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This week's editor

Ray Filar

Ray Filar is co-editor of Transformation and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Developing a global privacy regime in the age of mass surveillance: four key principles

Europe leads in the field of the protection of privacy, with legislators, particularly courts, addressing head-on the fundamental human rights challenges posed by executive action authorising mass surveillance.

'Commons sense’: you either see it or you don’t

Some of the debates regarding agency, change and commoning that flowed through openDemocracy in 2015.

Capitalism, cronyism and Clinton

The problem of Hillary Clinton is the problem of American democracy. Doug Henwood’s new book, My Turn: Hillary Clinton Targets the Presidency digs deep into the system that spawned her.

Targeted killings through drones are war crimes

The threat that terrorists pose to US interests and security did not create killing drones: rather the technical feasibility of killing drones has generated imagined terrorist threats. Book review.

The fateful marriage: political violence and violence against women

Pervasive and diverse, instances of violence against women can only be fully comprehended in the political contexts that give them purpose and meaning.

Between Trump and Baghdadi

Maged Mandour

Backwards looking politics is a malaise affecting both the west and east. It breeds violence as global elites clamber to maintain their grip on power.

 

Worried about the return of fascism? Six things a dissenter can do in 2016

Commentary misses the point: the legitimacy of Trump or Le Pen comes not from the sudden appeal of a new brand of right-wing populism, but their legitimisation by mainstream politics.

Caputalism: will capitalism die?

Reduced growth is, for various reasons, a systemic problem. The more reckless the gambling on the markets, the more the entire system balances on a knife edge…

Estados Unidos y las deportaciones de refugiados centroamericanos

Las deportaciones que Estados Unidos intensifica a partir de este mes de enero condenan a miles de centroamericanos a regresar a la violencia de la que había huído. English.

Stepping up deportations of Central American refugees from the US

By intensifying deportations of Central Americans in 2016, the US is condemning thousands to return to the violence they fled from. Español.

The illusion of security

It seems as if the political process has been poisoned by the intelligence agencies, who are given more power with less accountability requested every time they fail. Interview.

The difficulty of 'neoliberalism'

Disagreement over words is surely to be welcomed in a pluralist intellectual and political culture. Why is neoliberalism so provocative? Why is it Blairites in particular that are so provoked?

Welcome to Cop Land

People are waking up to the darkness in American policing, and the police don’t like it one bit.

Hans Blix – a diplomatic life

Hans Blix ponders his long career in international politics and diplomacy, the state of the Middle East, and why he is an advocate for nuclear power. Interview.

We’ve moved forward since 9/11

'A lot more people are aware that the decisions made by policymakers, the positions taken by the media in the wake of 9/11 in the United States, were mistakes.'

Let’s not make Paris the French 9/11

It will only exacerbate the causes of terrorist attacks, diminish society’s capacity to cope rationally with risks, and permanently damage freedom, democracy, and international law.

Trump and Islamophobia: discrimination fuels terror

For Trump’s supporters, what they believe to be the ‘truth’ is a matter of no small significance. Now, and as a matter of urgency, an effective way in which to counter prevalent xenophobic public opinion must be found.

The paradox of the Syrian conflict and its politics

While the French president has won public approval and international backing for the fight against IS, differences persist about the necessity of coordinating with Russia.

You can’t break a glass ceiling if you’re standing on ice

It’s too easy for the liberal intelligentsia to feel righteous in their disgust for lower-class white racism. 

Misplaced concern: the sectarian scapegoat in Bahrain

To truly counter violent extremism in Bahrain and maintain the country’s stability, the US must use its leverage to urge the government to fully implement human rights reform and political reconciliation.

Paris as a test case for the west

One effective way for western governments to keep their people safe is to press for fundamental reforms in countries where armed extremists thrive, rather than subverting democracy at home.

Why we should oppose British air strikes against ISIL in Syria

Britain’s Prime Minister says we should not undertake air strikes lightly – he is right: we need to think about legitimate state building, not replying to terror with terror.

Why the west cannot defeat ISIS

Maged Mandour

ISIS has emerged from the wounds of the Arab world—for which the west is to a large extent responsibleand current airstrikes are pouring salt into these wounds.

If ISIS uses chemical weapons, the west will be partly responsible

How can the international community respond effectively and promptly to this growing threat, not just to the Middle East region, but to the world?

The attack on Kunduz Trauma Centre

MSF is appealing to the world for help. A petition to urge President Obama to consent to a full investigation has been launched, and is gaining traction and international attention.

The Hillary Doctrine: untangling sex and American foreign policy

Twenty years ago Hillary Clinton declared that "human rights are women's rights and women's rights are human rights." What would Clinton as US president mean for women and security?   

“The refugee problem is a presage of the great migrations of the twenty first century.”

This is an interview with Michel Foucault conducted by H.Uno, translated by R Nakamura for Shûkan posuto and published in August, 1979. In October, this timely if not prophetic text was translated from the French for openDemocracy by Colin Gordon.  

American intelligence and national defense 2.0

An Open Source (Technologies) Agency, far removed from the secret intelligence world, would radically reduce wars and illegal immigration, increase trade and shared prosperity, and convert the USA into a “Smart Nation”.

The Vienna Talks are the first serious attempt to end the war in Syria

The US is finally playing the role of facilitator, not party to the conflict. That is a good sign, and a hopeful one for the Syrian people.

Does surveillance mean the death of democracy?

Civil liberties activists are busy writing the script of how digital surveillance killed our democracies. Yet, their true enemy lies elsewhere. Português. Español.

Choke points for the preservation of our liberty

Press freedom is only where we should start as activists, not where we should stop.

Memetic engineering: conspiracies, viruses and historical agency

Ideas, just like viruses or organisms, do not spontaneously generate, even if certain historical circumstances make the rise and spread of a given idea more likely.

Bernie Sanders has morphed into a serious contender

Democratic socialism does not resonate positively in an America still overshadowed by decades of anti-communism, but Sanders is tapping into deeply-rooted popular frustration with inauthentic politicians.

A tragédia interminável do dia de Colombo

A celebração do Dia de Cristóvão Colombo não e aceitável. A colonização trouxe consigo uma imensa tragédia que há que começar a recordar. English. Español.

Digital capitalism: stagnation and contention?

Capitalist development has undergone – and inflicted – violent historical dislocations in the past. So it is with digital capitalism today.

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