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This week’s front page editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Do international summits work for people at the sharp end of globalisation? Simon Maxwell argues poverty measurement, picks a hair from James Wolfensohn’s jacket, and gazes longingly at the barricades…while dressed in a suit. Barry Coates of the World Development Movemen returns from a WTO summit with defiant pessimism. Maria Adebowale of Capacity Global spars with the conservative philosopher Roger Scruton. Key actors and observers of the global summit caravan unpack its contents.

Climate summit, climate justice

The climate summit called today by the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-Moon, will not bring the commitments needed to avert global chaos. Only popular mobilisation for climate justice can do that.

Threat to opportunity: the new logic of climate policy

In the clutches of recession, the Ryanair chief executive may now breathe a sigh of relief as binding emission reductions seem further off than ever before. Now, the only thinkable solutions to climate change are those which also provide an immediate, tangible boost to economic growth. But can market logic provide the solution to this ever-escalating crisis?

The anti-poverty relay: a progress report

A United Nations summit intended to reaffirm global commitment to the Millennium Development Goals needs to take account of the progress and the problems revealed so far, says Andrew Shepherd of the Overseas Development Institute.

Auchterarder: a G8 summit visitor's guide

How to get there? Where to stay? When to break cover? Whether you are protestor or journalist, tourist or secret policeman going to the G8 summit, Carolyn Tan’s local guide tells you what you need to know about its Scottish location: Auchterarder.

Selling Africa short

The G8 debt relief plan is far less generous than it looks, says Alex Wilks of the European Network on Debt and Development.

The Battle of Auchterarder

From teashops to the tourist information centre, Dominic Hilton scopes out the site of the G8 summit.

The NPT review conference: no bargains in the UN basement

The United States joined with other states to wreck the nuclear non-proliferation treaty’s 2005 review conference. Patricia Lewis of the United Nations Institute of Disarmament Research examines what went wrong.

openDavos: Simon Zadek's blog

Loose yet organic, exclusive yet open, competitive yet dialogic, religious yet cross-cultural. Lula, Sharon Stone, Bill Gates, and Bono. Simon Zadek tracks the World Economic Forum’s reinvention as “tomorrow’s model of global governance”.

Who 'sees' who? An American summit photo in an Iraqi gaze

From Baghdad, Haider Saeed reflects on how the image of Arab / Islamic leaders in “traditional” dress at the G8 summit in Sea Island symbolises the subordinate integration of non–western polities into America’s universalist but also imperial understanding of democracy.

'It's the system, stupid!'

A third visit to the World Economic Forum left the sustainability campaigner John Elkington enthusiastic about a gathering force which can connect pro- and anti-globalisers: social entrepreneurs.

A space of freedom: the World Women's Forum

This Swedish activist combines observation of everyday Indian experience with her own political commitment to draw a lesson from Mumbai’s World Social Forum: women in the global justice movement are taking possession of space and voice.

Making history: the future of the World Social Forum

The World Social Forum in Mumbai was democracy in action in search of a fairer, people-centred world, says one of its Indian organisers. But to advance its global ambitions, must it look beyond Brazil as the site of future forums?

The Ford Foundation and the World Social Forum

The Ford Foundation, a large United States philanthropy, supported the World Social Forum’s first three meetings in Porto Alegre, Brazil, and will participate in the latest gathering in Mumbai, India. Lisa Jordan of Ford – one of’s backers – talks to Caspar Henderson about the foundation’s engagement with global civil society.

Dateline Mumbai: the 2004 World Social Forum

Three years on from the first World Social Forum in Brazil’s Porto Alegre, an organiser of the latest WSF in India presents his vision of the purpose of this global gathering of activists, popular movements and NGOs.

Six billion voices

When poor people can speak, the world will change – and mobile communications technology is giving them the tools for transformation.

The internet's future in an aircraft hangar

The World Summit on the Information Society venue was bland, the rhetoric cloudy, the chocolates consoling – but ideas and energy flowed around the fringes.

Communication: the missing link in sustainable development

The appropriate use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) could make a vast contribution to solving the problems of development and democracy. But to realise this potential, a global conversation is needed to match the global nature of economic, social and environmental challenges.

The WSIS: whose freedom, whose information?

The UN’s World Summit on the Information Society (WSIS) in Geneva is intended to create ways of bridging the global ‘digital divide’. But will its political tensions and complex agenda make it less of an “internet-Kyoto” and more of an arid talk shop?

'Another Europe': the second European Social Forum

The energy and scale, the international and human presence of the second European Social Forum in Paris reveal its already strong foundations. But its real tests are still to come.

Is modern Germany lying to itself?

Many Germans continue to believe that their country is the vanguard of environmental and social progress in Europe. The latest European Social Forum is an opportunity to puncture this illusion.

Pressing on: environmental campaigners and UN summits

The 2002 World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg delivered disappointment to NGO activists – and this leading environmental campaigner says that things have got worse since then. But, he argues, it is too early to give up on UN summits altogether.

Why I'm going to Davos

A veteran green activist, allergic to summits, looks at the past and future of the World Economic Forum.

Earth Summit audit

At the summit, the rich were for globalisation, the poor against. But a larger message did come through the divisions: we need a different vision. We must ‘build a humane and caring global society’.

Last exit from the Kalahari: the slow genocide of the Bushmen/San

The recent forced removal of 2,000 Bushmen/San people from their homeland in the Kalahari area of central Botswana is not just a brutal act of ethnic cleansing; it also means the end for a hunter–gatherer society whose care and knowledge of their fragile eco-system hold many lessons for the rest of humanity. The Johannesburg summit must attend to the inhumanity on its doorstep.

The trouble with summits, or - what is Johannesburg for?

Do international summits work for people at the sharp end of global poverty? Maria Adebowale of Capacity Global and the philosopher Roger Scruton discuss the issue with Caspar Henderson, Globalisation editor of openDemocracy.

In the balance: the future of sustainable development

Felix Dodds, executive director of ‘Stakeholder Forum For Our Common Future’, is a key participant in the global preparations for August’s ‘Rio plus 10’ conference in Johannesburg. In a compelling interview, he explains why Jo’burg may be the endgame for ‘sustainable development’.

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