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Ten theses on security in the 21st century

openSecurity has closed as a section of oD—temporarily, it is to be hoped—because its funding has expired. Here, some of the themes emerging from these three fertile years of publishing are distilled. Below are some emblematic pieces—with signals to the series of which they were part.

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Protecting the state over against the citizen doesn't make anyone feel safer.

India's bloody track record

This week's Samjhauta train blast may be shocking, but it follows in the heels of numerous similar attacks in India, perpetrated by militants of all stripes.

Wars of "religion"

Though modern conflicts are often framed in religious terms, Manali Desai argues that "religion" is an essentially useless category in understanding what drives groups against each other.

Iraq: the sum of the parts

Ali A. Allawi, special adviser to the prime minister of Iraq, argues that US policies have led Iraq into sectarian strife, and US policies must help pull Iraq out.

Iran's political persuasions

With Iran at once resolute in its foreign policy and fragmented in its internal politics, the US cannot approach Tehran crudely.

The coming of the desert

The "Arabization" of a previously hybrid faith has given rise to extremism and militancy in Indonesia.

The promise of citizen journalism

In Sri Lanka, citizen journalism promises to wage the battle against terrorism and brutality through democratic means.

Towards "human security"

Political scientist Stephanie Flechtner makes the case for a collective European security policy based on international law, not "offensive defence".

Security in focus: India

Siddharth Varadarajan and Brahma Chellaney discuss India's internal and external security imperatives.

Tackling the Taliban

Afghanistan expert Ahmed Rashid discusses negotiations with the Taliban and Pakistan's central role in the crisis.

"We still don't know where our relatives are"

Colombian human rights activist, José Daniel Álvarez denounces the impunity granted to the paramilitaries by a recent government plan.

Is Britishness under threat?

A civilised and humanist state must value diversity and try to include its minorities in public life.

Undoing Londonistan

Melanie Phillips argues that an overhaul of the UK's feeble multicultural approach is necessary not only to defend British security, but British civilisation.

Bystanders in their own land

Anger mingles with disillusionment as Lebanon buries Pierre Gemayel. Paige Austin joins the crowds in Beirut and finds the mood of Lebanese politics less than inspiring.

Bangladesh's fraying democracy

Bangladesh is increasingly torn: between economic progress and insecurity, law and impunity, Islamism and secular politics, violence and democracy. Liz Philipson portrays a troubled country approaching its next major electoral test.

Democratic failure: festering lilies smell worse than weeds

“We must keep firmly in mind that democracies can fail.” The barriers to democratic progress in the world today are far deeper than Anthony Barnett & Isabel Hilton allow, while Roger Scruton’s depiction of “the west and the rest” is equally flawed, argues Anatol Lieven.

I have to endorse most of what John Dunn argues in his response to Anthony Barnett & Isabel Hilton’s article “Democracy and openDemocracy”.

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Hirst on Bobbitt

Paul Hirst reviews Philip Bobbitt’s book “The Shield of Achilles”.

The Shield of Achilles is the most thought provoking book on the future of war and the international system to have appeared for some considerable time.