Previous discussions

After Minneapolis, is the US ‘a failed social experiment’?

The horrific killing of George Floyd has shocked the world and sparked uprising across the US. Join openDemocracy to discuss what this means for the world’s superpower.

Hear from:
Zoé Samudzi Co-author of "As Black as Resistance: Finding the Conditions for Liberation" and PhD candidate in Medical Sociology at the University of California, San Francisco.
Rasna Warah Kenyan writer and journalist.
Aaron White North America economics editor, openDemocracy
Chair: Lola Olufemi Author of "Feminism, Interrupted: Disrupting Power".

COVID-19 and the human side of globalisation

Usually, profits come before people. But this year, governments across the world have been forced to shut down their economies and put life first. Why? Join openDemocracy for a live discussion on what the coronavirus tells us about globalisation, neoliberalism and our shared experience as humanity.

Hear from:
Anthony Barnett Founder of openDemocracy, and author of ‘Out of the Belly of Hell: COVID-19 and the humanisation of globalisation’, which looks at how social movements since 1968 have reshaped the world. Achille Mbembe Leading post-colonial philosopher who developed the idea of necropolitics: how politics can dictate who lives and who dies.
Thea Riofrancos Author of ‘A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal’ and ‘Resource Radicals: From Petro-Nationalism to Post-Extractivism in Ecuador’. She is an Assistant Professor of Political Science at Providence College.
Chair: Réka Kinga Papp Hungarian journalist and editor-in-chief of Eurozine.

Libya: between conflict and pandemic, what hope for human rights?

In Libya, despite a collapsed health system, conflict has intensified. People are trapped between fighting and the threat of the coronavirus.

How can countries in conflict tackle the spread of the coronavirus? How far should their people give up personal freedoms and human rights? And what can international law do?

Watch Lawyers for Justice in Libya and openDemocracy discuss Libya's dilemmas.

Hear from:
Asma Khalifa Libyan activist and researcher and co-founder of the Tamazight Women’s Movement. She is currently a research fellow at the German Institute of Global and Area Studies. In 2017, Asma was named one of the ‘100 Most Influential Young Africans’.
Tarek Megerisi Libyan political analyst and researcher, currently a Policy Fellow of the North Africa and Middle East programme at the European Council of Foreign Relations in London.
Hanan Salah Senior Libya researcher in the Middle East and North Africa division at Human Rights Watch.
Kate Vigneswaran Senior Legal Adviser with the MENA Programme of the International Commission of Jurists. Prior to joining the ICJ, she was a consultant with the UNDOC’s Eastern Africa and Southeast Asia regional offices, Legal Director of Fortify Rights in Southeast Asia, and prosecution lawyer at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia.
Chair: Marwa Mohamed Head of Advocacy and Outreach at Lawyers for Justice in Libya. Prior to joining LFJL, she worked as the Libya Researcher with Amnesty International, documenting human rights violations in Libya.

After Lockdown: How do we fix Britain’s dirty money industry?

From money laundering to arms smuggling to VAT fraud, big-time criminals use one tool above all others to hide their tracks: British corporate structures.

The UK's respectable-looking register of companies distracts attention from a complete absence of checks on the people creating them. This makes the country an accessory to staggering volumes of financial crime.

What will it take to make this better?

Hear from:
Susan Hawley Director of Spotlight on Corruption, and one of the UK's most respected anti-corruption voices.
Peter Geoghegan Investigations Editor at openDemocracyUK and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'
Heather Marquette Professor of Development Politics, University of Birmingham, and a Fellow in the Institute for Global Innovation’s Twenty-First Century Transnational Organised Crime research cluster.
Chair: Oliver Bullough Journalist and the author of 'Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Now Rule the World and How to Take It Back'

Why is COVID-19 making Britain more unequal?

Tenants falling behind on rent. Migrants unable to claim benefits. Families already in debt. Low-paid workers facing pay cuts or job losses. The UK government has promised help for some – but millions more still have little or safety net. Coronavirus has exposed the inadequacy of the UK benefits system, where the most vulnerable are hit hardest by the pandemic. What can we do to avoid stop-gap solutions and really protect people from poverty, both now and in the future?

Hear from:
Caroline Molloy
Editor of openDemocracyUK
Sarah Arnold
Senior Economist, New Economics Foundation
Kate Belgrave
journalist and author of a forthcoming book on the UK benefits system
Chair: Mary Fitzgerald
Editor-in-Chief, openDemocracy

How can we challenge human rights abuses during this pandemic?

The coronavirus crisis has brought with it an unprecedented attack on human rights around the world. openDemocracy hosted a discussion with three women leading the fight for justice and human rights around the world during pandemic – and long after.

Helena Kennedy Director of the International Bar Association’s Human Rights Institute, Labour member of the House of Lords in the UK.
Latanya Mapp Frett President of the Global Fund for Women, based in the US, and a former Executive Director of Planned Parenthood Global.
Monica Roa Acclaimed international women’s rights activist. In 2006, she and her organisation persuaded the Constitutional Court of Columbia to overturn the ban on abortion. She is now based in Spain.
Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy

Are we we entering a new era of Chinese-style authoritarian capitalism?

From coronavirus to climate change, China looks like it is surging ahead of the US and its allies. Are we witnessing the slow death of liberal capitalism?

Paul Mason journalist and author of 'Clear Bright Future: A Radical Defence of the Human Being'.
Dr Linda Yueh economist and author of 'The Great Economists: How Their Ideas Can Help Us Today'
Laurie Macfarlane economics editor, openDemocracy.
Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy

Has COVID-19 changed your mind about anything?

These unprecedented times are changing how we live - but also how we feel and what we think. On 16 April, the openDemocracy team discussed how our old views are being challenged.

How coronavirus is being used to attack democracy – and how to fight back

How the pandemic is being used to remove democratic rights around the world.

Berhan Taye Senior policy analyst for the digital rights group Access Now, based in Kenya.
Justin Spike Journalist based in Hungary, covering the Orbán regime over the last decade and currently investigating the government’s COVID-19 crackdown.
Aarti Khosla Journalist based in New Delhi, publisher of the website and of the media agency
Leigh Baldwin Editor of SourceMaterial. He previously worked as an investigative journalist for Global Witness and as a reporter for Bloomberg News, and is collaborating with openDemocracy on our DemocracyWatch newsletter.
Mary Fitzgerald, Editor-in-chief of openDemocracy, facilitated the discussion.

Who is happy about coronavirus?

An online, global discussion about some of the biggest threats and opportunities of our time, affecting rights and democracies around the world – and what we can do now to start building a more just and equal future for all of us.

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