only search openDemocracy.net

OD blog banner Welcome to the openDemocracy blog!

This informal place is where editors chat and give you a peek into what is happening at oD, sometimes important, sometimes not so much.

We look forward to your comments!

Rosemary Bechler 14 February 2015

Last year I thought we should celebrate 200 years of Pride and Prejudice on St.Valentine’s Day. Alas, other priorities took over and my chance to contribute was lost. But I had an idea.

Surely you couldn’t fully celebrate the novel’s extraordinary longevity without what might be called a ‘double translation’, not so much in language, though it is that as well, but in time? 

A celebration that leaves out a return to 1813 to see what riches were available to a novelist in her prime, and quite why they worked so... Read more

Alex Sakalis 2 February 2015

Yanis Varoufakis, the maverick economist and self-described "erratic Marxist", was recently elected as a Syriza MP and appointed as Minister of Finance in the Greek government.

... Read more

Alex Sakalis 2 February 2015

In the wake of the Charlie Hebdo attacks, one simple message seemed to rise above all of the confusion and distress: #jesuischarlie has become an epochal phrase symbolising the defense of free speech against fundamentalism, and in the aftermath of the tragedy, many articles sprung up referencing this declamation as a rallying cry for us against them.

... Read more

Rosemary Bechler 28 January 2015

Here is Richard Falk's response to criticisms of his interview with Turkey's prime minister, also published today.

We were pleased when Richard Falk offered us his extended conversation with the Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu for publication on openDemocracy. Hotfoot from... Read more

Mary Fitzgerald 17 December 2014

The news from Turkey this week is grim. At least 31 arrests of journalists, producers, scriptwriters and a police chief accused of ‘forming an illegal organisation and trying to seize control of the state’. It reads like a textbook authoritarian crackdown on dissidents, in a country which Reporters Without Borders already ranks 154th of 180 on press freedoms.

At openDemocracy we have many articles in our archive on the worrying developments which have led Turkey to this crisis point: ... Read more

Mary Fitzgerald 28 October 2014

Well, thanks to some encouraging ruckus in the last few months, you may actually have heard of TTIP: the anodynely-acronymed “Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership”. In plain English, it’s a massive trade deal between the EU and North America which could affect everything from healthcare choices to government... Read more

Rosemary Bechler 21 October 2014

Thousands of young people rallied in Madrid to... Read more

Mary Fitzgerald 25 September 2014

This year, for the first time in life, I’ve found myself wanting to turn off the news. Perhaps this happens to you all the time, but for me it’s a first. I’m a news junkie - to an embarrassing degree. (My husband likes telling the story of how, after a run of late press nights quite soon after I’d moved in, he wandered into the living room at 3am to find me glued to an obscure debate on the BBC Parliament Channel on the grounds that I was “relaxing”.)

But these last few months have been tough, even for a committed media addict. Somehow, the horror paraded on our... Read more

Julian Sayarer 20 September 2014

Bicycles are political. It’s as simple as that. They are political because they are deviant from the conventional norms of transport and the vested interests – oil, automobile, megaproject – around which those models have been designed. As such, bicycles have – at the very least – this willingness to deviate in common with much of the agenda broadly defined as progressive politics.

Bicycles are political because, partly owing to the nature of this difference, they open up in the many people who love riding them a sense of possibility and empowerment that comes from being the... Read more

Andrew Hyde 5 June 2014

Today openDemocracy is supporting the Reset the Net day of action against online surveillance. The Reset the Net campaign highlights a number of things that citizens can do to take back their privacy. It’s worth taking a look at this pack for the steps that you can take on your phone or on your computer to protect yourself online.

As part of today’s effort openDemocracy has pledged to introduce the HTTPS protocol. HTTPS is the secure, encrypted version of the... Read more

Rosemary Bechler 12 May 2014

We had just sent out this year’s Call for Editorial Partnerships 2014, when Stuart White, longtime friend of our OurKingdom section, invited us to participate in a panel discussion at the Department of Politics and International Relations in Oxford on how politics academics might blog most effectively.

This was too good an opportunity to miss - to meet potential new guest editors for our front page, canvass longer term partnerships bringing fresh vocabularies to openDemocracy readers... Read more

Magnus Nome 19 March 2014

I read with interest Yasmin Nair’s Scab academics and others who write for free, which names openDemocracy - along with Huffington Post, Guernica and The Rumpus – as a neoliberal workplace and scab.

The piece was published on Nair’s own blog, so I assume she wasn’t paid for it. Luckily for her she already had the audience and writing skills to reach people.

But let us imagine for a moment that Nair had something important to say, but hadn’t already... Read more

Andrew Hyde 28 January 2014

What happens if you partner with openDemocracy? How do we begin to get at the very particular nature of your project, given such diverse partners, differing types of content, key objectives and the kind of ‘impact’ that you want to achieve?

We meet each partner in person, if possible – to listen carefully to their ideas, suggesting how the themes and debates at the heart of their research can be ‘translated out’ to our global audience. We discuss the kind of... Read more

Rosemary Bechler 23 January 2014

When we work with editorial partners to build an audience for the dissemination of a new theme, we need to customize the treatment of the material and develop our editorial skills to achieve the maximum effect. With the tools we now have available, our publisher Andrew Hyde can provide our partners with solid data on what we have achieved in terms of quantifiable ‘impact’.

openDemocracy’s main language is English, and we offer ‘good Englishing’ to many of the writers worldwide who submit their work to us, mostly for free. We want to help them make themselves... Read more

20 January 2014

openDemocracy Editorial Partnerships are joint publishing projects in which the openDemocracy Editor and Publisher work closely with a partner organisation on an agreed project which may last for three months, up to a year, or anything between.

These are important to us on two counts: firstly because they allow us to offer our platform and expertise for the creation of audiences for new projects and themes, working with a partner well qualified to deliver... Read more

Andrew Hyde 14 January 2014

Today openDemocracy moved to a new server, courtesy of our colleages at Linterweb. We're hopeful that this new arrangement will lead to better performance of the site in terms of fewer outages and faster page load times.

We'd like to enlist your help, as you are navigating around the site, to let us know if you spot any problems. These may be display issues, navigation problems, or difficulty searching for and finding particular articles. Whatever bugs you, let us know via technical@opendemocracy.net... Read more

Adam Ramsay 8 January 2014

OurKingdom discusses UK politics. We publish writing in English. Perhaps the second sentence seems to follow logically from the first? After all, isn't English the language in the UK? Well, it's a bit more complex than that.

By my count, there are something like seventeen extant languages native to the UK. This does not include dialects, though the line isn't always a clear one. It doesn't include the languages of recent, or even not-that-recent, immigrant communities. If you add in the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man, the number rises perhaps to 21, though this is a matter for... Read more

Brian Eno 13 December 2013

Dear reader,

I am a supporter of openDemocracy. My name is here, published alphabetically, along with everyone who is giving financial help. Please join us to secure the independence and future of openDemocracy as it builds for the long term.

Democracy is an aspiration: it's the idea that people can be trusted to make decisions about their lives without constant and intrusive surveillance.

Just ... Read more

Magnus Nome 11 December 2013

I don’t want to boast but openDemocracy is here to stay – with, that is, a little bit of ongoing help from our friends, readers and writers. A year ago we faced a life or death crisis. With magnificent support we cleared our debts, funded 2013 and started the work to ensure that oD isn’t just independent of corporate power, but also sustainable for the long-term.

We have just published a list... Read more

Andrew Hyde 14 October 2013

It has come to our attention that a number of comments posted last week and earlier in reply to articles from the following sections are no longer displaying: 

- Transformation

- Can Europe Make It?

- Arab Awakening

- oD Blog

- openGlobalRights

- OurNHS

The comments were not deliberately removed by openDemocracy moderators – there is a technical problem that we’re aware of that has led to their disappearance.

We’re in contact with Disqus about... Read more

Adam Ramsay 3 October 2013

Mark Twain often puts it best: “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” If I were to translate into my version of English, I'd say “between fireworks and a firefly”. But somehow that's not as good.

Either way, as a writer's creed, it's hard to beat. The English dictionary is longer than any other. Our language allows us to choose from the most astonishing array of ways to express our observations, ideas, emotions. And it leaves us to drown if we select the wrong route. But, if our writing aims to... Read more

Magnus Nome 30 September 2013

An Arab Awakening blog post at openDemocracy, written by Michael Stephens, has provoked Nick Cohen's ire, as you can see in his Spectator blog today.

At oD we revel in sharp debate between a plurality of opposing voices. We believe in openness and that this leads to a more nuanced view of reality than keeping to a strict editorial line. We therefore welcome... Read more

Anthony Barnett 23 September 2013

Had you asked me, I’d have said that I’d never be officially honoured in... Read more

Adam Ramsay 12 September 2013

Adam and friends on the beach overlooking Taransay. Flickr/Ruth Cape. All rights reserved.

“I used to work for them”, the man said, sipping at a pint of Irn Bru. “I don't work for them any more. Now I work with them. That's how it should be.”

The man who spoke these words did so in a pair of overalls... Read more

Anthony Barnett 19 August 2013

Ten years ago today in Baghdad, on 19 August 2003, a terror attack blasted apart the UN headquarters in Iraq, decimated the staff who had volunteered to try and reconstruct the country after the US invasion, murdered the head of mission Ambassador Sergio Vieira de Mello as well as 21 others, gravely wounded many more and initiated the terrible post-invasion conflict which still continues. At the moment of the explosion Gil Loescher and Arthur Helton were sitting down to interview de Mello for their joint openDemocracy column, having just come from a meeting with the American... Read more

Andrew Hyde 12 July 2013

As you (hopefully) noticed last week, alongside the launch of our new section Transformation we made a few changes to the look of the site. 

It was not a full-scale redesign. What we’ve tried to do is improve your ability to navigate openDemocracy, and as a bonus we think it’s now also more pleasing to the eye.

The site’s new layout features a navigation bar at the top – giving our editorially autonomous sections ... Read more

Anthony Barnett 1 July 2013

Let's talk about the commons! And the digital commons. It’s a conversation that will shape how we think about the future of the planet. That's just for a start. Like all great issues people get turned on to it through the particular. For me it was trying to explain what openDemocracy is yet to become. If that sounds ungrammatical it’s because ‘the commons’ only sounds simple.

It means what is held in common or shared. This tangibility, the fact that obviously there must be a commons, like the oxygen in the air we all breathe, is the foundation of the commons as... Read more

Ray Filar 26 June 2013

“Oh, cool! So, uh, what's it about?”

That's the usual response when I tell people I'm editing a new section of openDemocracy titled “Transformation: where love meets social justice”.

At first my tactic was to reply, as if with great confidence, “Oh, you know. Radical change. Social justice, that sort of thing.”

Secretly, though, I wasn't sure what transformational writing would actually look like.

But it's clear that our authors have had no such trouble. Over the past few weeks exciting, exploratory articles have started to trickle in. It is clear that the activists... Read more

Magnus Nome 13 June 2013

During our successful fundraiser earlier this year, we ran a campaign blog where we kept you updated on our progress, and asked for your input. Some of you thought we should keep in closer touch with our readers, and we agree.

Which is why we’re hereby starting up the oDBlog to pick up where the Campaign blog ended. This is an informal place where we’ll give you a peek into what is happening at oD, sometimes important, sometimes not so much, occasionally downright frivolous.

We’ll tell you what’s in the pipeline,... Read more

Dan Hind 10 June 2013

Wikimedia Commons/Tengis Bilegsaikhan. Some rights reserved.

If you click on the ‘About’ link at the top of this page you will see that openDemocracy describes itself as a ‘digital commons’, as ‘a shared resource, resisting both the web’s permissiveness as well as... Read more

Vicken Cheterian 24 April 2010

For Armenians everywhere, 24 April is a day of special commemoration. It marks the beginning of the genocide of 1915: the uprooting or killing by the leading figures of the Ottoman state of almost all the 2.2 million Armenians who lived in historic Armenia, using the circumstances of Europe’s “great war” as a pretext.

The ninety-fifth anniversary on 24 April 2010 finds the issue as potent as ever in the global consciousness as well as in the Armenian world. It is discussed in the international arena at all levels of... Read more