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This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice



What does it take for activists to get your attention?

We need campaigns that educate media consumers on how they are manipulated.

Why stories matter

Stories cultivate the frequently forgotten yet uniquely human traits that build solidarity.

To seize back democracy we need carpe diem politics

We're immersed in one of the most dynamic periods of public protest ever recorded, so let’s seize the day.

What DNA ancestry testing can and can’t tell you

What are the social justice implications of spitting into a test tube?

In praise of melancholia

Without knowing the extremes of sadness and joy we can never fully know or feel all that life is.

Facing up to our shadow side with compassion

Restorative justice makes real the fact that conflict, pain, suffering and crime are part of all our lives.

How I faced misogyny in Hinduism—and found peace with my faith

Religion can be a crutch for patriarchy—and a tool to dismantle it.

Can Donald Trump predict the future?

The myth of prophecy is central to the success of authoritarian politics.

Love, anger and social transformation

The politics of the future must embrace all that makes us human: our anger, our pain, our joy and our love.

Should funding agencies also share in the sacrifice of social change?

The furor over Pepsi's fake protest ad resurfaces questions around the Ford Foundation president's decision to join their board. (Originally published December 5 2016).

Why we're not taking the new porn laws lying down

Who cares about a bunch of queers flogging each other when there’s a migrant crisis and article 50 has been triggered? We do.

The power of sign

As Sweet Honey in the Rock’s sign language interpreter, Shirley Childress dedicated her life to deaf rights.

Seven ways to think like a 21st century economist

Economics matters enormously for the future, but its fundamental ideas are centuries out of date.

How anti-Vietnam War activists stopped violent protest from hijacking their movement

Governments welcome violent protests and know how to deal with them. It’s a lesson the anti-Trump movement should remember.

The neoliberal economics of family life

Attempts to restore the family as the foundation of social welfare could destroy the gains of second-wave feminism.

Minnesota churches face tough questions in offering sanctuary to immigrants

Protecting immigrants is vital work, but what happens when the police arrive at your door?

Don’t mention Jesus! Why excluding beliefs from the public sphere is mistaken

Should we hide our deepest values in the public sphere or shout them from the rooftops?

Listen to a recorded audio version of this article courtesy of curio.io.

Preparing for the long haul under the Trump administration

There are hundreds of ways to stay upright and human in trying times—here’s a selection.

What does it mean to love the world? Hannah Arendt and Amor Mundi

Sentiment is dangerous in politics, but solidarity and critical thinking are essential.

For automation to benefit society it must serve human beings—not replace them

Advances in artificial intelligence call us to revisit basic questions about work, love and human purpose.

We’ve been down this road before

A powerful new video shows how immigrants have been scapegoated throughout US history (4 minutes). 

From the politics of division to the politics of humanity

We must not give up on revolutionary optimism. It may get us some important concessions from neo-liberalism—and possibly much, much more.

Escaping from the echo-chambers of politics

How can people who spend their lives discussing politics sometimes be so out of touch? Español

Six reasons why the Left should keep on infighting

Having lots of people with lots of voices isn’t a weakness—it’s a strength.

Demons and angels: strongman leaders and social violence

Politicians who live in an angry narcissistic fog pose a threat to democracy and peace.

Scorn wars: rural white people and us

What could end the cycle of mutual ignorance, resentment, and anger in politics? 

The book of fragments

As shown by Christianity itself, America is not united by any one faith. 

Uncertain comma Texas

A new film describes a world whose inhabitants have been broken, but offers the hope that all can be repaired.

Why black bloc tactics won’t build a successful movement

Nonviolence can be just as powerful and militant as violence, and it works.

We aren’t so different—three steps to overcome hate and fear

Avoiding Trump supporters only increases our already dangerous polarization. Here’s how to really listen and find compassion.

Love in action: the life, work and death of Sister Maura Clarke

Celebrating a stellar example of how to say no to the warmongers and yes to life itself.

Profits first, love later: why western love stories need subverting

What alternative possibilities are opened up when dominant representations of love are questioned?

The new infantocracy in politics

Like an aged babysitter who has forgotten herself for a moment and decided to join the kids, Theresa May now identifies Donald Trump as her closest ally.

How the everyday use of militaristic jargon makes us more combative

The language of violence pervades our discourse, even when we’re not talking about war.

Why play? This is serious.

Play isn’t the opposite of work—it’s vital for social transformation.

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