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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Milli Vanilli fake diversity at the BBC

“When it comes to BAME, Ofcom must set a minimum standard that the BBC have to meet behind the camera.”

Food, the UK and Brexit: an even messier reprise of Corn Laws politics?

We see Liam Fox warming up a US-UK trade deal, while Michael Gove assures consumers that animal welfare and food quality standards are safe in his hands. This doesn’t add up.

Hay’at Tahrir al Sham’s gamble: the failure of blood

As HTS grows at the expense of others, opposition representatives will continue to lose negotiating power in the Astana and Geneva talks, leaving Assad and Russia only one option with which to end the war.

Aristides de Sousa Mendes: a light in the dark

Aristides de Sousa Mendes chose his conscience over his orders. His altruism should be an example for all those struggling to change a world that is once again failing to protect its citizens.   

Qatar crisis: a broader consolidation of power

Despite the real tension and rivalries, there is far more that unites Qatar and surrounding countries than what separates them.

Letter from a recovering Team Syntegrity 2017 participant

"In this exercise, we were forced to sit side by side and face to face and discuss diverse issues reasonably, coherently, and cohesively. It was smart and it was intimate."

Gaza: ten years of economic blockade

Supporting BDS will hasten an end to the siege on Gaza and help lance a running sore in the Middle East and international relations. It deserves your support.

Questions of legitimacy

The people of Egypt need to accept that they have to forge their own path to democracy, which at this point in history will most likely come at a bloody price.  

Is the world finally breaking its silence on Turkey?

"Members of my staff are sad not just for their friends, but for their country. What will it take for the world to break its silence?"

Stop blaming the rescuers

Attacks against rescue efforts in the Mediterranean must stop. The recent Italian and EU proposals are just the last steps of an ongoing de-legitimisation campaign that is putting the lives of thousands of migrants at risk.

The trauma of the attempted military coup as observed from a college campus in Istanbul

“However over-optimistic it may sound, I focused on a growth mindset and transferred it to focusing on creating a change in our emotional state.”

Why the ICC examination into torture and other abuses by UK soldiers in Iraq must continue

The Office of the Prosecutor is under pressure to conclude the examination. It must remain open. The Prosecutor should be taking it to the next logical step – a full-blown investigation. 

Fear and loathing in Turkish academia: a tale of appeasement and complicity

Can fear explain the loathing that the victims of this ‘academic cleansing’ are exposed to, often by their own colleagues? Could insecurity justify the complicity?

From civil society to political society

“You can avoid paying attention to politics only until politics starts paying attention to you.” Thoughts gathered at Team Syntegrity 2017 in Barcelona.

The vertical apartheid

Herewith, an edited version of the preface to Eyal Weizman's Hollow Land, published by Verso last month to mark the 50th anniversary of the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza.

IS’ strategic management of death

The concepts of life and death are utilized strategically to contribute to the military effort of IS. Examples from video releases and religious songs shed light on how these concepts are portrayed in IS propaganda.

De-risking and non-profits: how do you solve a problem that no-one wants to take responsibility for?

Decisive action should be taken by the G20 to assess the impact, legitimacy and effectiveness of the whole system of international rules designed to combat money laundering and terrorist financing.

In Indonesia, the peasant struggle of Kendeng

"We are ‘orang desa’ (country people), far from big cities. Maybe it’s hard for you to imagine that we work close to the earth, outside and sweating from morning until night."

Horn of Africa: there are no quick fixes in ‘countering violent extremism’

An effective response to violence and harmful ideologies is important. But projects are failing to adequately engage with root causes.

Single market maze contains clues to complex Brexit puzzle

While political debate over Brexit sidestepped the complexities of the single market, domestic volatility makes replicating trading arrangements much more difficult.

The governor is busy

No matter how large or crowded Istanbul becomes, the centralized government structure does not change. There is always a single governor... Part one of three.

Punish the smuggler or reward the smuggler? Recent refugee arrivals in Greece

As its northern and western neighbours close their doors to asylum seekers through policies, borders and distance, Greece continues to welcome them to the best of its ability.

Resignation letter from Franco ‘Bifo’ Berardi to DiEM25 and Yanis Varoufakis' reply

The writer, media theorist and activist wrote to say “I am no longer a European given Europe’s daily crimes” & “thus I resign from DiEM25”. Read his letter, and Yanis Varoufakis’ reply.

Fox and Sky: what happens to media plurality now?

On June 29, the UK’s Culture Secretary stated that she would submit to a full competition review the 21st Century Fox bid for 100% control of Sky plc. Will it happen?

Team Syntegrity, a comprehensive method of hope

Collaborating, competing, contradicting, negotiating, accommodating and compromising, all took place to different degrees in one symbiotic process. Our first participant report-back.

Simone Veil – a passionate believer in Europe

She was a tower of moral rectitude like that other great Jewish figure of French post war politics, Pierre Mendes France. In memoriam.

Colombia: cosechando los beneficios de la paz

En un clima de relaciones internacionales cada vez más polarizado, la reciente exitosa finalización del proceso de desarme de las FARC-EP en Colombia entrega al mundo un indicio de esperanza. English

The return of Banisadr to the heart of Iranian politics

A permanent state of crisis has intersected with the Supreme leader’s actions to create conditions for the emergence of a new ‘post-reformist’ conjuncture. Could this lead to a paradigm shift in Iran?

Seeking refuge in refugees

Glimpses of life in a Greek refugee camp through the diary of a young volunteer.

A violência no Rio de Janeiro: um conto de duas cidades

Seguramente, mais de 80% dos moradores do Rio de Janeiro acreditam estar sob o risco de serem assassinados nos próximos 12 meses. Español. English

Este artigo se publica nel marco de la campanha Instinto de Vida.

The crude reality of México that only the murdered and tortured know

“In Mexico City, about 88% feel unsafe when away from home no matter what time of day it is. In the internationally-renowned Mexican resort city Acapulco, 86 percent feel insecure.” Spanish

Preparing Iraq for the defeat of IS

Multiple segments of the population, including at elite level, have come together in the fight against IS and now the time has come for this effort to extend beyond the battle.

The criminal, the victim, the policeman, the judge

“I do not know if Carlo Ginzburg would agree, but I came to evaluate fear as a precious tool for fieldwork in authoritarian contexts.”

A trip to liberated Minbic in Northern Syria: from hell to paradise

The city of Minbic (Manbij) and its surroundings are among the most contested regions in the Syrian war. Ercan Ayboga interviewed representatives of the new Democratic Administration in Minbic.

Radical municipalism: demanding the future

‘Municipal politics’ may raise new types of demands crucial in organising powerful social movements and improving material conditions, while orienting us towards new understandings of what is possible. 


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