This week's editor

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

What is Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) on about?

The opportunities and temptations of a newcomer among Germany’s political parties.

Why does Germany insist on a failed programme for Greece?

The elephant in the recent Eurogroup meeting room was Greece's 2010 failed structural readjustment programme, admonished by Yanis Varoufakis as 'fiscal waterboarding'. Why does Germany persist in defending it?

Greece and the eurogroup: capitulation or breaching austerity's dam?

George Papandreou cancelling his referendum was a capitulation. Tsipras and Varoufakis achieving new space and flexibility and four months to achieve a genuinely new approach was quite an achievement.

“Primero, tomaremos Atenas; luego, tomaremos Madrid”

El objetivo principal de Podemos es aglutinar una amplia mayoría, lo que en la práctica significa poner en pie un partido de clases medias que deje atrás el eje Derecha/Izquierda y ocupe la centralidad política. English.

Can Syriza break Merkel's popularity and reanimate the German left?

Contrary to popular perception, not all of Germany is behind Merkel's hardline towards Greece. Can the victory of Syriza challenge the "no alternative" dogma and galvanize the German left?

“First we take Athens, then we take Madrid”

The primary goal of Podemos is to marshal an ample majority, which means in practice to build a middle-class party, and to give up the traditional Left/Right axis for a position of centrality. Español.

Greece and the Eurozone: one crisis, two narratives

The ‘Greek story’ simply diverts attention from the real task ahead which is the correction of the serious ‘design faults’ of the monetary union in Europe. 

In the aftermath of racial violence: seeking change after the NSU trial in Germany

Links between these racist extremist groups and parts of government should more readily be assumed to exist and should be investigated when murders take place.

Overlooked and underrated: women in right-wing extremist groups in Germany

Right-wing extremism continues to be perceived by mainstream media and statutory organizations as a predominantly “male problem” since the stereotypical view regards white women as non-violent, peaceful, loving and caring individuals. This is highly misleading. 

Struggle, dissent and debate: politics and memory in Europe

Especially in some European countries, dealing with the dark sides of one’s history has become a significant topos. Without such a change in cultures of commemoration of the different European countries, a European Union would have been impossible.

"It's going to blow up one day"

Marc Bauder's Master of the Universe runs like a sociological narrative of high finance as experienced by one man, former investment banker Rainer Voss. Film review.

Eurovision and Euro elections: the final straw in Polish gender wars

How is the victory of Conchita Wurst being politicized in Poland? What is the connection between Eurovision and the upcoming European Parliamentary elections?

Conchita’s Euro-vision: On aesthetic standards and transphobia battles

What is the role of gender in consolidating social identity and subjectivity? How has Conchita Wurst changed our aesthetics and political ethos?

Surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

A discussion of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to the question of a balance between data protection versus national security. It has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy.

Germany's surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

Germany has been engaging in large-scale surveillance and exchange of communications data with international partners, despite the existence of a strong constitutional and legal framework for the protection of privacy.

What does mass surveillance do to Human Rights?

Where such mass, weakly targeted surveillance techniques have been used in Europe, the Human Rights Court has found them inconsistent with the right to respect for privacy. Mass surveillance is by definition arbitrary.

Who are you calling a Nazi?

Why do extremist parties manage to draw wide support in times of uncertainty? A look into one of the most successful far right parties in Europe - the Freedom Party of Austria (FPÖ).

Sex workers in democratic societies

While there are certainly gendered imbalances in the actual structures of current sex markets, these imbalances are created, reinforced and strengthened not by sex work itself but by laws criminalizing sex work and by treating sex workers as second-class citizens without rights.

Empathy with apathy - why we should understand ignorance of European politics

Psychologically, to identify with something, one has to contribute to it.

Democratizing inequalities

Participation has become a necessary basis for institutional authority in an era of declining social mobility and government retrenchment. It has become a tool for sustaining hierarchies as much as a tool for transcending them. 

The social democratic dilemma

Centre-left parties in Europe have lost the argument for pragmatic fiscal policy and support for austerity seems to prevail. So where does this leave those who refuse to vote for more austerity?

Europe's future has been captured: it is time to fight back

The financial crisis has resulted in xenophobic immigration policies and a rise of far-right movements across Europe. Who is to blame?

Why Obama shouldn’t fall for Putin’s Ukrainian folly

Russia and the west have conspired to tear the country apart. Both sides must stand down now or face the consequences.

A new (order) Ukraine? Assessing the relevance of Ukraine’s far right in an EU perspective

Now that the EU is ready to embrace the new Ukrainian government, investing at least one billion euros in the ‘revolutionized’ country, it is time to reinvestigate the question of far right influence in Ukraine.

Five movies that show the power of nonviolent resistance during World War II

Hardly a year goes by without at least one new Hollywood film about the Nazis and World War II. But these offerings rarely feature the many Germans who resisted Hitler using nonviolence.

Welfare benefits are calculated by political objectives not empirical calculations

"Humans as persons of necessity exist in social relationships." Adequacy of Minimum Income Schemes is a debate that is gaining traction across the EU.

Germany: sleepwalking into Europe?

The much needed debate on Europe is unlikely to happen in the German run-up to the European elections. But instead, a controversy pro or against the Euro might well take place, should the new right-wing Alternative for Germany prove effective. Euro elections landscape, 2014.

The new German surveillance state - Merkel, Snowden and the Euro Hawk drone

In principle, Germany is a state committed to democracy and international peace. This is why three recent political scandals, which exposed the vulnerability of German citizens to the surveillance institutions of their state as well as the development of drones, came as a surprise to many. 

Universal message sent from Taksim: Hier stehe ich und kann nicht anders

Protesters are concerned with asserting that they ‘exist’ and furthermore that they ‘exist with their own ideas, beliefs and ways of life’. But, why?

A new German government: but what about that new German politics for Europe?

After months of campaigning, leading to an election, followed by weeks of negotiation, the German Social Democrats and Merkel's CDU/CSU have finally agreed to form a grand coalition. But can this coalition hold? And how will it affect Europe?

The rise of the German monster

Merkel’s next grand coalition risks fuelling German right-wing populism like never before.

Schwarzwohnen: The spatial politics of squatting in East Berlin

East Berlin's squatter movement erupted across the city after the fall of the wall in 1989. But what role did housing activists in the 1980s play in shaping an alternative vision for the contemporary city?

German-Russian business cooperation: what consequences for eastern Europe?

Germany's trade policies towards Russia, notably on the issue of natural gas, have contributed to re-shaping the eastern European geo-economic landscape. Could Ukraine become a hostage of Berlin's recent Ostpolitik should tensions between Moscow and Kiev rise further?

Black-Red, Black-Green? German party coalitions and the new left majority

Angela Merkel might have won the last German elections, but she now needs a new coalition partner. So who will it be? Coalitions can be formed willingly by intentional partners, or they can emerge out of necessity, forced by the reality of the vote.

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