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“Julian

Julian Richards is openDemocracy’s managing editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Living in truth

A conversation with the Lithuanian writer about being a young artist and activist exiled by the Soviet Authorities during the Cold War, together with more recent challenges from Putin’s Russia.

Revealed: How Arron Banks’s campaign ‘ambassador’ made his millions in Russia

Jim Mellon introduced Brexit ‘bad boys’ Nigel Farage and Arron Banks, and was a Leave.EU ambassador. He claims he hasn’t been involved in Russia since the 1990s. But our investigation shows he still has major financial exposure to Russian investments.

The Orthodox church and a very Balkan affair

A Ukrainian church with Philaret as Patriarch is more likely to end up as a cheaply disguised religious cover for a brutal war, rather, than as a harbinger of peace. 

The crumbling architecture of arms control

Given US and Russian presidential capacity for springing surprises, we risk losing the degree of safety we gained with the end of the Cold War and have enjoyed since then.

Will Salvini copy Orbán in the fight against NGOs?

Italian Minister of Interior Matteo Salvini, admirer of Orbán, has harshly criticized NGOs whose ships save migrants from the Mediterranean sea. Will Italy follow the Hungarian path to illiberal democracy?

Subverting democracy without vote-rigging

Recent events in some prominent democratic nations have highlighted the internal threats that are hard to see and even harder to counter. A military dictator can be identified.

Russia’s cautious role in Syria

How far would Russia risk its international relations to protect the regime of Bashar Al Assad?

The uncomfortable truth about post-Soviet comfort foods

What nourishes us also destroys us: this old saying holds true not only for food, but also politics.

Political precariat

The concept of the precariat has explanatory power day-to-day and transformative potential in the socio-political world. For a just and honorable life, we need the political precariat.

Populism, Trump, and the future of democracy

The most popular political philosopher of his generation makes an invaluable contribution to openDemocracy's debate on liberal responsibility worldwide for the rise of the hard right.

Gassing and selective applications of a ‘Red Line’: lest we forget

The gassing of people is considered exceptionally inhumane, officially a categorical “red line” dividing good from evil. This belief now threatens to trigger an escalation with unpredictable consequences.

All-out war or economic war: why Chilcot’s playbook needs to be given a chance

The Iraq Inquiry warned that we must exhaust all peaceful options before dropping bombs – and that hasn’t happened.

Vladimir Putin and the rural roots of authoritarian populism in Russia

Rural Russians are the major supporters of the authoritarian regime of Vladimir Putin. How can we explain this phenomenon, and what are the prospects for a replacement emancipatory rural politics?

How should we think about Cambridge Analytica, Facebook, Russia and shady billionaires

An authoritarian surveillance state is being built in the US, while a massive land grab for power, by billionaires via our data, subverting British democracy, is well under way. 

Salisbury attack: establishing responsibilities – war paradigm vs. crime paradigm

What difference would it make to describe what happened as an international crime, the approach taken by Jeremy Corbyn, rather than in the language of military force?

Putin’s pal, the British Lords - and the ‘clean up’ of a Russian energy giant

With relations between Britain and Russia in severe crisis, the timing of a Russian company’s efforts to raise billions on the London Stock Exchange couldn’t be worse.

It’s about time we all admit that Putin has prevailed in Syria

The end game is clear: Assad, Russia and Iran will emerge victorious.

Why #DefendAfrin? Confronting authoritarian populism with radical democracy

The war in Afrin starkly highlights how the dynamics of power and resource grabs by the US,  Russia, and their regional alliances, have shaped contemporary struggles for life and democracy.

Kurds’ choices: heed history or the US?

Who controls Syria’s borders? The US and Israel are encouraging Syrian Kurds to fight the regime and its allies for border control. The ensuing mayhem might unravel the Mideast and far beyond.

Western countries are more secure without nuclear arms

NATO’s current nuclear strategy is untenable. Crises during the Cold War reveal that nuclear strategies become dangerous exactly in the circumstances they are intended to deter, in political confrontations.

One Zionist view of the Balfour Declaration

The State of Israel came into being thirty-one years after the Balfour Declaration, precisely because Zionist Jews were done entrusting their fate to others.

Dark Money Deep Data

Democracy dies in darkness. Podcast of a debate organised by Byline. (45 minutes).

Race to the sea: Qatar and the balance of power in the Middle East

If the Qatari crisis is not managed rationally, then it is likely to compound the present risks in the regional balance of power, with consequences for all states in the region.

Hay’at Tahrir al Sham’s gamble: the failure of blood

As HTS grows at the expense of others, opposition representatives will continue to lose negotiating power in the Astana and Geneva talks, leaving Assad and Russia only one option with which to end the war.

المعارض الروسي دافيدس: الأسباب التي تجعل المجتمع الروسي صامتاً معقدّة

أجرى موقع “حكاية ما انحكت” مقابلة مع  سيرغي دافيديس لفهم موقف المجتمع المدني الروسي من الصراع في سوريا. وهذا الحوار هو نتيجة شراكة بين موقع “حكاية ما انحكت” وموقع أوبن ديموكراسي في روسيا.

The football kicking the players, on the fiftieth anniversary of the 1967 war

What was truly ironic about the Arab legal case was that Arab representatives at the 1967 UNSC laid out the legal justification for what Israel did, beginning on June 5.   

Russia’s Syrian Constitution reveals more than anticipated

The draft constitution reveals more about Russia and its views of what’s best for Syria, than what the Syrians themselves might possibly contemplate.

Whatever happened to peace? Arms, oil and war by proxy

We're living in a new era of proxy warfare, where multiple powers fund local proxies with disastrous consequences. We need to break the cycle.

Why strike Syria, Trump?

Waging war and licensing military conflict is as big as it gets. We must be cautious of spurring on a president we can’t trust.

Human rights after Hitler: and the essential role of the global popular

A timely and groundbreaking book breaks the silence over a little-known UN agency operating between 1943 and 1948, the UNWCC – a key chapter in our war-time experience. Excerpts.

Красная Армия Ростовской области

Борьба с терроризмом является одной из важнейших обязанностей современного государства. В недемократических государствах, однако, борьба с терроризмом зачастую приобретает причудливые формы. English

Syrian civil society

The third annual meeting of the Syrian Civil Coalition was held in Beirut on January 27-30 2017. Could a new understanding have come too late?

Принять ислам и полюбить

Женщины в России принимают ислам и выходят замуж за мусульман с уверенностью, что общая религия укрепит их семью. Но нередко их надежды не оправдываются: для посторонних мир российских мусульман закрыт. English

Политика и прагматика Дня Защитника Отечества

Имея громадную символическую власть, в Росси армия пракически не имеет власти политической. За праздником Дня Защитника Отечества не стоит ни сильной профессональной группы, ни внятного значения. English

Холодная война или горячая любовь? О столкновении романтических цивилизаций

С распадом Советского Союза произошла революция интимного. Сменился не только политический и экономический режим - сменился режим эмоциональный. English

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