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Populism, Trump, and the future of democracy

The upheavals we are witnessing are a political response to a political failure of historic proportions, argues the most popular political philosopher of his generation. Obama’s presidency was the last, late opportunity for liberalism to make a change, an opportunity not taken.

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Why I am not a Liberal and how we need to fight bin Trump and Brexit

Trumpism cannot be defeated by seeing it as irrational – nor by withdrawing from Europe. Response to Jan Zielonka and Michael Sandel on the role of liberalism in the rise of the hard right.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world

The Queen rules the Commonwealth!

Many epithets have been used to run down the Commonwealth. The London summit may even be called the Commonwealth Games II…

Unsympathetic people: the overwhelming success of Poland's exclusionary agenda

Three elements seem to have played a decisive role in this: voluntary servitude, the Polish brand of inferiority complex, and a deep-seated Polish anti-Semitism and more general exclusivism.

Subcontracting and forced labour in Italy: a tale of depoliticised labour relations

In Italy, discourses around labour subcontracting in the agricultural sector serve an important purpose: obscuring the root causes of labour exploitation.

You are all Northern Ireland now

The post BREXIT landscape sees two rival blocs with totally different, seemingly irreconcilable national aspirations. Welcome to my world.

The ‘Doctrine of Humanitarian Intervention’: and how it exposes the absence of any serious intention to help Syrians

Diplomacy should focus on the humanitarian situation and the need for civilian protection rather than or as well as finding a political solution.

Whose human rights? The marginalisation of dissent in France and spreading

The use of human rights to criminalize the French Boycott, Divestment and Sanction (BDS) campaign sends out a warning alert.

No appetite for a deregulatory post-Brexit Britain: new findings on public attitudes

The transformation of the aims of Brexit emerged during the early days of the referendum campaign, when the cross-party campaign for leave realised where the route to broad-based success lay.

The ‘refugee crisis’ in the Mediterranean: the role of EU states, civil society and art

As the EU turns away from international human rights commitments, asserting border controls at almost any cost including that to humanitarian activists, what role can art play?

The ‘Europeanization’ of schooling: what is a European education?

In an ambitious future, education as a common good means an education enjoyed by the whole community, built by citizens culturally capable of influencing, acting and imagining alternatives.

Facebook, privacy, and the use of data

How to think about this, what to call for, and some links to help.

Hungary threatens the European Union – a photo essay from Budapest

"I joined a massive demonstration against the Orbán supremacy a week after the election, on Saturday afternoon 14 March. It completely filled Budapest’s wide avenues between the Opera and Parliament."

The myth of the Swedish education miracle

The Swedish model is not especially efficient or good, but it is the one that has pushed as far as possible the post-authoritarian logic in modern European education.

The Commonwealth gets extra attention

Some 5,000 participants from government, business and civil society have arrived for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting (CHOGM). The central theme of the deliberations is ‘Towards a Common Future’.

Goodbye WTO?

The WTO has to be reformed and updated, not discarded. And the EU should play its part, while at the same time promoting its own industrial growth.

Precariat spring: Spanish social movements get ready for a new cycle of mobilisation

During the last month pensioners, women and housing activists suffering from precarious conditions have taken to the streets with one key demand: an end to the precarity of their lives. Español

Why the EU condones human rights violations of refugees in Hungary

While politicians such as Merkel polish their shining armour, the dirty job done at Europe’s periphery shelters them from actually having to apply their principles on their own territory. 

The misuse of abuse: fears of potentially abusive litigation are overriding the reality of abusive companies in Europe

It’s time to look to the future of collective redress in the EU on the basis of the evidence, for victims of corporate abuse in all member states and for all types of harm.

In the bad guys’ lair - AKS Zły and their alternative football

Players, managers and supporters of AKS Zły in Poland take their sport seriously and know that winning is the best way to show that an alternative way of playing football is possible.

In Poland and Ukraine, history conflicts reveal the limits of the “nationalist international”

Historical issues have once again divided far-right groups in Poland and Ukraine. 

Re-thinking EU-Turkey co-operation over migration

Turkey’s military offensive in Afrin is also an example of how refugees are instrumentalized to gain domestic support for foreign policy ambitions.

Hungary’s regime is proof that capitalism can be deeply authoritarian

Blaming citizens for their alleged populist or anti-democratic turn is misleading. Without the active involvement of the economic elite, both foreign and domestic, authoritarian capitalism could not have emerged in Hungary.

Lights in the distance

A new book on migration processes in the European Union foregrounds human stories, militarising borders and Europe’s new racism. RU

Poland’s ‘holocaust law’ redefines hate speech

This new law exploits the spirit of such legislation in order to bolster the ruling majority’s authority and to further intimidate vulnerable groups. 

Honourable deceptions in the choreography of the Northern Ireland Peace Process

In some situations, the end does justify the means. In these anti-political times isn't it useful to remember the positive role political actors can play in making the world a better place?

Crossed boundaries? Migrants and police on the French-Italian border

An eyewitness account and analysis of what it means for French customs officials to force a Nigerian man to urinate in Italy. 

The rising precariat and left-transformation: an examination of the Five Star Movement and Corbyn’s Labour Party

Corbyn’s Labour like the Five Star Movement has adopted a policy agenda based on political and social justice.

Restore Julian Assange’s access to visitors and to the outside world

We call upon all citizens of good conscience to ask the Ecuadorian authorities to restore Assange’s access to the outside world, and demand that the British authorities end his detention.

Free speech under siege in Spain

The situation has become darker in recent months. The monarchy, which has traditionally enjoyed a good image among Spaniards, is now at the heart of the controversy on free speech.

How to democratise Brexit and take back control of our future: an appeal to Jeremy Corbyn

A paradox of our time: EU elections in Britain could trigger a genuine debate about Brexit, healing some of the divisions that the referendum has created.

Commercial interference in the European media

Many people feel journalists “are not really able to resist pressures from financial interests”. Jean-Paul Marthoz considers the problem.