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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Why we need a political campaign to reinstate the NHS in England

This extract is from the forthcoming publication on the future of the national health service for the Centre for Labour and Social Studies (Class)

Romanian and Bulgarian migration to Britain: facts behind the fear

Is Britain on the verge of another mass-migration, as with the Poles? Behind the rhetoric on Romanians and Bulgarians set to flood the country, sucking up jobs and benefits, the actual expected impact of the lifted restrictions has gone unspoken.

Violent extremism in Greece: focusing on the far-right

Rising xenophobia amongst the public has supported the impunity tacitly accorded by the state to far-right violence.  

Lega Nord's last temptation: anti-politics in the time of Grillo

The rise of Grillo's 5 Star Movement marks Italy's ongoing disaffection towards its political caste. In the early 1990s, the Northern League gave voice to a similar feeling. But times have changed. Surfing on a wave of anti-politics with no sound political programme may be a dangerous strategy.

Talking point: is culture the new politics in Russia?

How far has culture become a frontline in Russian politics, and how does it compare to earlier periods in the country's history? Introducing a new week-long CEELBAS debate on oDRussia, Artemy Troitsky, Peter Pomerantsev and Oliver Carroll discuss the nature of art, protest and the absurd. 

Reaction: change this change

Will the new Syria be any better than what the new Palestine proved to be? Annalena di Giovanni responds to the conversation between Fawaz Gerges, Rosemary Hollis and Robin Yassin-Kassab.

The Syrian irony for Turkey

Before the uprising, Erdoğan and Davutoğlu tried to turn Damascus and Aleppo into safe market havens. Perhaps Turkey still expects eventually to have the lion's share in a future reconstructed Syria, but the ruling AKP party may pay a high price for its regional policies.

Commonwealth Charter is a fig leaf that will change little for LGBT people

Despite the impression left by some of the UK media, the Queen has not signed a charter ensuring gay rights across the Commonwealth. 

Off the menu: Guantánamo Bay hunger strike

The majority of the remaining 166 prisoners at Guantanamo have been on hunger strike since early February, mostly held without charge or trial, yet there has been a continued media silence on the issue. This flagrant abuse of justice must be challenged.

The path to hell…. an investigative journalist’s view of Leveson

The Leveson inquiry and demands for tighter regulation have already led to a chilling effect in the British media. The law of unintended consequences may lead to well-meaning measures undermining "serious" investigative journalism and democracy.

Frankenstein Roma: the economic fallacy

The governments of many Roma countries of origin are guilty of resorting to an economic fallacy that prevents the social inclusion of Roma – both at home and in western Europe. This fallacy must be exposed, and abandoned.

Reconstructing the Czech state

While clientelism, corruption and nepotism are still an ailing element of post-communist political reality in the Czech Republic, a new civic initiative seeks to bring more transparency and accountability to the Czech state. Can it succeed?

Share the pie

A new social contract is needed in Syria. The Syrian people need to be treated like adults, individuals who are empowered to partake in the social, political and economic future of their country.

Solving the Syrian riddle

The only Arab country where protests started from rural areas might find itself facing an internationally funded reconstruction which will award money to urban centres, thus abandoning the very roots of the current crisis. The only solution is to build economic awareness. Starting from now.

The NHS must be exempted from the US/EU Free Trade Agreement

Trade talks quietly taking place between the US and the EU could see England's NHS tied into a privatised model semi-permanently. Yet this deeply concerning backdrop to the Coalition's deplorable NHS privatisation has received scant media attention. People must act.

Outsourcing battle at Sussex Uni: censorship, dictat and the mutation of managerialism

Yesterday, thousands of students from around the UK joined the University of Sussex protesters against outsourcing. Maia Pal, a supporter from the beginning, gives the facts on a fight at the heart of the movement against higher education privatisation.

São Paulo: insecure citizens, all of them

Recent spikes in homicides across São Paulo challenge the city's reputation as a darling of public security and underscores the pervasive control criminal gangs like the Primeiro Comando da Capital have on the everyday security of city-residents.

Bliss Was It in that Dawn to Be Next Door

In which the author increases his understanding of the intellectual and educational condition of modern Morocco with the help of leading historian, Maati Monjib; and, returns to his favourite subject of language, this time with a Gordian Knot just waiting to be cut.

Displacement, intimidation and abuse: land loyalties in Ethiopia

Industrialized farming in Ethiopia is far removed from the concerns of local small-scale farmers and traditional pastoralists. Impoverishment of hundreds of thousands of Ethiopians and their intense suffering has been the inevitable outcome of military and corporate 'development' plans.

Seizing the day after

Often, attention to the economic dimension of a transition or peace-building process is neglected - and at peril. Can lessons be learned to look ahead in Syria?