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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The war in Yemen

International media talk constantly of Huthi forces, but in reality the main military force in Yemen is now that of ex-president Saleh who, wherever he is, is doing what he promised: destroying as much as he possibly can.

Further notes on the evolution of the jihadi international movement

The Islamic State project is finding some consensus in countries where political deadlock reduces our social lives to a primordial level. Social and economic frustration stays at an all-time high level, even in a country like Tunisia.

Misunderstanding IS, again

Replaying the theocratic analyses of al-Qaeda with IS is amnesic and short-sighted and misses the novelty of the group.

Kenya’s Security Law Act: freedom of expression and media freedom

The measures risk deterring journalists from covering terrorism-related topics and may have a significant effect on the quality of public debate.

Missing from Turkey’s peace process: memory, truth and justice

The resolution of the Kurdish question is closely linked to both truth and justice for past crimes, but also to ending ongoing state violence against Kurds.

US airstrikes weaken ISIL but keep it as a viable threat

The US Air Force stood idly by as ISlL swept towards Baghdad, but swiftly scrambled in August to launch airstrikes to halt an unexpected advance towards Irbil – capital of the Kurdish Regional Government (KRG). 

Implications of the preliminary Iranian nuclear deal

Recognition has dawned that the potential pre-eminent state in the region, Iran, and the globally pre-eminent state, the United States, need each other.

Shia crescent: self-fulfilling prophecy

Iran does not have influence over the region’s various Shia actors by default, but is helped by the way the Arab world regimes have historically treated Shia actors in the region. 

First we take Amsterdam, then we take The Hague

For those in Red Square, the Winter Palace is not in Amsterdam, but in the Dutch seat of government. Meanwhile, the New University has a life of its own.

Iran celebrates historic nuclear deal—all eyes now on supreme leader

A quarter-century on from the 'Islamic' revolution, Iran's beleaguered economy and its reformist leader desperately need a deal to end sanctions. But will the ideologically-driven Khamenei allow it?

Islamic State: beyond Tikrit

An intense battle for the Iraqi city of Tikrit, north of Baghdad, hints at the background and future of the wider conflict.  

Britain and the European debate on the uses of secrecy in court

EU scrutiny in the field of the use of closed materials in UK courts is of paramount importance for the future of democratic systems of justice, even if it polarises once more the positions for or against Brexit.

Buhari wins—but new president of Nigeria faces enormous challenge

After the Nigerian presidential election, the new government must address the social and economic policy vacuum Boko Haram has filled if the threat from the Islamists is to be tackled.

Saudi Arabia’s big mistake in Yemen

Saudi Arabia, by committing itself to an unlimited military escalation in Yemen, has over-reached itself.

A day of reckoning, 39 years later...

On this Land Day, while world powers have recognised the danger of the religion-centric Islamic State (IS), it is ironic that some of the same governments are urging Palestinians to accept Lieberman's "axe"-wielding Jewish version of IS.

Chasing the Scream, the talk

The last days of the war on drugs - and how to bring them to pass. The video of the London open book event.

Defending Tunisia’s constitution

Tunisia faces the challenge of responding to security threats while avoiding a return of the security state that Tunisians rose up against in 2011. It's a rocky but clearly marked path.

Political dissidence as care for the soul: reflections on Jan Patočka

In the experience and activity of political dissidence, care for the soul realized itself through denying the falsehoods imposed by the authorities and exalting truth above any imposed scheme.

Charter 77 and the “solidarity of the shaken”

The individual should learn to expose himself to the risk of giving up his egoistic prerogatives, in order to build a new form of community.

Libya: the pressing need for dialogue

The western intervention in Libya in 2011 failed to recognise the complex warp and weft of its pre-democratic tribal fabric. Only a regionally facilitated dialogue can repair the shattered state left behind.

On Solidarity

The idea of solidarity has its roots in the history of the workers’ movement, and as this is usually excluded from conventional tales of human endeavour, it is seldom understood. 

Waiting for emancipation: the prospects for liberal revolution in Africa

Clearly, trade and finance are not organized, in Africa or the world at large, with a view to liberating a popular movement.

An irresistible force? Arab citizens of Israel after the elections

Binyamin Netanyahu may have returned to power by disowning the two-state solution and scaremongering about Arab voters pre-election. But Palestinians in Israel have become a force to be reckoned with.

Athens, a flourishing polis

Amid the crisis, the Athens city council won the Bloomberg Philanthropy sustainable development and EFTA solidarity awards. 

Digital citizenship: from liberal privilege to democratic emancipation

On the anniversary of the Magna Carta, a call for a new debate on the conception of citizenship. Let’s seize the opportunity to transform our utopian dreams into everyday life.

Introducing three old ideas for a new Europe: flourishing, solidarity and care for the soul

These ideas--care for the soul, flourishing, solidarity--are ideas that according to Jan Patočka could be useful for reinterpreting our political space, in the face of a crisis which is shattering it.

This is what a feminist foreign policy looks like

Margot Wallström’s decision not to sell arms to Saudi Arabia demonstrates the fundamental rethink needed to achieve a feminist foreign policy. Herein lies women's power to stop war. 

Explaining the jihadi threat in Tunisia

We must say that this scenario is both similar to and different from those in other countries of the region where authoritarian regimes fell in 2011.

Defending the global knowledge commons

Members are encouraged to use creative commons licensing and to join others in a pledge to be open by agreeing to review for and publish in mainly if not solely open access journals.

Travelling theory

Around social thinkers from the South, who have not made it into the conventional sociological tradition, Connell proposes to build an alternative social science.           

Still a chance for another Europe?

On the output side of Europe’s political system, we have an abdication of responsibility by representative institutions in the face of citizens’ demands. But the Greek elections mark a turning point.  

Where are the people of Syria?

To mark the fourth anniversary of the uprising, the people of Syria tell their stories. 

Tunisia's security nightmare long predates the Arab Spring

The Tunisian massacre did not come out of a clear blue sky. A dictatorship not as secular as presented and its naïve 'moderate' Islamist successor allowed Salafism to emerge.

Egypt: scattered thoughts on a counter-revolutionary moment

The euphoric, Bakhtinian, carnivalesque and dramaturgical moment of January 2011, which caught the attention of numerous observers and which lasted for almost four years, seems to have withered away. 

Walking together: imagining a new chapter in Korean history

The goal of the international women's walk across the De-Militarized Zone is to help bring peace and reunification to Korea, and to open a new dialogue marked by understanding, and -  ultimately - forgiveness.

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