It’s spring and we’ve been out and about: February 27 - March 4th on openDemocracy

On the Tuesday before the presidential election, Ollie Carroll on behalf of openDemocracy Russia and the Russia Foundation hosted a panel on civil society and the new Russia in the august surroundings of Dean’s Yard, Westminster. Artemy Troitsky and  Mikhail Zygar, two of the most recognisable faces of Russia’s opposition movement were joined by Maxim Trudolyubov – political analyst and founding editor ofVedomosti. Each gave their own memorable, often sardonic imprint to their accounts of the dysfunction at the centre of the system and why the middle classes in Moscow have woken up to their woes. There was time for a few questions about prospects for democratic modernisation from a mesmerised room packed with engaged journalists, academics and foreign office mandarins. Here we present video highlights.

12 March 2012

On Wednesday, another threesome graced an event jointly hosted by our Arab Awakening page and the University of East London in their sci-fi-crisp new campus down in Docklands. We invited Arab rappers Ibn Thabit (Libya), the Narcicyst (Iraq/Canada) and El Deeb (Egypt), to address eager students on what it means to be the voice for leaderless revolutions, spawn a new industry and start a transnational conversation.  As the day progressed, questions abounded on campus and on twitter, with our three patriot poets stunning us with their eloquent and generous responses, humour and the energy that inspires from east to west.

On site, Gerry Hassan explored the weaknesses of Scotland’s belief in its solid left-wing culture, while Mike Jempson took on the 1987 case of Michael Delaney’s death in light of the relationship between the Murdoch empire and the Met police. Later in the week, Robert Lambert made a convincing case against exceptional security policies targeting Muslims while the author of 'The Plot Against the NHS' discussed political struggle over England's health service.

László Bitó provided a comprehensive analysis of the problems facing Hungary in light of the EU crisis and rising xenophobia. Margaret Owen argued that it’s time to hold governments accountable for the lives of child widows, while Sultan Sooud Al Qassemi reflected on the quiet but powerful figure of Bahrani activist Jassim Buhejji, and Heidi Basch-Harod asked how Morocco’s women’s movementwill adapt to its Islamist majority government.

The week ended with Christopher Anzalone investigating the position of Nigeria’s Boko Haram in international jihad, Paul Rogers arguing that Afghanistan’s end-game may be more dramatic than expected, and Russia’s most popular political blogger, Rustem Adagamov (Drugoi) again capturing the pre-election mood in Russia’s capital.

Three links you won’t want to miss:

Another of this week’s openDemocracy events involved a conversation with Luis de Miranda - a podcast preceding it can be found here.

Yet another event, a book launch for Regeneration, co-edited by our own Clare Coatman

Pocket Guide on EU Crisis

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