This week's editor

Mariam Ali

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

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Digital Citizenship: from liberal privilege to democratic emancipation

On the anniversary of the Magna Carta, a call for a new debate on the conception of citizenship. Let’s seize the opportunity to transform our utopian dreams into everyday life.

The word is the crime

Forensic linguistics plays a significant role in Russia’s regulation of hate speech. The subjective nature of such expert advice increasingly muddies its central position within the Russian legal system.  

The failure of Germany's Russia policy

Germany's strategy towards Russia has gone so well that in the present crisis Vladimir Putin thinks he can be confident that Europe will not use force to defend Ukraine, and that the EU’s will to confront Russia through political means is also extremely fragile.

Will Middle East ground troops be rallied against IS ?

Try as we might, the question of Mr. Assad’s fate will not go away: all roads stubbornly lead back to Damascus.

The Collectivist, debt colonialism and the real Alexis Tsipras

As the new government’s statement on Mariupol reveals, Greece will leverage its position along a geopolitical fault-line to maximise its bargaining power. 

Subsidising climate change

We need to raise awareness about how the rich oil nations keep subsidising oil extraction whilst agreeing that the world needs to cut emissions. Taxpayers cannot passively let their governments do this.

Under siege: from Leningrad to Gaza

Two strangers with very different pasts united by a common experience of siege and blockade.

Russians resisting war and repression

There are segments of the Russian population that, even in a politically inclement environment, bravely voice their open opposition to Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine.

Hijacking Europe and denying Eurasia

It makes moral and political sense to integrate Ukraine into the west as soon as possible. But for clueless western leaders, the only way to do so is to reaffirm the non-European character of Russia.

Erdoğan and Putin: unalike likeness

The leaders of Turkey and Russia are often compared. But their differences are more instructive than their similarities.

The new cold war Russia (again) won't win

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, burst the 25th-anniversary balloon of the symbolic end of the cold war by warning of a new one, fed by NATO's eastward expansion. An economically weak USSR lost the last one; a still weaker Russia will lose this one too. 

25 years after the fall of Communism: a call

When much of the world pays no lip service to democratic values, it would be a great disaster if countries in the heart of Europe were to turn away.

Orchestrating democracy in Bulgaria

As Bulgaria heads for the polls for the fourth time in 18 months, is there any hope of political stability? What has caused this severe political crisis and can elections make a difference?

News credibility in an age of stakeholder media

Are reporters mere adjuncts of power and spies? That is how ISIS treated the martyred journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. To this day, the failure of the American news industry to expose the Bush administration’s WMD myths before the invasion of Iraq is thrown in our faces.

Some are more equal than others: responses to political violence

While it is true that the US has, for once, signed up to a UN Security Council statement which calls for an "immediate and unconditional humanitarian cease-fire”, this might still be considered a tactical step to prevent more strongly worded resolutions against Israel being proposed in the Security Council.  

A new, Eurasian, world order

China and Russia are at the heart of the world's shifting power-balance. But current cooperation between them is likely to give way to tension.

How long does it take to overcome an anti-democratic regime - lessons from Bulgaria

The government in Bulgaria has resigned after 404 days of protests. What has changed in the past year and how has it affected the state of democracy in the country?

Women who use drugs: resistance and resilience in the face of HIV

In 2011 the UN General Assembly resolved to halve the number of people who inject drugs being diagnosed with HIV. Silvia Petretti writes from her own experience, and asks why the needs and rights of women who use drugs are being overlooked at this year's International AIDS Conference

Russia-Israel: domestic politics and serious blowback

The Ukraine and Gaza crises alike demonstrate the risks of aggressive policy based on short-term calculations. Vladimir Putin and Binyamin Netanyahu's war-as-politics invites damaging long-term consequences.

The BRICS bank

The BRICS nations are going to have their own bank. They say it’s going to be nothing like the World Bank. But don’t bank on it.


Arresting numbers

Human rights defenders in Russia have released data on the numbers of Russians arrested at protests; and what they were protesting about.

Look far right, and look right again

The Russian political establishment thinks that Ukrainians are 'traitors to Orthodox civilisation and Russian unity.’ But it is not only Putin’s Russia that is behind the challenge to democracy in Ukraine.

Руслан Кутаев: правозащитник

В Чечне на четыре года колонии осужден общественный деятель Руслан Кутаев, которого суд признал виновным в хранении героина. Правозащитники убеждены, что дело сфальсифицировано. in English

Ruslan Kutayev: Chechen human rights activist

Ruslan Kutayev, human rights activist, has been sentenced to four years imprisonment in Chechnya for possession of heroin. His fellow campaigners are convinced that the charges were false. на русском языке

Hare today and gone tomorrow

A recent St Petersburg conference dedicated to hares has become the unlikely subject of a feud between the Russian Ministry of Culture and academic institutions. It is a hare raising story...


1914 versus 1938: how anniversaries make history

Drop into any of the big bookstores in London or Berlin and discover that they are literally occupied by books about the Great War. But how does this affect European attitudes to Russia’s involvement in Ukraine today?

Путин против НКО

Выстроив вертикаль власти, Кремль принялся за реконструкцию – или разрушение – институтов гражданского общества. Изменились правила - могут ли НКО дальше развиваться? in English

Putin versus the NGOs

Protest against new changes to the law on NGOs, 201The Kremlin is busy dismantling the institutions of civil society. How can NGOs develop, now that the rules have changed?
на русском языке

Ломка в России

Некоторые практики екатеринбургского фонда «Город без наркотиков» Евгения Ройзмана считаются сомнительными, но они вообще мало обсуждались. Как же так? in English

Cold turkey in Russia

In Yekaterinburg, Yevgeny Roizman’s City Without Drugs Foundation has been engaged in some very questionable practices. But why has there been so little discussion?
на русском языке 

Быть НКО в России – нелегко

Выйдя из тюрьмы, Надежда Толоконникова и Мария Алехина решили организовать собственный правозащитный проект, который бы помогал заключенным. Задача нелегкая...
in English

Russia may create cold wars but France gets 'em while they're hot

Today's Sunday Comic excavates the tabloids to ponder how political leaders deal with their private sexuality whilst in power

High speed silk roads: the birth of a Eurasian century

No amount of US "pivoting" can prevent the emergence of a multipolar, multi-powered world along a Eurasian axis that challenges western neoliberal hegemoy.  

Eurovision and Euro elections: the final straw in Polish gender wars

How is the victory of Conchita Wurst being politicized in Poland? What is the connection between Eurovision and the upcoming European Parliamentary elections?

The lead-up to the European elections in Bulgaria: how not to do politics

Ten days before the European elections, what is the situation on the ground in Bulgaria? Who are the main contenders and what are the main issues?

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