other kind of mobilization is the fact that it does not focus on a specific claim (such as labour reform) but challenges some of the core values ​​of a society. Français Español Português

Bleeding heart liberals and the war on terror

Demonisation is used by the right to prevent the left actually opposing the war on terror with more than platitudes; criminalisation is used by the state against those against its crimes.

Iraq and Syria didn’t create ISIS - we did

After the Paris attacks, ISIS became yesterday’s story, as if the terrorist movement had disappeared into far lands not able to affect our lives any more.

Manifesto for civil liberties

The origins of the manifesto, its elaboration and dissemination, followed by a brief history of the struggle for civil liberties in Europe and the main threats to those freedoms. Español

Good camps, bad camps. What’s wrong with the ‘Jungle’?

The ‘Jungle’ has come to symbolise the negative mirror image of a refugee camp, its ‘Other’ in which power and civilisation are twisted and virtually turned upside down.

Calais diary. Last week in the Jungle

The anger and emotion of powerlessness and attachment. A London-based French volunteer describes the torment of the last week for refugees in Calais

The transience and persistence of the ‘jungle’ in Calais

It is at once an informal encampment of makeshift shelters; a town under construction, with shops, restaurants and schools; and, a space subject to institutional violence, at risk of imminent destruction.

The refugee camp that nobody wants

Right in the middle of Europe, thousand of refugees are living in disheartening conditions, without any help from local governments. An insight from the Calais refugee camp known as the Jungle.

Beyond powerlessness

If we want to escape from our situation of powerlessness and anxiety, we must re-examine our relationship to the political, and strive to produce new types of political practice. Français.

Defending “French Values”? The Paris attacks and our loss of innocence

In this professed war against "barbarians", It is time we interrogated the extent of our colonial guilt in light of those cultural practices we cherish most as a nation.

Emergency politics are the wrong path for today's Europe

The recent calls in France to see its "state of emergency" extended are totally incompatible with the needs and realities of twenty-first century democracy. Here's why.

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?

Syndicate content