This week's editor

Jeremy Noble, editor

This week Jeremy Noble and the oDR team edit the front page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Politics of Fear

We live in a highly organised climate of fear. If security organisations depend upon fear and paranoia to sustain their existence, Wikileaks suggests using the same tools to hold them to account.

Ouattara calls for West African intervention force to remove Gbagbo

President-elect Alassane Ouattara has called for a West African intervention force to remove Laurent Gbagbo from power in Ivory Coast. Women face an increased risk of sexual violence in post-quake Haiti, says new Amnesty report. Police kill two protestors and detain opposition leaders in Arusha, Tanzania. All this and more in today's Security Briefing.

The higher education debate exposes the need for a new approach to social organisation, large and small

While we must respect the organic nature of our institutions, we must also accept them as social constructs. We need to develop a new approach to social organisation that is radically democratic, encourages accountability and works to resist tribalism.

Image of the Year: the Royals photo symbolises the productive disorder of the student protests

The shocked faces of Camilla and Prince Charles as they are attacked by a group of student demonstrators is now an iconic image. It has come to symbolise the potential of protest to break with the illusion of the separateness of worlds upon which the structures of power are built.

A new military paradigm

A near-decade of global war since 9/11 highlights the urgent need for revision of Washington’s military-led global strategy. A fresh analysis offers the ingredients for change.

Enter the Fifth Estate

It is an established fact that lobbyists, consultants, MPs, civil servants and journalists are integrated in a closed circuit of information. Less well known, however, is the extent to which journalists and politicians actively cultivate close ties with this "Fifth Estate". Thomas Leif reports on the German situation.

The Hobbit and New Zealand's heritage industry

Gollum has succeeded where politicians have failed, in replacing a colonial narrative with a myth that changes the ethno-symbolic basis of New Zealand’s imagination

Putin and Medvedev: a split in the tandem?

The differences between Putin and Medvedev over the sacking of Mayor Luzhkov in 2010 were the first real crack in the Russian duumvirate. Khimki Forest, the Khodorkovsky guilty verdict and the manoeuvring for position before the 2012 presidential election are likely to exacerbate the situation further. Welcome to 2011, writes Andrei Kolesnikov.

A tangled web: the politics of gender in Turkey

Although the women’s movement in Turkey has scored major victories in the realm of legal reforms, there is a widening gap between rights in law and realities on the ground. How secure are these gains?

Known as the book of the expenses scandal, The Silent State has much more to say on Britain's culture of secrecy

In writing 'The Silent State', Heather Brooke planted a giant bomb under the British parliamentary system. After years of diligent enquiry, blocked at every point by the Speaker and Commons officials, it was Brooke who forced into the open the squalid details of the systemic theft of public money by our venal and greedy MPs.

Rise of Tibetan soft power

Tibetan ‘soft power’ has ensured that we are going to see a continued rise in Tibetan nationalistic aspirations along with the flourishing of Tibetan culture and civilization, in tandem with the rise of China as a global power

Consultation on the cabinet manual: have your say on a document being described as the first step to a British written constitution

Views are being sought by January 10th on a document being described by some as the first step towards a British codified constitution.

India’s quest for nuclear energy

As India sets about generating more than twelve times its current level of nuclear power by 2035, it seldom encounters countries insisting on the letter of the Nuclear NPT.

The risks of mayhem in Italy

Against background mutterings about global anarchism and agents provocateurs, Italian students protest against Italy’s university reform bill

Remnants of a Greek past, image from the future

The tendency to deflect all discussion of protest and resistance onto the issue of violence is also misleading when it comes to assessing the track record and future prospects of Greek anarchism

Tribute to Kevin Boyle

Internationally respected human rights lawyer and academic Kevin Boyle died on 25 December, 2010. Stuart Weir pays tribute to a generous man and dedicated advocate of reform.

First Past the Post: a damning report on a system that 'fails the fairness test'

A damning report on the first past the post voting system has been released by ippr. Clare Coatman, of the Yes to Fairer Votes campaign, introduces the report.

4-Star Wars: flashpoint in Kyrgyzstan

Supplying fuel to the American government to keep military planes running into Afghanistan is a lucrative business. Involving as it does politics and politicians in desperately poor Kyrgyzstan, it is also a highly controversial one. Nick Kochan writes on the fuel contracts that have come to be viewed as issues of sovereignty for the new Kyrgyz government

Consumption tax increases discourage consumerism; work tax increases discourage work. Shouldn't we welcome the shift to VAT?

VAT is not progressive, as claimed by UK Chancellor George Osborne in his defence of the tax rise. But it is a tax on something we should be doing less of. So shouldn't we welcome it?