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MM

Mairi Mackay is openDemocracy’s senior editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Palmyra and propaganda

Those who unthinkingly applaud the Assad regime for recapturing Palmyra run the risk of looking as though they care more for Roman ruins than Syrian lives.

The EU-Turkey deal: unjust and short-sighted

Sending citizens who are fleeing one authoritarian regime to another authoritarian regime will only result in more anger, frustration and extremism in the years to come.

Rojava’s commitment to Jineolojî: the science of women

Travelling in Rojava is to witness the ways in which the different commitments to the revolution present a conundrum. How can one system satisfy the vast differences in human aspirations? Part 2. Part 1.

A revolution for our times: Rojava, Northern Syria

Travelling in Rojava is to witness a revolution experimenting with a form of stateless, direct democracy with women’s liberation, race and class equality at the heart of it. Part 1.

Cities of refuge

The 1951 Geneva Convention on Political Asylum was a typical creation of the Cold War: the system cannot deal with the huge population flows now permanently characteristic of our world.

Syrian lives matter

The suffering of Syrians is seen through four distorted lenses. But to find a sustainable political solution in Syria, we must move beyond clichés. 

Iraq and Syria didn’t create ISIS - we did

After the Paris attacks, ISIS became yesterday’s story, as if the terrorist movement had disappeared into far lands not able to affect our lives any more.

Manifesto for civil liberties

The origins of the manifesto, its elaboration and dissemination, followed by a brief history of the struggle for civil liberties in Europe and the main threats to those freedoms. Español

Why many young Arabs join violent radical groups

The key to combating extremism is prevention. But what are the conditions that lead youth to become radicalised?

Nonviolent strategies to defeat totalitarians such as ISIS

Military might has little success against violent terror organizations. If nonviolent strategies seem impractical, it is an even greater naiveté to think armed solutions can be the answer.

Is there any hope for a peaceful result to the Geneva talks on Syria?

If a lasting peace is to be achieved, the main motivation behind the talks cannot be simply ‘to restore political order.’

Coalition air strikes and the Sunni 'endgame' in Syria, Iraq

The pattern of strikes by the disjointed US-led coalition of Operation Inherent Resolve remains the best and most reliable public indicator of intentions and future operations in the short-term.

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