November 14 - 20 on openDemocracy

Have the Occupy movements we are covering around the western world gained ground following the concerted evictions of camps in the US? The resulting public outrage could benefit the movement, argues Todd Gitlin, who offers advice as to how the movement should adapt its strategy. Our Editor-in-Chief, Tony Curzon Price, spent time on Wall Street and calls for the movement to use to virtual world, in a deeply original analysis of the new qualities it brings to democracy.
28 November 2011

Most of Europe rejoiced after Silvio Berlusconi finally stepped down as Italy’s Prime Minister. But the departure of leaders does not mean that the regimes that nurtured them go too, as we are witnessing in Egypt. On the contrary, Andrea Teti argues persuasively, Berlusconism is very much alive. We also go beyond the debates on bailouts, bond yields and banking regulation. Why has there not been a resurgence of the radical right? And how does public discontent surface in Greece

oDRussia and guest editor Dmitry Travin have run a fantastic series of essays on Russian economic reform. In the autumn of 1991, Yegor Gaidar’s group of young economists began this work. What is the net impact 20 years later? Assessing the rate of change, the results of privatisation, the influence of the politics on the economy, the scale of corruption and the development of the banking system leads to one conclusion: Russia today is in trauma because these changes have ground to a halt.

Across the Arab world it is also non-stop as Tunisians get to grips with the implications of their recent election. Prospects for change in Lebanon are undermined by a lack of national and political unity. Iraq, meanwhile, is edging closer towards partition.

50:50 finds that change is not always for the better in the short-term. In South Kordofan activists who had mobilized women to vote were targeted during outbreaks of post-election violence. Inequality in South Africa is on the rise. Even in Britain, funding cuts deeply hit organizations on the frontline against abuse against women.

We continued our coverage of the privatization of English higher education and social immobility in Britain. We also looked at developments in Colombia following the killing of FARC leader Cano, followed up on the development of Al Shabab in Somalia into a mature insurgency group, and checked out the effect of drones on al-Qaeda while in what one reader calls “the funniest article in openDemocracy ever,” Jim Gabour ponders leadership in Texas, from when he nearly sprung, in Home on Deranged.

Three links not to miss:

The Triumphalist: John Gray on Francis Fukuyama

Barry Schwartz on the Paradox of Choice

Who said Gaddafi had to go? asks Hugh Roberts at LRB

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Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

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