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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Ayotzinapa: the events that shook the Mexican youth

These protests did not oust the government of Peña Nieto, although they demanded the resignation of the president, but they did force the government to react and try to explain what had happened. 

Why the British elite loves Waterloo

For the British ruling class, June 18, 1815 was a high point: most battles since have been disastrous.

A year of Modi Raj – India in crisis

Middle and upper class Indians see no crisis. The media fails to inform them that 75% upwards are too often suffering not only neglect but massive state violence and terror.

Special deal, root and branch reform or Brexit? Cameron’s EU-policy - a sceptical view from Germany

The concessions which Britain will be granted today in negotiations with Brussels and Berlin may well turn out to be self defeating in the long run, because they will marginalise Britain. 

Morocco, UN myopia and the Libyan crisis

It may be understandable that the UN should clutch at any straws to address the miasma in Libya. But Morocco shouldn’t be one of them.

Suppressed at home, neglected abroad, Ethiopian migrants

The May 24 election, contrary to US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s misjudged and widely criticized comments, is a hollow piece of democratic theatre.

Brazil in decline?

The sluggish economic situation is much less worrisome to Brazil’s future than the measures being approved in the National Congress.

Civil disobedience is not the same as violent extremism

Several leading Swedish academics published a protest in a major daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter this March, regarding Swedish Government plans for preventing extremism.

Scandal and silence in Lisboa

I am not an “austerity refugee”, the author tells our partners, Precarious Europe. In fact, my family has had a role to play in the suffering of millions of Portuguese workers.

A Syrian’s view of Europe

Humam, fleeing his war-torn country, made the perilous crossing from North Africa to Europe. He now reminds Precarious Europe how big and wonderful Europe can be.

The Iraqi crisis: rethinking the narrative

An approach to Iraq focused on military intervention, with some humanitarian assistance, has defied the complexity of the domestic and regional kaleidoscope. No wonder it is failing.

Deficits in the EU that should worry Europeans

In Greece for the first time the EU authorities demand a government complete a programme that it has neither designed nor has a democratic mandate to implement.

Has the west given up on democracy?

Authoritarians are methodically cracking down on opposition elements, restricting civil society activity, swapping surveillance and censorship tips and technologies to keep domestic dissent at bay.

From Northern Ireland to Korea: the power of nonviolence and love in action

As thirty international women peacemakers prepare to cross the DMZ with women from North and South Korea, Nobel Peace Laureate Mairead Maguire speaks in Pyongyang of the power of forgiveness.

NPT: nuclear colonialism versus democratic disarmament

A host of nuclear free states are claiming back their power to create the conditions for a much-needed legally binding agreement to prohibit nuclear weapons, moving beyond the NPT Review Conference.

May 2015, aka “The month I realized dissent was illegal in Canada”

Bill C-51 and this revision to Canada’s hate laws make it possible for reasonable dissent, formerly protected under free speech laws, to be labeled terrorist, racist, or both, and prosecuted as such. 

Writing history before it happens

Nine surefire future headlines from a bizarro American world.

Spilling the beans, Riyadh style

With recent events, the Saudis are involuntarily proving Obama's point: petrodollars and weapons cannot buy them security, but social and political reform just might.

New counter-extremism laws must not cut out spaces for dialogue

How do we address extremism in a way that does not impinge on civil liberties and exacerbate tensions in our communities?

El Salvador’s gang truce: a lost opportunity?

The truce declared in 2012 may have been imperfect and controversial but positive lessons must be learned amid the country’s current crisis of violence.

Burundi teeters on the brink of civil war following coup attempt

Burundi looks like it is entering a vortex of renewed violence. It's in a troubled region, we have been here before—and the president's determination to pursue an unconstitutional third term is blocking any democratic alternative.

Yemen at war

With a humanitarian crisis mounting in Yemen, Saudi Arabia has eased its military pressure—for the moment.

Smoke and mirrors over 'Brexit': key questions on the path to the EU referendum

Cameron has unleashed a process he won't be fully able to control, having major impacts on the UK's political dynamics and its constitutional future at home and in the EU over the next two years.

Countering hybrid war: civil resistance as a national defence strategy

The western response to Russian hybrid war in Crimea and eastern Ukraine has been predicated on a show of military force. Nonviolent civilian defence promises us another path.

Central African Republic: the long and winding road

The good news is that the violent factions in the Central African Republic have agreed to ban child soldiering. The bad news is that a viable CAR state remains a long way off.

On power in the Arab World

Maged Mandour

Arab autocrats’ power depends on more than physical coercion or the rise of Islamist extremism: it has deeper roots in the role of civil society, orientalism, and identity politics.

Self-immolation in Kurdish Iraq

Why has self-immolation become an alarmingly common trend in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein?

Atrocities in the frame

The film “No Fire Zone” gives voice to the victims of Sri Lanka’s civil war. Here, amateur video footage powerfully documents those caught in the killing fields.

Libya: "Rejoicing at our bloody democracy"

For sustainable peace, the UN must refuse to sanction militarism as the default response to unwanted migration and invest in grassroots women and youth human rights defenders.

Whatever is happening to the Egyptians?

The socio-economic gap is widening, and taking an ideological and cultural form. This comes as no surprise, because unity makes people a threat to power.

Negotiating the Greek public debt: wrong finance minister was fired

Expenditure reduction leads to falling household incomes, contraction in public services and a rising incidence of poverty, all without progress toward the professed goal, reduction in the nominal public debt.

Erdoğan, Syria and the Kurds: be careful what you wish for

A complex political triangulation links the Turkish president with the Syrian imbroglio and the Kurdish question, but his political target is receding.

From shore to shore: regional collapse and human insecurity

These are policies that, whilst having a humanitarian veneer, radically exacerbate the burdens of migrants and displaced persons from and in countries like Libya, Syria, Eritrea, and Somalia, alike. 

PC thought-bots embarrass themselves with PEN boycott

What’s really at stake in awarding a character prize to the French satirical weekly?

Ferguson to Baltimore: taking on institutionalized racism

What are our values? Equal opportunities? Freedom of expression? Protection of human rights principles? If so, the US is building a frightening track record of alienating and insensitive behavior.

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