This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is a submissions editor at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Rewriting (some of) the rules of the American economy: the Stiglitz Report

In this report as in the work of Piketty or Atkinson, there appears a new sense of confidence. But in adopting a middle class frame, it misses an opportunity.

Writing history before it happens

Nine surefire future headlines from a bizarro American world.

Spilling the beans, Riyadh style

With recent events, the Saudis are involuntarily proving Obama's point: petrodollars and weapons cannot buy them security, but social and political reform just might.

Ferguson to Baltimore: taking on institutionalized racism

What are our values? Equal opportunities? Freedom of expression? Protection of human rights principles? If so, the US is building a frightening track record of alienating and insensitive behavior.

Bringing CIA torture to justice

In the courts and beyond, a global civil society has been fighting on multiple fronts to chip away at the impunity of the world's most powerful nation. From States of Impunity.

Baltimore’s dangerous politics of containment

The city of Baltimore was in a ‘state of emergency’ long before the rioting began.

Always historicize!

The proper way for radicals to conceive of their activism is in terms of the speeding up of current historical trends, not their interruption or reversal.

The renewable revolution

Four reasons why the transition from fossil fuels to a green energy era is gaining traction.

Cuba ante la apertura diplomática con Estados Unidos

Si se levanta el embargo y Cuba deja de estar incluida en la lista de los estados que patrocinan el terrorismo, según Washington, el penúltimo muro de la Guerra Fría habrá caído. Publicado previamente en openDemocracy. English

Cuba on the eve of a diplomatic rapprochement with the US

Diplomatic change will oblige Cuba to introduce internal political change. Otherwise, for the government in Havana, the risks are many. Español.

NSA and the Stasi – a cautionary tale on mass surveillance

While the Stasi archive is overwhelming, today’s spies can gather far more information with a fraction of the effort. 

What if the Saudis win? Avoiding massive sectarian bloodshed in Yemen

Saudis won’t pull the triggers – AQAP, IS and various Sunni militias will do that – but they and their Sunni and American allies will be politically and morally culpable.

After tyranny, how can we rebuild trust?

The deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner demand police reform. Could South Africa provide a model for improving community-police relations in the US?

Fair business for Muslims?

Counter-terrorism regulation is having a corrosive effect on charity banking worldwide. International banks, under punitive US anti-terrorism laws, are increasingly terrified. And the real losers are Muslims.

US airstrikes weaken ISIL but keep it as a viable threat

The US Air Force stood idly by as ISlL swept towards Baghdad, but swiftly scrambled in August to launch airstrikes to halt an unexpected advance towards Irbil – capital of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). 

Implications of the preliminary Iranian nuclear deal

Recognition has dawned that the potential pre-eminent state in the region, Iran, and the globally pre-eminent state, the United States, need each other.

Digital citizenship: from liberal privilege to democratic emancipation

On the anniversary of the Magna Carta, a call for a new debate on the conception of citizenship. Let’s seize the opportunity to transform our utopian dreams into everyday life.

Defending the global knowledge commons

Members are encouraged to use creative commons licensing and to join others in a pledge to be open by agreeing to review for and publish in mainly if not solely open access journals.

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