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This week’s editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

South Tyrol – a distorting mirror for Vienna, Rome and liberal London

Three capitals – the financial and military heart, the bridge with eastern Europe, and the ancient caput mundi on the Mediterranean – form a triangle, at whose centre emerges South Tyrol.

How Italian women are organising against ‘obstetric violence’

This gender-based violence, perpetrated by health workers, is widespread In Italy. A recent survey said it impacts one in five mothers.

South Tyrol should not be giving lessons to Barcelona

The governor of South Tyrol recently sent a letter to the Spanish and Catalan presidents highlighting his region's successful statute of autonomy. But things in this northern Italian province are not as rosy as they appear.

Giorgio Antonucci: a life for the liberation of the powerless

The open wards directed by Giorgio were an oasis of freedom in a desert of coercion. In memoriam.

"The first prejudice to fight was mine": Italy's only publicly trans police officer

Italy is one of Europe's most transphobic countries, and its laws – and rates of violence – reflect that.

Sexual harassment at work: Italy misses out on Weinstein-inspired moment of reckoning

Instead of opening a conversation about workplace sexual harassment, the Italian debate has focused on shaming those who come forward.

One Zionist view of the Balfour Declaration

The State of Israel came into being thirty-one years after the Balfour Declaration, precisely because Zionist Jews were done entrusting their fate to others.

Italian free radio: giving a voice to the people

“We have about 15,000 supporters who give a fixed share each year. And that is something special. We are not just a radio, we are a community.”

Comparing perception with fact in an aggrieved age

We need all the means at our disposal to promote serious debate that grapples with issues, advocates critical and divergent thinking, and inspires discernment and discrimination in the interpretation of information.

Harvey Weinstein: Italian media coverage of the scandal has been predictably outrageous

The Italian media has failed, once again, to focus on systems of power and abuse. Actress Asia Argento has been treated particularly harshly. 

Solidarity under attack

How migrant activism in Italy (and beyond) is criminalised and used as a scapegoat for failed EU migration politics.

Should we close our worlds? Or open them out?

Cities need an overarching, positive narrative that binds all people to where they live, and where day to day behaviour and activities connect well with civic life. Interview. 

South Tyrol is a success story at a difficult time for majority‒minority relations

Why the multicultural Italian province of South Tyrol provides an interesting counter-example to other contested regions, such as Catalonia and Scotland.

Persecuted beyond borders: why Italy needs LGBT refugee shelters

LGBT refugees fleeing torture, violence and discrimination often find persecution has followed them to Europe. Reception centres are beginning to respond to urgent needs.

“It’s so taboo but we want it so damn bad”: introducing 50.50 columnists Tiffany Mugo and Claudia Torrisi

These 50.50 authors will delight and challenge us with monthly comment and analysis about sexuality in Africa, and reportage on intersecting forms of oppression in Italy.

“Change can start from us”: Roma women in Italy fight for their rights

A new generation of Roma women is rising up against multiple forms of discrimination, to claim their rights to jobs, education, and healthcare.

What is ‘femonationalism’?

Academic Sara Farris talks about the 'instrumentalisation' of migrant women in Europe by right-wing nationalists – and neoliberals.

Democracy in the age of Macron

What European democracies have lacked most, since at least the 1980s, is high-profile political vision.

Abortire in Italia: come l'obiezione di coscienza è diventata una minaccia per i diritti e la salute delle donne

Quasi 40 anni dopo la legalizzazione dell'aborto – tra proteste e movimenti di liberazione culturale – le donne faticano ancora ad accedere ai servizi essenziali. Read this article in English.

Abortion in Italy: how widespread 'conscientious objection' threatens women’s health and rights

Almost 40 years after abortion was legalised – amid mass protests and a broader cultural liberation movement – women still struggle to access crucial services. Leggi questo articolo in italiano.

A new international municipalist movement is on the rise – from small victories to global alternatives

In a world stuck between neoliberal crisis and authoritarianism, a reinvigorated municipalist movement is proving a powerful tool to build emancipatory alternatives from the ground up.

“Por favor, estamos a morrer”

Mohanned Jammo, médico Sírio a bordo dum barco a 61 milhas de Lampedusa, pediu ajuda à Guarda Costeira Italiana. “Por favor, estamos a morrer”, disse. English Español

“Por favor, nos estamos muriendo”

Mohanned Jammo, médico sirio a bordo de un barco a 61 millas de Lampedusa, pidió ayuda a la Guardia Costera italiana. "Por favor, nos estamos muriendo", dijo. English Português 

“We are dying, please”

Mohanned Jammo, a Syrian doctor on board a ship 61 miles off Lampedusa, was asking the Italian Coast Guard for help. “We are dying, please”, he said. Then the ship capsized. Español Português

The Italian way to populism

The Five Star Movement has polarised people’s attention and anger around a discourse on legality that is non- or anti-political. Neither extreme left nor right, but only while they are safely in the opposition.

It is time to move beyond the Dublin logic

Dublin IV is built on deterrence… the overriding imperative being to prevent asylum seekers from arriving spontaneously; and block them in the member state of first entry.

A south Italian village's fight against the fossil fuel industry

Protests have ignited in Italy preventing the construction of Europe’s own Keystone XL - a BP-led gas pipeline designed to lock Europe into fossil fuel use for decades.

Subverting neoliberal slavery: migrant struggles against labour exploitation in Italy

We are witnessing cumulative processes of politicization – struggles and organization involving migrant workers and activists setting out to build awareness locally, and link up globally.     

What has happened to Virginia Raggi?

The Five Star Movement mayor of Rome has undergone non-stop media attacks since being elected last year.

Back to the future: the rebirth of a classical approach to democracy and education in a post-modern society

Education – combined with technologies  – seems to have triggered a sea-change in the contract between government and those who are governed.

The search for truth over what happened to Giulio Regeni

The full truth is important not only for Giulio’s case, but also for the hundreds of Egyptian citizens who have disappeared, many of them almost certainly suffering the same grisly fate that he did.

In Italy's centre-left, the hyphen is morphing into a wide blank space

The ruling Democratic party is on the verge of a breakup – given its history, this comes as no surprise.

The deep troubles of Italian banks

Why are Italian banks in such deep trouble and what can be done about it?

Five Star Movement: saviours of democracy?

Although thriving on the anti-establishment fervour across Italy and Europe, the prospect of a M5S government in Italy could be an unexpected impulse for democracy in the EU.

Italy's paradox: Renzi and the Five Star Movement

Matteo Renzi and Beppe Grillo may need each other if Italy is to free itself from a paralysing stalemate.

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