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Rosemary Bechler is a mainsite editor of openDemocracy

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Somali-Swedish diaspora engagement in the Somali region

Many diaspora actors have a desire for stronger inclusion in policy processes that concern the Somali region and diaspora engagement. This offers opportunities for development agencies.

“Just be fair”: when does journalism undermine its own reputation?

 “I don't think I have ever seen another media organisation targeted by the full force of the State, as WikiLeaks is.” Interview with Stefania Maurizi.

“Motivated by justice”: defending the world’s courageous people

Australian human rights lawyer and member of the legal team defending Wikileaks since 2010, talks about the hacker from Queensland who chose to fight against surveillance capitalism. Interview.

The myth of the Swedish education miracle

The Swedish model is not especially efficient or good, but it is the one that has pushed as far as possible the post-authoritarian logic in modern European education.

A populist myth about immigration courts and public opinion: evidence from the US and Sweden

The concept of mass immigration is politicized. Rather than registering reality objectively, it is used to further particular interests of the state as well as powerful non-state organisations.

Is Sweden complicit in war crimes in Yemen?

Despite the documented crimes of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, Sweden continues to sell arms to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Scandinavian Nazis on the march again

The past four years in Norway give the lie to Norwegian political analysts proclaiming that a populist right-wing party in power acts as a brake on rising right-wing extremism.

Turkey’s presidential referendum and the (not so) curious case of the Turkish diaspora in Europe

Maybe it is time Europe looked at itself in the mirror and started discussing why more and more people, including Europeans, are walking away from the much-vaunted “liberal European values”.

'We don't want a Charlie Hebdo in Sweden'

In small town Sweden, a Syrian immigrant has tried to bridge the gap between "Swedes" and "newcomers" by organising pioneering cultural events in her local library.

Can porn be feminist? A conversation with Erika Lust

Feminist porn is sex on film showing women and men as sexual equals - that sex is something you do together, not just something that a man does to a woman

Sweden's border controls: the domino effect

On 10 January 2016 Sweden put into place ID controls at its border with Denmark. What does this mean for Europe and for the refugees seeking safety in Scandinavia?

Hans Blix – a diplomatic life

Hans Blix ponders his long career in international politics and diplomacy, the state of the Middle East, and why he is an advocate for nuclear power. Interview.

Navidad con Assange

Tras tres años de confinamiento, y a pesar del deterioro físico y psicológico, Assange sorprende por su voracidad intelectual y capacidad de atención. Busca el apoyo de Argentina y el mundo. English

Blame games

The perpetrators of the attacks on the London Underground in 2005 were also born and raised in Britain. So much for the British-French dichotomy.

I know the fear and hope of those seeking refuge in Europe

If I could send a message to European leaders it would be this. Understand why people risk everything to reach Europe. Show them the same humanity being shown by ordinary citizens.

Believing women's narratives in Sweden and Norway

Too often women's oppression is sidelined as a lesser cause, and women's experiences dismissed, as two cases in Sweden and Norway show.

Drawing the line between free speech and online radicalisation

Two court rulings in Denmark and Norway reveal the contradictions at the heart of the European debate on free speech versus incitement to terrorism.

Scenes from a bullying

Anna Odell's film The Reunion is an original approach to the well-worn ‘victim takes revenge on bully’ narrative.

Civil disobedience is not the same as violent extremism

Several leading Swedish academics published a protest in a major daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter this March, regarding Swedish Government plans for preventing extremism.

Liberty, Equality, Fraternity ... and welfare

How do the political camps map their favourite welfare policies onto political values? A report from the Ax:son Johnson Foundation seminar on the future of the welfare state

This is what a feminist foreign policy looks like

Margot Wallström’s decision not to sell arms to Saudi Arabia demonstrates the fundamental rethink needed to achieve a feminist foreign policy. Herein lies women's power to stop war. 

Arms and the men: Sweden’s revoked Saudi arms deal

From the outside, the Swedish snub to the Saudi royals looks like a big triumph for women’s rights over commercial pressures. Close up, the ethical picture is a little muddier.

Forever a refugee: A "Syrian-Palestinian" in search of identity

Millions have been displaced since the uprising in Syria kicked off three years ago. This is the story of Salim, a Palestinian from Syria, who no longer identifies himself as a citizen of any particular place.

The pros and cons of Ban the Box: a gathering debate

In Newark, New Jersey, inquiries into an applicant’s criminal history are delayed until a conditional offer of employment is made.

Not polished enough! Have Swedes had enough of the far right?

In an increasingly unequal Sweden, the far right has been able to capitalise on growing insecurity for its xenophobic ends—but it faces strong public resistance as Swedes go to the Euro-polls

Mass surveillance and institutional racism: two sides of the Swedish coin

Last year, it was revealed that the Swedish state indexed all Roma living in Sweden and made its secret services actively cooperate with GCHQ and the NSA. Why has nobody drawn a connection between these two facets of mass surveillance?

Surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

A discussion of European surveillance programmes cannot be reduced to the question of a balance between data protection versus national security. It has to be framed in terms of collective freedoms and democracy.

Sweden's surveillance: justice, freedom and security in the EU

Over the years, Sweden has become the biggest collaborating partner of GCHQ outside the English-speaking countries, and a key member of the Five Eyes network.

García Márquez and "the Latin American who came in from the cold"

Former Swedish deputy foreign minister and UN ambassador Pierre Schori remembers circumstances and characters, including the late prime minister Olof Palme, that linked him to Gabriel García Márquez, in the work they did on Latin America.

Sex workers in democratic societies

While there are certainly gendered imbalances in the actual structures of current sex markets, these imbalances are created, reinforced and strengthened not by sex work itself but by laws criminalizing sex work and by treating sex workers as second-class citizens without rights.

The same creed: a conversation about Scandinavian democracy with Bo Lidegaard

"In my eyes, there is nothing in the Scandinavia model that suggests that we cannot compete. Actually, there is a lot to suggest that we are the most competitive social model on earth". Interview.

Sweden's super election year

Sweden will hold crucial national elections in September. Does that leave any political space for the European elections in May? Euro elections landscape, 2014.

Welfare benefits are calculated by political objectives not empirical calculations

"Humans as persons of necessity exist in social relationships." Adequacy of Minimum Income Schemes is a debate that is gaining traction across the EU.

Sweden's dirty little secret

Swedish police authorities have secretly established illegal databases of Romani people in a program originally designed for counterterrorism operations. Sadly, this is nothing new in Sweden's century long campaign against the Romani people.

Why did the Stockholm riots occur?

How could this occur in a country known for its developed democracy, egalitarianism, and well-functioning integration policy model? The police are important.

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