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The Week in 1 Minute: Revolts, revolutions and risk – February 25 – March 2 on openDemocracy

Revolutions arise when a critical mass stands up in the name of human dignity – saying no to subjugation and domination. As Karma Nabulsi emphasises, these predicaments still fuel revolt in our societies: Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi tells us how female asylum seekers fight back against inhumane detention and Kate Belgrave reports on the battle for decent social housing by East London single mothers.

2 March 2014

Sometimes the wave of revolt sweeps an entire country: just look at Ukraine, where thousands rose up against a corrupt and kleptocratic state. But what comes after might be the trickiest part. The lack of assistance from the west, the risk of hijacking by the far right and the tension around Crimea are but three of the challenges facing Ukraine, as Nicolas Bouchet, Cas Mudde and Taras Kuzio warn.

Instructive in this regard is the aftermath of the Arab Spring. David Held and Kristian C. Ulrichsen look at what hindered the initial aspiration for justice and political reform, while Gilbert Achcar explains the legacy of Nasserism in Egyptian consciousness... and exactly how this relates to the predicted triumph of Sisi.

Leila Zaki Chakravarti asks what hope there is for political pluralism when the state infiltrates all layers of society, including football. The Tunisian outcome is more uplifting, and could even replace Turkey as the model to follow given the moral and political failure of the AKP.

People in the west, too, feel an urge to revolt. In OurKingdom's new Just Money series, Ann Pettifor argues that we can end the despotism of finance, while Costas Lapavitsas tells us how to confront financialisation and Anastasia Nesvetailova unveils the shadow banking sector.

Yet, our revolutionary impulse is held back by the static of meaningless yet vitriolic debate and the divisions amidst the oppressed (don't miss Chitra Nagarajan and Rosi Braidotti on the challenges of intersectionality and political change). Increasing adoption of 'non-lethal' control methods such as water cannon by western governments is equally worrying, writes Anthony Barnett.

Our times have already produced an extraordinarily diverse array of revolutionary thought – from a new political space in Scotland to a kinder economy. Don't miss our series of dispatches from the occupied Teatro Valle in Rome - introduced here by guest editors Andrea Mura and Dario Gentili. Highlights include Costas Douzinas on new strategies of resistance, Engin Isin on the role of art in revolutionary politics and an attempt to build a constitutional assembly of the commons. And finally, don't miss our interview with David Harvey on austerity as a politics of autocracy and the securitised state.


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