This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Turkey and the "Islamic State”

Turkey is notably reluctant to join a military campaign against ISIS. In fact, Ankara's ambiguity towards the radical Islamist group has deep political as well as historical roots.

The war with images

Social and political militants have all now transformed into marketing activists as they struggle to find ways to convince the public that the Palestinian cause is righteous.

The battle to preserve Bethlehem's cultural heritage

Open Bethlehem is a campaign to revive Bethlehem's legacy as a diverse, culturally rich, and entrepreneurial city, after decades of being suffocated by occupation.

Israel Inc. marketing the conflict in Gaza

In corporate jargon, Israel’s assault on Gaza is akin to that of a monopoly which undertakes unfair business practices to crush a small competitor’s attempt to increase its market share.

Longing for normalcy

There is a paradox in Zionism. Zionist Jews show willpower and initiative when it comes to war, but when it comes to reaching a historic compromise, the world appears to them as definite and immobile.

A fresh look: towards an Israel-Palestine two-state solution

A two-state solution is still possible in Israel and Palestine, but it will take a more aggressive strategy - one that focuses on the religious-nationalist right on both sides, and on concrete steps towards nation-building in Palestine.

Genealogies of empire: the Islamic State as a western symptom

The butcher of Foley has in a sense defied the genealogies of empire and the 'be with us or against us' mentality now once again at the forefront of politics.

Why Israel attacked so many Palestinian civilian targets during the 2014 offensive

Unlike the belief that Israel is just a criminal-like state for targeting civilians, attacking Palestinian civilian targets should be seen broadly as part of their defined political, economic, and social objectives.

Change in a time of climate change

When we come together as civil society, we have the capacity to transform policies, change old ways of doing things, and sometimes even topple regimes. That’s why I’m marching this Sunday in New York City.

Into the third Iraq war

Washington's strategy to defeat the Islamic State has the same deep flaws that marked earlier phases of the "war on terror".

Islamism vs the weak Arab nations

The fragility of Arab national identity makes it difficult to resist the Islamic State. This makes the Kurdish experience relevant to the prospects of war against the movement.

Tunisia’s forthcoming elections: transition at risk and arms sales won’t rescue

The mounting social and security risks should prompt the west to engage with all segments of Tunisian society to thwart the rise of sectarianism and polarization, looming in the rest of the Middle East and North Africa.

Anti-Syrian sentiment in Lebanon

Lebanese nationalism has historically been exclusionary - as are all nationalisms - and isolationist, in that it accentuates differences between the Lebanese and other Levantines or other Arabs while downplaying shared attributes and characteristics.

Tripoli airstrikes

Maged Mandour

These airstrikes demonstrate new fault lines in the Arab world: between Arab conservative regimes, their Islamist foes, and the democratic secular forces who find themselves in an impossible situation. 

Democratic dreams and political reality in Europe

A report on European attitudes to democracy, backed up by data from the European Social Survey, is launched today to mark the UN day for democracy. The main message for the political class is that an increasingly qualified and demanding public opinion does not deserve to be administered from above.

Duplicate families and alternative families: taking care of youth

Some past models of good practice, especially those which were associated with feminist youth work projects from the mid 1970s, are in fact well worth remembering and even reviving in the Rotherham case in the UK.

Hamas 2006-present

A timeline of oD articles on Hamas, from its election win in 2006 to the present day.

Assessing civil resistance: social movements' instrumentalisation of nonviolent tactics in Thailand and beyond

Nonviolent civil resistance is not immune to perpetuating existing structural and cultural violence unless nonviolence activists and researchers learn to develop strategies for identifying 'negative nonviolence' acts which support oppression. 

9/11: what we can do

Daniel Gallant’s unique experience as an activist, counselor, scholar, writer and former violent right wing extremist offers a unique insight into what we can all contribute to decreasing the likelihood of terrorist attacks.

The thirty-year war, continued

Barack Obama's new strategy against the Islamic State commits the United States to further long-term conflict. It involves a great forgetting of the recent war in Iraq.

Why we can’t trust current analysis of the Islamic State

The rise of the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq has taken everyone in the west by surprise, resulting in a frenzy of speculation as we try to piece together a number of complicated factors and events. We first have to recognise how our understanding is shaped by a sensationalist, alarmist and sound-bite obsessed media.

Nomads and migrants: Deleuze, Braidotti and the European Union in 2014

If European society at large is applying an exclusionary logic to certain groups, it is only encouraging the retention and expansion of a sedentary identity formation in these groups. A rise in reactionary politics should come as no surprise.

Civil resistance in North America: themes from the James Lawson Institute

Martin Luther King once said, “sometimes it’s necessary to dramatize an issue”. Struggles within democracies may actually be harder to organize than struggles against highly unpopular and corrupt authoritarian regimes. It helps to get together.

Through the fog of peace

A new book by Gabrielle Rifkind and Gianni Picco highlights the urgent relevance of conflict resolution in addressing problems around the world, from Ukraine and Iran to the Islamic State.

Are the heart and the mind really a battlefield?

Isaac and Isaiah by David Caute and Sweet Tooth by Ian McEwan - tales of how Cold Warriors failed to capture hearts and minds - contain an important lesson for our battle against extremist Jihadis.

Islamic State: from the inside

The west must understand the Islamic State's worldview, and accept its own failings, if it is to meet the challenge.

Human Rights Watch on Rabaa: words aren’t loud enough

When words do not align with values, any crime can be justified.

Gaza and the Palestinian struggle for statehood

Some believe that the negotiations for a truce could lead to peace talks that produce a two-state accord. Of course, an opening for a two-state accord is the very last thing Netanyahu is seeking. But what he is seeking won’t happen.

Letter to a Zionist friend

Jewish people have been legitimately concerned with their own suffering; perhaps it is time to consider what suffering their governments may have imposed on others. 

Day 50 of the war with Hamas

A day in the life of an Israeli citizen living on the border with Gaza.

How America made ISIS


The American record in these last 13 years is a shameful one.  Do it again should not be an option.

Relocation of Tel Afar Turkmen to Najaf

The relocation of Tel Afar's Turkmen will provide them with immediate safety, but may have long-term consequences both for them as an ethnic group and for Iraqi demographics.

On Roma murders in Hungary

Why did the police not take the investigation seriously at first? Why did the political elite need six victims to admit that these people were murdered because of their Roma identity, to acknowledge the neo-Nazi terrorist nature of their acts?

‘Tit for tat’ extremism and the rise of far right anti-Muslim movements in the UK

Visibly Muslim females were the subject of anti-Muslim hate and elderly Muslim men and women going about their daily business have also been subjected to fear, intimidation and abuse.

News credibility in an age of stakeholder media

Are reporters mere adjuncts of power and spies? That is how ISIS treated the martyred journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. To this day, the failure of the American news industry to expose the Bush administration’s WMD myths before the invasion of Iraq is thrown in our faces.

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