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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.

How social media is changing the way we see conflict

Sharing images through social media has armed a new generation of citizen witnesses to challenge our perception and awareness of human rights crimes. 

Reflections on intervention in the 21st century

Where stands now the ‘responsibility to protect’? Recent egregious intervention failures require simplistic nostra to be replaced by a more complex understanding.

Who is accountable for Gaza reconstruction?

The latest war in Gaza brought not only vast human suffering but devastation to its already pummelled built environment. Yet UN-sponsored reconstruction is proving agonisingly slow.

Eastern Ukraine: the humanity behind the headlines

The government in Kyiv, aid organisations and the international community must work together to address the humanitarian crisis created by the fighting in the east.

Ebola and global health politics: an open letter

The human toll from the Ebola outbreak is all too evident. A more proactive global health policy is needed to avoid its repetition.

Pakistan school attack: years of inaction led to this atrocity

The Peshawar atrocity did not come out of a clear blue skythe foreboding context an inert, corrupt state ambivalent towards violence, hardly functioning public institutions and unregulated madrasas.

Pakistan’s minority-rights challenge

In theory, Pakistan’s constitution upholds equality of all its citizens, regardless of religion. In theory.

New security laws could make Turkey into a police state

The latest crackdown on journalists in Turkey is another twist in the spiral into authoritarianism of a state bereft of an effective political oppositionwith 'Putinisation' an increasingly realistic description.

Under siege: from Leningrad to Gaza

Two strangers with very different pasts united by a common experience of siege and blockade.

Egypt: from bathhouse to prison

No one is immune to the Egyptian authorities’ ruthless crackdown. Most recently ‘debauchery’ charges have been brought against those deemed to fall short of their moral standards.

Syrian refugees in Athens and the consequences of Fortress Europe

“They don’t want us in Greece. But they won’t let us leave. We are in a place worse than a prison. We can’t work, we have no housing, no medical care, schools for our kids and we are running out of money.”

After the torture report—rebalancing the scales of justice

In the voluminous responses to the long-awaited US Senate committee report on torture by the CIA, the essence of what must follow—prosecutions, not pardons—has been buried.

Latin Americans pay price for corporate environmental destruction

As the COP20 conference comes to a close in Lima, can the corporations whose ‘externalities’ foster climate change ever be brought to book?

Civilian justice trumps military impunity in Myanmar

The rare conviction of a soldier in civilian court shows how, case by case, the criminal justice system is slowly taking a stand against the country's still-powerful military. 

Britain in Bahrain: eyes wide shut

 A new naval base in the Gulf reveals both the flaws in Britain's strategic thinking and the limits of its military capacity.

After the Kenyatta case, how is the ICC to help victims?

The states party to the founding statute of the International Criminal Court must ensure victims of war crimes can receive redressin The Hague or at home.

Privacy, surveillance and the state-corporate symbiosis

The relationship between governments and private corporations is defined by symbiotic, complex interdependence. How can we ensure democratic control in these conditions?

Mass surveillance just doesn’t work

It is possible, desirable and respectful of human rights to conduct targeted surveillance on identified suspects with independent judicial oversight. It doesn’t appear feasible, however, to collect information on everything and everyone en masse. So why keep doing it?

Whatever happened to winning hearts and minds?

European governments risk adopting the same counter-productive approaches towards the latest Islamist groups and fighters as they did against al-Qaeda.

The European Kurds rallying to fight IS

With Kurds in Iraq and Syria under attack from the Islamic State, many young Kurds in Europe have been joining resistance forces—a trend occluded by the media focus on European-born jihadists.