Revolutions, refugees and Russian roulette – The Week in 1 Minute: January 20 – 26 on openDemocracy

It’s been a week of protests, verging on revolution in Ukraine, and oD Russia shows us Yanukovych’s Face of a tyrant and helps the confused with a guide to the players. One of these, a nation about to arrange the Olympics, should perhaps pay more attention to its region of Siberia. But why did Putin free Khodorkovsky?

26 January 2014

We mark the three years since Egypt’s revolution, with a letter from imprisoned activist blogger Alaa, and other insightful writing from amongst others Rana NessimMaged MandourHesham Shafick and Andrea Teti and Gennaro Gervasio.

The prosecution of an Indian diplomat sparks a row between India and the US, and Rick Cohen makes the case for consistency. L K Sharma looks at India as a laboratory for studying change; others do the same exercise on Hungary.

The powerful are meeting in Davosbad for your health, says John Hilary, while David Sogge warns that as they do, our global public space and politics shrink that little bit more. EU elections are coming up, but in France it’s hard to find a mention of Europe at all, as another shock is expected from its far right.

The Syria conference in Geneva offers little hope as long as Iran isn’t there, is the assessment of Paul Rogers, while Rebecca Cousins looks at what can make an Iran nuclear deal work. An analysis of Iran’s culture of violence is a sobering read, as is an article on the unreported violence against women in Syria. As we look at Hamas’ response to the Syrian uprising, what can we expect to happen to the fragile Syrian-Israeli peace?

At 50.50, how at UK universities religious rights trumps other rights, a reply to the case against criminalising forced marriageunpaid care, and why women in Kenya are still dying from abortions.

The UK closet has skeletons falling out of it: we hear of evidence that could spell trouble at the International Criminal Court, of claims of being complicit in torture and of Thatcher and SAS involvement in the 1984 raid on the Sikh Golden Temple. The probation service is working though, writes a former probation officer, but that doesn’t stop the government from wanting to privatise it.  

The country is shy about climate changeas it battles floods – but perhaps the beaver can help?

In depressingly unsurprising news, banks play Russian roulette with our future, the Cameron government sides with speculators and the death of a migrant is only of interest to the media if he comes from, say, Canada.

Also: the battle for housing rights, the truth about Pakistan’s Afghan refugees, Pope Francis’ theology of change, a funder’s dilemma and refugees’ stories. Last but not least, Rod Jones on how in an unregulated capitalist economy, liberal democracy is always threatened with authoritarian regression.

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Can there be a green populist project on the Left?

Many on the Left want to return to a politics based on class, not populism. They point to Left populist parties not reaching their goals. But Chantal Mouffe argues that as the COVID-19 pandemic has put the need for protection from harm at the top of the agenda, a Left populist strategy is now more relevant than ever.

Is this an opportunity for a realignment around a green democratic transformation?

Join us for a free live discussion on Thursday 22 October, 5pm UK time/12pm EDT.

Hear from:

Paolo Gerbaudo Sociologist and political theorist, director of the Centre for Digital Culture at King’s College London and author of ‘The Mask and the Flag: Populism and Global Protest’ and ‘The Digital Party: Political Organisation and Online Democracy’, and of the forthcoming ‘The Great Recoil: Politics After Populism and Pandemic’.

Chantal Mouffe Emeritus Professor of Political Theory at the University of Westminster in London. Her most recent books are ‘Agonistics. Thinking the World Politically’, ‘Podemos. In the Name of the People’ and ‘For a Left Populism’.

Spyros A. Sofos Researcher and research coordinator at the Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University and author of ‘Nation and Identity in Contemporary Europe’, ‘Tormented by History’ and ‘Islam in Europe: Public Spaces and Civic Networks'.

Chair: Walid el Houri Researcher, journalist and filmmaker based between Berlin and Beirut. He is partnerships editor at openDemocracy and lead editor of its North Africa, West Asia project.

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