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This week’s editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Meeting Lofa

“In the Kenyan camp there are second generation and third generation refugees,” I said, “Can you imagine somebody being in there on a permanently temporary basis? It’s hopeless.” It opened their eyes a bit I hope.

Let’s not ‘politicise’: let’s skill

"We are very aware, when it comes to the whole Greek experience, that one of the problems the political left faces is … what it means to be able to implement your own ideas."

Catalan elections: all that for that?

Facilitators, middlemen, discrete openings so that both sides could start to talk to – and not scream at – each other again and try to reach a compromise, are these now European dirty words?

Catalonia and the theatres of recognition

Isn’t it the case that fellow Europeans not only have the right to comment on the affairs of their neighbours but that doing so is a political virtue which ought to be cultivated?

Catalonia’s December 21 elections

It is time for the Spanish establishment to realise that their country, like any other democracy, can’t be maintained harmoniously only by threatening the use of force and prison sentences.

South Tyrol should not be giving lessons to Barcelona

The governor of South Tyrol recently sent a letter to the Spanish and Catalan presidents highlighting his region's successful statute of autonomy. But things in this northern Italian province are not as rosy as they appear.

Carmena's city: from 2011 to the present day, how Madrid tried to change the world

The host city for Transeuropa, surfing or drowning in the waves of governing for change?

Catalonia: political prisoners or an extrajudicial elite?

It is difficult to see why actions taken by the government in Madrid ought to be regarded as a curb on dissent, and not as a preservation of the country’s constitutional order.

Catalonia and Spain: a view from the region's backcountry

“We lost against Aragón in the 15th century, against the Bourbons in the 18th century, and against Franco in the last century. We’re accustomed to losing. And if we fight Madrid, we’ll doubtless lose again.”

Foolish consistency: Spain’s Kosovo-Catalonia conundrum

By equating Kosovo with Catalonia, Spanish leaders reveal themselves as unable to distinguish between legitimate aspirations for self-rule and destabilizing separatism.

Catalonia: a cry for understanding and recognition

In Catalonia, there has long been no other option: independence is the only remaining route to social justice after Spain’s dismissal of all attempts at dialogue over the years.

En defensa del Estado de derecho en la Unión Europea

Carta abierta relativa a la defensa del Estado de derecho en la Unión Europea, co-signada por 188 académicos, políticos, intelectuales de la esfera pública y miembros del Parlamento Europeo, y enviada el 3 de Noviembre del 2017. English Català

Cataluña: ¿Y ahora, qué?

El pasado 27 de octubre, en cuestión de horas, Cataluña pasó de ver cómo se proclamaba la independencia  a ver cómo se intervenía su autogobierno por parte del gobierno en Madrid. English

Catalonia: now what?

Last October 27, in hours, Catalonia went from independence being declared by the Barcelona Parliament to having its system of self-rule taken over by the government in Madrid. Español

Upholding the Rule of Law in the European Union

An open letter concerning the upholding of the Rule of Law in the European Union, co-signed by 188 scholars, politicians, public intellectuals and members of the European Parliament and sent on November 3, 2017. Español. Catalan

Why Catalonia does not deserve to be independent

If we accept such self-serving and irresponsible arguments in one case, the whole of Europe is gone.

The antirumours strategy and multi-level learning

In 2014, the Council of Europe led a European project to adapt and evaluate the antirumours methodology in 10 European cities. Now the interest is worldwide.

How technology powered the Catalan referendum

One of the real heroes of the referendum was undoubtedly social media.

Why Catalonia is not the Balkans

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

Should we close our worlds? Or open them out?

Cities need an overarching, positive narrative that binds all people to where they live, and where day to day behaviour and activities connect well with civic life. Interview. 

Catalonia: an incomplete transition?

The revolution to build democratic ‘stability’ and peace based on human rights and respect for citizen participation is an open-ended process in which dialogue, negotiation and participation are vital and ‘immortal’ cornerstones. Español

Catalunya and beyond: what’s after the nation-state?

To take back control we need neither to retreat to existing nation-states nor to replicate the nation state’s authoritarian structures at a smaller, regional level.

Taking the Spanish government before the law

The EU might be forced to act under the pressure of its citizens, and for this, it has provided both the procedure and the channels.

Spain’s uncompromising perspective

In Spanish, the word ‘to compromise’ has no translation.

Spain: shall we talk?

"We need to opt for dialogue, respect and understanding. We are many, we are diverse, we are respectful, and above all we want a better country and not one infinitely worse." Español

Spain: how a democratic country can silence its citizens

Spain, one of the European countries at the sharp end of imposed austerity measures, has also been in the vanguard of imposing restrictions on protest against them. Archive: originally published May 2014. Español

"The streets will always be ours" - Catalonia, a referendum from below

Although some still conceive of the referendum as launched by a pro-independence vanguard, the elite story falls short of explaining the resilient participation of a large part of Catalan civil society.

Llamamiento a la izquierda democrática sobre los acontecimientos de Cataluña

Únete a nosotros en levantar una voz colectiva desde la izquierda contra el abuso de la democracia, tanto por el gobierno catalán, como por el gobierno español. English

Declaración sobre la crisis en Cataluña

"No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion ... if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love." (Nelson Mandela) English

Declaration on the crisis in Catalonia

We, the undersigned, a group of philosophers working at Catalan universities, declare: Español

Call to the democratic Left on the events in Catalonia

Join us in raising a collective voice from the left, against the abuse of democracy both by the Catalan government and the Spanish government. Español

The birth of the Unilateral Republic of Catalonia

The State reacts as a cornered Leviathan, filled with intolerable violence in the face of the threat of its disintegration. But those who aspire to disintegrate it want a State for themselves. Español.

Catalonia: democracy and secession

The Catalan question is not a national question, nor a question of a nation state, but a question of democracy.

Catalonia: now what?

The time has now come for Europe to make its voice heard, after Madrid’s brutal repression and its failure to listen to that many of its own people.

Is it time we had an international framework for unilateral secession?

The current UN Charter is unsuitable, outdated and preoccupied with the era of decolonisation, which posed very different challenges to those we are facing today.

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