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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

From Tottenham to Baltimore, policing crisis starts race to the bottom for justice

What is it about the police and urban black populations in the US and the UK? The explanation starts with two of the most stretched social hierarchies in the developed world.

UK Detention Inquiry: a step in the right direction

A parliamentary inquiry, launched today, will hear from people directly affected by immigration detention. Will the mass incarceration of migrants finally be recognised as a political concern worthy of public scrutiny and debate, asks Eiri Ohtani.

Listen to Bosnia's plenums

After almost twenty years of stagnant purgatory under the Dayton constitution, it is Bosnians themselves who are building democracy, from the ground up.

Egypt under Sisi

The street in Cairo has become an insecure and volatile place. VICE News has been following avid supporters of General Sisi, revolutionaries who feel their aspirations are far from realisation and members of the Muslim Brotherhood outlawed by the military government.

Sun, sand...and indefinite detention

The UK’s second largest immigration detention centre is about to open in Weymouth. Jennifer Allsopp reports on local responses to the imminent presence of hundreds of foreigners, locked up off the coast of this small and friendly town. 

Mandela: explaining the magnetism

While the world stops for Nelson Mandela’s departure from it, his iconic status is unquestioned. Yet there is a more complicated underlying narrative to tell.

Will homophobia rain off Serbia's parade?

Gay pride week begins September 21, but it is unclear whether the Serbian government is willing to expend the political capital to secure it, despite external pressure.

Young Afghans in the UK: deportations in the dead of night to a war-zone

Each year around 400 children forced by war to leave their families and homes in Afghanistan seek sanctuary in the UK. Lisa Matthews writes for Young People Seeking Safety Week on the young adults who, having rebuilt their lives, are now at threat of return. 

Deconstructing detention in Britain

Immigration detention and borders are cultural and historical constructions which criminalise and traumatise migrants. They are neither inevitable nor a given, says Nath Gbikpi.

On the streets in Spain: not only the homeless

The monarchy, the political and economic systems, even the judiciary and the church appear to be failing the people of Spain as they face what amounts to a right-wing coup by a Government that legislates by decree. Their only option seems to be to protest on the streets, says Liz Cooper.

Men: time to stand up

For too long the absence of men and boys, as well as the missing component of youth ingenuity and passion, has been an impediment to lasting progress in achieving gender equality and the prevention of violence against women and girls, says Jimmie Briggs.

The perilous slide: towards an Islamist dictatorship in Egypt?

President Morsi’s latest constitutional declaration, even if it is cloaked in democratic and revolutionary rhetoric, presages a slide to authoritarianism, argues Mariz Tadros.

New pope Tawadros on the horns of a dilemma

The newly chosen pope of Egypt’s Coptic Christians assumes his leadership in a country ruled by the first Islamist regime in modern history. Is it possible to fulfil the challenge of integrating the Christian community in the political and public sphere without becoming involved in politics?

Everyday feminism vs everyday sexism

A debate about the feminist economy cannot be brought to the school gates, but a discussion on sexting, advertising and tuition fees can. That's what everyday feminism is and why it must be truly diverse and accessible, says Aisha Mirza.

The politics of mourning

Last April more than 35,000 people marched in Cuernavaca, Mexico, following the murder of a teenager. Four years into president Felipe Calderón’s diastrous ‘drug war’, the line between remembrance and protest has started to blur. Should the thousands of dead be stigmatised or martyred? Silenced or given meaning?

Football and the game of politics in Egypt

The Supreme Council of the Armed Forces' call for an official inquiry into football violence, following the deaths of 74 al-Ahly team supporters in February this year, has been rejected by most clubs as a sham designed to obscure the blame that belongs to the Mubarak regime’s structures which orchestrated, and continue to orchestrate, violence.

Algeria: reform or securitization of civil society?

While most of the world attention has been focused elsewhere, the early days of 2012 have seen a series of strikes and protests in Algeria. Is this the long awaited Algerian awakening?

We may be stateless but we are not voiceless

The stateless in Kuwait have been trapped in poor conditions for two decades. The Arab Spring has provided hope that at long last their voices might be heard.

2012, democracy's challenge

The toppling and scarifying of tyrants has made this an inspiring year. But democracy has to go deeper in the next, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

Water in the Arab Spring

Water scarcity in the Middle East & North Africa is at the root of the region’s uprisings. In the coming years, it will also be the source of further social unrest across the region.

Occupy: you can’t evict an idea

The Occupy movement has changed the national conversation in America, and challenged the rightward tilt of the political landscape with its clear message that wealth inequality is incompatible with democracy, says Ruth Rosen

Citizen action and the perverse confluence of opposing agendas

When opposing political interests are using the same terms and tactics in diametrically opposed agendas, Lisa Veneklasen asks how we can transform the power of citizen action into sustained change for justice and equality

Occupy Wall Street: where are the migrants?

The lack of demographic diversity amongst the protestors and uncertainty about their demands make Occupy Wall Street difficult to take seriously, argues Shilpa Kameswaran from a migrant's perspective

Egypt: does the revolution include the Copts?

Sectarian clashes between Muslims and Coptic Christians highlight the recurring question about what role Copts will play in the new Egyptian political system. Can the new generation that waves signs with both cross and crescent in Tahrir Square help reduce the violence?

Unruly politics: atomised movements, activist individuals and clientilism

Do new social media create new forms of citizen action? Jenny Morgan reports on a knowledge exchange conference in the Hague

People power and the new global ferment

People power does not lend itself to the geo-strategic interests of empires or warlords, since it is based on collective action and civic unity, as well as the refusal to comply with existing power-holders. Any movement that opts for civil resistance has to encompass and attempt to represent diverse social groups.

What is happening in Greece?

openDemocracy brings together the latest reports from Greece on the wave of protests there

Bolivia’s controversial constitution

The approval of a constitution embedding new rights for Bolivia's indigenous majority has opened new political battlelines, says John Crabtree.

Poland after PiS: handle with care

Poland's stunning election result deserves a closer look, writes Neal Ascherson.

Mexico: a war dispatch

Mexican democracy is being corroded by the battle against powerful drug-cartels, says Sergio Aguayo Quezada.

Clearing the fence

As Heiligendamm watches the world depart, Patricia Daniel looks for traces of hope from the 2007 G8 summit.
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