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This week’s editor

TR, editor

This week Tom Rowley and the oDR team edit the front page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Book review - The Blunders of our Governments

Modern governments of all stripes screw up too often.  A new study of their blunders suggests that ‘strong government’, traditionally the great strength of the governing system, is to blame.  Let’s hear it for deliberative democracy.

Why these Algerian elections are essential

Caught between the dynamic of the Arab Springs and that of the destabilization of the Sahel, the Algerian trajectory remains profoundly uncertain. Since its stability is essential for Europe, the stakes of the April presidential elections are high. 

The Great East Japan earthquake and the search for "gaman"

The Japanese philosophy of gaman - dignified endurance in the face of suffering - perhaps best explains the country's unique response to national catastrophes.

Nairobi's solution to terrorism: blame the Somalis

Last week’s crackdown on Somali refugees reads like a show of force by a government that desperately wants to hide the cracks in its counter-terrorism efforts.

Trusting in Russian civil society

‘We are from the same sector; we want the same things!’ was the result of one discussion at the Salzburg Global Seminar Russian Civil Society Symposium. But how to achieve them?

Iraq’s next parliamentary elections: the stakes

We are now completely at the mercy of our political class. Many of the same faces will return, and those who are new will have been imposed on us by the same party structures that have been running the country since 2003.

Algeria’s presidential elections: a litany of failures by the political class has wasted a golden opportunity for change

Taking place sixty years since the Algerian revolution, today’s presidential elections presented the perfect occasion for the country to turn a new leaf after decades of mismanagement and stagnation. Instead, a litany of political and moral failures by the political class has turned a golden opportunity into a wasted one.

In Israel, Rabbis for Human Rights address painful paradoxes

In a world where so much blood is shed for religion, Rabbis for Human Rights believes that the Jewish faith must be a force for human rights. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Religion and Human Rights.  Españolעברית ,العربية, Français

Muslim NGOs, aid, and human rights

Drawing on studies of Muslim aid organisations in Britain, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and Bangladesh, the author explores how these organisations do and don’t engage with human rights. She identifies three potential areas of contention as well as some of the strategies the organisations adopt to overcome these dilemmas. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debate, Religion and Human RightsFrançais, Español, العربية

The role of Palestinian women in resistance

Despite fighting deeply rooted patriarchal structures, for decades Palestinian women have played an integral role in resistance. Without the prioritization of the emancipation of women, national liberation will not be achieved.  

One life in investigative journalism

A Q&A with Clare Sambrook, OurKingdom co-editor and co-founder of the End Child Detention Now campaign. Interviewer: Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi, writer-in-residence at Lacuna.

Why I'll move to Scotland after I graduate if it votes yes

One Durham University student explains why he'll be moving north if it's a yes vote in Scotland.

The politics of 'regeneration' in Euston

It is absurd to replace inadequate housing for the poor with adequate housing for the poor - let's not repeat the mistakes of the past. Shiny regeneration will shift them out to somewhere they can afford and provide great opportunities for property speculation to boot. This is London, after all.

Polite people with guns

For 20 years Russians saw Ukraine as a parody of Russia, because 'Ukraine isn't Russia.' Now, our neighbours are suddenly our enemies; and nobody is laughing. How did we get here? (на русском языке)

Why are they protesting in Rome?

April 12 saw violence break out in the capital of Italy as protesters responded to new reforms proposed by current Prime Minister Matteo Renzi that would create significant reductions to public sector spending.

North African diversities: Algeria in flux

Algeria’s circles of power and their relationship to a complex society and history are hard to grasp. Francis Ghilès describes his own route to understanding the country in the post-independence era, when the heavy legacy of the past mixed with the confident idealism of the present.

“We are all brothers in the end”. Three conflicts, three generations; Syrian, Iraqi and Palestinian refugees in Jordan

Madaba is a large town in central Jordan and host to many of its neighbours' refugees. There has been some tension between Syrian refugees, Palestinians and Jordanians. But what is the current situation between the new Syrian arrivals and the local people?

Hawaii and Crimea

In 1898, Hawaii was officially annexed to the US illegally under a joint resolution of Congress, with the US using the excuse of ‘military necessity’ in the advent of the Spanish-American War.

Affirmative action: friend or foe?

Affirmative action refers to policies and legislative measures that take into consideration factors such as gender, religion, race or colour, and that tend to correct certain social imbalances by promoting an underrepresented group using different tools.

The selective awareness of Wisdom 2.0

Take an ancient practice, remove it from its context, strip away its ethical imperatives and sell it for a profit. Is the goal of the corporate mindfulness movement to comfort the already comfortable?