This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

An Italian poet on trial

Erri De Luca suggested in an interview that the Susa Valley high-speed rail line should be sabotaged. The construction company involved has taken him to court.

Using South Tyrol to solve Ukraine? Don't be stupid

The Italian minister of foreign affairs, Paolo Gentiloni, said that Italy’s mostly German-speaking region is an example for solving ethnic disputes in Ukraine and beyond. This is a flawed and dangerous piece of advice.

From Mare Nostrum to Triton, Europe’s response to the Mediterranean crisis is little more than another budget cut

Europe’s attitude towards this crisis is no longer concerned with the humanitarian aspect, but it’s rather obsessed with the issue of cheap securitisation of its southern borders.

Italy's shy president?

Matteo Renzi has won the battle to have his first choice candidate elected as Italy's new President of the Republic. But is Sergio Mattarella really Italy's "shy President"?

“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.

“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.

Syriza is a nightmare for the Italian government

Matteo Renzi has his back to the wall. If he doesn’t make a deal with Tsipras in Europe there will be open revolt within his party

Two parliamentarians resign in Rome – a story of vision, disillusion and intellectual honesty

The recent resignation of a senator and a deputy from the Five Star Movement highlights the party's increasing descent into the very politics it criticises.

Italy's Jobs Act: where is the evidence?

The Italian Senate passed the Jobs Act earlier this month with much opposition from unions. But will the reform of the labour market have any effect, or do the problems with Italy's economy lie elsewhere?

Five Star Movement’s natural ally in Strasbourg is Podemos

Beppe Grillo doesn’t suffer fools gladly – why did he ally with UKIP then?

Minister Boschi, South Tyrol is autonomous and rightly so

The Italian minister publicly claimed she would personally get rid of the country’s self-governing regions – an ill-informed, controversy-stirring populist claim.

The Italian social strike is a landmark event for the precariat

Last week the Italian precariat took a step beyond primitive rebellion and began to constitute itself as a politics. As its arguments take shape those involved must work to engage with communities outside of the activist world.

Italy will not beg any more

Matteo Renzi provokes the ire of Brussels as Jean-Claude Juncker takes up his new post as the President of the European Commission, providing a welcome distraction from civil unrest at home.

An unexpected borderzone: the come-back of the Franco-Italian border

The arrival of the migrants created conflict between Italy and France – with both Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi facing an election year – and quickly escalated into threatening the Schengen Agreement.

Remembering Tiziano Terzani: ten years on

What would the outstanding, well-travelled, Italian reporter tell us about the state of democracy today?

The children of Augusta

Two abandoned schools in a Sicilian port town raise uncomfortable truths around how Europe is treating its ‘native’ and ‘migrant’ children.

Matteo Renzi’s jobs act is an affront to Italy’s youth

Renzi’s Jobs Act, a package of policies designed to instill greater flexibility in the Italian labour market, is based on shaky economic foundations and could even lead to further economic decline.

Palermo is a laboratory for the precariat

We meet the young people drawn to the Sicilian capital by its anarchic appeal and opportunities for a new politics.

Ancient cities and new politics in southern Italy

Italy's corrupt and inefficient public services mean that some of the country's most important archaeological sites are being forgotten or damaged. The Sybaris Project is trying to change that.

Fighting for self-determination in South Tyrol

In 1983, I was first elected to the South Tyrolean Parliament. Since then I have continued to fight for the self-determination of the South Tyrolean people, as our movement goes from strength to strength.

South Tyrol: from secessionist to European dreams

Will the Scottish vote strengthen the secessionist movement in the restive Italian province of South Tyrol?

Searching for a new debate on immigration in Europe

In the current debate on immigration in Europe, confusion and populist bias came to the fore once again during the latest elections to the European Parliament. This is especially true of Italy, whose long coastline witnessed an increased number of arrivals in the first half of 2014.

Anti-representative democracy: how to understand the Five Star Movement

The ideas of the Five Star Movement are best understood through their commitment to anti-representive democracy - a radical stance against traditional structures and institutions of representative democracy.

The Grillo-Farage connection

Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement has formed an alliance in the European Parliament with Nigel Farage's UKIP. We should have seen this coming.

Mafia is northern Italy's problem too

A recent judicial sentence confirms that clan-based organised crime has extended its influence to northern Italy.

Live from Lampedusa: The Freedom of Movement

Nicholas De Genova introduces The Charter of Lampedusa.

Italy: back to the future?

PM Matteo Renzi triumphed over Beppe Grillo and Berlusconi in the last European elections. Does this reshuffling of Italian politics mean the country is back to a sort of normal?

“Desperate times call for desperate measures?”: the ‘Politics of anxiety’ and the rise of European ‘far right’ parties

What are we meant to conclude from the ‘rise of the far-right’? The narrative tells us that being objective, moderate and ‘technical’ rather than factionalist is what is needed in ‘times of anxiety’.

Grazie Italia – a ray of hope in a distrustful Europe

This is a crucial opportunity for Italy to make its mark and counter the dogma of austerity as much as the division between so-called core countries and peripheral countries. It is an opportunity for proposing alternatives and a path of growth.

Italy can no longer ignore its clandestine past

The Five Star Movement owes much of its success to Beppe Grillo's ahistorical populism. This tactic, though, is unsustainable. As anarchist and fascist groups re-stage old conflicts the movement must situate itself more explicitly or face an imminent split. 

Can Alexis Tsipras save the Italian left?

The oft-divided Italian radical left has united behind the star of the Greek left, Alexis Tsipras, in the European elections. Will this be enough to avoid yet another electoral failure? Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Civil rights: playing the territorial card

Sub-state institutions may claim that they need self-government in order to maintain their distinct progressive tradition while, in reality, the distinct progressive tradition is often created in order to justify claims to self-government. 

Hubris and nemesis: the nine lives of Mr Berlusconi

In Italy, the European elections are gaining importance because they could well constitute a watershed in the long and chequered political career of Silvio Berlusconi. Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Euro elections 2014: You Tell Us bloggers discuss the far right in Europe (part two)

Our young bloggers from across the EU discuss the rise of the far right in Europe. Part one here.

How the rise of the Front National is reshuffling the political game and endangering France’s relationship with Europe

The Front National and other Eurosceptic parties are becoming increasingly popular and are dominating the political discourse. What are the consequences, both on the national and European level? 

Syndicate content