This week's editor

James Ron

James Ron hosts this week's openGlobalRights theme: public opinion and human rights.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Sexual politics in Ireland

If marriage depended on the exclusion of gay love, then its inclusion fundamentally shakes its core function for patriarchy.

Europe adjusting the noose around its neck

Steadfast, chins high, and completely oblivious to the momentous changes happening around it, the ossified political mainstream of Europe is marching towards the abyss.

Why the Irish political elite is terrified of Syriza

The Irish political elite is deeply invested in an essentially religious narrative: Ireland sinned, Ireland confessed, Ireland did penance, Ireland has been forgiven, Ireland will be rewarded. If Syriza's strategy in Greece succeeds, this will be exposed as a folly.

Abortion: Ireland's reckoning with Amendment 8

Calling for an end to a constitution that bans abortion - and kills women, a deep and broad based movement has sprung up in Ireland to change the constitution, and finally release women's bodies from church and state.

Rethinking citizenship: revisiting the 2004 Irish Citizenship Referendum a decade later

In June 2004, the Irish electorate voted to remove automatic entitlement to birthright citizenship (jus soli), which had been in place since the foundation of the Irish state. The government argued that the children of migrant parents did not have ‘sufficient connections’ to Ireland to take up citizenship in this way.

The historic visit of Irish President Michael D. Higgins to the UK

It provided a rare attempt to ‘reconstruct self-other relations making possible a conversation of equal but different cultures’.

The inevitable rise of Sinn Fein

In the aftermath of austerity in Ireland, the Labour party has seen itself virtually wiped out while Sinn Fein has continued to rise.

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.

What can the case for Scottish Independence learn from the Irish example?

The nationalist movement developed in the two countries at about the same time, in the late nineteenth century, gathering momentum in a campaign for Home Rule in the years leading up to World War I, only to be stalled by the outbreak of war.

Why are the Irish not resisting austerity?

It has become a cliché to compare the passivity of the Irish in the face of the Troika’s brutal austerity programme with the active resistance of the Spanish or the Greek. Yet, the Irish are challenging austerity in their own way.

A dialogue on ‘barriers’ to participation and capitalist temporalities

Coming together can make it possible to live more and work less. Doing things collectively is the only way we can be free from the obligation to work so hard as self-exploiting individuals. This is not primarily a question of politics or protest.

Tackling the normalisation of sexism in Irish political culture

Recent positive legislative change will hopefully encourage more Irish women into political life, but the laddish, sexist political culture which remains in the Dail must change if gender parity is to be fully achieved, argues Louise Hogan.

Still locked out

The states in greatest difficulty since 2008 have been those most closely wedded to neoliberalism and accommodating to the needs of transnational capital. One hundred years on from the Dublin Lockout, many in Ireland are still ‘locked out’ from public economic decision-making. 

Abortion in Ireland - a small step forward

The death of Savita Halappanavar lifted the lid on the church, the state, and women's reproductive rights in the Republic of Ireland, and has been the catalyst for the new legislation on the rights of pregnant women proposed last week.

Ireland and Brexit: differing paths for the Isles

How would an exit of the United Kingdom from the European Union shape the future relationship between the Republic of Ireland and the UK?

The sorry state of the Irish media

The story of free speech in Ireland today has moved on considerably from the past, but the political class believes that they can decide just how the public conversation should be conducted.

Re-imagining Israel as a diaspora for all

Judith Butler pursues a similar path to Hannah Arendt in her recent book Parting Ways: Jewishness and the Critique of Zionism – making a series of revised and extended contributions to the debate on Israeli state violence and settler colonialism, in such a way that a flash of light may shine through the histories and the memories.

Republican Youth and generational change in Northern Ireland

Young, post-conflict republicans, and the radical Óige Phoblactach, may hold the key to meaningful reconciliation across Ireland.

Causes of the Northern Ireland flag dispute

A decision to restrict the flying of the union flag over Belfast City Hall late last year sparked weeks of protests and riots. The cause is rooted deep in the legacy of the peace process.

Cross-talk and mermaid-speak

Anyone familiar with the story of language in Elizabethan Ireland can only feel impatience – if not despair – at the latter-day triumphalism of works like Melvyn Bragg’s best-selling The Adventure of English.

Britain and Ireland – lives entwined

Postcolonial nationalism is a strange phenomenon. Brought up to despise everything British (as Jonathan Swift put it two centuries earlier, ‘burn everything English except their coal’), we were also imbued with a sneaking suspicion that British was somehow better.

No Passports

Complexity needs a voice (this also applies to newer emigrant groups on both islands). Politics and autobiography, politics and culture, can drift too far apart. Gaps in the public discourse of the UK and the Irish Republic allow ethnic assertion to punch above its weight. And then there is poetry. ( 5,000 words)

Chums?

Given a choice, most people prefer a decent life to national or ethnic purity. Given a choice, most people like to get on with their neighbours, to fit in with their communities, to carry on with the business of going to work and raising a family and hoping for the best. 

Irish Blood English Heart

In which we are introduced to excerpts from the transcript of a memorable programme on Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Ireland in May 2011, presented by Joseph O'Connor, produced by Rachel Hooper, for BBC Radio 4.

Civil Partnership and Ireland: How a Minority Achieved a Majority

Clear Thinking Communications & Center for Evaluation Innovation

The end of the 'Great British Summer'

'The Great British Summer' of 2012 is well and truly over. OurKingdom takes a rollercoaster journey back through the season to close its series.

Fred Halliday: an unfinished voyage

The core themes of a new book of Fred Halliday’s openDemocracy columns underline his work's enduring vitality, says David Hayes.

[This article was first published on 23 March 2011}

The state of Ireland

The latest in a series of official inquiries exposes the extent of corruption in Ireland’s political elite during the long years of rule by the country’s Fianna Fáil party. These tribunals portray a world of moral as well as financial bankruptcy whose roots were planted well before the boom years, says the leading historian Diarmaid Ferriter.

Irish should control their referendum too

Whitehall has been forced to accept the right of the Scottish people to control their vote on independence. It must not retain a veto over a referendum on Irish unity.

Meet the new boss in Ireland

That’s how democracy works between the EU and Ireland. The EU and its servants in the Dáil either give the Irish people too many votes or none at all.

The Vatican and Ireland

A series of abuse and cover-up scandals within the Catholic church has alienated many in in one of its historic heartlands. But the Vatican remains in denial, says Michael Walsh.

England and the Guardian's 'Disunited Kingdom'

The British media are now defensively acknowledging a post-imperial constitutional threat they have been silencing for decades.

Into Europe

Each EU country has a relationship to Europe which tells you about its own makeup, character and inclinations. Ireland, which entered the European Economic Community in 1973, is no exception.

Orthodoxy is wrong: it can pay to default

In the 1990s, Argentina was an IMF poster boy, but it soon became a byword for the failures of the Washington Consensus. Tying its currency to the dollar, cutting public spending and selling its assets led to a deepening debt spiral from which it could not escape, until it defaulted.
Syndicate content