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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The Libyan GNA: the rise and impending fall of the Libyan political agreement

A viable Libyan state that will restore normalcy and security to the daily lives of its citizens must be given the same priority as the international community’s immediate desire to combat Daesh. 

No, the intervention in Libya wasn't a success

Shadi Hamid's claims that the Western war in Libya went well ignore significant evidence of disaster.

From hybrid peace to human security

An effective second generation human security policy that would actually improve everyday security, both in conflict zones and in Europe, may well be critical for the very survival of the EU.

For partners in managing refugee flows, don’t look to Libya

Current proposals for European cooperation with Libya to contain migration and refugee flows are ill-advised.

Interview: Martin Kobler, the UN envoy trying to put Libya back together

The veteran German diplomat speaks about the challenge of uniting Libya and ending a civil war.

Iraq and Syria didn’t create ISIS - we did

After the Paris attacks, ISIS became yesterday’s story, as if the terrorist movement had disappeared into far lands not able to affect our lives any more.

Why airstrikes on ISIS in Libya could worsen the situation in Tunisia

Concerns that bombing ISIS in Libya might destabilise Tunisia were tragically confirmed last week, as ISIS militants assaulted military and security facilities in Ben Guerdane, killing more than 50 people.

To the shores of Tripoli

Great Britain and Italy are preparing to send ground troops to Libya, and American troops will likely be involved eventually – ironic developments given western intervention helped create a failed state in Libya in the first place.

Hans Blix – a diplomatic life

Hans Blix ponders his long career in international politics and diplomacy, the state of the Middle East, and why he is an advocate for nuclear power. Interview.

If ISIS uses chemical weapons, the west will be partly responsible

How can the international community respond effectively and promptly to this growing threat, not just to the Middle East region, but to the world?

Anti-colonialism, grassroots nationalism and their impacts on international relations in Egypt

How do uprisings and national discourses in Egypt shape the international relations of the country? How are we to understand the current state of Egyptian nationalism and its relationship with the Arab world post-2011?

With eyes on Europe, we are forgetting those still crossing

Instead of focusing on this humanitarian crisis, governments in Europe, the United States and Canada are only concerned with the number of migrants they can take in.

'Something wicked this way comes': the Arab transitions (part 1)

An excerpt from a NOREF report on the background to the current situation in the Middle East, focusing on the aftermath of the 'Arab Spring'. Part one: North Africa, Egypt and the Gulf.

America's not so exceptional foreign policy

What can explain the myopia of US policy towards Sudan, when it knows Sudan has been facilitating ISIS in Libya, Syria and Iraq, and other terror groups?

Dialogue in Libya: challenges and conditions of success

Steps need to be taken to promote consensus, in order to consolidate the nation to which Libyans aspire. This NOREF report explores whether there can there be dialogue in the context currently prevailing in Libya.

Out of the Middle East

It is time for Arab Gulf countries to stop being on the defensive and to accept their responsibility for what is happening in the region.

Morocco, UN myopia and the Libyan crisis

It may be understandable that the UN should clutch at any straws to address the miasma in Libya. But Morocco shouldn’t be one of them.

Libya: "Rejoicing at our bloody democracy"

For sustainable peace, the UN must refuse to sanction militarism as the default response to unwanted migration and invest in grassroots women and youth human rights defenders.

From shore to shore: regional collapse and human insecurity

These are policies that, whilst having a humanitarian veneer, radically exacerbate the burdens of migrants and displaced persons from and in countries like Libya, Syria, Eritrea, and Somalia, alike. 

Missing journalists: Tunisia’s Arab Spring meets Libya’s

Two radically different “Arab Springs” have collided in the ordeal of two Tunisian journalists in Libya.

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.

Islamic State’s latest victims: poor defenceless Christian Ethiopians

After all, what IS wants is to create a polarized world of Muslim vs Christians by tapping into local discontent of various sorts.

Arab autocracy & revolution

Maged Mandour

Until now, the struggle between autocrats and revolutionaries has been confined within national boundaries. But as the trend shifts towards a pooling of autocratic regimes’ resources, any future confrontation must be regional. 

Further notes on the evolution of the jihadi international movement

The Islamic State project is finding some consensus in countries where political deadlock reduces our social lives to a primordial level. Social and economic frustration stays at an all-time high level, even in a country like Tunisia.

Shia crescent: self-fulfilling prophecy

Iran does not have influence over the region’s various Shia actors by default, but is helped by the way the Arab world regimes have historically treated Shia actors in the region. 

Libya: the pressing need for dialogue

The western intervention in Libya in 2011 failed to recognise the complex warp and weft of its pre-democratic tribal fabric. Only a regionally facilitated dialogue can repair the shattered state left behind.

9/11 wars: a reckoning

Snared by geopolitical interests, post-9/11 interventions have too easily been captured by leading states. A robust law enforcement process must serve enforcers of law, not agents of geopolitical interests.

Libya, containing the danger

The chaos in Libya will not be stopped by lazy rhetoric or easy options. The country's neighbours, Tunisia and Algeria, can teach the west a lesson. 

Are we all beheaded Copts?: outrage in Libya

Is the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS in Libya associated with a broader political project of cleansing the region of religious minorities? Would this not deserve demonstrations of solidarity?

Libya’s downward spiral

Libya after the Qadhafi regime is witnessing a complex array of struggles in which ambitions for power, claims to legitimacy, the taint of the past, and ownership of the 2011 revolution are among the key dividing lines.

This week's window on the Middle East - December 16, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Who cheered Mubarak’s acquittal on?

For history’s sake, the Arab peoples have revolted

Not only did the Arab peoples revolt, but the power of their revolts was so significant and threatening to the regional geopolitical order that the regional powers had to diffuse the collective consciousness at any cost.

This week's window on the Middle East - September 24, 2014

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon.

Tripoli airstrikes

Maged Mandour

These airstrikes demonstrate new fault lines in the Arab world: between Arab conservative regimes, their Islamist foes, and the democratic secular forces who find themselves in an impossible situation. 

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