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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

On the Italian constitutional referendum: a last appeal for a NO vote

Now more than ever, in order to fight against the rising tide of nationalist populism, we need to safeguard our democratic constitutions in a more democratic European Union.

The Italian mafia and violence against women

In the name of “culture” and “honour” young girls born into the ‘ndrangheta mafia in Calabria lose their sense of identity. Those who seek freedom pay a terrible price.  

From Movementism to Labourism

Prospects for the renewal of the left: a perspective from the movementist element of the UK Labour Party grassroots activist body, Momentum.

Italy: the next domino to fall

In less than two weeks, Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi might become the next victim of the current anti-establishment global trend, as Italians vote on a controversial referendum seen as plebiscite on Renzi himself.

Que futuro tem a coesão do sul da Europa?

O projecto de um fórum do sul da Europa é uma ideia necessária. É por isso surpreendente que o encontro entre os países do Sul tenha suscitado pouco interesse dentro e fora de portas. English

What does the future hold for Southern Europe?

The idea of a southern European forum is very much needed. Surprisingly, a summit  of the incumbent nations sparked little interest both within and outside the countries in question. Português

Solidarity is a political struggle: free and forced mobility between Italy and France

Recent European migratory policies and practices are determined to push people back out of Europe. How do activists use international solidarity to combat this in Marseille?

Italy’s Mafia finds blood money in unexpected places

The fact that Mafia groups have been handed construction contracts in places like Amatrice - recently destroyed by an earthquake - shows just how far successive governments' anti-Mafia rhetoric is from reality.

Rome and its fear of dissent

South Tyrolean separatists were recently denied the chance to express their discontent in the capital.

Five Star Movement: Italy's populist progressives?

The Five Star Movement was progressive from the start. Now they have another chance to shake things up – will they squander this too?

The 5 star movement and the left

The relationship between the Five Star Movement and the left is a complicated one. What is the potential and what are the limits of M5S to bring forward a progressive agenda?

Rome, Brexit, Trump and Greens – so many forms of establishment meltdown: revolution in the making?

Everywhere, people are increasingly hostile towards whoever wants them to vote just for the sake of stability and out of fear of a jump into the unknown.

A humanitarian battlefield: redefining border control as saving victims

Care and control both fuel and feed off each other, nurturing a ‘compassionate repression’ that fails to bridge the gap between ‘us’ and ‘them’.

The back way to Europe: Gambia’s forgotten refugees

The distinction between a refugee and other irregular migrants coming from the Gambia is hard to maintain in a country where a lack of democracy is accompanied by failures of economic and political governance. 

An open letter to Jeremy Corbyn from an Italian

Please Mr Corbyn, could you highlight Giulio Regeni's case next Wednesday at PMQs? Could you ask David Cameron to throw the British government's diplomatic weight behind the Italian investigators?

A migration pact not fit for purpose

Ten points regarding the recent migration pact proposed by the Renzi government in Italy.

2016 will be remembered as the EU's year of shame

2016 will be remembered as the year in which the European Union definitively broke the civilisation pact on which it was founded after the Second World War.

The idea you can skip the nation-state is dangerous

DiEM25, the movement to democratize the European Union, is urged to rethink its approach, taking events of the last two years properly into account. Interview.

Open letter to DiEM25 responding to the recent Rome launch

European cosmopolitans run the risk of remaining unheard by the very people suffering the democratic deficit the most, to whom the initiative DiEM25, should be able to speak.

Muros de odio y temor, en Europa

Necesitamos fronteras, pero éstas no tienen por qué ser barricadas. English

European walls of hate and fear

We do need borders – but these needn’t be barricades. Español

Short skirts and short tempers: Italy's media and Islamophobia

How did a tiny, inconsequential bit of local news in Amsterdam get picked up and made a major discussion topic in Italy's media?

The EU hotspot approach at Lampedusa

The hotspot works as a preemptive frontier, with the double goal of blocking migrants at Europe’s southern borders, and simultaneously impeding the highest number possible of refugees from claiming asylum.

Hotspot system as a new device of clandestinisation: view from Sicily

The ‘hotspot’ system for migrants remains an experiment, but it entails the implementation at the national level of human-rights-violating policies elaborated at the EU level. 

‘First respect, then assess!’: anti-research assessment protest in Italian universities (#NoVQR)

How can you ask to judge the quality of a system while you are also subjecting it to the most massive disinvestment in the history of the Italian state?

Genitals à La Romana

An unsavoury media dish was served up in the Italian news on the occasion of Iranian president Hassan Rouhani's visit to Rome last week. But was it all a case of much ado about nothing?

Renzi vs Juncker: a social media analysis

If Matteo Renzi hoped to gain support among Italian eurosceptics in his quarrel with Jean-Claude Juncker, the reaction on Twitter says he was not so successful.

Assessing the effects of Italian labour market reforms: the consequences of the Jobs Act

The new Italian Jobs Act brings to completion a process of decimation of workers' rights and protections which began in the 1990s.

An unhappy end, but a respectful one

From Sicily: a small, sad episode in the ongoing refugee crisis.

Genocides versus human rights

Leoluca Orlando, Mayor of Palermo introduces the International Human Mobility Charter of Palermo 2015 to a Goldsmith University audience in a lecture to launch their new partnership with the city of Palermo.

How to change a city from the bottom up: an Italian example

Cambiamo Messina dal Basso - a social movement consisting of ordinary citizens - managed to win power in one of southern Italy's largest cities. So how do you run a large city while staying true to your social movement ethos?

Italy's cash tragedy - help stop the Italian government from making a terrible mistake

A new proposal by the Italian government will almost certainly favour tax evasion in a country where it is already rife. Here's how we can stop it.

The EU's nerve-wracking disconnect on surveillance

Each time an EU government is confronted with a threat to security, it nearly always plunges into knee-jerk reactions at the risk of undermining the very freedoms its officials claim to protect.

More than a refuge, a welcome

In today’s world, it is essential to take welcoming into account in the cycle of reproduction of social life.

¿Por qué no hay un Syriza en Portugal?

Al contrario que en Grecia o en España, en Portugal ni la crisis, ni las duras medidas de austeridad han supuesto cambios importantes en el sistema de partidos. ¿Por qué? English. Português.

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