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This week’s editor

Tom Rowley is editor of oDR, covering the progressive agenda in Eurasia.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

‘It only needs all’: re-reading Dialectic of Enlightenment at 70

Seventy years ago, Querido Verlag published a densely written book that has become a key title of modern social philosophy. Underneath its pessimistic granite surface a strangely sanguine message awaits us.

What does ‘mainstream media bias’ mean in a digital age?

The internet should mean that everyone has access to the same information, yet people still talk of a “mainstream media bias”.

On the duality of laicism and dictatorship and the rise of political Islam

Is there another outlet or framework in the Arab world outside the dichotomy of Islamism or nationalism? [عربي]

Women as wartime rapists: a new book explores 'the impossible'

Academic Laura Sjoberg argues that our gendered assumptions about sexual violence in conflict limit our understanding of these crimes.

Behind The Saudi-Qatari spat and the fragmentation of the GCC

The sanctions on Qatar aim to force the government of Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani to alter its foreign policy – particularly regarding its warming relations with Iran.

In pictures: female FARC fighters' daily lives in a demobilisation camp

“Welcome to a territory of peace.” Earlier this year, thousands of FARC combatants moved to demobilisation camps as part of historic peace accords in Colombia.

Mental help: the story of Gaza’s trauma unit

Palestine has the highest rate of mental health disorders in the MENA region. Even though resources are limited, there are incredible people fighting for mental health in Gaza. 

Lebanon in the eye of the regional storm

Hizbollah’s proven armed capability in Syria, Israel’s perceived political defeat in 2006, coupled with a possible US and Saudi green light, may make confrontation inevitable.

El 15M, visto desde Pasado Mañana

Lo que el 15M dice es: “perdonen ustedes: no me acaba de representar este eje derecha izquierda, me interesa también el abajo arriba, y no sólo quiero justicia, quiero también libertad”. Entrevista. English

"Ideology can be used to divert attention towards some things, while other things are happening"

The hegemony of media corporations in Brazil is a phenomenon that has no precedent in the country's history. There are no balanced, manipulation-free news. Interview. Español Português

Iran and Houthis: Between political alliances and sectarian tensions

Iran’s role in Yemen and the nature of its relationship with the Houthis remain a subject of controversy. Some deny outright such a relationship and alliance, while others go so far as to consider Houthis to be no more than Iranian puppets. العربية

Laying the foundations for a totalitarian state

The Egyptian regime is moving decisively to close what remains of public space, dominating all aspects of political life for decades to come.   

Sanctuary and refuge cities

At Fearless Cities –  we catch up with the Coordinator of the Refuge City Plan of Barcelona City Council, and two fellow panellists, activists from Berlin, Germany and Philadelphia, USA.

Who will defend Egypt’s human rights defenders?

NGOs play an essential role in local communities; the government’s reckless, repressive actions will jeopardize the country’s future.

Why the UK’s hung parliament is an opportunity for constructive Europeans

The reality is that after this election any UK government will be a weak one: no matter whether the cabinet is led by Theresa May or Jeremy Corbyn. There are opportunities here.

White phosphorus over Raqqa

The local population in Raqqa is paying a very heavy price for the massive aerial attacks on the town.

Jeremy Corbyn – a mainstream [Scandinavian] social democrat

If there is such a thing as a ‘best practice approach’ in public policy the Nordic model would probably be it and, at any measure, a useful benchmark for Britain to move towards. First published on September 19, 2016.

‘Lost in Lebanon’ explores restless wait for return

The film examines various dimensions of loss through a new concept of life in exile, in a country where precarious residency comes without self-awareness.

After 50 years of occupation in Palestine, friendship across a separation wall

Wars have been fought, walls built and separation policies enacted. But we share a common belief that peace is possible. We refuse to be enemies.

Of sacred cows and profane men

The cow has highlighted religious, regional, social and cultural differences. Some humans have been killed in the name of the cow.

Four dilemmas facing Britain – as others see it

What is Britain's place in tomorrow's world? – a hugely important issue for a nation that, until seven decades ago, was a global empire.

Thirty-six years later, the trial of the El Mozote massacres could change El Salvador's history

The reopening of El Mozote case brings a historic opportunity for truth and justice; the State and the public prosecution must rise to the challenge. Español

“In every conflict there is always room for negotiation”

There is no rule saying that some conflicts have no solution. The dynamics, the interests and the timings keep on changing and opening up possibilities for resolving them. Interview. Español

"En todo conflicto hay siempre posibilidades de negociación"

No existe una regla según la cual hay conflictos sin solución. Hay dinámicas, intereses y tiempos que van cambiando y abriendo posibilidades para su resolución. Entrevista. English

Inciting soldiers to rape in the Philippines

Duterte offered immunity to soldiers that commit rape in the current anti-terror campaign in Mindanao. It could make him liable for indictment for war crimes.

Get out and vote say immigrants. For your future and ours

Refugees and migrants test Britain’s claim to be a representative democracy, a test which Britain is not passing. 

Refugees: the Trojan horse of terrorism?

Why are leaders in the EU and US reluctant to admit that the main terrorist threat to western countries comes from home-grown extremists?

My Three Day war: a memoir

“With so much land captured, aren’t you ideally placed to offer the Arab nations a peace deal?” “King Hussein has my number – let him call me!”

50 years of occupation will not kill hope for a free Palestine

On its 40th day, the mass hunger strike by Palestinian political prisoners was suspended after an agreement was reached to allow two visits per month.

Palestine: Imperial failures and their consequences

The Nakba, central to Palestinian nationhood as much as the Holocaust is for Jews and slavery is for African-Americans, is the living reminder of the profound injustice inflicted upon the Palestinians.

Nicolás Maduro and Perón’s widow

The kind of leadership exercised by charismatic leaders disempowers the institutions and the opposition. This makes it all the more difficult to produce a successor and heightens the feeling of abyss. Español Português

Nicolás Maduro e a viúva de Perón

Os lideres carismáticos exercem um tipo de liderança que esvazia de poder as instituições e os opositores. Isto reforça a incapacidade de gerar sucessores e reafirma a sensação de abismo. English Español 

Nicolás Maduro y la Viuda de Perón

Los líderes carismáticos ejercen un tipo de liderazgo que vacía de poder a instituciones y opositores. Esto refuerza la incapacidad de generar sucesores y reafirma la sensación de abismo. English Português

The 'success' of political Islam in the Kurdish context

We need to go beyond the dichotomy between radical and moderate Islam to see how Islamist movements impose hegemony at local, national and international levels.

“A homeland that wants to kill us”

"This hatred overdose and systematic lynch campaign is something that none of us were prepared for. We are civilian citizens whose only 'crime' is to demand peace." An open letter.

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