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This week's editors

RB, editor

Rosemary Bechler edits openDemocracy's main site.

Parvati Nair directs the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility.


Cameron Thibos edits Mediterranean Journeys in Hope.

En Liang Khong is assistant editor at openDemocracy.

Alex Sakalis is the editor of Can Europe Make It?

Constitutional conventions: best practice

America's election and remote control

Barack Obama's victory over Mitt Romney creates limited space for movement in Washington's domestic and foreign policy, including over climate disruption. But the dynamics of a new style of war also act as a powerful force for continued militarisation.

Hoping for a middle path in the US

After all, the exaggerated chasm created between the Republicans and Democrats is a pre-election political propaganda whipped up by a few irrational melodramatic extremist troublemakers.

Egypt's draft constitution: an analysis

The text of the Egyptian state's new constitution is reaching a critical juncture. How does it measure up to fundamental rights and principles, and accord with recent constitutional practice elsewhere in the world? Zaid Al-Ali inspects the document.

Radio Liberty making waves: have no lessons from the past been learnt?

The imminent withdrawal of Radio Liberty from medium wave broadcasting has dented the image of American public democracy, which is perceived as kowtowing to the autocratic will of the Kremlin. The outcry has, predictably, been ferocious. Kristina Gorelik looks back at the Soviet and more recent past.

Conflicting accounts of death at a London immigration lock-up

Inmates at Harmondsworth Immigration Removal Centre claim employee of commercial contractor GEO beat immigration detainee and left him naked in an unheated room. Police say there are no suspicious circumstances.

La Crise du M23 et l'histoire de la violence dans l'est du Congo

C'est l'histoire pré-coloniale, coloniale et post-coloniale du Kivu qui a préparé les conditions où les événements récents se sont enchaînés. Comprendre n'est pas justifier: il faut se méfier de l'instrumentalisation que les idéologues font de l'histoire. English

Writing as resistance in postcolonial India

The Indian government has justified the construction of the Sardar Sarovar megadam as a national instrument of democratization, potentially supplying drinking water to millions of people. Activists claim that dams form part of a biopolitical apparatus, causing displacement and relocation for indigenous people. Their fightback questions ‘modernity’, ‘development’ and ‘justice’.

The decline in 'missing women' in Bangladesh

Alarm about the declining ratio of girls to boys in the Indian population, evidence of a particularly lethal form of gender discrimination, has overshadowed the more positive trend that is emerging in neighbouring Bangladesh where the ‘aversion to daughters’ seems to be weakening

State feminism in Tunisia: reading between the lines

The Tunisian experience with state feminism is a model to draw lessons from, especially for the Arab-Muslim countries whether governed by liberal autocratic regimes or Islamist regimes: whenever the regime talks in favour of women, read between the lines.

Out of nowhere? The Taliban and Malala

Amidst calls for justice through the barrel of a gun and hopes Pakistan's army will break ties with the TTP, does an emphasis on the narrative of Violence against Women play into the very binaries that legitimate the Taliban's existence?

Electoral weather report

Our New Orleans columnist, queuing at the voting booth, opens himself up to taking the full measure of the moral and political bluster around him

The internet and Tolstoy’s vision of history

The digital age brings with it the promise of micro observation and indefinite memory. This will bring about a different approach to history - similar to what Tolstoy described one and a half century ago.

Burning hearts

Self-immolation is slowly becoming the go-to way for Tibetans to protest against Chinese oppression. This banalisation of ritual suicide is a devastating trend and should be banned by Tibetan leaders.

Time for Prime Minister Erdogan to think about his legacy

As Prime Minister Recep Erdogan's Justice and Development Party celebrates one decade of power, Turkey looks back with satisfaction on the journey travelled. But big mountains still loom ahead for Erdogan and his government.

Global agreements must be built on the real participation of the poor

If the post-2015 process to agree a future framework for development does not get right the participation of those most affected, it will fail. 

No exceptions: one law for all

Should we be worried that a parallel legal system is creeping into existence in the UK when one law for all should be the defining principle of a liberal democracy? asks Rahila Gupta

Art and Property Now: Room 3: To be continued by the reader…

Art and Property Now is an exhibition exploring John Berger’s life as storyteller, artist and critic. Visit the Inigo Rooms, Somerset House, London, until November 10, 2012. This week, to celebrate Berger’s 86th birthday, we invite you to a daily guided tour of some of the exhibition’s contents and themes. Here is Room 3.

Who is Xi Jinping, and where will he lead China?

The imminent accession to power of China's fifth generation of leaders since 1949 focuses attention on the background and character of its new president. Xi Jinping's route to the summit, and the crucial fall of his fellow princeling Bo Xilai along the way, is assessed by William A Callahan.

The war between the president’s men

The Russian regime may present a united front to the world, but behind the scenes the cracks are beginning to show. In the week when Putin fired a senior government member, Dmitry Travin looks at the people and the issues that divide them.

A call for an end to 'progress'

We're all 'progressives' these days. But what does it mean? It's time to ditch this warped and empty notion, and re-invigorate a movement for the common good in Britain and the world.