only search openDemocracy.net

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.

openDemocracy.net - free thinking for the world
Protecting the state over against the citizen doesn't make anyone feel safer.

Searching for justice: the Tokyo Women’s Tribunal

Justice for sexual crimes in wartime still remains elusive for many survivors, but it's never too late. From States of Impunity.

People's tribunals, and the roots of civil society justice

Starting with the Russell Tribunal in 1967, civil society tribunals have emerged to fill the normative vacuum created by the stark hypocrises of international justice. From States of Impunity.

From punishment to acknowledgment: tribunals of opinion in contexts of impunity

Civil society tribunals, though unofficial, provide new spaces that fundamentally contest the state and its hold over justice. From States of Impunity.

The Iran Tribunal: defying international silence

Survivors of the Islamic Republic of Iran's brutal violence towards its opposition wanted acknowledgement that their situation was not simply ‘unseen’ but had been actively ignored. From States of Impunity.

The people's permanent tribunal in Mexico: taking on structural violence

While more than 300 civil society groups presented evidence of structural violence against labour rights and education, the tragic events in Ayotzinapa were unfolding almost simultaneously. From States of Impunity.

Erdoğan, Syria and the Kurds: be careful what you wish for

A complex political triangulation links the Turkish president with the Syrian imbroglio and the Kurdish question, but his political target is receding.

From shore to shore: regional collapse and human insecurity

These are policies that, whilst having a humanitarian veneer, radically exacerbate the burdens of migrants and displaced persons from and in countries like Libya, Syria, Eritrea, and Somalia, alike. 

Multilateral nuclear disarmament: it would be a nice idea

The conventional wisdom among nuclear-weapons powers is that their arsenals can only be dismantled multilaterally, step-by-step—yet the associated co-ordination dilemmas keep proving insuperable.

Nepal: chronicle of a disaster foretold

The Nepalese earthquake was a product of natural causes. But the full death toll and slow recovery are not.

Press freedom: the dark cloud gathering over Europe

Today is a day to celebrate free media expression—except for those journalists, even in Europe, denied the capacity to do so.

From Tottenham to Baltimore, policing crisis starts race to the bottom for justice

What is it about the police and urban black populations in the US and the UK? The explanation starts with two of the most stretched social hierarchies in the developed world.

States of impunity

openSecurity's new series explores how the violence of state crimes endures. How and when does the fight against impunity open up an arena for action and change?

France’s Intelligence Bill: legalising mass surveillance

The French government claims its new Intelligence Bill is defined in opposition to the American and British models – but this just doesn't hold once the text is examined. Quite the contrary.

Civil resistance and the geopolitics of impunity

The Spanish jurist who went after Pinochet reflects on the battle against impunity in Chile and Argentina, and Spain's  efforts to shake off its collective amnesia. From States of Impunity.

Bringing CIA torture to justice

In the courts and beyond, a global civil society has been fighting on multiple fronts to chip away at the impunity of the world's most powerful nation. From States of Impunity.

Guatemala prosecutes a president, but progress falters

Guatamala's conviction of former president Efraín Ríos Montt set a precedent for holding heads of state accountable, but the power structures of the country's military dictatorship remain in place. From States of Impunity.

Mourning the Mediterranean dead and locking up survivors

Although the EU, US and others have demonstrated a willingness to intervene militarily in Libya or Syria, a willingness to take responsibility for the consequences is woefully lacking. 

Iran behind the conciliatory veil

Right-wing US and Israeli venom against the outline agreement is one thing; genuine concern about the Islamic regime’s Shia expansionism and human-rights record is however another.

Securitisation not the response to deaths at sea

The European Union has responded to the humanitarian crisis presented by refugee deaths in the Mediterranean—but only through the lens of border control.

Turkey and the Armenian genocide: the next century

For the Armenian diaspora, today is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day—but not in Turkey. Perhaps members of the country’s Kurdish minority can help shake up a polarised narrative.