only search openDemocracy.net

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

¿Fin del ciclo hegemónico americano?

La presidencia de Trump podría acabar teniendo efectos polarizantes a nivel nacional, pero efectos despolarizantes a nivel internacional. English

How to make America great again? Bully Mexico.

As President Trump concludes his first week in the White House with extremely protectionist policies, there will be no sigh of relief in Latin America.  Español

Trump vs Hillary: Consequences of US presidential elections for Latin America

As US voters turn out to decide between Trump and Hilary on election day, 5 analysts from the region share their thoughts on the potential impact of the results on Latin America. Español Português

How the Democrats left the door wide open for Donald Trump

The Democrats ditched the working class in favour of a professional elite leaving Trump  a master of 'resentment politics'  to hoover up their votes. An interview with Listen Liberal! author Thomas Frank.

Why a progressive foreign policy is good for US national security

Even if the most Bernie Sanders succeeds at is pulling the national foreign policy conversation to the left, this will have been significant after a decade of living under the troublingly expansive national security complex ushered in by the events of 9/11.

Philosophies of migration

Migration raises more fundamental questions than 'should these people be here': it probes into the very essence of what it means to be human, as well as how we define our communities.

The Iraqi crisis: rethinking the narrative

An approach to Iraq focused on military intervention, with some humanitarian assistance, has defied the complexity of the domestic and regional kaleidoscope. No wonder it is failing.

Universal rights, double standards

What is the difference between the human-rights shortfalls of Venezuela and Mexico? Objectively, not much, but Washington has a different perspective.

Mass surveillance: wrong in practice as well as principle

The paradox of mass state surveillance, as the answer to non-state violence, is that it can overlook the intelligence targeted law enforcement finds and render critical infrastructures vulnerable—never mind threatening fundamental freedoms.

The two big holes in the strategy against IS

The US-led campaign against Islamic State isn’t working. It won’t unless it addresses Shia sectarianism in Iraq and Assad’s atrocities in Syria.

Blowback: the failure of remote-control warfare

It all seemed so convenient: remote-control warfare would minimise military casualties while rendering the civilian dead invisible. But the battlefield has come home.

Obama, Netanyahu, Iran, Congress and the Republican Party

An intense political battle is going on over Iran on Capitol Hill. Insular Republicans underestimate at their peril international pressures driven by global security concerns.

In Ukraine, NATO has ceased to be an instrument of US foreign policy

In the renewed cold war over Ukraine, while Russia’s economy has been weakened by European sanctions, the US is no longer the hegemon it once was—and NATO is under strain.

CIA torture programme cast a wide net

The CIA’s ‘deep interrogation’ and the Guantánamo detention camp came to symbolise the US ‘war on terror’. Yet it turns out that most individuals subjected to the first weren’t thought to merit transfer to the second.

After the torture report—rebalancing the scales of justice

In the voluminous responses to the long-awaited US Senate committee report on torture by the CIA, the essence of what must follow—prosecutions, not pardons—has been buried.

Scotland's referendum: the view from around the world

As residents of Scotland vote today on the future of their country, we take a look at how countries around the world are talking about the referendum.

The Swiss debate on mass surveillance: what debate?

How did Switzerland, a country attached to the importance of personal privacy, respond after the story about the Snowden leaks broke? How did the government - and the public - react?

Selling dictatorship

Liberal opinion has been outraged by the disclosures about US and UK electronic surveillance. Yet the most unpalatable revelation is that, in an unregulated capitalist economy, liberal democracy is always threatened with authoritarian regression.

Rethinking the origins of 9/11

As 2013 came to an end ‘9/11’ continued to cast a violent shadow in Iraq and Afghanistan. Yet the US response betrayed a failure to understand its origin.

After Snowden: UN takes first small step to curb global surveillance

The debate on international electronic spying, blown open by the US National Security Agency whistle-blower Edward Snowden, moves this week to the United Nations General Assembly. It begins what is set to be a long battle to affirm the privacy rights of global citizens

Anti-deportation campaigns: ‘What kind of country do you want this to be?’

A new musical, Glasgow Girls, showcases the power of anti-deportation campaigns as both an expression of human solidarity and an essential device for holding states to account. But their key role, argues Jennifer Allsopp, is to build support for an asylum system that upholds the rights of all.

The US-Iran dialogue and how it can affect the Iranian democratic movement

President Obama’s re-election for a second term has afforded him much more manoeuvrability on foreign policy issues, including Iran. What are the prospects for the US-Iranian dialogue in the next four years - and how will it affect the Islamic Republic's local pro-democracy forces?

America's election and the Tea Party

A series of voting setbacks in November 2012 means the conservative Tea Party movement is now facing a difficult and divisive period, says Cas Mudde.

Let Vietnam live!

"The simple issue around which all the history of the rest of the century will concentrate: are we in the privileged quarter of the world, going to continue to exploit the other three quarters?"

John Berger in England for Oxford Vietnam Week (Jan. 25 – 31, 1967).

The least bad: the US elections from Israel-Palestine

For Palestinians and Israelis, a Democrat victory would be bad and a Republican victory worse. While Obama continues to seduce the deluded among us, Romney is making lethal calculations

Foreign policy expectations from a Romney presidency

What US foreign policy should we expect if Romney was to win in November? His statements during the campaign suggests adherence to his neocon advisers' hard line stances on many topics, including hawkish positions on China, Iran and Russia. One week before the election, Commander-in-chief Romney remains a mystery.

Obama or Romney? The Russian view

Russia may not figure much in American elections, but President Putin finds Mitt Romney’s description of that country as ‘geopolitical foe number one’ useful in his management of domestic politics. He could probably work with either candidate, but what sort of relationship with Russia might either of them pursue?

Smoke over the Vatican

update: the BBC's North American editor Justin Webb has since blogged about this subject here 

Reports emanating from Italian sources earlier this week suggesting that the Vatican has effectively vetoed three of President Barack Obama's nominees to fill the vacant role of United States Ambassador to the Holy See--based on their liberal views on issues such as abortion and stem cell research--may signal the beginning of a cooling in US-Vatican relations under the Obama administration.

Obama's Bush-like foreign policy

Presidents don't make history, but history makes presidents. Biden's speech in Munich suggests Obama's foreign policy is as imprisoned by its circumstances as Bush's.

US neo-cons jump the conservative ship

The predicament of Sam Tanenhaus reminds us that conservatism's original sin lies not in its bombastic and noxious neo-conservative interlopers, but in the tragic nature of conservatism itself

Afghanistan and Pakistan: recommendations for Obama

The challenges faced by the new Obama administration in Afghanistan and Pakistan are too big to be tackled alone

American perceptions of the Mumbai attacks

Until it hit the headlines after the Mumbai attacks, India did not tend to receive much attention in the international press - at least not as much attention as China, Asia's other major rising power. Even with the Olympics over, China has been the subject of innumerable recent news stories and feature pieces. In noting this, I am not trying to suggest that China gets too much attention; my point is only that India could use a little more. (To this end, openDemocracy has just launched a new editorial section on India, which had been planned for some time.) In the absence of detailed reporting on India, three images of the country have tended to coexist (somewhat uneasily) in Westerners' imaginations.

Sidney Blumenthal - part one

Sidney Blumenthal, author of The Strange Death of Republican America, talks to openDemocracy. Listen to parts one and two

Afghanistan: state of siege

A regroupment of the Taliban and al-Qaida in the Pakistani borderlands is bringing the war closer to Kabul.

Prisons of war, furnaces of radicalism

The global detention policy of the United States and its allies is incubating the insurgents of the future.

Syndicate content