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This week's editor


Our guest editor, Valsamis Mitsilegas, director of the Criminal Justice Centre at Queen Mary University of London, introduces this week’s theme: Privacy and Surveillance in 2016.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Egypt: pardon evokes frustration rather than celebration

Think about the thousands who are held in prison, with or without charge, with or without trials, who are not getting the exposure necessary to make their release a political win for Sisi. 

The UN: are development and peace empty words?

As governments adopt the UN's 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, their roles in producing and selling weapons that undermine development, peace and security are coming under scrutiny.

Refugee crisis: those most responsible are the least affected

Western governments talk of “moral” responsibility towards the refugees—but morality has nothing to do with it. They are simply obliged to help clean up a mess they helped make.

Ansiedades catalanas

Las próximas elecciones en Cataluña no van a traer, probablemente, mayorías claras, pero sí van a traer división. Convencidos de la necesidad de afirmar su supremacía, los secesionistas se preparan para tomar algún atajo. English.

Could ISIS bring Russia and the west together?

For a couple of years after 9/11, there was a solid US-Russia anti-terrorism cooperation that basically gave the Kremlin a freer hand in crushing the Chechens.

Greece, the breach remains open

"Whatever SYRIZA’s failings may be, they reflect the failings of the entire European left, of each and every one of us." 

Bolivia y la nueva derecha andina

Como Macri en Argentina, Capriles en Venezuela o Rodas en Ecuador, la derecha boliviana se fortalece. Una joven mujer aymara es ahora la esperanza de la nueva derecha para ganar a Evo Morales. English. Português.

Bolivia and the new Andean Right

As with Macri in Argentina, Capriles in Venezuela or Rodas in Ecuador, the Bolivian right is growing stronger. A young Aymara woman is now the hope to defeat Evo Morales. Español. Português.

Unleashing nationalist and militarist elements in Turkish society

Depending on who one believes the country is either on the brink of civil war, or instead heroically participating in the Global War on Terror.

Is Puebla like Bogotá? The geography of drug trafficking in Mexico

Puebla is like Bogotá thirty years ago. Like Puebla today, Bogotá was full of investors, housing developments and luxury cars. They later realized ... it was drug trafficking. Español.

'Something wicked this way comes': the Arab transitions (part 2)

An excerpt from a NOREF report on the background to the current situation in the Middle East, focusing on the aftermath of the 'Arab Spring'. Part two: Iraq, Syria and Yemen.

Polio wars: conspiracy and democracy in Pakistan

What better evidence that the country is a nest of terrorists than the murder of medics trying to wipe out a deadly disease... all because of a conspiracy theory?

Tear gas at the EU’s border

The chloropicrin agent used as a popular pesticide belongs historically to the same family of toxic irritants used in tear gas attacks against refugees.This is not an innocent coincidence.

Northern Ireland: what Einstein would have said

The latest crisis in Northern Ireland looks like déjà vu all over again. It’s not that the situation never changes but the remedy offered by London remains stubbornly the same.

A turbulent Turkey in a region in turmoil

It is clear that the PKK-focused, national security oriented ‘new politics’ is the main factor that consumes Turkey’s energy.

Secessão democratizada na Escócia e na Catalunha

A democracia não acaba com o secessionismo, senão que o transforma, proporcionando-lhe uma base sociopolítica, a capacidade de durar, e as ferramentas que lhe permitem circunvalar o Estado para dedicar-se à construção da nação. English. Español.

El arte de resistir en Cuba

Danilo Maldonado, el grafitero cubano conocido como "El Sexto", resiste el encarcelamiento con dibujos sobre papel. Desde diciembre del 2014, la represión de artistas en Cuba ha aumentado considerablemente. English.

The refugee crisis: demilitarising masculinities

Photos emerging from the borders of Europe weave a new narrative around what it means to be vulnerable, to be a man, to say no to war and to be a refugee.

The art of resistance in Cuba

Danilo Maldonado, the Cuban graffiti artist commonly known as “El Sexto”, is fighting prison with paper. Since December 2014, repression of artists in Cuba has increased significantly. Español.

Iatrophobia explained

Iatrophobia: an abnormal or irrational fear of doctors or going to the doctor.

Just what is the point of the European Union?

By the end of 2017, the British people, denied a voice within the EU for over four decades, will decide whether the UK should remain…or leave. An opening salvo.

Film review: a Syrian love story

A Syrian Love Story is an intimate portrait of a Syrian family torn apart by war, especially moving and relevant in light of the continuing refugee crisis.

Democratized secession in Scotland and Catalonia

Democracy does not end secessionism, it transforms it by providing a socio-political foundation, the ability to endure politically, and the modern tools to circumvent the state to engage in nation-building. Español. Português.

Secesión democratizada en Escocia y Cataluña

La democracia no acaba con el secesionismo, sino que lo transforma, al proporcionarle una base socio-política, la capacidad de durar, y las herramientas que le permiten circunvalar el Estado para dedicarse a la construcción de nación. English. Português.

Cold war conspiracies and suspect polio prevention

Many American scientists distrusted the Russian field trials. Russian colleagues responded with a sentiment similar to Sting’s Cold War hit: the Russians love their children too.

Bacteriology as conspiracy

The case of Dr. Kinyoun and the 1900 Plague in San Francisco, in which he became a threatening foreign regime - a tragic hero in the historical drama of American public health.

Russia’s military buildup in Syria could benefit the anti-ISIL coalition

Peace in Syria depends on a gradual devolution of power and diminished use of violence by non-state actors. It cannot depend on using non-state actors simply as tools for regime change.

The end of the progressive narrative in Latin America

Protests against President Dilma Rousseff are a turning point in the breakup between government and citizens in Brazil. The same process is gradually spreading to other Latin American countries. Español. Português.

El fin del relato progresista en América Latina

Las protestas contra Dilma Rousseff marcan un punto de inflexión en la ruptura entre gobernantes y gobernados en Brasil, un proceso que paulatinamente se extiende a otros países latinoamericanos. Português. English.

O fim do relato progressista na América Latina

Os protestos contra Dilma Rousseff marcam um ponto de inflexão na ruptura entre governantes e governados em Brasil, um processo que paulatinamente se estende aos países latino-americanos. Español. English

Why do people reject climate change?

US Democrats did not come to support climate change because they sat down and confronted the evidence, read the scholarly journals, and evaluated the climate models.

Why Australia can’t keep its prime ministers

Enter our new Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull. Let's be clear: the right's program will not change now that its leader has.

Urgent letter to Recep Tayyip Erdoğan

“You are in the best position to save your country, as was your great enemy in Syria.  Is the lesson of his misrule playing no part in your current thinking?”  

A climate of conspiracy

What the Tea Party and Occupy movements have in common is that they don’t accept the official version of events any more.

Climate change versus conspiracy theory in India

A key aspect of the counter-narratives to the climate change explanations for man-eaters has underlined and originates from this feeling of being-forgotten.

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