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This week’s World Forum for Democracy 2017 editors

Georgios Kolliarakis

Georgios Kolliarakis political scientist, is a senior researcher at the University of Frankfurt.

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Introducing this week’s theme: Media, parties and populism.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The survival game: post-referendum politics in Iraqi Kurdistan

The regional hostile post-referendum moves may seem to leave the Kurds with little reason for optimism, but in Kurdistan, resistance never comes as a surprise.

Iraqi Kurdistan: the fight for a seat at the table of nations

The result of Iraqi Kurdistan’s independence referendum was never in doubt, but the budding state’s future is.

Kurdistan referendum: why now is the wrong time

It appears that the referendum is arguably nothing more than a bargaining chip used by President Barzani, whilst also covering itself as a clever ploy to lull the suffering Kurdish population away from the on-going problems.

Can the Kurds pull off Kurdexit?

Iraqi Kurdistan president Masoud Barzani and former Iraqi foreign minister Hoshyar Zebari share their thoughts about the upcoming referendum on the independence of Iraqi Kurdistan.

The making of the modern Kurdish Middle East

Rather than a unified Kurdistan across borders, a single ethnic group with multiple sovereign territories is more likely to be the political foundation of the modern Kurdish Middle East.

Love in a time of fear: an interview with Dashni Morad

‘The Shakira of Kurdistan’ discusses feminism, Kurdish unity, and healing the scars of war.

Do the people of Kurdistan live in security?

The main threat to the people in the Kurdistan Region in Iraq is not ISIL, but failed governance which endangers human security.

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.

The consequences of politicized forces in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq

The politicization of the Kurdish military and security forces has a diverse and severe impact on human security, and stability in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.

What is missing in President Barzani’s rhetoric for a Kurdish state-building enterprise?

The question before Masoud Barzani is what to do in order to turn state-building rhetoric into a future Kurdish state.

Rebuilding Kobanê

A report from the war-torn city of Kobanê about the people trying to rebuild what Daesh and US bombs have destroyed.

Building autonomy in Turkey and Kurdistan: an interview with Revolutionary Anarchist Action

On the history of anarchism in Turkey and establishing alternatives to the current system through self-organisation, mutual aid and co-operatives.

The limited effectiveness of US Middle East policy

There's not much the US can do in a post-Saddam Middle East except practice containment (and keep up airpower)—another invasion of foreign occupiers will only drive yet more legitimacy to Daesh.

Prospects for a future Kurdistan

A future independent Kurdish state faces many political, economic, and administrative challenges, but its success could be a game-changer in the Middle East.

Syrian Kurds turn the tables on ISIS

Syrian Kurds have won a strategic victory in Tel Abyad, uniting two of their self-run cantons and putting ISIS on the back foot.

Mosul under IS

Three Sunni men from Mosul describe life under the so-called Islamic State.

Self-immolation in Kurdish Iraq

Why has self-immolation become an alarmingly common trend in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein?

Turkey: seeing Kurdish politics through a narrow prism

With its stance on Kobane, Ankara is in danger of undoing advances in the Kurdish peace process. It must act boldly now to set things back on course.

Oil politics and the battle for Kobane

Decades of energy colonialism in the Middle East come face to face with a democratic challenge in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan).

Why not Kurdistan?

As the Iraqi crisis haunts the Kurds, double standards in the principle of self-determination come to the fore.

Objectifying female fighters

We must acknowledge women's agency without allocating gratuitous attention to physical appearances or banal insinuations regarding their somehow 'illicit' deviation from conventional roles.

Scottish Green solidarity with the Kurdish people

We must support the people of Kobane in their fight against ISIS and Turkey's plans to install a buffer zone, both of which are plots to assassinate the democratic project in Rojava (Syrian Kurdistan). 

Western blind spot: the Kurds' forgotten war in Syria

A victory for the Kurds and their allies in Syria is a victory for all who want a future that is dictated neither by fundamentalists nor imperialists.

Democratic Islam Congress and the Middle East

The Democratic Islam Congresses called for by PKK leader Abdullah Öcalan are promoting an interpretation of Islam that bolsters Kurdish nationalist aspirations, but it remains to be seen exactly how they will deploy this turn to religion.

The proud neoliberalisation of Iraqi-Kurdistan

Kurdish nationalism in Iraqi-Kurdistan has been transformed from an ideology that strengthened resistance to the Iraqi Baathist dictatorship to a tool now being employed to help build shopping malls. 

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