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This week’s front page editor

“Julian

Julian Richards is openDemocracy’s managing editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The economics of anxiety: neoliberalism as obsessional neurosis

Neoliberalism is not a monolithic shock doctrine. It is an anxious form of crisis management, which evolves through its failed attempts to conceal a repressed truth.

Bloody mess: why sovereigns fail, and how they get away with it

When confronted with the question of how much killing is enough the answer is always more (c.f. Blair’s calls for the west to enter the Syrian civil war). If a strategic sufficiency of death were realisable, killing would not stop. It would not even stop if one side exterminated the other.

Spectre: I see a red door and I want it painted black

The attempts to escape the nightmare of Stalinism provoke false fantasy alternatives, of vacuous democratic participation or individual freedom. NSK works through elements of the revolution betrayed, and in the process, instills anxiety about what is real, and about what must be given up.

Anxious subjects, political fears

If it did not sound too eccentric or polemical, then, I would go as far as singing the praises of a politics of anxiety, i.e. a politics preserving the limits and enigmatic essence of social life.

Syria on our minds – fear of youth radicalisation across the European Union

Counterterrorist and counter-radicalisation policies not only have the potential to undermine the democratic principles, institutions, and processes they seek to preserve but also to produce unintended consequences.

Brazil’s economy of violence: the 50-year noose

Brazil is indeed stuck in the past. However, this temporal disjunction is less the outcome of being economically or institutionally backward, but more of an insistence on resorting to violence as a mean of managing political anxiety. 

Global Preventive Security and its unbearable lightness

One now plays a part in one’s own protection. The institutions can help one to strengthen one’s preparedness. One must not blame them if they fail despite the promise of a maximum-security programme. 

Human rights violations in immigration enforcement at the external borders of the EU

Human rights violations in immigration enforcement at the external borders of the EU are almost a daily phenomenon. Yet, they have been treated as ‘exceptional’. What can we learn from looking at the case of Greek security professionals? 

Quo vadis, Europe?

Europeans, like most other inhabitants of the planet, are currently facing the crisis of ’politics as we know it’ – a state of “interregnum”, as the Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci described a time in which the old is already dead or dying, but the new has not yet been born.

“Desperate times call for desperate measures?”: the ‘Politics of anxiety’ and the rise of European ‘far right’ parties

What are we meant to conclude from the ‘rise of the far-right’? The narrative tells us that being objective, moderate and ‘technical’ rather than factionalist is what is needed in ‘times of anxiety’.

Introduction to this week’s guest feature: Politics in times of anxiety

This week we provide a snapshot of the issues and problems to be discussed at the conference, Politics in Times of Anxiety to be held at the University of Manchester between June 9 – 11, 2014. 

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