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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

In the Erdogan vs. Böhmermann crisis, the real comedians are the politicians themselves

It is hard to shake the feeling that the real reason why the Böhmermann crisis has exceeded all rational proportions has more to do with German dissatisfaction with Merkel than with Erdogan.

Cities of refuge

The 1951 Geneva Convention on Political Asylum was a typical creation of the Cold War: the system cannot deal with the huge population flows now permanently characteristic of our world.

Europe: the reconstruction of the free world

National borders are a reality – and for most people, they are something that is taken for granted and indeed necessary. But are they really the normal state of affairs? A radical futuristic plan for a borderless Europe.

“We have created a monster”

On the recent electoral successes of Germany's extreme right and its ideological background.

After Germany’s Super Sunday

Recent elections in three German states were widely considered a referendum on chancellor Merkel’s immigration policies, much to the benefit of her own supporters and her nationalist critics. Any place for solidarity with refugees?

Youngsters and refugees, or how exile changes eastern Europe

Official anticommunism never contented itself with making an equation between fascism and communism. It gravitated toward depicting communism as an absolute evil, whose enemies became new role models.

The tragedy of Cologne and its aftermath – the depletion of civility

This is a vicious circle of harassment, animosity, and aggressive and uncivilized behavior that seriously undermines the resource which is crucial for successful integration.

'We are building a strange left': towards a democratic modernity?

Some reflections from Berlin on the launch of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) on 9 February, 2016.

Hashtag analysis: #Clausnitz and #Bautzen

When hashtags help to uncover a societal problem: racism.

Press conference: DiEM25 launched by Yanis Varoufakis and Srecko Horvat

The Democracy in Europe Movement 25 was launched by Yanis Varoufakis at the Volksbühne in Berlin on February 9. Here is a video of the press conference which preceded it.

Historical memory is not about victims – it’s about us

Berlin’s Holocaust memorial – at the heart of the city from which the extermination of Europe’s Jews was plotted and managed – will remain forever controversial. That’s its job.

Eyes wide shut – Germany, the immigration crisis and Merkel’s winter of discontent

Rarely has a democratic country moved so rapidly from seemingly perfect political stability to a widespread feeling of crisis, confusion and near chaos as Germany has done over the past six months.

When Greece and Germany saw eye to eye

A look at Helmut Schmidt's little known but pivotal role in bringing Greece into the European Economic Community in 1981.

“The refugee problem is a presage of the great migrations of the twenty first century.”

This is an interview with Michel Foucault conducted by H.Uno, translated by R Nakamura for Shûkan posuto and published in August, 1979. In October, this timely if not prophetic text was translated from the French for openDemocracy by Colin Gordon.  

What is Holocaust commemoration for? - Remembering Kristallnacht

We must avoid using Holocaust commemorations solely to consign Judeophobia to an eternal yesterday. We must recall the Holocaust in order to warn the world about similar and ongoing antisemitism in our world today.

Parergon about "German power"

Thomas Fazi has replied to my article about EU federalism and the German Question. By way of reply, I elaborate on my initial position, while tackling related issues - German power, coercion, neoliberalism, power, class.

Memetic engineering: conspiracies, viruses and historical agency

Ideas, just like viruses or organisms, do not spontaneously generate, even if certain historical circumstances make the rise and spread of a given idea more likely.

A tragédia interminável do dia de Colombo

A celebração do Dia de Cristóvão Colombo não e aceitável. A colonização trouxe consigo uma imensa tragédia que há que começar a recordar. English. Español.

Orbán, Seehofer and the anti-immigration link

Why are the leaders of Hungary and Bavaria meeting up for talks in a German monastery?

EU federalism and the German Question

The primary problem in the EU is not German power, but the cross-border prevalence of the peculiar brand of euro-neoliberalism.

Liquid democracy, its challenges and its forebears

Until today, particular decisions within software and product development have to be decided by privileged people. LiquidFeedback can democratize the decision-making process. An interview with the founders.

More than a refuge, a welcome

In today’s world, it is essential to take welcoming into account in the cycle of reproduction of social life.

Time for nuclear sharing to end

You have to keep threatening to use nuclear weapons to make nuclear deterrence work. A view from Germany on the planned deployment of new US nuclear weapons.

Volkswagen's insider system isn't necessarily a bad system

The Volkswagen emission scandel ought to be condemned. However, with the weaknesses of the Anglo-American corporate model one should be careful not to dismiss Volkswagen's insider system of governance.

Time to move beyond nuclear tribalism

"Question: Is nuclear power good or bad?

 Answer: No. Some nuclear is good, some is bad. For example, the Govt. should support an IFR."

Germany’s second turning point: long-term effects of the refugee crisis

Is the societal change that Germany now faces tantamount to die zweite Wende, or ‘second turning point’?

What neighbourhood and gentrification mean for Berlin immigrants

Even without the threat of racism, many immigrants are unhappy about changing their neighbourhood.

The poisoned chalice

Part two of the insider view of negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup. When is a rescue not a rescue but a seizure of assets? Interview.

European values and the Arab world

Maged Mandour

EU politicians can promote 'European' values by stopping their support for autocratic regimes, and by starting to ask tough questions about radicalisation.


Protests of the marginalised: an interview

A glimpse of refugee movements in Berlin and Los Angeles. From the Squares and Beyond partnership.

The Brussels diktat: and what followed

Alexis Tsipras won the battle on a question of principle - the need for a new Europe - even if he lost the war that ensued. What are the implications for the Greek left and for Europe? (Long: 9,000 words) Français. Deutsch.

The decline and fall of the European Union: is it time to rip it up and start again?

There was no distinction in EU politics between friend and foe. Everything worked so nicely. But this was also the reason why nobody was greatly interested. This has definitely changed now. 

Germany's demographic challenge

Germany is by no means an unstoppable juggernaut, and the re-erection of trade barriers across the continent and a return to a strong Deutschmark would ravage the economy.

Some harsh truths for Germans, Greeks, and Europeans

As Greek-German antipathy threatens to tear Europe apart, a committed European - and Greek-German - challenges each of his nations' stubborn provincialisms to offer a vision for European reconciliation.

Young and European? We are Greece, we are the 99%

When will a true European democracy based on the people, not the states, finally emerge?

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