A leadership transition approaches in the most powerful country of the greater Eurasian landmass China. openDemocracy’s columnist, Li Datong is cautiously hopeful that the next generation will be bold enough to make needed reforms; for Henryk Szadziewski, the demolition of ancient Kashgar in China's far west reveals a bleaker story. In oDRussia, the return of Vladimir Putin provokes Artemi Troitsky to piteous scorn of his lonely president and Shamil Yenikeyeff to worry over the country's stagnation, while Vladimer Papava in Georgia questions the integrity of the west's "democratic" claims.
On the continent’s southernmost edge the reconciliation efforts of young Sri Lankans in the diaspora across ethnic-political divides offer a hopeful example, and Massimo di Ricco scrutinises the issue of debate about conflict against the background of a kidnapping case in Colombia – both in a striking openSecurity debate.
In the Middle East, Yossi Alpher finds little hope for Israeli-Palestinian peace in the formation of a new government in Israel, while in openSecurity, Andrea Teti suggests that Nato can learn from the EU's experience in the region.
Iannis Carras ponders the theme of suicide as Greece and Europe prepare for its new election in the ongoing crisis of the EU. Eric Gordy anatomises a new Serbian disillusion, and Patrice de Beer measures the French president's delicate political balancing-act.
Anna Minton tracks the London Olympics' expropriation of public space as a new debate is launched in the British section. John Davey welcomes England's emergence from Britain's failed modernisation, Jeremy Fox mourns the UK's anachronistic brand-projection, Gerry Hassan presents a vision of Scotland's self-determination, and Julian Sarayer and Padraig Reidy highlight different aspects of Twitter's political potential as Tony Curzon Pricereviews the birth of the English Bible.
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