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This week's editor

Manuel Serrano

Manuel Serrano is junior editor at DemocraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Debates and articles from across the openDemocracy website that discuss or are relevant to the Middle East

Saudi foreign policy under Salman: same goal, different threat perceptions

An in-depth look at the transformations of Saudi foreign policy since the ascension of Salman Bin Abdul-Aziz to the throne.

From failure to engagement: a new western strategy in the Middle East

Western strategy in the Middle East has been torn between support for brutal dictatorships, and an urge to see the region change in the western image.

The seeds of a new special relationship: US voices for justice in Palestine

While the ideological compatibility between Trump and Netanyahu will improve ties between the two leaders, it will have long-standing implications on US approaches to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Legalising occupation: Netanyahu's Trump card

The new law passed by the Israeli Knesset can be a dangerous precedent for the expansion and legalization of Israeli settlements on Palestinian land, and the eventual annexation of large swathes of the occupied West Bank.

The Arab digital philanthropy and transparency nexus

The growing digital engagement and online presence of the philanthropic sector in the Arab region is playing a growing role in engaging people philanthropically in a context where personalized ways of giving still have a stronghold.

Morocco's admission to the African Union: a Pyrrhus victory for Rabat

Morocco’s admission to the African Union after decades of absence was received as a victory, but what does it mean for the Western Sahara?

Is Trump repeating Bush’s worst mistakes?

The early signs of the new Trump administration’s policies towards the Middle East suggest that he is poised to repeat some of the Bush administration’s most fatal errors.

The original sin of US foreign policy in the Middle East

Trump’s policy attempts to apply a tourniquet to the perceived 'Muslim problem' that has been manufactured and now exacerbated by the west's wayward dealings in the Middle East.

Leaving stings in the wounds of others: Donald Trump and American foreign policy

If you are from the Middle East, Donald Trump is a sad reminder of virtually all the mainstream politicians you have lived under, often supported by the US government.

Sir Nigel Rodley versus Donald Trump on torture

The novelty and danger posed by the new US president is the fact that he either does not know, or does not care, that the prohibition of torture is one that is considered to be fundamental.

‘The Art of the Deal’ in the Arab Gulf: how Trump could strike a new bargain with Bahrain

America’s new president has yet to fully articulate his foreign policy strategy but one thing is abundantly clear: the next four years are going to be a far cry from the Obama Doctrine.

Do the people of Kurdistan live in security?

The main threat to the people in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq is not ISIL, but failed governance which endangers human security.

Trump is creating a real threat to security by trumpeting a false one

The order is not only morally reprehensible and legally problematic; it is also strategically irresponsible and will create real security risks for the United States.

Renewing cooperation on water: what hope for the two state solution?

A new agreement between Israel and the Palestinian Authority gives Israel carte blanche to expand water provision for illegal settlements.

With a more enterprising Russia, cards are reshuffled in the Arab world

A new power structure is emerging in the Middle East as Russia uses its intervention in Syria to position itself as an important partner for regional powers as diverse and opposed to each other as Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Israel and Iran.

عالمية حقوق الإنسان ومدى ارتباطها بالثقافة

لو كانت الديمقراطية وحقوق الإنسان قيماً جماعية، أما كان العالم أكثر انجذاباً إليها؟  English

Syria: grassroots democracy, future prospects (Part II)

Part two of this interview with Joseph Daher explores some of the experiments in grassroots democracy and the possible futures in Syria.

Revolution and counter-revolution in Syria (Part I)

This first part of an interview with Joseph Daher offers an in-depth look at the forces involved in the Syrian revolution, and those fighting against it.

The consequences of politicized forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The politicization of the Kurdish military and security forces has a diverse and severe impact on human security, and stability in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

From Ramallah to Paris: the Middle East’s forgotten conflict

There are issues the international community should consider in the wake of the Paris talks if it is serious about its responsibilities under the United Nations Charter. 

The Two-State solution’s silver bullet

If the international community cannot come to recognize the State of Palestine before Trump takes office, the State of Palestine may ultimately be reconstituted from the Mediterranean Sea to the Jordan River.

Fatah’s seventh party congress: a masterstroke by Abbas?

The Fatah leadership, with the tacit support of its international backers, has chosen small gains at the cost of an uncertain future. 

Aleppo's forgotten revolutionaries

Countless icons of the Syrian revolution who struggled for freedom between 2012-2014 have been ignored and erased from history by the western media.

Nationalism in Jordan: king, tribe, or country? Part two

Part two of this two-part series reveals the fragmented nature of nationhood in Jordan with the East/West Bank divide and tribalism.

Nationalism in Jordan: king, tribe, or country? Part one

The first article in this two-part series traces the formation of nationalism in Jordan as both a pan-Arab identity and a relationship between Arabs and family rulers.

Syria: prospects and solutions

The optimal outcome of the conflict in Syria is for democratic elections to take place and the regime to step down. But what are the real prospects of this happening?

As the world turns towards the right: what future for the "refugee crisis"?

The “refugee crisis” is portrayed as a new phenomenon plaguing Europe, but it is another episode in an old crisis of injustice and rights.

India and Israel - bedfellows indeed

The Israeli treatment of Palestinians might serve as an ideal vantage point to scrutinize Indian rule over Kashmir.

The regional implications of the fall of Aleppo

The lesson Arab autocrats are likely to learn from Syria is simple: under the current international climate the use of severe repression is effective.

In Yemen, the war goes on and on and on...

As people in Europe get ready for their end of year celebrations, more than 20 million Yemenis are getting ready to face the next disaster coming their way: mass starvation.

Our testimony to death

It is just an image, containing something, a new event; a newsworthy event, but look closely at the image, it resembles an event we have witnessed before, time and time again.

Mohammad Abu Sakha: in prison for making children happy

One year after he was arrested by Israeli forces, Palestinian circus teacher Mohammad Abu Sakha is still behind bars, and without charges.

Human rights’ universality and correlation with culture

If democracy and human rights were collective values, wouldn’t they have been more appealing to the world? عربي

Theodor Herzl and the trajectory of Zionism

An interview with Professor Derek Penslar, former professor of Israel Studies at Oxford University, offers one possible explanation for why Jewish nationalism is so divisive and garners such controversy.

On the international day for women human rights defenders: building bridges of solidarity and protection

Patriarchy affects the lives of women human rights defenders as much as the ongoing wars, bombs, and crisis do, and it should not be neglected.

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