This week's editor

James Ron

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

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Italian regional elections: and the winner is...?

Thanks to extremely complex electoral laws and the ease with which alliances are created and broken, as is usual in Italy, all sides claim victory. However, there are some striking conclusions we can draw from the results.

Regional elections in Italy: Could Renzi’s honeymoon be over?

On Sunday, 31 May, regional elections will be held in seven very sensitive regions in Italy. Though Renzi has been predicting a victory, the rise of eurosceptic parties in Italy and in Europe could have an unpredictable effect.

"A unique, one-size-fits-all foreign policy will not benefit us in the longer run." Interview with Emma Bonino

The former Italian Foreign Minister discusses the migration tragedy in the Mediterranean, open borders in Europe, and the fallout of a potential Brexit.

Heysel: 30 years on

A reflection on the thirtieth anniversary of the Heysel Stadium disaster - one of football's worst tragedies.

From migrant to citizen: reimagining democracy in the European Union

Public intellectuals in the EU should help to reimagine the meaning of democracy by questioning the division between citizen and migrant.

Fascist legacies: Italy’s approach to mobility and mobile labour

Italy abolished Mussolini-era laws restricting internal mobility in the 1960s, yet troubling continuities exist between these regulations and current efforts to control Italy’s migrant population.

Corruption in Italy: a resilient equilibrium

Corruption in Italy is a well-established fact. Combined pressure from internal and external sources might perhaps be able to achieve what the Italian political system seems incapable of: a shift to a low-corruption equilibrium.

The Expo is a dark window into Italy's future

Mafia, McDonalds and youth exploitation: The Milan World Expo, opening on May Day, prepares a new generation for the years to come.

Desperate people, hazardous escapes

Those fleeing violent conflict or brutal repressive regimes, facing darkness and terror as they journey from home to Europe, deserve compassion—not intolerance, paranoia and hate.

Surveillance, migrant deaths and humanitarianism in the Mediterranean

Smugglers are not the cause of migration; they are the consequences of the EU’s expanding border surveillance regime. The EU should concentrate on saving migrants from this regime.

Italy: search for stability or authoritarian drift?

Italy has a recent history which tends to make it resistant to the very concept of “stability”, and the idea of a politically stable apparatus. This inevitably raises the spectre of a possible authoritarian drift.

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. 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.

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.

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