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This week’s front page editor


Sunny Hundal is openDemocracy’s social media editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Is the internet to blame for the rise of authoritarianism?

Three perspectives on whether the internet is having a damaging impact on democracy.

Democratic distress in Europe and the USA: a transatlantic malaise?

What could Americans and Europeans learn from each other about the looming crisis of democracy?

Education and orientalist discourse

The topic of education fits neatly into the orientalist middle class rhetoric about the poor, ignoring its role as an instrument of class power and domination in an autocratic country like Egypt. 

Not a Saudi ‘Arab spring’: Mohammad Bin Salman, a threat not a reformer [Part 2]

Mohammad bin Salman is now MENA’s main threat to peace, stability, and hope for democratization in the Arab world.

The Tunisian revolution seven years on

Seven years after the Tunisian revolution one can dissect four main conflict issues in Tunisia today.

Not a Saudi ‘Arab spring’: Mohammad Bin Salman, a threat not a reformer [Part 1]

Putting “Mohammad bin Salman” next to “Arab Spring” is either an oxymoron or an antithesis.

The return of authoritarianism is priming the Middle East for more conflict

How is the Saudi-Iranian rivalry overwriting the Arab Spring’s key messages?

Libya: damned if we do and damned if we don’t

Given the complex attitudes towards foreign interventions in Libya, we need a clear strategy that stands up to local, regional, and international scrutiny.

Is it time we had an international framework for unilateral secession?

The current UN Charter is unsuitable, outdated and preoccupied with the era of decolonisation, which posed very different challenges to those we are facing today.

Elections do not mean democracy

Elections are not a bad thing. But for the sake of our own commitment to honesty, let us not deceive ourselves into believing that Jordan is democratizing. 

Pushing together solutions to polarization and manipulation in social media

Along with digital exclusion, polarization and manipulation are the main problems of digital democracy. Español

What went wrong with Turkey’s referendum?

As illiberal democracy is becoming more the norm than the exception in the world, Turkey’s referendum is another missed historical opportunity.

Occupying democracy

The replacement of democratically elected HDP/DBP mayors and local municipality workers by AKP appointees is a grave threat to democracy in Turkish Kurdistan and the larger region.

How democracy vouchers could combat big money in politics

Across the USA, voters are pushing for public-matching systems to replace the influence of wealthy bankrollers in elections.

A vision for Western Sahara and the Moroccan protest movement

If autonomy is to prevail then it should be an autonomy within a fully and strictly democratic Morocco, and if confederation is to prevail then a confederation within a fully and strictly democratic Western Sahara.

In defence of Tunisia’s democratic sovereignty

Tunisia's sovereignty is already at risk, and its destiny now seems to depend largely on negotiations between an international oligarchy and the national plutocracy.

Seven myths about democracy in Morocco

Morocco: stable, reformist, and taking steady if slow steps towards democracy—right? Wrong. Some common myths debunked.

Defending Tunisia’s constitution

Tunisia faces the challenge of responding to security threats while avoiding a return of the security state that Tunisians rose up against in 2011. It's a rocky but clearly marked path.

Badass teachers and the future of American democracy

Education should be a transformative experience. Instead, it’s being converted into a commodity that can be quantified, bought and sold.

Egypt's liberal coup?

Contrary to appearances, the embrace by some Egyptian liberals of anti-democratic practices may not be in contradiction with their liberal principles. This goes to show that the ‘goods’ of liberty and democracy are not identifiably the same or always harmonious, and it is mistaken to think so.

Algeria’s presidential elections: a litany of failures by the political class has wasted a golden opportunity for change

Taking place sixty years since the Algerian revolution, today’s presidential elections presented the perfect occasion for the country to turn a new leaf after decades of mismanagement and stagnation. Instead, a litany of political and moral failures by the political class has turned a golden opportunity into a wasted one.

Responding to Myners: Notes on Co-operative Governance

Paul Myners is conducting a review of Governance of the Co-operative Group in the wake of the near-insolvency caused by the problems at the Bank formerly owned by the Group. In his reply to the Group’s consultation exercise, Dave Boyle makes some suggestions for constructive reform.

The Snowden Fallout

In America, candidacy is reserved only for those who can afford it, betraying the essential democratic concept of choice. How has Edward Snowden's choice to sacrifice himself for his fellow citizens allowed an alternative to this narrow form of democracy?

From Russia, lessons for Egypt

Can manipulating the democratic process ever play out in the interest of progressive politics? Samuel A. Greene suggests not: we’ve been in this situation before, in post-Soviet Russia, with largely calamitous results. 

Farewell to Free Market Fundamentalism by Jeremy Fox

The end of neo-liberal capitalism has been the most critical development in the history of modern democracy. When the struggle began, during the last century, the odds against defeating an economic model so entrenched in Western thinking seemed formidable.  The vulnerable middle classes as well as the vast armies of the poor seemed defenceless against the power of elites who controlled multinational capital and the governments that supported them. What swung the balance in favour of the people was the formation of supra-national political movements capable of acting simultaneously across borders in the same way as capital. As a result,  governments, corporations, and agencies like the IMF, IADB and WTO came under pressure everywhere to place education, social welfare, and the environment at the heart of productive activity. Awareness of the potential to counteract the impersonal forces of market fundamentalism became a catalyst for a new democratic awakening in which people were able to exercise broad authority over their working lives and over economic policy.
The profile of commercial activity has necessarily also changed. Free trade treaties have been consigned to the rubbish dump of history as socially disruptive and undemocratic. Since firms depend on state-financed infrastructure, they are now treated as joint ventures with the people. Purely private enterprise, therefore, no longer exists. Companies pay tax both on profits and on their environmental footprint and disruption of human settlement. This has dramatically modified their willingness to invest in despoliation, and made it impossible for them to do so without local consent.

Carnaval na rua, author Jeremy Fox,
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