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This week's editor

Manuel Serrano

Manuel Serrano is junior editor at DemocraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The new normal: housing and protest in Britain

Action is stirring in response to the country-wide housing crisis. Severe shortage and cuts to housing benefits leave the UK struggling to put roofs over heads. Some local authorities and tenant groups are trying to rebel; they need concerted support.

The Golden Country: the organic myth of the British constitution

The nostalgic appeal to ‘the spirit of 45’ is embedded in a long myth of ‘public services’ propagated by the culture of Britain’s unwritten constitution.

The best way to defend the UK's role in the EU is to be honest about its failings

Nigel Lawson's provocations on the EU question raise some important points. It is no longer tenable to trot out the same tired arguments for the Union. It has very serious failings. A positive account of the UK's membership must address them head on.

BRICS: let’s talk about labour

A conversation about what development means and how to improve transnational cooperation between countries in the South cannot build a serious platform without the participation of organised labour.

Bahrain's rights, Britain's failure

Britain's lack of support for freedom of expression in Bahrain is a flawed and self-defeating policy, says Nicholas McGeehan of Human Rights Watch.


A short film exploring emerging social tensions within Athens' public spaces (8 mins).

UKIP? The real vote is against Westminster

'Nothing is real, everything is fake'. Enter Nigel Farage, UKIP leader and temporary answer to a widespread disaffection with British politics and politicians.

"Italia, sveglia!" Basta con la Gerontocrazia!

"Italy, wake up!" Away with the Gerontocracy! (visual montage)

The Black activists who mourned Thatcher

During the re-writing of history after Margaret Thatcher's death, a story remained untold. This was the support the Iron Lady enjoyed from some Black activists, due not least to the crushing of the 'racist' union movement.

Legacy of a feminist revolutionary

American radical feminist Shulamith Firestone was a leading theorist of 70s feminism who died a lonely death last summer. Responding to Susan Faludi’s psychological profile of Firestone in The New Yorker last month, Kathleen B. Jones examines Firestone’s contribution to women’s liberation

How to challenge the patriarchal ethics of Muslim legal tradition

One lesson from the 1979 Iranian revolution and the 2011 Arab revolutions is that activists seeking to promote women’s rights, human rights and the transition to democracy must challenge patriarchy from within the Muslim legal tradition. 

As Europe is provincialized: a reply to Etienne Balibar

Europe can make sense only insofar as it becomes a space which makes it easier to get rid of the fear that the crisis is disseminating within the social fabric, a space where it is more viable to struggle against poverty, exploitation, and discrimination.

Syrian rebels’ faults are surfacing

Roger Owen, professor of Middle East history at Harvard University talks about Syrian rebels’ narratives and current US strategies. Interview. 

Zimbabwe: women debunking the myth of 'merit'

In preparation for Zimbabwe's forthcoming general election, the use of quotas to increase women’s occupation of political office remains one of the most effective tools for countering the patriarchal barrier to women of ‘merit’, says opposition MP Jessie Fungayi Majome.

King Nigel’s speech: recasting 'us' and 'them'

In the UK political debate, boundaries are being blurred between the two hot topics on the political agenda: migration and the EU. This should be a wake-up call for the 2.7 million European immigrants living and working in the UK, says Nando Sigona.

A grand bargain is needed, between Israel, Hamas and Egypt

When it comes to Gaza, an approach centered on isolation and deterrence has not led to a real stability, resulting in repeated rounds of violent confrontation between the two parties

Europe's bold ride to stabilise Mali

On May 15 the EU will organise a donors’ conference on Mali. It should address the underlying causes of terrorism and instability, making investment in youth a priority 

Avoiding responsibility in the Boston marathon bombing

Placing them within a pre-existing history of resistance simplifies our perception of who they “really” are

Syrian crisis now a global affair

The outcome of the Syrian crisis, no matter what that might be, will delimit the new Middle East in a way that will affect the entire world—not just Syria and the region

Scottish independence, Europe and the crisis of the British state

The Scottish nationalists want to win next years independence vote by saying things will not change while those opposing them paint 'separation' as a disaster yet call for the UK to leave the EU in order to... stay the same. What are we to make of it?