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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

Embargoes and delusions

Sanctions backfired because they provided the regime with an excuse to shun its responsibilities, and impoverishing the average Cuban made him altogether more state dependent. Español.

“Primero, tomaremos Atenas; luego, tomaremos Madrid”

El objetivo principal de Podemos es aglutinar una amplia mayoría, lo que en la práctica significa poner en pie un partido de clases medias que deje atrás el eje Derecha/Izquierda y ocupe la centralidad política. Publicado previamente en Can Europe Make It. English.

“First we take Athens, then we take Madrid”

The primary goal of Podemos is to marshal an ample majority, which means in practice to build a middle-class party, and to give up the traditional Left/Right axis for a position of centrality. Español.

A mellower Naipaul disappoints fans

All was forgotten. All was forgiven at this year's Jaipur Literary Festival. The short fuse replaced by a wire thick enough not to burn.

Building consensus in post-revolutionary Tunisia

Tawafuq’ as an idea refers to decision-making not through formal processes relying on potentially divisive majorities but rather informal processes.

A lit-fest expresses India’s genes

The five-day festival passed off “peacefully”, without the violent assertion of the right to be offended.

From Athens to Kobane, winds fill Kurdish sails

Could Greece, through democratic elections, become for Turkey what Tunisia became for Egypt in 2011 through mass protests?

Islamic State: the unknown war

Western states express optimism about the anti-jihadist campaign in Syria-Iraq. A report from a high-level meeting in London offers another view.    

Yemen: descent into anarchy

With the resignation of its president and prime minister, Yemen lacks the capacity to steer its political transition towards the goal of greater stability. The alternative, however, does not bear thinking about.

Charlie Hebdo numero 1178: all is forgiven?

Mutual recognition between people and cultures moves in mysterious ways, the cartoon its Rorschach test. 

Crisis in Yemen: what the media is getting wrong

It is important to stop perpetuating misconceptions about the current crisis (i.e., that it’s a sectarian conflict or proxy war among Iran and Saudi Arabia) that make for a good – albeit largely unfounded – story.

Lebanon is cracking under the pressure from Syria and Iraq

Hizbullah's attack today on Israeli forces near the Shebaa Farms area contested by Lebanon highlights how the country is a fragile mosaic close to shattering.

Obama, Netanyahu, Iran, Congress and the Republican Party

An intense political battle is going on over Iran on Capitol Hill. Insular Republicans underestimate at their peril international pressures driven by global security concerns.

An institution under siege

The foot soldiers of American law enforcement should not seek to cast blame on politicians and protesters. Instead they should look to the gilded system which has placed them in the line of fire.

Prevent and anti-extremism education

In fact, the removal of the ‘duty to promote community cohesion’ in schools from the UK's Ofsted inspection regime sent a very clear signal.

Carry on Sisyphus: short answers on Greece’s post-electoral politics

Perhaps paradoxically, Greece’s real problem is primarily political, not economic, and its name is “populism.”

Survival Day: reclaiming Australia’s history

Why should Australia acknowledge its bloody past on Australia Day? Firstly, this is a fundamental question of dignity.

Please mind the datachasm

They began to interpret things like him leaving the house without his mobile phone as indications that their suspicions were correct. Welcome to one half of the datachasm. Sleep safe.

An introduction to Yemen's emergency

This piece aims to provide the minimum necessary background to understand recent and forthcoming events in a rapidly changing situation in Yemen.

Redefining laïcité: French integration and the radical right

Perhaps it is not the Muslim communities of France that must change, so much as the notion of laïcité.

Greece and the Eurozone: one crisis, two narratives

The ‘Greek story’ simply diverts attention from the real task ahead which is the correction of the serious ‘design faults’ of the monetary union in Europe. 

Why the fight against Islamic State is not the success we're told it is

Is John Kerry right to be so gung-ho about military successes against Islamic State? Not reallyas the fundamental political challenges in Iraq and Syria remain unaddressed.

Being in the same room with Mike Marqusee

A journalist's salute to a man who was more than a writer. In memoriam.

Charlie Hebdo: stop pointing fingers and drop the reductive approach

It is time everyone stopped intentionally misinforming audiences with uninformed rudimentary analyses.

Fear, rumours and violence: Boko Haram’s asymmetrical warfare

While the global media were transfixed by the Islamist killings in Paris, Boko Haram was engaging in further massacres in north-east Nigeria and even over the border in Cameroon. How has its campaign escalated?

In Ukraine, NATO has ceased to be an instrument of US foreign policy

In the renewed cold war over Ukraine, while Russia’s economy has been weakened by European sanctions, the US is no longer the hegemon it once was—and NATO is under strain.

Charlie Hebdo and the right to offend

The right to offend, which the French secular republic with its long tradition of anti-clericalist satire holds particularly dear, is in everyday conflict with the values of the republic’s second largest religion.

Murder in Guantanamo

Ron Ridenhour became a famous journalist, with an annual prize for bravery awarded in his name after his early death at 52. Will Joseph Hickman get one this year?

The real cause of addiction has been discovered - and it's not what you think

Addiction is the symptom of a social ill. Follow the science and you'll get to policy which is humane and actually works

The need for international law

With both Russian and American nuclear arsenals being "modernised," international agreements and norms are now more important than ever. 

Greece on the cusp of change? Hold that thought.

The already frail economy is beginning to unravel, with revenues down and uncertainty as to how the country will finance itself and pay its debts once the electoral saga comes to an end. 

The military-industrial complex in Iraq

Radical Islam has proven, with Washington’s help, a worthy successor to the Soviet Union, a superb money-making venture and great way to build a monumental national security state.

Unpacking the war on terror: letter to a young army ranger from an old one

You will be part of the most technologically advanced military on Earth and you will be greeted by the poorest of the poor. Are there fewer terrorists around? Does all this really make a lot of sense?

Charlie Hebdo – one week later

It has been exhausting having to confront the visceral divisions among us about the nature of what happened, the roles of religion, geopolitics, and racism. And the possibility that the west, thinking it ‘is Charlie’, has been spitting on their graves.

How states can constrain resort to political violence

Recognising there are political elements to any campaign of militant violence makes it less ‘terrifying’ for society and is crucial in developing measures to constrain it. 

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