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This week's editors

RB, editor

Rosemary Bechler edits openDemocracy's main site.

Parvati Nair directs the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility.

MM

Cameron Thibos edits Mediterranean Journeys in Hope.

En Liang Khong is assistant editor at openDemocracy.

Alex Sakalis is the editor of Can Europe Make It?

Constitutional conventions: best practice

I am a human, speaking to you

This is a collaborative article, written by a Syrian refugee minor with additional information from the refugee communities of Konitsa Refugee Camp, Greece, with support from a collective of non-aligned academics.

The US is failing in its moral obligation to Syrian refugees

Although the United States has fulfilled President Obama’s pledge of accepting 10,000 Syrian refugees this fiscal year, we should be doing much more.

Being a Kurdish-Turkish mistake

As a Kurdish child, I grew up in Kirkuk under the Baath regime thinking I was an existential mistake: but I liked being a mistake. I still like being a mistake.

A call from Damascus

Alors que j’attendais’, a theatre piece from Damascus currently touring European festivals, makes us understand that the people whose lives are being destroyed are exactly like us. Review.

Europe’s Greek tragedy deepens out of sight

While European leaders continue to hail the EU-Turkey deal – under which refugees arriving in Greece since March are threatened with deportation – its human toll ruins the lives of thousands.

Sowing the seeds of conflict in the Middle East

Whatever else they were guilty of, the two authors of the invasion and occupation of Iraq in 2003, George Bush and Tony Blair, displayed an astonishing ignorance of history.

Book review: "The Battle for Home: The Memoir of a Syrian Architect" by Marwa al-Sabouni

If we can no longer recognise our surroundings as a shared home it becomes easier to contemplate their destruction.

The allure of war: the motivations of Jordanian foreign fighters in Syria

Broadly speaking, religious motivations are the primary draw for Jordanian volunteers in Syria.

On the absence of Arab intellectuals: counter-revolution and the state

Maged Mandour

The inability of the counter-revolutionary forces to appeal to more than the need for security means that the current political order can only be maintained through the use of coercion and violence.

Divide and conquer: offer Jabhat al-Nusra access to the Syrian peace talks

Jabhat al-Nusra’s split from al-Qaeda offers the west a unique and crucial opportunity to create a fully inclusive and strengthened transition in Syria.

Regeni and cosmopolitanism: the false question of national belonging

"Where are you from? - Italy." "Ah, you have Regeni. We have thousands of Regeni in Syria."

Syrian detainees may be central to future negotiations - but they can’t wait that long

Rather than wait for the next round of negotiations, it is imperative that governments and international bodies continue to pressure the Syrian regime.

Why most Syrian men are not joining ISIS

It is by recognising the role masculinities and gender expectations play in societies that we can fully understand and hope to address violence.

The fluidity of identity among Jordanian foreign fighters in Syria

Jordanian volunteers in Syria come from diverse ideological backgrounds that do not necessarily align with the groups they join.

The persistence of elite control in Syria

If lasting political change is to occur in Syria, the experience of its neighbours must be heeded.

Who are they, these revolutionary Rojava women?

Meredith Tax just had to find out who they were - the revolutionary women of Rojava, bearing arms against ISIS, building a new world...she had to find their story, for herself, and in her new book, for us.

I shall leave as my city turns to dust: Queens of Syria and women in war

In ‘Queens of Syria’, ancient Greek tales of loss and dislocation in conflict echo through to the contemporary realities of Syrian women refugees, whose experiences of war and exile have often been ignored

Carnage in Istanbul and the point of no return

Once the external anchor of Turkey’s democracy, the EU‘s normative influence has sunk as low as its reputation among its many erstwhile supporters, who now feel betrayed and abandoned.

Rojava revolution: how deep is the change?

Is optimism in the future of revolutionary change misplaced in a region torn apart by war and a society where patriarchy has been so entrenched?  Part 6 of Witnessing the Rojava revolution.

The EU-Turkey migration agreement and its humanitarian masquerade

The binding of security to humanitarianism, as is the case with this EU-Turkey agreement, exposes its underlying aim of maintaining the economic trade integrity of the Union.

Confederal Kurdistan: the 'commune of communes'

The demands pushed forward in both parts of Kurdistan are almost identical, both demonstrating an attempt at formally installing a confederal municipal system into the region.

Regaining hope in Rojava

This is a revolution in consciousness, not only in politics, and it has transformed the lives of countless women and men for generations to come.

Defeating the Islamic State will take more than gunpowder

Attempting to defeat IS without beginning to address the political and structural failures that have led to these circumstances borders on the ridiculous.

Iran’s military objectives in Syria and Russia’s contradictory positions

As the US and Russia speak of a mutual agreement over Syria, Iran and Assad are continuing their ruthless slaughtering of the Syrian people.

ISIS and Israel on the Golan Heights

The Yarmouk Valley is run by ISIS – and left alone by Israel. This is a testament to the complex, cynical and calculated machinations of the actors in this conflict.

The role of the EU in the Syrian conflict

As a new round of Geneva talks is under way, the EU should ensure that the outcome is not merely the result of US and Russian talks.

Natural borders, beware a dangerous idea

Whatever borders follow the ongoing violence and war, they must under no circumstances be ‘natural’. 

Rojava revolution: on the hoof

Rojava is a fast moving, dynamic place where things change by the minute. What are the material conditions which support this woman-centred revolution ? Part 5 of 50.50's series  Witnessing the revolution in Rojava, northern Syria.

From hybrid peace to human security

An effective second generation human security policy that would actually improve everyday security, both in conflict zones and in Europe, may well be critical for the very survival of the EU.

For partners in managing refugee flows, don’t look to Libya

Current proposals for European cooperation with Libya to contain migration and refugee flows are ill-advised.

Rojava revolution: reshaping masculinity

Rojava's battle with ISIS stronghold  Raqqa is not simply a military one, but an ideological one in which the position of women could not be more polarised. Part 4.

On the spectacle of violence

Maged Mandour

Violence and repression are becoming more severe, and are symptomatic of the failure of Arab leaders to build a hegemonic vision they can use to control the citizenry. 

The state of regional Kurdish politics: divided as ever

The confidence that prevailed in Kurdish streets in the aftermath of the Kobane victory is now replaced by a growing sense of abandonment and misery, with nationalism its natural expression.

Rojava revolution: It’s raining women

In less than four years, the women’s umbrella organisation, Kongira Star, has set up an autonomous, grassroots, democratic structure which has resulted in shifting patriarchal mindsets and reversing gender discriminatory laws. Part 3.

A Syrian constitution by August: by whom and for whom?

Lasting constitutional settlements require a divided political community to arrive at a shared vision of their common future, and for the general public to support this vision. This takes dialogue, deliberation and time.

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