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This week’s editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

A world made new through love and reason: what future for 'development'?

The need for effective, imaginative, change-facilitating research has never been greater. But what kinds of knowledge, and what processes of knowledge-creation, can today best serve the needs of a world dominated by power, prejudice and dogma? Michael Edwards outlines a fresh vision of "revolutionary social science".

Medicine and public health in dark times

The ethical practice of medical and public-health professionals is increasingly tested by situations of war and conflict. The result - from Rwanda to Abu Ghraib to Libya - can be the violation of medical neutrality. Michel Thieren considers what can be done to uphold professional and humane standards in "dark times".

Brazil: the moral challenge

Brazil needs a new dialogue to address the violence and inequality holding it back, says Arthur Ituassu

Dubai cosmopolis

Dubai is unique: a city whose decentred multiplicity informs and accommodates everything it touches, from the role of Islam to that of global capitalism in the region. Faisal Devji presents an acute analysis of a place where tradition functions not to forge a non-existent nationality, but to accommodate and naturalise change. In this, he suggests, Dubai is a global city of the post-national future.

Losing your only friend: a liberal Muslim's letter to the west

A mixture of violence, hypocrisy and degradation is corroding the west's standing in the Arab and Muslim worlds. A fresh reconciliation of values is needed, says Tarek Osman.

New Russia, old Russia

A trip to an oil-rich city in western Siberia gives Zygmunt Dzieciolowski a fresh insight into the blend of surprise and familiarity that defines Vladimir Putin's Russia.

Argentina's mirror: the causa Malvinas

The south Atlantic islands fought over in 1982 have played a key part in the formation of Argentina's national identity. The Malvinas "cause" thus illuminates the complexities of modern Argentinean nationalism, says Celia Szusterman.

European unity: reality and myth

A return to the origins of European integration in the 1940s-50s reveals a more complex story than the official celebrations allow, says Krzysztof Bobinski.

Iran and the United States: back from the brink

Iran's nuclear militancy is symptom not cause of the wider conflict in the region, says Anoush Ehteshami.

Sister in spirit: Ayaan Hirsi Ali's 'Infidel'

The Somali-Dutch dissident's critique of Islam resonates with KA Dilday's experience of fundamentalist Christianity in the American south. But their distance lies also in the journey beyond.

Letters to the past: Iwo Jima and Japanese memory

Clint Eastwood's film "Letters from Iwo Jima" finds the humanity behind the brutality of war, thus honouring the past and opening hearts in the present, says Emiko Ohnuki-Tierney, author of "Kamikaze Diaries".

Hrant Dink and Armenians in Turkey

The assassination of the Turkish-Armenian journalist Hrant Dink on 19 January 2007 and its aftermath highlighted both change and resistance to change in Turkish society. To understand how far Turkey has travelled in the past generation, Hratch Tchilingirian examines the role of Hrant Dink himself in the context of the Armenian community of which he was voice, critic, and emblem.

Mai Ghoussoub in her time

The Lebanese artist and publisher was a courageous force for the enlargement of life, writes her friend across decades, Neil Belton.

Clues from a clownfish: ten ideas for a better world

In a harsh, globalised environment how can viable, mutually beneficial relationships be forged? Allenna Leonard is inspired by the symbiosis of the natural world to offer ten practical ideas.

Hrant Dink's funeral

Istanbul's tribute to the murdered Armenian-Turkish journalist was a model of what Turkey could be, says Elif Shafak. The most personal farewell of all follows, in the eulogy of Rakel Dink, Hrant Dink's wife.

A 2007 warning: the world's twelve worst ideas

The world is full of conformism masquerading as profundity, says Fred Halliday, who explodes twelve global falsehoods.
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