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This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Justice in the UK: back to the 1930s?

Proposals to cut legal aid and judicial review in Britain will make it harder for people fighting for their rights to challenge the government's cuts agenda, and will remove one of the few lifelines to justice for asylum seekers, refugees and undocumented workers, says Kate Blagojevic. 

Remembering Cassandra Balchin (24 May 1962 - 12 July 2012)

Cass Balchin was a founding sister of openDemocracy 50.50  and a leading contributor to our dialogue on Gender Politics and Religion which explores the impact of the global resurgence of religion in public life on women's human rights, and examines the possibilities for gender equality and pluralism. 

The question of sectarianism in Middle East politics

Everywhere the Arab uprisings have been confronted by the entrenched vested interests of old regimes, the so-called ‘deep state’ in Egypt, and by Islamist populism. The alignment of regional powers, following geopolitical interests, has sharpened the sectarian lines. But these alignments are not somehow essential to the region.

Scripted

Gator Sunday ComicsA day trip to an interactive museum in a South Louisiana bayou offers our Sunday Comics columnist the chance to sample a different reality

The (un)freedom of the networked

The web has a dual nature - it promotes some freedoms and endangers many others. Making the most of it will mean fighting for it (from the archive, 2008)

Tunisia’s turning point

Tunisia’s second high-profile political assassination highlights the gravest shortcoming of the nascent Islamist government: the inability to contain the violence that increasingly threatens Tunisia’s fragile transition  - a violence set to divide loyalties and destroy social cohesion, foreclosing any prospects of a viable democracy or a stable society.

Sergey Dvortsevoy, Talented Ripple Master

Sergei Dvortsevoy’s films may have won plaudits internationally, but his uncompromising observational style and ethical stance keep them out of the multiplexes in Russia. Zygmunt Dzieciolowski interviewed this extraordinary director. 

Syria: big danger, small hope

Syria's war is producing humanitarian crisis, the growth of radical paramilitaries, violence in Iraq, and intra-state conflict. In the morass there is but one chance of progress.

Welcoming Adam Ramsay to OurKingdom

OurKingdom welcomes a new Co-Editor.

Commercial masters of our Voice

Once upon a time publishers sold content to readers, and readers to advertisers. This two-fold market is being destroyed by the same technology that enables writers and readers to engage with each other in ever more sophisticated ways. But, argues Tony Curzon Price, audiences that recognise their collective economic power could handsomely fund the media they want.

Revolution and the limits of populism

The bottom-line is that revolution is too loose a category to describe what is happening in Egypt. The real fight is not between revolutionary and counter-revolutionary forces but between different strategies that lay claim to the idea of revolution. 

Guerra y paz, cosa de hombres

Una visión general confirma que la inclusión y participación de las mujeres en los actuales procesos de paz sólo se evidencia en la retórica al encontrar una gran resistencia dentro de la profundamente arraigada tradición masculina de diplomacia y resolución de conflictos. Read in English.

The risk of new skills

Bettering education has always been seen as the key to reducing the number of people on benefits, but are we addressing the angle from the right direction. What would happen if there was more security when studying – and learning – a new skill?

Liberty, Liberalism and Surveillance: a historic overview

One of Britain's most distinguished political theorists on republicanism, freedom, Machiavelli, Hobbes, the Reformation, Shakespeare, Milton and much more. Has modern society lost touch with Roman conceptions of freedom, and at what cost?

Egypt: when journalists are not welcome

Much of the debate revolved around the use of the word ‘coup’ in describing what had happened, not merely an issue of great symbolic importance but mainly a crucial determinant of continued American aid.

What's Left in Poland?

In the first article of our new debate on the Left in Poland, Anna Grodzka MP discusses her party, the Palikot Movement, and its commitment to freeing up and encouraging the entrepreneurial spirit of the Polish people.

Male war, male peace

A survey of on-going peace processes confirms mere lip service is still being paid to women’s inclusion and participation within the powerfully embedded male tradition of diplomacy and peace building. Leer in Español.

Baader-Meinhof, Edward Snowden and learning the 'right' lesson

The American government treats Edward Snowden like a member of al-Qaeda or the Baader-Meinhof Group. This violation of Snowden's human rights illustrates how governments tend to seriously restrict their citizens' freedoms by overreacting to an exposure of the vulnerability of the state. Then there is the fact that I hesitate to write this...

Postcard to Khodorkovsky

“Dear Mikhail Borisovich, we’re having such a lovely time in London – weather is fabulous, the shops are SO good! Sorry we haven’t been in touch, but we are just so busy defending democracy! Wish you were here.”

The EU becomes assertive in the Middle East peace process

The adoption of this EU directive might be the first step towards a much needed ‘paradigm shift’ that will no longer enable Israel to dismiss the EU’s voice as ‘unpleasant background noise’, the phrase used by foreign ministry spokesman Yigal Palmor in 2012.