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Retrospect for the week: July 9th - 15th on openDemocracy

Ash Amin and Pep Subirós have collaborated on several projects opposing social discrimination and exclusion, culminating in the Forum of Concerned Citizens of Europe. This week’s theme, Reinventing democracy in Europe, springs from a seminar hosted this May in the Centre for Contemporary Culture in Barcelona by our guest editors and attended by openDemocracy Editor, Rosemary Bechler.

15 July 2012

Our redesigned front page (above the bar) still accommodates a left and right column, here put to dialectical use in our retrospect for the week, with the crisis comprehensively anatomized on the left hand side, by Claus Offe on Europe’s finance-dominated post-democracy, Albena Azmanova on irresponsible states and misdirected protest, and Yudit Kiss on the privatization of politics. They are challenged to differentiate theirs from a populist critique by a thoughtful Jordi Vaquer: while on the right hand side, Ash Amin ponders how to refashion collective feeling, leading the way in bold solutions. Home-grown from Barcelona, we have a feminist treat from Sandra Ezquerra, who chronicles the steep climb such refashioning involves, followed by Joan Subirats and Marco Berlinguer on the emerging promise of the commons. openDemocracy columnist, Markha Valenta, brings the feature to a close with a gauntlet thrown down to another of our friends, Roger Scruton and his protégées, on nationalism in Europe. The articles from the guest week have been brought together on a page dedicated to reinventing democracy in Europe.

This week’s window on the Middle East’ has a thoughtful lead column from Rita in Syria and Martin Stephens on Qatari discomfort with western social norms, while Nicholas McGeehan calls on readers to face up to Qatar’s global ambitions, Salam Al Kawakibi sees Syria buried in geopolitics, and Khaled Hroub espies new opportunities for France in the region. Martin Evans reads Algeria’s 2012 elections, while Francis Ghilès’ reminiscences give us access to a compelling country’s troubled half-century.

Elsewhere, there is grimmer remembering in Srebrenica; Paul Rogers considers a thinning world; in words and pictures, Robin Llewellyn illuminates the Mayan struggle over land, oil and gold; and ourBeeb extends its scrutiny of Reithian ‘balance’ into the terrain of climate change.

Barbara Gunnell is not alone in asking if the poor can afford to stay alive in Britain; Clare Sambrook turns up the heat of her investigative comments on G4S, in a week of dismal exposure in the British press; and as the UN declares internet access a human right, Andrei Soldatov tracks this week’s moves by the Kremlin to take control over Russia’s burgeoning social networks.

Do not miss:

UN Report declares internet a human right
Mapping genocide in Srebrenica
Roger Scruton on Europeans are from nations first
Elinor Ostrom remembered

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