This week's editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Islamophobia, a foreseeable consequence of ultra-liberalism?

Islamophobia does not result from a specific strategy to create the ideal scapegoat, but Muslims came in opportunely to fulfil this function within ultra-liberal European societies.

The new cold war Russia (again) won't win

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, burst the 25th-anniversary balloon of the symbolic end of the cold war by warning of a new one, fed by NATO's eastward expansion. An economically weak USSR lost the last one; a still weaker Russia will lose this one too. 

Life after Europe: the Post-Europe Project

The joint editors of Europe – the very idea introduce the next stage of their project – a discussion inspired by the Czech philosopher and political dissident Jan Patočka. An invitation to discussion.

Hungary: ruling in the guise of democracy

After 1989, within two decades, the hitherto ‘dormant’ authoritarian, leader-worshipping, order-obsessed right-wing mentality has gradually found its way to the surface. Its institutional shape is precisely impossible to define.

Thoughts on autonomous weapons systems and meaningful human control of cyber

In cyber, borders, states, agencies – the traditional ways of organising international cooperation and communication no longer count. In cyber, everybody is a potential adversary.

The cooling wars of cyber space in a remote era

Hyperbolic language used to describe the potential consequences of cyber attacks has contributed to the ‘securitisation’ of the debate around cyber security issues. Increased transparency and accurate information is essential.

Palestine's statehood options: a dialogue

What are the choices facing Palestinians regarding their state sovereignty, and how best should they be pursued? Two legal scholars debate these increasingly urgent questions. 

The financial logic and human cost of the war on terror

The general frame of war on terror rhetoric is that no one is safe and secure unless politics is securitised in order to pave the way for growing investment in the military industry.

Islamic State: power of belief

The strength of the new jihadi movement is to link ideology and combat experience. The failures of its western enemy add fuel to its cause. 

Race and racism in modern Turkey

Ninety years since the establishment of the Republic, in an ever more complex society, the limitations and contradictions of Turkish national identity are coming to the fore more and more. 

Privatizing security: talking with Lou Pingeot

National security entrusted to the market's private military and security companies can only address the symptoms, not the causes, of war and insecurity. Interview.

Kobane, transforming the regional dynamic

The fight for Kobane is not limited to a local struggle against IS militants, but reverberates politically and strategically across the region.

Peace in Syria: civil society and a utopian glimpse of hope in dark times

Attention on the still ongoing Syrian civil war has chronically faded. Last remaining hopes for peace seem to have been dashed. But a peace conference that took place some months ago thought outside the box.

Turkey’s Arab Alawites and the Syrian conflict

Turkey's Alawites do not face the same threats as the people of Syria and Iraq. Despite the porous nature of Turkey's southern border, it is not about to collapse. But the Alawites of Hatay feel vulnerable.

Ignored minorities of the Middle East

The world is finally paying attention to the plight of Syrian and Iraqi Kurds, Christians and Yezidis. Hopefully this will shed a light on the repression of many of the region's other minorities.

A mother never forgets

Last month marked the five hundredth demonstration of the Saturday Mothers. The weekly protests staged by these mothers stand as a powerful reminder of Turkey’s ‘disappeared’.

US Republicans are not alone: fear and hatred on the campaign trail

The blame game allows these commonly quite similar parties in practice to distinguish themselves from each other in rhetoric.

What do the Brazilians want: from the 2013 protests to the 2014 elections

Nothing more reasonable than a president being reelected, especially when she has managed to keep the unemployment rates at a historic low. But only if you ignore recent history.

Is justice blind in Egypt?

Yara Sallam might be just one more name to add to the list of people wronged by the Egyptian justice system. But more importantly, she is one more name temporarily taken off an ever shrinking list of those fighting against all odds to correct injustice. 

A Syrian fearing exile and return

Many Syrian activists have left Syria voluntarily, either being refused permission to return or being threatened with imprisonment or death. They face an unknown destiny in exile.

A letter from Raqqa

A second letter from an Islamic State adherent operating in the part of Syria controlled by the movement.

For jobs and freedom, 50 years on: the struggle for racial equality in the age of Obama

The public discussion of race in the Ferguson era is rolling back years of progress.

The state: the final frontier

If Catalan markets are subject to European regulation, if redistribution is increasingly coming under threat, and if the inhabitants of Catalonia prefer a different combination of public services, why should it have to share the same state structures as Spain?

BDS and the politics of ‘radical’ gestures

Boycotts and divestment can be useful tools for righting wrongs, but they are apolitical tantrums in cases of right versus right.

The most important thing you‘ve never heard of

Introducing a secret trade deal which could affect everything from healthcare to banks to the air we breathe. Plus: find out what we're not being told about Ebola.

A critique of Arab critique

The Arab world is often misunderstood by the tendency to ignore or flatten its differences - through time, across states, between peoples. Challenging this essentialism is the condition of progress. 

Tunisia: elections, justice and dignity

It is widely said that young people did not vote on Sunday, and at some of the polling stations in central Tunis there were few young people in the queues.

Why not Kurdistan?

As the Iraqi crisis haunts the Kurds, double standards in the principle of self-determination come to the fore.

TTIP and TPP: harnessing the anger of the people

In parallel to the EU-US trade deal currently under way, the US is negotiating a similar agreement with 11 countries of the Asia Pacific: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Walden Bello, leading critic of neoliberal and corporate globalisation, identifies the global strategy underpinning the two agreements. Interview.

The Fall: extreme violence as a distorted mirror of post-conflict Belfast

The most watched drama on the BBC for 20 years,The Fall, is about a serial killer in Belfast who murders and 'poses' his women victims in the nude. Is the violence gratuitous, or does it capture the current post-conflict mood and mindset of Belfast?

"Rwanda: The Untold Story": facts and fabrication

A BBC documentary on Rwanda produced great controversy, including in an article by Andrew Wallis. But his own critique is itself selective and inaccurate in important ways, replies one of those he criticised.

How ISIS impacts on Turkey’s daily life

We must face up to the fact that an Islamic terror has now entered Turkey if we are to find a solution to the danger which is ISIS and the political and societal problems that give rise to it.

Gaza reconstruction package: should taxpayers be concerned?

Israel could be charged with bearing some part of the $7.8 billion price tag for rebuilding what was destroyed in July and August. However, the international community has rushed to shoulder the burden for the third time in six years.

Can the Arab world defeat ISIS?

Maged Mandour

What will three forces contribute to the defeat of ISIS: Arab autocrats, moderate Islamist groups and secular democratic protest movements - the first initiators of the Arab Revolt? We can discount the first...

When the US chooses terrorism

IS was created by lack of justice, dignity and governance. Instead of tackling these root issues, the US chose to target the outcomes through brutal terrorism to maintain its hegemonic power structure in the region. 

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