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This week’s front page editor


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Edwin Ardener: the life-force of ideas

The work of the social anthropologist Edwin Ardener (1927-87) remains a fertile source of insight and influence, says his former student and editor of a collection of his essays, Malcolm Chapman.

(This article was first published on 21 September 2007)

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 great unmentionable in disability politics

"I felt there was no space for me to express grief at my son's disability". The grief of those who care for people with a disability is betrayal of the Cause. Rahila Gupta asks: how do you value disability at the same time as mourn the loss of ability?

Tom Nairn: the world and Scotland too

Tom Nairn, born on 2 June 1932, is one of the world’s great thinkers about nationalism and globalisation. His radical, vigorous, and incisive work continues to ignite and provoke. openDemocracy contributors salute a friend and colleague.

(This article was first published on 4 June 2007 under the headline "The world and Scotland too: Tom Nairn at 75")

2012, an era of uncertainty

The tsunami and nuclear accident made 2011 an especially hard year for Japan. But the questions raised by the experience are similar to those being asked across the world, says Takashi Inoguchi.

Naming the movement

The early 21st century is marked by a profusion of initiatives that bring people together to discuss and explore big questions. It amounts to a great river of change - but to realise its potential the movement needs a formal designation, says Keith Kahn-Harris.

Terrorism in historical perspective

All human beings are locked into a conflict that will endure for decades, the outcome of which is not certain. In face of it, says Fred Halliday, citizens need five resources: a clear sense of history; recognition of the reality of the danger; steady, intelligent, political leadership; the building of mass support for resistance to this major threat; and above all, a commitment to liberal and democratic values.

(This article was first published on 22 April 2004)

How to be radical? An interview with Todd Gitlin and George Monbiot

What kind of radicalism can help turn protest against injustice into a coherent movement for a progressive global politics? Here, leading voices of different generations – Todd Gitlin (‘Letters to a Young Activist’) and George Monbiot (‘The Age of Consent’) – discuss activism, nationalism, violence, and world government in an interview with Anthony Barnett and Caspar Henderson of openDemocracy.

(This article was first published on 5 September 2003)

Libyan justice: medicine on death row

The confirmation of Libya's decision to convict five Bulgarian nurses and a Palestinian doctor of infecting child patients in Benghazi with the HIV virus is judicial scandal and global medical disaster, says Michel Thieren. It also offers crucial insight into the nature of the Libyan regime.

(This article was first published on 19 December 2006)

The 2011 outlook: ideas and agents

Where are the sources of inspiration that can improve global and national prospects in 2011? openDemocracy writers across the world offer their thoughts.

(The first contributions in this collection were published on 3 January 2011)

Is the world getting larger or smaller?

"The world is not getting so small that there is room for only one story." The changing spatial dimensions of human life and thinking are creating the need for a new imagination and politics of space, says Doreen Massey.

(This article was first published on 15 February 2007)

A tale of miners, presidents and nations

The Chilean miners’ rescue, a inspiring story of human solidarity, offers the nation’s president a miraculous political reward. There are lessons for a European counterpart, says Goran Fejic.

Chile's global drama

An extraordinary Latin American country gifts another story to the world. But Chile's latest epic carries many ghosts in its train, writes Isabel Hilton.

The world's progress: aims, tools, realities

A United Nations summit in New York on 20-22 September 2010 is measuring progress in the fulfilment of global commitments to improving human security by 2015 - the Millennium Development Goals. But the focus should be on the instruments of delivery as much as the objectives, says Stephen Browne.

The Indian experience

What is the connection between elections, democracy, and the life-chances of the poor? Rajeev & Tani Bhargava draw a lesson from India in this, openDemocracy's first article, originally published on 13 May 2001.

Amnesty International: the politics of morality

The expansion of Amnesty International's remit to include "full-spectrum" human rights may entail costs as well as benefits, says Stephen Hopgood.

(This article was first published on 7 June 2006)

The blizzard of the world

The exhaustion of the planet and existing ways of life presents a creative challenge: exploring “uncivilisation”. Paul Kingsnorth introduces the Dark Mountain Project.

2010: global cracks, human prospects

A volcanic decade in global politics ends amid deep unease about the world’s ability to rise to key 21st-century challenges. openDemocracy writers draw breath and look ahead by reflecting on three questions:

1) What was the most significant trend in the century's first decade?

2) What do you most hope for, and most fear, about the decade to come?

3) What idea do you see fading and/or emerging in 2010 and beyond?

Forward, Mr President!

Three former Western ambassadors to countries in the post-Soviet space applaud President Medvedev's call for sweeping reform on last week and suggest some ways Russia might modernise that build on experience

Halford Mackinder’s new world

The work of building peace and meeting human-security needs in the “heartland” areas of west Asia and its environs can draw both inspiration and warning from a pioneering 19th-century geopolitical thinker, says Prince Hassan of Jordan.

The WANA vision: regional model for global survival

The pressing challenge of climate change and associated problems of insecurity and development demands that the countries of west Asia and north Africa create new models of shared and inclusive cooperation, says Prince Hassan of Jordan.

Cambodia: a patient waiting

The response in Cambodia to the emergence of the H1N1 virus is a singular example of how a predominantly rural country is preparting for the threat of an epidemic without borders, say Michel Thieren & David Hayes.

A life to save: direct action on poverty

People with more than enough have an immediate and personal obligation to help those living in extreme poverty, says Peter Singer.

(This article was first published on 11 May 2009)

A new world order

The financial crisis afflicting much of the world is part of more fundamental shifts in the world's economic power-balance. It is time for a new model of global governance that recognises the reality of current trends - starting with the creation of a Global Strategic Council, says Krzysztof Rybinski.

(This article was first published on 4 December 2008)

The independent state

A reverse-angle perspective on global economic realities, from Nadeem Ul Haque.

(This article was first published on 23 February 2009)

Barack Obama: hope, fear... advice

A new, young, African-American president opens a fresh political era in the United States and the world. openDemocracy authors offer their thoughts on the prospects.

(This article was first published on 19 January 2009)

The politics of ME, ME, ME

The shrillness and point-scoring of much internet-based discussion - on topics as diverse as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and chronic fatigue syndrome - is narrowing the space where a larger political dialogue should be, say Keith Kahn-Harris & David Hayes.

The dangerous politics of market radicalism

The crisis of 2008 is a consequence of the pervasive impact of market-driven ideology and policy on political, economic and social life across the globe. The profound consequences - being felt severely in countries such as Hungary - demand a wholesale rethinking of the role of the state in modern societies, says George Schöpflin.

Financing development: from Monterrey to Doha

The global summit in Doha on paying for aid and development takes place amid a worldwide economic recession. All the more reason for visionary thinking and bold action, say Alison Evans & Simon Maxwell.

Philanthrocapitalism: old myths, new realities

Michael Edwards's book on business-led philanthropy, "Just Another Emperor?", launched a vigorous public debate across the non-profit sector and beyond. Now, in an environment transformed by the global financial crisis, he reviews the arguments the book provoked, responds to critics, and reaffirms the importance of a "civil-society-strong" perspective in face of "a tsunami of pro-business thinking".

(This article was first published on 14 November 2008)

A new global order: Bretton Woods II...and San Francisco II

The G20 summit in Washington must focus on an inclusive and dynamic renewal of the global development agenda - a task in which Europe has a vital role to play, say Dirk Messner & Simon Maxwell.

(This article was first published on 11 November 2008)

Beyond the icon: Nelson Mandela in his 90th year

A key to understanding South Africa's renowned former president is the very contrast in how he is seen in his own country and on the global stage, says Elleke Boehmer.

After the global

A journey that maps the life of ideologies from the French revolution via Marxism to neo-liberalism opens a space to explore what may come next, says Tom Nairn.

The core crisis: standing with the poor

The importance of the project to end global poverty is accentuated not diminished by the world's financial troubles, says Anita Sharma.

Hiroshima: 1945-2008, and beyond

This is the text of a peace declaration issued on 6 August 2008 by the mayor of Hiroshima, Tadatoshi Akiba, at a memorial ceremony to mark the sixty-third anniversary of the 1945 atomic bombing of Hiroshima and (on 9 August) Nagasaki.
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