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This week’s editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The refugee crisis: demilitarising masculinities

Photos emerging from the borders of Europe weave a new narrative around what it means to be vulnerable, to be a man, to say no to war and to be a refugee.

Border games and their pawns

Balkan borders dominoed shut last week, ostensibly to block ‘economic migrants’, and now only Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis may pass. Those trapped, however, have come too far to stay quiet.

The EU and its neighbours: enforcing the politics of inhospitality

Today marks the start of the two-day Valletta Euro-African summit on migration in Malta, but the outcomes of deterrence, surveillance and militarisation are already written. 

Overcoming the European refugee crisis

With no sign of the refugee crisis slowing down, here are five key principles for action which are both more humane towards migrants, and more broadly supported by the European publics.

Giving the word: the making of a refugee newspaper

A refugee lawyer from Kobane and a Danish newspaper editor explain why one of Denmark's media platforms was handed over to a group of refugees for a day.

What’s in a name? The complex reality of migration and human rights in the twenty-first century

Why is a refugee someone fleeing from war? Why not someone fleeing from hopeless poverty?

Dublin is over: the rise of Europe's new migrant prisons

By getting the UNHCR and Frontex to more directly intervene in the first moments of arrival with identification and fingerprinting, the EU is attempting to retake control of movement throughout Europe.

More than a refuge, a welcome

In today’s world, it is essential to take welcoming into account in the cycle of reproduction of social life.

More Frontex is not the answer to the refugee crisis

Rather than investing millions more in fences, patrols, and an EU Border Guard, we need the courage to accept that the policies of exclusion have failed.

I know the fear and hope of those seeking refuge in Europe

If I could send a message to European leaders it would be this. Understand why people risk everything to reach Europe. Show them the same humanity being shown by ordinary citizens.


It seems normal to grant priority to victims of wars which are destroying Iraq and Syria, because we all share a large part of the responsibilities in the present conflicts.

Europe and the refugees: a demographic enlargement

We will begin to understand that in order for Europe to be able to carry out the task which has suddenly fallen to it, a new Europe is required, with a different political form.

Why the EU gets in the way of refugee solidarity

To distribute people, the most sensitive dimension of solidarity, is firstly about sharing norms; the rights of the asylum seekers must be guaranteed in reality, not just in law. 

The meaning of the refugee crisis

"One is reminded of the beautiful summer days of 1944, when tens of thousands of Jews were forcibly marched to their deaths through the streets of Budapest." Hungarian, Romanian, Serbian and Czech.

Looking through the fence: Hungary's refugee psyche

The Hungarian reaction to the refugee crisis has caused a media storm. But before we join in the castigation, let's try and understand the reasons behind Hungary's actions.

Tear gas at the EU’s border

The chloropicrin agent used as a popular pesticide belongs historically to the same family of toxic irritants used in tear gas attacks against refugees.This is not an innocent coincidence.

Five ways ordinary people are helping refugees in Calais

As the humanitarian crisis in Calais grows, the media is increasingly dominated with tales of savagery and menace in the refugee camps. But the reality couldn’t be further from the truth.

The argument against compassion: Europe and the refugees

These justifications seem to be logically weak: the problem, however, is that they capture the imagination of large masses of people in Europe.

Who's afraid of the 'global poor'?

Shifting the migration debate to consider the impact of global phenomena such as climate change and global capitalism on the movement of people requires an understanding of scarcity and insecurity as factors which affect citizens and non-citizens alike.

Borderland Europe and the challenge of migration

We tend to think that the external limits of the European Union define the 'real' borders of Europe, which is a mistake.

Walking in the sun: refugees on Samos island

The issue of making refugees walk 20 or 25 kms in the blazing heat is just one example amongst many that demonstrates the casual cruelties which are routinely inflicted on the refugees who arrive on Samos.

The answer to the refugee crisis? A return to European ideals.

The refugee crisis is symbolic of the political crisis in Europe. To avoid systemic collapse, Europe must return to solidarity and protecting those fleeing war and persecution.

Who’s responsible for violence against migrant women?

Migrant women are vulnerable to violence at all stages of their journey due to gendered inequalities and relations of domination. Current EU policies restricting migration exacerbate their vulnerability.

Libya: "Rejoicing at our bloody democracy"

For sustainable peace, the UN must refuse to sanction militarism as the default response to unwanted migration and invest in grassroots women and youth human rights defenders.

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