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This week's editor

Dawn Foster, Co-Editor

Dawn Foster is Co-Editor at 5050 and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Bliss Was It in that Dawn to Be Next Door

The motives of many young would-be jihadists are childlike—the appeal of becoming ‘super-heroes’ to fill an existential void. The author meets a comic book writer aiming to lead them in a different direction.

Dateline Damascus: fighting on all fronts

For 12 days, two Dutch journalists travelled all over Assad’s Syria. They spoke with high-ranking officials in government and generals at the front lines. A unique look behind the scenes.

Liberalism without democracy: the case of Egypt

Maged Mandour

The weakness of the urban middle class and their sense of isolation has become a bastion for the support for autocracy. Fear of a social revolution has been the main driver in the alliance between the military and the urban middle class.

Will the real Modi stand up?

Lord Shiva is one God who assimilates in his person all contradictions. Modi did the same!

Brazil´s foreign policy is in the dark

Brazil could play a critical role in promoting stability in an uncertain world. But no. From openDemocracy.

A Saudi-Iranian grand bargain

Pundits have long criticised the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for propagating Wahhabism, its austere brand of Sunni Islam, but have failed to address the underlying regional context.

Reflections on responses to the Falk-Davutoglu interview

Turkey’s democratic future is dependent on a government and political opposition that foster national unity and a pluralist political culture and values of power sharing.

Are we all beheaded Copts?: outrage in Libya

Is the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians by ISIS in Libya associated with a broader political project of cleansing the region of religious minorities? Would this not deserve demonstrations of solidarity?

Repression and resistance in Istanbul: Tarlabaşı and Me

"Tarlabaşı is a place to hide."  Soon, there won't be any place to hide… 

Righting a wrong: how to restore decency to the British Indian Ocean Territory

Past injustices inflicted on the last outpost of empire need to be acknowledged – and redressed.

Karabakh truce shaken by gunshots and tough talk

OSCE mediators urge an end to attacks after a month in which the 20-year-old ceasefire was broken in thousands of incidents.

Is there reason to hope for Minsk II?

The last Minsk agreement on eastern Ukraine failed to bring peace. The latest looks similar—but the context has changed.

There is no such thing as a moderate Syrian opposition

The Syrian Arab Army has multiple charities that go house to house looking after its men in uniform.

Syriza and the rise of a radical left in Europe: solidarity is the keyword

The key protagonist in channelling bottom-up solidarity proved to be – not for the first time in Greece’s history - the institution of the extended family.

Sectarianism and Iran’s foreign policy

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, toasted in the west as a rational thinker disinclined to give in to bombastic rhetoric, has also resorted to Iranophobia.

The devil is in the details

Conspiracies theories about the Charlie Hebdo attacks come to the fore in France, blaming the secret service, Mossad, and of course the U.S.

Riding the caliphate interstate with Jeff Steinberg

An interview on the origins of Islamic State and its relationship with regional and global powers.

From national liberation to neoliberalism: “peace” and aid in Palestine

The occupied territories are trapped in global structures of neoliberal capitalist exploitation, within which the PA and, indeed, Israel itself, increasingly resemble auxiliary nodes.

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit—what next?

The ceasefire agreement in Minsk over Ukraine was better than no outcome at all. But only a little better.

Israel’s "iron fist": what happened?

The containing of an explosion on the Hizbollah-Israel frontier has politics to thank. But next time could be different.

Proper democracy triumphs in Delhi

The Aam Admi Party won as many as 67 of the 70 seats in the Delhi State legislature. Modi’s BJP managed to get just three of its candidates elected. Congress failed to win a single seat.

Assessing Europe’s response to the Paris attacks

Since rising intolerance in Europe is not confined to anti-Semitism, Europe’s response also needs to be broader.

Interethnic communication in ‘Borderlands’

The Macedonian government shows little interest in fostering interethnic communication. It relies on nationalistic rhetoric and interethnic tensions.

What freedom of speech? Of foxes, chickens, and #JeSuisCharlie

Most Europeans, at both elite and mass level, have a grossly inflated idea of the extent of freedom of speech in Europe, a direct consequence of the uncritical and self-congratulatory discourse on the topic.

Not so strange ideological bedfellows: Syriza and the Independent Greeks

As the European Commission sets the limits of economic policy all over Europe, it becomes increasingly difficult to think of economic issues independent of the question of EU integration.

Jordan vows to avenge Kasasbeh's murder

The murder by IS of Lt Muath Kasasbeh has caused outrage everywhere, especially in his home country, Jordan, which wants a price paid in blood.

The two big holes in the strategy against IS

The US-led campaign against Islamic State isn’t working. It won’t unless it addresses Shia sectarianism in Iraq and Assad’s atrocities in Syria.

Saudi Arabia’s new king fuelling the feud among younger royals

Saudi Arabia must cover its tracks by not only forcefully denouncing ISIS and JN but actively introducing stiffer measures demonstrating that it is genuinely combating terrorism. How does this play out in terms of royal power?

Decolonising Palestinian economies

There are at least five different economies in Palestine that co-exist with the Israeli economy, and they are all subjugated to Israeli colonisation. Decolonising them is key to real economic stimulus.

On Arab-Arab racism

Maged Mandour

In the Arab World, elites are acutely aware of their condition of inferiority in the eyes of the west, and at the same time feel a sense of contempt for themselves, their culture and their own countrymen.

Blowback: the failure of remote-control warfare

It all seemed so convenient: remote-control warfare would minimise military casualties while rendering the civilian dead invisible. But the battlefield has come home.

The balkanisation of Greece’s centre-left politics

Greece’s Pasok centre-left, one of the most prominent parties in post-1980 Europe is now a pale shadow of itself and a marginal presence in the continent’s social democracy. 

A Cuban end to the Cold War

No Latin American government, be it liberal or conservative, defends the embargo and sanctions against the regime of the Castro brothers. Español.

Relaciones Cuba-Estados Unidos: bienvenidos al deshielo en el Caribe

A los asesores de Obama no se les debió haber pasado por alto las enseñanzas del pasado: al castrismo, debieron razonar, no se lo derrota con la CIA sino con la SEARS, la famosa cadena comercial. Publicado previamente en openDemocracy. English.

Embargos y delirios

Las sanciones resultan contraproducentes porque proveen al régimen de una coartada para evadir sus responsabilidades y, al empobrecer al cubano medio, lo hacen aún más dependiente del Estado. Publicado previamente en openDemocracy. English.

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