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This week's editor

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Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

A (weak) homage to democracy in Catalonia

The images of a half-empty parliament during the referendum law vote illustrate how Democracy and Catalonia have gone their separate ways. Democracy is not the law of the majority, but the protection of the minority. Español

On the eve of the German elections, Alternative für Deutschland prevails on Twitter

Populist parties have a higher capacity to exploit digital arenas to boost and propagate their slogans and influence the political agenda. This should not be underestimated by mainstream political forces.

Cataluña: reconocimiento y dignidad

El día 2 de octubre será necesario buscar salidas que no impliquen la derrota total del otro y que exista capacidad de reconocimiento de la diversidad nacional de España. English

Simplemente queremos dejar de rogar

No deja de ser inquietante que en España no haya modo de celebrar un referéndum. Y me refiero a cualquier referéndum. English

We just want to stop pleading

A call to the people of Spain, because the Catalan independence referendum on October 1 is about rather more than that. Español

Catalonia: recognition and dignity

On October 2, it will be necessary to find a way out that does not imply the total defeat of the other and that enables us to recognize Spain’s national diversity. Español

How to spend €500 million: women’s rights groups on Europe’s UN grant

We welcome this week’s historic funding announcement for work to end violence against women and girls. But there are important caveats.

حراك الريف المغربي: القمع سيّد الموقف

يعيش المغرب اليوم تراجعا كبيرا على مستوى احترام حقوق الإنسان و النهوض بها، الشيء الذي يبرهن على تصاعد المظالم و الانتهاكات التي يتعرض لها النشطاء بشكل شبه يومي.

Catalonia’s de facto independence

Catalonia is trying to hold a referendum, to provoke a reaction from the State that would boost massive protests and deliver a majority which, so far, has proven elusive. Español

Neocolonial geographies of occupation: portrait of Diyarbakir

The terms military zone and death zone trace the colonial dynamics which have compartmentalised the city, in order to unpack further the claim that Kurdistan is a colony.

Kurdish struggles and the challenge of foreign support: the case of Syrian Kurds

What needs discussing critically is the historical and structural reasons that would leave a revolutionary movement with no option but to ask for help from virtually whoever offers it.

Kurds in Iraq: from Sykes-Picot to no-fly zones and beyond

Will the approaching referendum on independence open up a new phase for the Kurds, abrogating the Sykes-Picot Agreement?

US cross-border data deal could open surveillance floodgates

Internet users should assess whether their domestic system would adequately prevent their government from abusing the arrangement, and whether local law enforcement can be held accountable.

Power relations in New Turkey and the naked truth

The power holders have almost unrestricted control over people’s freedoms and lives, as well as over how they perceive reality.

“We’re not just here to learn – we can lead too”: young women human rights defenders speak out

Young activists from four continents talk about their local struggles and what motivates them.

Participatory democracy in emerging contexts: Fiji and Nepal

“They used to insist that they were sufficiently conversant with the issues. How would they know unless they discuss with us, or at least ask us?”

When is a genocide a genocide?

(Or, why is the world allowing the Rohingya to be slaughtered?) There is a genocide happening before our eyes. If only we can bear to look.

DiEM25: A historic moment for the international progressive movement?

DiEM25 needs to create a Janus-faced, progressive union out of the cooperation of every individual – individuals who in turn need to willingly relax their egos for the bigger cause.

In design as in politics: who decides?

Do we like to just be users of things that someone else has thought of, or would we also like to decide what we do and how we do it? Español

Feminist movements lead the way in fight against repressive states

Despite pressures from society and states alike, feminist movements are growing around the world. They know how to challenge restrictions in creative and innovative ways.

The importance of Europeans sticking together to achieve a progressive Europe

Thoughts arising from Brexit for the DiEM25 September event in the Bozar in Brussels on the ‘Real State of the European Union’. (speech)

A Treatise on European Government: on a constitution and the transnational

This treatise on constitutional European government is linked to the first on the EU treaties: outlining the foundations for a transnational constitution as the keystone for a 'second Reformation of Europe'. (Long - 13,000 words)

Pink buses and race politics

To ally campaigns for women’s rights with racism is to accept the very logic that, at its ideological core, feminism seeks to destroy.

الإضراب عن الطعام يستمر حتى تحقيق المطالب

لافتات السوريين وبياناتهم ووقفاتهم وإضراباتهم تخدم فكرة واحدة، السوري ليس بربرياً، السوري ليس إرهابياً، السوري صاحب قضية محقّة، ولن يتوقف عن الدفاع عنها، أبداً.

Kumamoto enfrenta o PRI: #SinVotoNoHayDinero

O Congresso de Jalisco reduzirá o financiamento aos partidos políticos. O movimento liderado por Pedro Kumamoto agora está buscando que a campanha #SinVotoNoHayDinero (Sem voto não há dinheiro) seja também uma realidade nos outros estados do México. Español English

Kumamoto se enfrenta al PRI: #SinVotoNoHayDinero

El Congreso de Jalisco recortará el financiamiento a los partidos políticos. El movimiento encabezado por Pedro Kumamoto busca ahora que #SinVotoNoHayDinero sea una realidad en los demás estados de México. English Português

Kumamoto vs. the Mexican parties of the establishment: #SinVotoNoHayDinero

The Congress of Jalisco will cut down the financing of political parties. The movement led by Pedro Kumamoto is now trying to make #SinVotoNoHayDinero a reality in other Mexican states. Español Português

A Treatise on European Government: on the international and the problems of the treaties

This treatise on constitutional European government has been prepared for a DiEM25 debate. The argument here for moving beyond the 'international', is based on a critique of the EU treaties. (Long - 6,000 words)

Las “supermanzanas” de Barcelona, ¿un desafío radical a la ciudad neoliberal?

Las supermanzanas barcelonesas, ¿desafían la voracidad, la desigualdad y la capacidad de destrucción de la ciudad neoliberal, o simplemente mitigan sus efectos? English

Are Barcelona’s ‘superblocks’ a radical challenge to the neoliberal city?

Do superblocks challenge the voracity, inequality and capacity for destruction of the neoliberal city, or simply mitgate its effects? Español

A crack in history? – a conversation between two recent UK Labour party recruits

We need to find a way to build political movements that make space for difficult questions, for diversity, for ambivalence. But how?

Race and exploitation in the Gulf

It is time for the issue of race to become central to any discussion on the continued exploitation of workers in the Gulf.

Squeezing civil society hurts India’s economy and democracy

India played a key moral role in international affairs during the anti-colonial struggles and as a founding member of the Non-Aligned Movement during the cold war. What happened then?

The right to blasphemy: is this the boundary between civilisation and barbarism?

Former Charlie Hebdo journalist Zineb El Rhazoui collects fatwas like badges of honour. Her recent book outlines similarities between the Islamic and European far right.

Scandinavian Nazis on the march again

The past four years in Norway give the lie to Norwegian political analysts proclaiming that a populist right-wing party in power acts as a brake on rising right-wing extremism.

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