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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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”.

Self-organised struggles of migrant care workers

How do migrant workers successfully enact labour and social rights? ‘Respekt’, a local network established by Polish live-in care workers in Basel, Switzerland, challenges widespread assumptions held by unions.

Protest against the deportation of asylum seekers

From the perspective of deportees, a certain amount of luck has been needed to be in the right place at the right time in order to be saved.

After the Swiss basic income vote – learning political lessons is key!

Basic income support is growing as more people become familiar with the idea, but there is still a lot of work to be done.

Special deal, root and branch reform or Brexit? Cameron’s EU-policy - a sceptical view from Germany

The concessions which Britain will be granted today in negotiations with Brussels and Berlin may well turn out to be self defeating in the long run, because they will marginalise Britain. 

Settling accounts: what happens after SwissLeaks?

The SwissLeaks scandal around the HSBC bank subsidiary there has highlighted how globalisation can facilitate tax-dodgers. Only a bright spotlight of information can deter them.

Law’s mediations: the shifting definitions of trafficking

As trafficking becomes increasingly conflated with slavery and forced labor, there is less and less agreement amongst international organisations on the precise definitional boundaries of these terms.

In defence of liberalism 1: on historical critiques

Were more on the Left capable of reading liberal philosophy without foaming at the mouth, they’d realise that – actually – it’s perfectly possible to argue their case within the fundamentals of liberalism.

The Swiss debate on mass surveillance: what debate?

How did Switzerland, a country attached to the importance of personal privacy, respond after the story about the Snowden leaks broke? How did the government - and the public - react?

How the rise of the Front National is reshuffling the political game and endangering France’s relationship with Europe

The Front National and other Eurosceptic parties are becoming increasingly popular and are dominating the political discourse. What are the consequences, both on the national and European level? 

The Swiss vote to curb immigration, and what it means for Europe

On February 9, Swiss voters narrowly approved the reintroduction of quotas on immigration, damaging Swiss-EU relations in the process. Why did the Swiss vote this way? Does it have anything to do with Robin Hood? And will this impact on the EU membership debate in the UK?

Not everybody’s business: corporate crowding into the tents of global governance

As invitation-only Davos gets under way, our public space and politics shrink that little bit more across the globe. Rolling back state authority will turn today’s accountability gap into a yawning abyss.

It begins and ends with power

The author acknowledges his supporters, but he answers his critics. (See related articles). It is political leverage, not human rights, that make things happen. The wealthy and influential have it, the poor do not except when organized in sufficiently large numbers. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate on Emerging Powers and Human Rights.

'Brexit': the Swiss model as a blueprint ?

With British Eurosceptics such as Boris Johnson openly calling for UK withdrawal from the EU, Switzerland has often been mentioned as the model to follow, for having gained access to the Market while retaining its national sovereignty and democratic rights. Yet, the Swiss-EU relationship is not without problems.

Why executions were a gendered affair

Susanne Kord takes a look back at executions in eighteenth and nineteenth century Europe, arguing that ideas of the ‘meek’ v. ‘unruly’ female influenced the perception both of executions and of the crowds watching them—and wonders whether this is really a thing of the past

How the Swiss see the ‘Swiss option’

Switzerland is formally independent but totally interconnected with the EU, and the largest creditor of the most important country in the euro zone.

Why the Euro is a force of political centralisation

This article was published 11 years ago in the Salisbury Review - then a small right-wing magazine edited by oD author Roger Scruton. The author wonders why he stands behind the basic position and analysis despite having moved from right to left over the decade

Abusing the Swiss system of direct democracy: the Swiss People's Party aims to stop "mass immigration".

The SVP in Switzerland has taken advantage of a global trend to build a new political consensus through the use of dangerous political propaganda.

The future of Islamophobia: the liberal, the Jew, the animal

The ritual slaughter of animals has become the last of many areas of contention that are changing the shape of our public domains. The way in which Islamophobia is becoming a part of our public ‘common sense’ has complex knock-on effects, not least for our Jewish minorities.

Crisis - what crisis?

Why is widespread social anxiety fuelling xenophobia rather than criticism of neoliberal capitalism? What role has the state played? Have we arrived at the paradoxical situation where the best we can do is to call on the state to do its job?

The curious case of Mr Nada

Human rights are undermined in the war on terror by the widespread use of blacklists.

The success of Islamophobia

Today, we see that the rules of western European racism are shifting. On the one hand, they are becoming less racialist; on the other hand they are seeking to become official. How should we Europeans understand this, and how should we respond? In the first of her Inter Alia columns, Markha Valenta looks at the cross-continental emergence of Islamophobia.

The danger of majority tyranny

Switzerland's democracy lies nearer to the dividing line between direct democracy and tyranny of the majority than most. Last year's decision to outlaw minarets reflects the dangers of crossing that line

Top Taliban commander captured in Pakistan

Taliban chief Mullah Baradar seized by US and Pakistani security services. Saudis doubtful about effectiveness of sanctions on Iran. Tensions in Kenyan government lead prime minister to seek international help. Libya orders complete visa ban for Europeans. All this and much more, in today’s security update.

Zadek in Davos

We've survived the economic crisis, but global governance failed. Davos 2010 should be about fixing it. Are we ready for de-Hayekification? From Zadek's blog.

Switzerland in Wonderland

The Swiss Minaret vote reveals once again that there are two Switzerlands – one is modern and open, the other is xenophobic and populist
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