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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

openDemocracy analysts explore the concepts of power that are redefining the 21st century political world.

Bin Laden, Dostoevsky and the reality principle: an interview with André Glucksmann

Europe is trapped by complacency and an all too human desire for oblivious contentment, says a leading French philosopher. This helps ensure the success of the nihilistic terror and extremist ideology exemplified by al-Qaida and Saddam Hussein. (From the archive, originally published 31 March 2003)

Kant's 'perpetual peace': utopia or political guide?

Amid the confusions of global security in the 21st century, can Immanuel Kant’s 209-year old vision of perpetual peace still provide illumination? A leading German analyst assesses its value in the age of pre-emptive war.

Immanuel Kant and Iraq: a reply to Roger Scruton

Antje Vollmer, vice-president of the German “Bundestag” and influential Green politician, disagrees with the English philosopher Roger Scruton: Immanuel Kant’s commitment to reason and law, she responds, would have led him to oppose the Iraq war.

Inventing peace

A passionate and pragmatic call to teach and practice peace from a veteran activist whose energy is undiminished.

Immanuel Kant and the Iraq war

The German philosopher Immanuel Kant developed his thought in the era of global conflict sparked by the American and French Revolutions. His response was an appeal to enlightenment, law and reason. Two hundred years on, the distinguished English philosopher Roger Scruton asks: where would Kant’s principles lead him today?

Noble lies and perpetual war: Leo Strauss, the neocons, and Iraq

Are the ideas of the conservative political philosopher Leo Strauss a shaping influence on the Bush administration’s world outlook? Danny Postel interviews Shadia Drury – a leading scholarly critic of Strauss – and asks her about the connection between Plato’s dialogues, secrets and lies, and the United States-led war in Iraq.

What was initially an anti-war argument is now a matter of public record. It is widely recognised that the Bush administration was not honest about the reasons it gave for invading Iraq.

Authoritarian Man: the Axis of Good

The cold war, neo-liberal triumph and 9/11 have ushered in the assertive global hegemony of the United States and its British and Australian satraps. But the millennial project of imperial nationalism conceals a labyrinth of fear – of ordinariness, lost greatness, multiculturalism, globalisation itself.

Mirror reflections: fundamentalism and the market economy

The market economy and fundamentalist religion each aspire to colonise minds, dominate the public realm, and suppress free debate. Terrorism is only the extreme end of the much wider disaffection that results. The multiple insights of cybernetics and systems thinking are urgently needed to refresh minds, revivify politics, and offer practical ways out of the tunnel of dogma which marketolatry imposes on the world.

To the mountain

Iraq, the Republic of Fear under Saddam, is now ruled by a Coalition of Fear. The distinguished writer John Berger said on the eve of war that lies prepare the way for missiles. Now he sees revealed in the desperate chaos of Baghdad the blindness of a force whose pitiless weaponry and limitless ambition offer no insight into the truths of its conquest.

“If we don’t succeed, we run the risk of failure.” George W. Bush

Baghdad has fallen. The city has been taken by the troops who were bringing it freedom.

Justice against peace?

The crisis over Saddam Hussein and his regime raises acute questions of law, war, justice, and peace. Can the practice of international criminal justice actually undermine peace and lead to even greater violence? Could a more flexible understanding of the relationship between law and politics help avoid this outcome?

Asymmetrical strategies

What are the military options for Iraq? How will the US deploy their firepower? What is the likelihood of street battles in Baghdad? The author of “War in the Twenty-First Century” assesses the options.

Return to the state of nature

The US-led war on Iraq is more than a failure of American strategy, diplomacy and thinking; in its heedless rejection of international institutions and their norms of co-operation, it represents a dangerous retreat to the law of the jungle.
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