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This week’s editor

TR, editor

This week Tom Rowley and the oDR team edit the front page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

‘Prevent’, free speech and antisemitism

As a talking point for debate it might be productive. The problem arises from the government of the United Kingdom ‘adopting’ IHRA’s definition of antisemitism in a quasi-official manner.

In crisis-stricken Somalia, no safe haven

Ignoring systemic abuses and the vulnerabilities of people most affected by previous and ongoing crises means that the current efforts will have limited long-term impact.

'The Tamil Nadu factor': demanding justice for genocide in Sri Lanka

From politicians to protestors, the people of Tamil Nadu are making waves in Indian politics, rallying around the need for justice for the war crimes committed against Sri Lanka’s Tamils.

The world’s last colony: Morocco continues occupation of Western Sahara, in defiance of UN

Some claim that the admission of Morocco will now resolve the question of Western Sahara’s occupation but in fact Morocco is now emboldened.

The US cannot win the Middle East: six reasons why

The United States has yet again attempted to resolve issues in the Middle East. This time it is by firing missiles on a Syrian military airfield, sending a ‘strong message’ to a dictator.

Legal obligations on Palestinian rights

No-one believes the Security Council will take the lead after so many decades in a cul de sac over Palestine.

Turkey's 'special refugees'

In Turkey's story, the western gaze is searching for new victims. Yes, I fled Turkey with my three year old daughter, but am I that victim?

Estados Unidos contra Siria: ¿Guerra Justa o sólo guerra?

La administración Trump ha cruzado una línea que Obama no cruzó: atacar directamente a Siria. Las consecuencias para la política exterior de Estados Unidos son potencialmente catastróficas. English

The choice: democracy caught between nationalism and federalism

The forthcoming elections, in France, Germany, and elsewhere, will mark a watershed. It is a time for choices to be made.

Egypt’s activists should be celebrated, not criminalised

As justice remains elusive, celebration of Egyptian civil society can build a strong counter-narrative to criminalisation.

Iraqi Kurdistan: from democratic consensus to de facto autocracy

Due to the war with ISIL and international support, the Kurdistan region is currently run by an autocratic administration under the influence of neighboring countries.

A multinational fracking boom begins in Colombia

New concessions threaten the water supply to the capital city of Bogota. Español

 

Three forays into ideology in the age of post-truth politics

Attempts to wrestle with fake news and post-truth lack a concept of ideology to tell us not only what is believed, but why, and suggest how to move on.

Dangerous road to divisive places

A review of The Road to Somewhere. The Populist Revolt and the Future of Politics by David Goodhart, London (2017).

O México frente à América de Trump

Apelar ao nacionalismo é a resposta errada às políticas de Trump. Mais além do seu carácter míope e potencialmente chauvinista, pode traduzir-se facilmente na ausência de criticas ao governo actual. English Español 

México frente a la América de Trump

Apelar al nacionalismo es la respuesta equivocada a las políticas de Trump y puede traducirse fácilmente en la ausencia de críticas al gobierno actual. English Português

Mexico in the Face of Trump’s America: Why Nationalism is Not the Answer

A call for nationalism is the wrong answer to Trump’s policies and can translate into a call for loyalty towards the current government. Español Português

França: umas eleições presidenciais históricas

No dia 23 de Abril, os franceses terão que decidir se querem dar a Macron a oportunidade de reformar a França, ou se querem deitar o destino da república pelo cano abaixo. English Español 

Muddling through in Mosul

The west has treated ISIS as enemy number one while local actors see it as a sideshow in a political arena stretching from the Mediterranean to Iran. What does the defeat of ISIS in Mosul mean for Iraq?

The passive revolution of Islamists in Turkey

It is sometimes said that theories are fishing nets in which to catch the truth. Let us apply Gramsci’s net to some daily debates taking place in Turkey.

Sliding towards autocracy

A defining characteristic of this populist form of autocracy is the rejection of diversity and the attack on democratic institutions. Orbán is succeeding in both.

Uncomfortable assumptions about security: the UK vote on support for Saudi Arabia

Pervasive and problematic assumptions about the UK’s security lie at the heart of parliament’s recent decision to continue to support Saudi Arabia, despite accusations of war crimes in Yemen.

The changing security dynamic in the Red Sea

The expected transfer of the Tiran and Sanafir islands is revealing a number of regional dynamics between Egypt, Israel and Saudi Arabia.

How a popular vote of a local community can halt a gold mining mega project

In the Colombian town of Cajamarca, ten years of fighting the ‘multinational predator’ in their lands has ended in warm embraces and tears of joy. Español

Regime wages war of documents on Syrians

One of the oldest manifestations of the Syrian government’s corruption has always been the blockage and manipulation of official documents.

Assad’s rational brutality

Bashar al-Assad is a rational tyrant. Since he inherited the presidency in 2000, Assad has strategically employed brutality to repress dissent and maintain power.

Cómo puede una consulta popular frenar un megaproyecto extractivo

En Cajamarca, Tolima, diez años de lucha contra la multinacional depredadora han terminado en abrazos y lágrimas de alegría. English

Why Facebook’s fake news filter won’t work

A range of solutions  –  including stronger independent media organisations  –  is going to be needed.

On becoming the worst president

A tale of woe explaining just how high this particular bar is. Español

Ireland, Brexit and our Disunited Kingdom

Will Brexit ultimately result in a united federal Ireland in a confederation with Scotland, in the EU – with England and Wales outside it?

Does Turkey’s ongoing purge resemble the 1933 Enabling Act in Nazi Germany?

In both cases, through democratic processes authoritarian rule is imposed on a previously fairly democratic country.

We've triggered Article 50. Is this such a tragedy for Europe?

It is now possible that new governments in France and Germany will respond to civil society pressure and do what is needed to change the EU, without being blocked by Britain.

Negotiating Western Sahara: between international law and geopolitical interests

The question of Western Sahara has been in a stalemate since 1976, but with Morocco joining the African Union, the new leadership of Polisario, and the escalation in El Guergarate region, is there room for renewed negotiations?

Brexit and France: a divorce by mutual consent?

Every country, just like any individual, has to live with its own mess and pay the price for it.

Why did anti-globalisation fail and anti-globalism succeed?

Centre-right parties showed themselves more willing to hook up with anti-globalism – no threat to the international economic order –  than the centre-left parties had with anti-globalisation.

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