If, like me, you're finding it hard to feel hopeful about the state of the world, here's something to lift your spirits. All of a sudden it seems that cities across the globe are standing up for liberty and rights.
The big story at the moment, of course, is Hong Kong's protests against Chinese control. On the other side of Asia, meanwhile, the people of Istanbul are coming to terms with the success of their own peaceful revolt against authoritarianism. In June, a candidate devoted to the "language of love" was elected mayor, defeating a former prime minister from the party of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.
Sinem Adar and Yektan Türkyılmaz argue that it's impossible to say what will come next. "The political space in Turkey after 23 June has burst wide open," they say. But since the paranoid Erdoğan has dismantled so much of the normal apparatus of governance, it could be either a still narrower dictatorship or a radical liberalisation that occupies that space.
In Moscow voters will choose a new city council on 8 September – if the elections are not cancelled. Tanya Lokshina describes the personal and political problems she has faced while reporting a summer of "protests and rain".
Police have arrested thousands and beaten dozens of protesters in the heart of the city. But, as both Alexander Zamyatin and Grigory Yudin explain, Vladimir Putin's government is finding it hard to counter citizens' demand to allow independent candidates to stand. openDemocracy will be following what happens in Moscow closely.
Expect another contest with authoritarianism in October, when Budapest will hold elections for mayor and council. At present Viktor Orbán's Fidesz party rules the Hungarian capital – and on past form will stop at nothing to keep it that way.
This week on openDemocracy
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Whatever happened to that blissful dawn? I want it back.
Pollsters and broadcasters mustn’t allow themselves to become accomplices to propaganda selling a false version of the 'will of the people'.
In 2007 the left was not ready to respond. This time it must be different.
On the radical transformations affecting Arab culture in the digital age.