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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Sochi: sport and security

In many ways, the lasting legacy of Sochi will be the security measures trialled and applied there. We feature a series of articles which track some major developments in the securitisation of sport.

Sochi Olympics – the dangers of rebranding

What does President Putin hope to gain from hosting the Winter Olympics? There is a grave danger that the messages behind the Kremlin’s rebranding exercise could boomerang against the government.

On your marks, get set… intercept!

Russia is devoting considerable effort to trying to ensure that the Sochi Winter Olympics are safe and secure. Mark Galeotti wonders whether the real concern is not an attack on the Games but the consolidation of the security state.

Spectacle and surveillance in Brazil

The unprecedented series of mega-events which are set to take place across Brazil in the coming years have lead to heightened security in host cities – a gold mine for the global private defence industry.

Pacifying Rio: what's behind Latin America's most talked about security operation

Rio de Janeiro has engaged in an ambitious security operation aimed at freeing its favelas from the control of gangs in time for the 2016 Olympics. But security is not the only rationale behind the program. As with everything, economic interests and international exposure drive Rio's makeover.

Rio's favela residents fight mega-event eviction

Gleaming plans for urban revitalization ahead of the 2014 World Cup and 2016 Olympics include the not-so-shiny removal of thousands of families in lower-class communities.

The re-militarisation of South Africa’s borders

Heightened border security has been enforced during international summits and sporting tournaments. This idea of permanent, non-conventional threat provides a legitimation for an extensive increase of defence spending and resources, eagerly cheerled by the private sector. 

A ring of steel for the five rings

The London 2012 security mess isn’t just about staff shortages. Mark Perryman asks just who the abundant precautions are there to protect. 

Is the army invading British civil society?

UK schoolchildren could soon be trained in army 'values', the London Olympics will take place under military occupation, the armed forces are set for further integration with the police. As Britain's foreign policy shifts, the meaning of militarisation within our own borders is undergoing a quiet revolution.

'Protest is dangerous again': the space hijackers take on London 2012

An inside report from London 2012's 'official protest' group, the Space Hijackers, on the terrifying powers of LOCOG - the shadowy organisation whose influence led to the banning of their twitter account. 

Sochi: a city with no mosque

In 2014 Russia will host the Winter Olympics in Sochi, once upon a time the capital of independent Circassia. The city has 20,000 Muslims, but no mosque. Sufian Zhemukhov considers the historical reasons for official antagonism to building a mosque and its implications for the Winter Olympics.

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