Analysis, Empathy and Insight: September 3rd - 9th on openDemocracy

Analysis, empathy and insight at openDemocracy this week, as our writers make an effort to understand fallout from the Olympic games and the US party conventions, the horrors of Syria's war and struggles for dignity in Sudan, India and Belarus.

5 October 2012

The competing claims over the legacy of the Olympics are outlined in OurKingdom by Anthony Barnett, who invites openDemocracy readers to a public discussion of the issue in London on 10 September. The BBC has been central to the Olympics spectacle, and Dan Hancox, Jamie Mackay and Natalie Fenton continue OurBeeb's interrogation of its role.

As the US presidential election enters its crucial phase, Selina O'Grady, Jim Gabour and Joseph Attwood bring a critical eye to Republican strategy and ideology, Paul Rogers links the contest's outcome to the possibility of an assault on Iran, and Cas Mudde warns of the extremist ideas of America's right-wing fringe.

Syria's descent is producing ever-greater violence, aspects of which are explored by Mohammad Al Attar, Rita, Natalie Samarasinghe, and Dawn Chatty; Amro Ali, Shane Farrell and Samir Yousif weigh the regional implications. We are shown the underside of India's democracy, including attacks on civil society and urban sexual violence; while Amel Gorani, Nazik Kabalo, Zainab M.Hassan, Siham Rayale and Sanam Vakil focus on women's activism in Sudan, Somalia, and Iran.

Back in the UK, the return of party politics sharpens the argument, with Nick Pearce, Trevor Smith and Stuart Weir all offering their examinations of the Conservative-Liberal government's reshuffle, we look at positions of Labour and the Greens, along with insightful assessments of health and education policy.

Illuminating the dark day, along with Marte Christensen's video-project - in which Thomas Hylland Eriksen is an interviewee - and Magnus Nome's trilogy of tragedy, Eriksen argues that the political motive behind Norway's terrorist attacks of July 2011 continues to be evaded in the country.

Andrew Wallis traces the roots of a new eruption of conflict in the DR Congo, Antonio Giustozzi analyses the various strands within the Afghan Taliban, Christopher M Davidson dissects authoritarianism in the UAE, and Mark Taylor sees movement in dealing with conflict minerals.

The experiences of child migrants between Mexico and the US and disabled people in Belarus are shared by Elizabeth Kennedy and Sergey Drozdovsky. Finally, Halina Ward and Clare Shine launch an initiative to combine democracy and sustainability: a reminder of the fundamentals that can still - beyond spectacle, violence and insecurity - shape the century.

Links not to miss:


Egyptian security forces destroy Alexandria’s historic book market 

Bill Clinton delivers the speech of the 2012 US election

One of the most respected federal judges in the US calls for legalizing marijuana

With ACTA dead, the EU still wants to "sanitize" (tame) the Internet


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