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This week’s editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Can Bulgaria achieve its Balkan ambitions?

Bulgaria’s new role as president of the Council of the EU has started with a bang – quite literally.

Why Catalonia is not the Balkans

An analysis of where the Spain/Yugoslavia comparison succeeds, and where it fails.

Turning the Macedonian tables: what if the solution to the identity issue is the basis for solving the name of the state?

Perhaps an identity-related distinction rather than a geographical one could resolve the dispute more swiftly and on a permanent basis?

Competing conservatisms in Serbia and Croatia

Nationalist conservatives are dominating the political scenes in Serbia and Croatia, but how do they compare and differ in the way they rule?

Enter Serbia's ‘Orbán’? Aleksandar Vučić and his catch-all politics

Why the right-wing Serbian President's appointment of an openly gay woman to the position of Prime Minister is not as incongruous as it appears.

The five 'infections' of the social democratic 'family' in the Western Balkans

Social democracy is failing all across Europe; but it's impotence in the Balkans especially is having serious consequences for the region.

Lesbians at the heart of the movement to end men’s violence

Feminist lesbians have been passionate activists from the beginning of the movement against men’s violence and remain an inspiration for women to live independently of men.

The challenge of investigative journalism in the Western Balkans

In the Western Balkans, even the most fundamental and comparatively minute probing into the workings of government can provoke an aggressive response from the very top, as Milka Tadić-Mijović found out.

Yugoslavia, international tribunals and the politics of reconciliation

A conversation about the politics of truth and reconciliation in light of the ICTY's acquittal of Vojislav Seselj.

In Serbia, anniversaries to lament

Seventeen years ago, the Bytyqi brothers from New York were murdered and dumped in a mass grave by Serbian special forces. Today, Serbia's leaders continue to deny closure and justice to the victims and their families.

Lessons from Serbia's general election

The Serbian election results are not as 'ordinary' as they first appear.

The crime, the time, and the politics of ICTY justice

Radovan Karadzic is my relative, on my mother’s side. For years, I felt uneasy about that and my vehement public opposition to the war put me at odds with many of my relatives.

Democracy, 25 years after Yugoslavia

Just how democratic are the former Yugoslav countries today?

What happened to the rebellious youth of Yugoslavia?

Europe has seen a spate of youth protest over the last few years. The Balkans, however, seems to be lacking rebellious momentum. But why?

Belgrade Waterfront - the dark side of 'urban renewal'

The development project known as the "Belgrade Waterfront" vividly illustrates the mechanisms of dispossession and exclusion in the Serbian 'transition progress'.

“Wait, the Serbs are now the good guys?”

How can Serbia's compassionate treatment of refugees be explained and what does it tell us about the country – and Europe?

The insufferable ease of nationalism in the Balkans

The recent Serbia-Albania football match was like a microcosm of the twenty-first century Balkans: lots of intense, emotional nationalism and "othering" and in the end, the result was completely irrelevant.

Homage to Belgrade: reflections on the 2015 Transeuropa festival

Unlike most British people, it seemed that continental Europeans considered the UK to be not just in Europe, but a fairly significant player. Who knew?

The limits of Europe

openDemocracy is partnering with European Alternatives to explore the Transeuropa festival. Here, the Co-President of European Alternatives tells us what he hopes to find at Transeuropa.

Looking for European alternatives in Belgrade

openDemocracy is partnering with European Alternatives to explore the Transeuropa festival. Here, two of the organisers explain why they chose Belgrade as the location for this year's festival.

Right-Wing soft power, the refugee crisis and Europe’s failure

The fact that Syriza was crucified more often and with more intensity than Viktor Orbán speaks volumes in itself. It is just that most people do not want to listen.

Serbia’s choice: EU membership or eastern promises?

With Serbia increasingly looking towards Moscow instead of Brussels, does the EU need to rethink its strategy towards the country?

A war crimes pause in Serbia’s EU path

Serbia’s poor record in confronting Milosevic-era war crimes should have always made EU accession an uphill climb for even a willing reformer.

Should Serbia vs Albania have gone ahead in the first place?

Were UEFA being dangerously naive when they allowed Serbia and Albania to be drawn into the same qualifying group?

Putting politics on the pitch: UEFA's failed response to Serbia-Albania

Instead of bringing the focus back to sports, UEFA’s decision about the abandoned Albania-Serbia game has given an even larger stage to politicians and their political rhetoric.

The EU: wider and deeper with the Balkans

The post-1945 system is today overtaken by events and a new world order is about to emerge. This new—quite explosive—background doesn’t signal the end of the EU, but shouts out that its core features must be redesigned and receive broad popular support. The question is how.

Conscientious objection: Virginia Woolf's ideas live on

In her 1938 essay Three Guineas, Virginia Woolf defined patriarchy, militarism and nationalism as sources of war. Marta Correia explores how Women in Black Belgrade are acting out Woolf's call to 'disobedience' - and paying a price.

Vision from a ‘pro-EU’ Serbia

Understanding that rampant nationalism is a thing of the past, and understanding even better that support from the international community is crucial, Aleksandar Vučić is now presenting himself as ‘pro-EU’.

The Kosovo conundrum

The world has seen far more handshakes and meetings between Pristina and Belgrade than in the first years after the conflict. Is all this to be put at risk by Clint Williamson's part-endorsement of the Marty report?

Struggle, dissent and debate: politics and memory in Europe

Especially in some European countries, dealing with the dark sides of one’s history has become a significant topos. Without such a change in cultures of commemoration of the different European countries, a European Union would have been impossible.

Srebrenica: the world fails, but never one’s own government

There are cogent reasons – international, historical and domestic to Britain – why this year's Srebrenica massacre commemorations are different, and beg painful, difficult questions that demand answers.

Milosevic, Serbia, and the EU

Fifteen years after the indictment of Milosevic, the time is now right for Serbia to move forward and for the EU to use the possibility of membership to ensure justice is served.

Bosnia: the “lost generation”

The international media can cast an unflinching spotlight on wars but when the war is over the spotlight is suddenly switched off—would that it were that simple for those, including children, left traumatised in its wake. Film review.

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?

Andricgrad: The 'town within a town' on the Drina

The 'townlet' of Andricgrad may help to move Visegrad and Republika Srpska closer towards a wartime goal of union with Serbia. However, the city also reveals dormant tensions within the community, sending a reminder that the past is still not forgotten.

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