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This week’s editor

Tom Rowley is editor of oDR, covering the progressive agenda in Eurasia.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Birmingham: a better city and a stronger economy

The first of four excerpts from the forthcoming ‘Our City: Migrants and the Making of Modern Birmingham’: on the move to white-collar jobs.

Western complicity is fuelling Yemen’s humanitarian crisis

A besieged and starved population has been pushed to the brink of famine. The UK, US and France need to re-evaluate their relationship with Saudi Arabia.

John Mills, chair of Labour Leave, explains his hopes for Brexit

John Mills, entrepreneur, economist, and Labour donor, defied the party leadership and campaigned for Britain to leave the EU. We ask the chair of Labour Leave what he wants from Brexit.

Kurds’ choices: heed history or the US?

Who controls Syria’s borders? The US and Israel are encouraging Syrian Kurds to fight the regime and its allies for border control. The ensuing mayhem might unravel the Mideast and far beyond.

Is populism a problem? Reflections on the 2017 World Forum for Democracy

Is populism a problem? That was the headline question posed last month when diplomats, academics, politicians and students coalesced in Strasbourg for this year’s World Forum for Democracy

In defence of Damien Green

How could a defender of human rights on so many occasions turn so quickly into being an inquisitor?

Lexit: on the rails

Could the EU be an obstacle to nationalising the UK rail network? We asked Christian Wolmar, the UK’s leading railway expert and transport historian.

A Tale of Two Faltering Unions (UK and EU); and what DiEM25 proposes in response

An address at the Oxford Guild, Oxford University, on passionate believers who are troublemakers, Brexit negotiations, simulating a federation and other conundrums, November 28, 2017.

Safe spaces, bagpipes and houmous

“This is the safe space I was talking about… a totally open space people can feel safe in, because stories are shared, barriers are broken and everyone is welcome.”

Education, Islam and Criticality

Can a new kind of integrated knowledge-creation occur, that is outside as well as inside the post-Enlightenment western tradition? Book review.

Recognising and resisting militarisation; Demilitarise King’s at DSEi

It’s time we reflect on the militarisation of our education, of our society as a whole, to confront our complicity and our responsibilities, stand up, and put an end to the business of war.

Bodies at the gates

Bodies are not just simply tools or targets in practices of state violence but also crucial in the resistance of the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms trade fair.

Fox/Sky: more twists and turns

The 21st Century Fox bid to buy the 61% of Sky it doesn’t own has provoked a formidable level of opposition. Will that count when push comes to shove?

"Diversity, Ofcom and the BBC: the £1 billion gap"

Next year, will the BBC Chair Sir David Clementi get a grip on diversity and close the BBC's £1 billion diversity gap?

Is Britain about anything other than battles?

The UK citizenship test, stripped of its practical questions, is now seen as part of Theresa May’s ‘hostile environment’, a new study has found.

Jobs, jobs, jobs – how to divert away from the industrial military complex in the UK

There is talk of ghost towns if UK defence jobs are threatened, but are these the only ghost towns that should concern us?

One Zionist view of the Balfour Declaration

The State of Israel came into being thirty-one years after the Balfour Declaration, precisely because Zionist Jews were done entrusting their fate to others.

Zionism, anti-semitism, and the Balfour Declaration

A complementarity between the anti-semitic desire to get rid of the Jews and the Zionist project of sending all Jews to Palestine seems ignored, for example, by Theresa May.

100 years after Balfour: the reality which still shames Israel

Two very different parts of Palestine highlight the injustice still inflicted on Arabs by Israel.

Brexit: an economic strategy from the left?

If we are agreed that the UK economy needs an overhaul from the Left, where does Brexit come in? Interview with Green MEP Molly Scott Cato.

Nothing new about fake news

Media diversity must mean more than more of the same. The media sphere needs to be a public space where debates occur among and between many different groups and classes.

An interesting Brexit experiment worthy of analysis

“The public have been largely left out of debates on Brexit, with parties split over what voters want.”

New media must throw old ideas overboard

“Crucially, new models must consider the challenges of not just what is covered, but by whom and through what processes.”

In a global game of thrones, we need new rules

Social media platforms are creating a new public sphere. But is it the public sphere we want or need?

Britain’s foreign policy: it's time for reform

With its prominent position in the arms trade, and the impunity it grants countries like Saudi Arabia, Britain is playing with fire.

Who's paying for these 'reports' on BBC Brexit coverage?

Why do newspapers parrot 'reports' about BBC bias from organisations funded by hardline Brexiters?

Dark Money Deep Data

Democracy dies in darkness. Podcast of a debate organised by Byline. (45 minutes).

The national conversation: free, open and broad debate

In the UK, do we see political polarisation facilitated by politically partisan websites and social media, or the disintegration of a governing consensus?

Pro-Remain media and Brexit: unwise response to populism?

Since the Referendum, the liberal élite and their media have largely neglected the societal threats inherent in the rifts exposed, while inadequately addressing the practicalities of Brexit.

Did you know we were seeking an AA/DCFTA deal?

A blog on making sense of Brexit: one version of what happens when members of the 'educated' British middle classes seek clarity.

If the hard Brexiteers have nothing to hide, they've nothing to fear

Molly Scott Cato MEP explains why she has teamed up with the Good Law Project to force the government to lift the veil of secrecy on its Brexit impact reports - through action in the high court, if necessary.

Voices to lift our spirits

“In a protest, we’re all bystanders, we’re all there because of some attempt to marginalise us; the bystanders are the people making history.” Book review.

Who bankrolled Brexit?

The United Kingdom has transparency laws which should give citizens a full and immediate answer to this question. And yet, we still don’t have one.

A new Jewish voice for Labour

The fightback in the UK’s Labour party conference against ongoing misapplications of the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) ‘working definition of antisemitism’.

Activism and political organising in academia: a conversation with Ilan Pappe

Maybe resistance over Palestine in academe is part of a larger project: the creation of a fundamental change in the way we do knowledge, and in the way we produce knowledge. A conversation.

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