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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Greece’s former foreign minister, George Papandreou, tells openDemocracy of his PASOK party’s plans to change the way politics is conducted and conceived - and offers the example to the world.

A call to action in memory of the woman I never knew

At least 20 people have died in immigration detention in the UK: how many more must die before the UK changes its detention policy? The public must shout louder, says Eiri Ohtani. 

Belonging in Northern Ireland: portraits of the individual migrant

A new art project is challenging Belfast’s reputation as the ‘race hate capital of the UK’, revealing an important gap between the presentation of migrants as a political category and their own experience and identities, says Sonia Banaszczyk.

'Go ahead George, change it all': George Papandreou interviewed

This interview took place over five years ago and was first published on 6 - 12 - 2004. Greece’s former foreign minister had taken over the leadership of Pasok a few weeks before the elections of March 2004. The party lost, removing it from power. Here he  tells openDemocracy’s Anthony Barnett of his ambitious plans to reinvent the way democratic politics is conducted at the start of his long road back. He lost the next general election in 2007 but won a convincing victory in 2009.

What the hell is 'civil society'?

As popular movements sweep much of the world, the term “civil society” can be heard on many lips. Michael Edwards of the Ford Foundation has written a short book on the three meanings of the concept. Neera Chandhoke, from New Delhi, casts a sceptical eye over his argument.

Open politics, the story so far

New readers start here! Citizens’ hunger for a new relationship with power needs a new process to satisfy it. What could that be? David Hayes maps an evolving openDemocracy debate.

Open parties? A map of 21st century democracy

The traditional political party is dying. Can it reinvent itself in a way that matches transformations of society, technology, and personal identity? Paul Hilder draws on global democratic experimentation to present a vision of the political party for an age of “open politics”.

Making 'global' and 'ethical' rhyme: an interview with Mary Robinson

The former Irish president and UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, now architect of the Ethical Globalisation Initiative, talks to openDemocracy about the 21st century human rights agenda – one that connects universal principles to the daily lives and needs of the world’s poorest people.

Europe's future in the mirror of the Balkans

The future of Europe will be decided in the Balkans, says the former Swedish prime minister and international envoy to Yugoslavia. He demands leadership and support to bring the region into the European fold and heal its bitter legacies. But the Balkans’ deeper resources of diverse creativity also offer hopes, and lessons, for the 21st century world – and Iraq.
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