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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

Mandela and Cuba: another memory hole

Recognition of the role of Cuba in aiding the ANC whilst the western powers backed apartheid is hardly serviceable in maintaining the conventional Cold War narrative. Hence the media's impressive avoidance of the context of the Castro-Obama handshake and its significance. 

Nelson Mandela: Who tells the story?

I don’t believe that the story of forgiveness and reconciliation in our collective transition to democracy in the 'new South Africa' is untrue. The problem is that it has become the only story we are allowed to tell, says Chantelle de Nobrega

Mandela: a visual memorial

On the day of his funeral, an infographic commemorates the key moments in Nelson Mandela's life as the leader of the anti-apartheid movement

Nelson Mandela knew when to talk and when to fight

To effect social transformation, fighting is essential, but if we take fighting too far then we risk destroying what we are trying to create.

Mandela’s utilitarianism and the struggle for liberation

“Mandela was a great leader because he recognized that the movement had become a civil insurrection, a largely nonviolent struggle. A great leader is one who recognizes where the movement is and leads them accordingly, not one who says, ‘Do it my way!’”

Mandela: explaining the magnetism

While the world stops for Nelson Mandela’s departure from it, his iconic status is unquestioned. Yet there is a more complicated underlying narrative to tell.

Mandela: towards a non-sexist South Africa

Part of the blessing of Mandela’s longevity is that he modeled reflexive behaviour which changed over time. To realise his vision of a non-sexist South Africa, we might re-evaluate the patriarchal values which pervade our own lives, recognising our own ability to change.

Mandela, icon

What is it that we see when we look into its smiling eyes?  Above all, it is for his humanity and what I would like to call his historic warmth that Nelson Mandela will be remembered.

Nelson Mandela: see the movement he personified as well as the man

Nelson Mandela was a great man, but it is the movement he was part of which changed the world.

Mandela, communism, and South Africa

The documentary evidence of Nelson Mandela’s membership of the South African Communist Party can contribute to a more truthful assessment of the country’s modern history, says the scholar who uncovered it, Stephen Ellis.

Nelson Mandela: assessing the icon

The former political prisoner who led South Africa beyond apartheid remains a figure of undiminished global renown. But what of the revisionist case which highlights his flaws? On Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday, Tom Lodge assesses how far the record of his political career and judgment sustains his reputation

(This article was first published on 18 July 2008)

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