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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

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.

Police terror in Brazil

How many deaths of black youth are necessary before they are considered ‘genocide’ or political assassinations? Português. Español.


More than a refuge, a welcome

In today’s world, it is essential to take welcoming into account in the cycle of reproduction of social life.

Time for nuclear sharing to end

You have to keep threatening to use nuclear weapons to make nuclear deterrence work. A view from Germany on the planned deployment of new US nuclear weapons.

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.

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