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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

No maps, no manuals: retrieving radical republicanism, restoring popular sovereignty

Republicanism brings into sharp focus an articulation of common freedoms strived for under extremely varying political conditions, in different times and places, with the shared commonality of facing unequal odds.

Time to move beyond nuclear tribalism

"Question: Is nuclear power good or bad?

 Answer: No. Some nuclear is good, some is bad. For example, the Govt. should support an IFR."

Could ISIS bring Russia and the west together?

For a couple of years after 9/11, there was a solid US-Russia anti-terrorism cooperation that basically gave the Kremlin a freer hand in crushing the Chechens.

Iatrophobia explained

Iatrophobia: an abnormal or irrational fear of doctors or going to the doctor.

Cold war conspiracies and suspect polio prevention

Many American scientists distrusted the Russian field trials. Russian colleagues responded with a sentiment similar to Sting’s Cold War hit: the Russians love their children too.

Why do people reject climate change?

US Democrats did not come to support climate change because they sat down and confronted the evidence, read the scholarly journals, and evaluated the climate models.

A climate of conspiracy

What the Tea Party and Occupy movements have in common is that they don’t accept the official version of events any more.

Mantra for 9/11: improbable world, fourteen years later

Fourteen years later and do you even believe it? Did we actually live it? Are we still living it? And how improbable is that?

Don’t let the spies grab your metadata

Secrecy may have a grubbier motive, forcing state agencies to keep information from the public to prevent a backlash against their usage.

Arms sales to Egypt: when rhetoric overtakes reality

It is impossible to show solidarity with the people of Egypt while arming and supporting the tyranny oppressing them, but this is the hypocrisy at the heart of western foreign policy.

The poisoned chalice

Part two of the insider view of negotiations between Greece and the Eurogroup. When is a rescue not a rescue but a seizure of assets? Interview.

The Hurricane and the Empire

On the tenth anniversary of Katrina, we republish an invitation to ponder the incapacity of the US government to respond to the disaster in New Orleans. What was at the root of that paralysis? From the archive, September 5, 2005.

The new war for the Middle East

ISIS has stepped opportunistically into the vacuum created by the absence of state, loss of shared narrative and feeble leverage of powers. But there may be a way ahead. A NOREF report.

Three myths behind the case for Grexit: a destructive analysis

Any hope of a radical change in the economic direction of Europe requires international solidarity, and that solidarity in turn requires the euro.

Post-Suruc Turkey

“Today, it is from the collective efforts around the Kurdish movement that we are learning what a society made up of free individuals might look like in Turkey.”

America's Hiroshima and Nagasaki 70 years later

Will an American president ever offer a formal apology? Will our country ever regret the dropping of “Little Boy” and “Fat Man,” those two bombs that burned hotter than the sun?

Why is Turkey bombing the Kurds?

Given interlocking domestic, regional, and international developments, the AKP has launched attacks on ISIS and the PKK, the latter evidently being the main target, with four main objectives.

In Japan: controversial US army base sparks outrage among local population

It is time activists across the globe extended solidarity to those protesting to prevent the construction of a new military base in Okinawa, who are haunted by their memories.

Protests of the marginalised: an interview

A glimpse of refugee movements in Berlin and Los Angeles. From the Squares and Beyond partnership.

The limited effectiveness of US Middle East policy

There's not much the US can do in a post-Saddam Middle East except practice containment (and keep up airpower)—another invasion of foreign occupiers will only drive yet more legitimacy to Daesh.

A solution for Syria (part 2)

This excerpt from a NOREF expert analysis outlines the steps that need to be taken to transfer power to a transitional authority, which could stabilise the country and lead reconstruction.

When it comes to ‘Islamic State,’ the west just doesn’t get it

There is much the west does not understand about its latest enemy, in which it faces more than 'just' extremists.

Why I'm leaving London

“My family is moving to Los Angeles in two weeks. Many Londoners understand intuitively why we're going.”

Our jihadis and theirs

If ISIS is currently the United States' "greatest threat", why doesn't it figure highly among the thousands of deadly shootings which occur every year?

Mourning hymn of the Republic

Reactions to the terrorist activities of a white supremacist in Charleston serve as a timely reminder that “post-racial” America is still a long way off.

Learning the lessons: 11 years of drones in Pakistan

The case of Pakistan, after a decade long drone war, shows how the appeal of drones as a “cost free” form of warfare is misguided.

The theology of American national security

Clinging to policies that have manifestly failed is madness—but that is exactly what the US is doing in Iraq.

Jeju island and the war mindset in Asia and the Pacific

Jeju is called the Island of Peace, but in spite of seven years of constant large protests it's where the South Korean military has almost finished construction of a new naval base. 

Trauma in the frame

Laurent Bécue-Renard’s film Of Men and War is a painstaking documentation of PTSD afflicting those returned from Iraq. At the Open Documentary Festival on 17 June 2015.

TPP and intellectual honesty

Basically, big corporations discovered how valuable the ISDS could be when dealing with foreign governments who were a bit too ambitious in the regulatory domain.

Will Norway allow Snowden safe passage to receive prize?

The Norwegians must not let their relationship with the US stand in the way of this chance to defend the fundamental principles of democracy.

TTIP and common regulatory standards

The European Commission should take a hard stance and insist on European standards, while looking for novel ways in which to break down “behind-the-border” barriers to trade. 

TTIP transparency debated at Yale

Those worried by aspects of TTIP should be wary of reflexively rejecting a deal that seems bad at first glance, and should instead take up the harder but nobler task of fixing it. 

Trusting the European Union; a Yale debate with recommendations

All of the students who take up the democratic challenges currently facing the EU and offer the following policy recommendations to address them are united in their desire to improve Europe for the future, a Europe which they wish to help create.

The Syrian impasse: navigating hard truths and the road forward

US diplomatic efforts to quell violence in Syria have been halfhearted and ineffective.

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