This week's editor

Jeremy Noble, editor

This week Jeremy Noble and the oDR team edit the front page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

From a watery grave to a Berlin plot

This week the German group of activists and artists, the Centre for Political Beauty, announced that they would exhume the bodies of refugees who died in the Mediterranean Sea and bury them in Berlin.

Who can keep the German secret services in check?

Given the scope of BND-NSA cooperation, the German government can no longer ignore that the supervision of its intelligence services is in dire need of reform.

Special deal, root and branch reform or Brexit? Cameron’s EU-policy - a sceptical view from Germany

The concessions which Britain will be granted today in negotiations with Brussels and Berlin may well turn out to be self defeating in the long run, because they will marginalise Britain. 

Porous borders allow migrants into Germany. And?

Many are desperately trying to get into a country that’s perceived as Europe’s best. Politicians thrive in the petty-minded zeitgeist of those who noisily complain. Do true democrats need to worry?

Turkey is changing, and I am part of that change: an interview with filmmaker Fatih Akin

His new film The Cut directly confronts the Armenian genocide. We talk to acclaimed Turkish-German filmmaker Fatih Akin about genocide commemorations, the Turkish-German community, and what Turkey's notorious Article 301 is doing to debate.

Public and published opinion in Germany: obstacles for a Social Europe?

Even Angela Merkel herself seems convinced that she can only win elections as long as the people believe that the euro crisis is ‘managed well’ and will not cost them anything.

Where is another Europe now?

Europe either hangs together or - as the American revolutionaries liked to point out - the nations of Europe will be hanged separately.

NSA and the Stasi – a cautionary tale on mass surveillance

While the Stasi archive is overwhelming, today’s spies can gather far more information with a fraction of the effort. 

How the Pirates in Germany have lost their way

Is there any connection between the decline of the Pirate Party and the rise of the right-wing Alternative for Germany?

PEGIDA: a post-Nazist uprising?

Recent anti-Muslim demonstrations in Germany have fused right-wing chauvinism with Islamophobia, anti-Semitism and populism.

Mietbremse and Mindestlohn mean good news for Europe as a whole

Gentle controls on the property rental market and a fair general minimum wage in Germany will set a high democratic benchmark in Europe.

The failure of Germany's Russia policy

Germany's strategy towards Russia has gone so well that in the present crisis Vladimir Putin thinks he can be confident that Europe will not use force to defend Ukraine, and that the EU’s will to confront Russia through political means is also extremely fragile.

'Germanies' in lieu of Europe

Mr. Schäuble remains convinced that the peoples of Europe have given a mandate for financial austerity, which is favored by the German government. What gives Mr. Schäuble such certainty?

No bolt from the blue: the hidden roots of the Eurozone crisis

Crucial aspects on the origins and the dynamic of the crisis are regularly concealed. This leads to a rather distorted view of the real disaster the European Union is facing today.

A Great German Greek Grexit Game?

Curzon Price is clearly right that the “game” is not “chicken.” It is not zero-sum. But the real question is, is it a game?

Economic egoism and liberal dogma

By reducing European solidarity to a question of rules, Germany has become a problem for the European Union.

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.

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?

“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. Este artículo fue publicado por primera vez en Can Europe Make It el 3 de Febrero, 2015. English.

“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.

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.

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