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MM

Mairi Mackay is openDemocracy’s senior editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Illiberal tangos in central and eastern Europe

Far right organisations may be considered drivers of change in Central and Eastern Europe; their impact being felt through the deeds of their mainstream contenders.

Reflections of a post-communist peasant

The situation in central and eastern Europe should serve as a warning against Brexit.

What does an anti-Semitic party look like in Europe today?

As Britain debates antisemitism and the left, support for populist right-wing parties using hardline anti-Semitic messages is growing across the continent. 

Slovakia: Roma exclusion and the dark side of democracy

The EU should heed Slovakia consistently falling short of ‘Council of Europe standards’ in a seemingly inexorable shift to the dark side of democracy: illiberal, majoritarian, Christian and national.

Youngsters and refugees, or how exile changes eastern Europe

Official anticommunism never contented itself with making an equation between fascism and communism. It gravitated toward depicting communism as an absolute evil, whose enemies became new role models.

The refugee question in Europe: 'south' vs 'east'

The refugee crisis has triggered a diplomatic row between Greece and certain 'new' member-states from Central and Eastern Europe. What does this tell us?

Fighting the wrong battle: Central Europe’s crisis is one of liberal democracy, not migration

The hostile response of central and eastern European heads of states to the prospect of accepting Syrian refugees is emblematic of a wider problem of democracy and liberalism in these countries.

“We are not anti-Greeks”: the need for a return of solidarity to eastern Europe

“Greece hasn’t even dreamt about what Slovakia had to go through, what does it mean to carry out real reforms and have real privatization.”  - Robert Fico, Prime Minister of Slovakia.

Europe’s migration crisis: central Europe’s dangerous game

Should a serious migration crisis erupt as a result of conflict escalation in Ukraine, the odds are that the V4 would need assistance through exactly the kind of EU solidarity mechanism they now oppose.

Interethnic communication in ‘Borderlands’

The Macedonian government shows little interest in fostering interethnic communication. It relies on nationalistic rhetoric and interethnic tensions.

The conspiratorial mindset in Europe

Scepticism is healthy for democracy, but not when it degenerates into belief in conspiracy theories. Dieudonné and Jobbik are but two recent examples that the conspiratorial mindset is alive and well in Europe.

Slovakia: right-wing extremism on the rise

Marian Kotleba, a well-known figure of the Slovak neo-Nazi scene, was recently elected as governor of the central Slovak region of Banská Bystrica. Is this the mere consequence of a protest vote, or the indicator of a much more disturbing trend?

Britain’s Gypsy moral paranoia

If only the politicians and journalists would try to understand a bit more not only the lives of Roma migrants, but also the poverty conditions and structural inequalities in which so many different groups of people live in Britain today.  

Celebrating the culture of segregation

What does the bestowing of the European Capital of Culture on Košice, Slovakia, say about the meaning of the award?

Human rights in the vernacular

The road to greater ownership of human rights by emerging powers is a bumpy one. But it will lead to a more real, and less utopian approach. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Emerging Powers and Human Rights. Español, 中国语文, العربية

Roma inclusion in 2012: no respite in prejudice

Does the EU deserve its Nobel Peace Prize? 2013 is the European Year of Citizens, dedicated to the rights that come with EU citizenship. It seems utterly remote and removed from the reality facing millions of Roma across the Union.  

There and back again? Media freedom and autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe

Collusion between the press and politicians is not confined to western Europe. Central and Eastern European countries are also plagued by their own mini-Murdochs – and in these more fragile democracies, they represent an even bigger threat.

Failing Roma, again

Roma need to become respected but also responsible citizens in their own countries. There are solutions. But none of those solutions are immediate or cheap.

East European Geographobia

There are particularities of fear in a post-communist Europe bewildered by the demands of neoliberalism, which also tap into a legacy of aversion matured during Communism.

Slovakia’s surprising election

The narrow defeat of a populist-nationalist coalition, and in particular the advance of a party advocating Slovak-Hungarian collaboration, could open Slovakia to a better era, says Juliana Sokolova.
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