This week's editor

Ray Filar

Ray Filar is co-editor of Transformation and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Homophobia, fire and terror in Brazil

While specific horrific cases of homophobia are condemned, the overall mentality is not. Politicians wish the issue would disappear, and there is no education in schools.

Yemenis on the Houthi ascent to power

The Houthis took control of Sana’a on 21 September, striking a deal with the government after weeks of protests. Yemenis have mixed feelings about their rising power.

The 2014 presidential elections in Turkey: a post-election analysis

The August 2014 presidential election is important not only for its own sake, but even more so for what it portends for the future of Turkish democracy.

Can the EU clean up politics in enlargement countries? Turkey as a case in point

What are some of the lessons learned from the EU’s experiences in Bulgaria and Romania, and what could they mean for Turkey?

What does Kobane mean for the international community?

There is still time to quell IS in Syria but the world must be prepared to act immediately, before it is too late.

A lesson for the Dalai Lama

There is undeniably a great difference in cultural values between Tibetan Buddhists who grew up within their community in India and the western converts who were raised with liberal western values. But this is no longer the end of the story.

Ethiopia’s alleged terrorists: vocal bloggers and independent journalists

In attempting to minimize the risks attendant to human rights work in an authoritarian setting, Ethiopian NGOs have been hesitant to support young activists who face government persecution. 

Tough times for progressives in Israel

The state of right and left politics in Israel during the latest conflict in Gaza, Hamas’ evolution, the BDS movement and weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Interview.

Northern Ireland: a transformative strategy for women, peace and security

Moving beyond the paralysing difference of opinion about whether the 'Troubles' in Northern Ireland constituted an armed conflict, women peacebuilders have produced a strategic guide which places international women, peace and security goals in a domestic framework for action.

Ocean grabbing: a new wave of twenty first century enclosures

Not only are the small-scale fisher communities best placed to ensure food sovereignty, but they are also the starting point for any serious transition towards an ecologically and socially just food regime. We need a revolution to bring the oceans back into the global commons.

Drone strikes in Pakistan: laser or blunderbuss?

Attacks by US drones have often been presented as forensic, yet only one in 25 victims in Pakistan were identifiably associated with al-Qaeda.

India’s fight against terrorism

Al-Qaida's aging leaders are struggling to compete for recruits with Islamic State. Nevertheless, India must prepare itself for all sorts of terrorist threats, not least terrorist re-emergence in Afghanistan. What role might NATO play in this?

Turkey bombs Kurdish forces as violence threatens to spill over

The law of unintended effects is in evidence as the rise of Islamic State threatens a potential resolution of Turkey's Kurdish question.

Pakistan protests: underlying implications for India

As the political turmoil in Pakistan continues to unfold, the underlying implications for India-Pakistan relations are discouraging.  

Israel’s dual approach to Gaza and the West Bank: an overview

The areas now known as the West Bank and Gaza, despite geographic differences, were once similar in social, cultural and economic terms. But through a long process of one occupation after another, they were set apart and differentiated.

India’s subaltern border citizen

Could Delhi be solving the wrong problem? What it chooses to define as a law and order problem is essentially a governance crisis of severe proportions and one that the Indian state is not yet willing to acknowledge.

The limits of prudence: civil resistance in Kosovo 1990-98

Howard Clark’s 2009 article “The Limits of Prudence” is a clear summary of his research into the civil resistance in Kosovo in the late 1980s and early 1990s and his particular perspectives on its limitations. It was written in the aftermath of the outbreak of guerilla warfare and NATO intervention.

Civil resistance in Kosovo: leader syndromes

This is one of two extracts from Howard Clark’s major study Civil Resistance in Kosovo (the other can be read here). Both are important reflections of Howard’s particular perspectives. They merit close reading alongside his article “The limits of prudence” (republished here).

Civil resistance in Kosovo: goals and transitions

Howard Clark’s seminal work Civil Resistance in Kosovo, published in 2000, further refined his distinctive approach to nonviolent strategy, and his groundbreaking research into civil resistance in Kosovo: “Nonviolence in Kosovo was a strategic commitment.”

Nonviolent struggle in Kosovo

At a meeting of the Nonviolent Action Research Project on Thursday 13 March, 1997, Howard Clark talked about the campaign for self-determination in Kosovo/a. The issues raised in this talk were to be critical to his seminal work, Civil Resistance in Kosovo, published in 2000.

Remote control: light on new war

Armed drones, special forces, privatisation and secrecy are the preferred tools of military campaigns from Iraq-Syria to the Sahel. Now, researchers are mapping this landscape in the public interest.

ISIS is not mediaeval

Not only is this popular description historically inaccurate, but such oversimplification can also be dangerous because it affects how we approach this threat.

An unaccountable relationship

As the relationship between government and military service providers becomes more systemic and more profitable, questions must arise about accountability and public insight. A new report, New Ways of War: is remote control warfare effective? is published today.

Democratic decline in the Maldives: will the world wake up?

When Gayoom the elder was president, the government sought to facilitate the entrance of Islamist groups into the Maldives. The resumption of this now may be another opportunity for proponents of genuine democracy to sharpen the concern of international observers. 

How not to understand ISIS

The view that one particular religious doctrine is uniquely extremist won’t help us to appreciate the cycles of brutality that feed on narratives of torture, murder and desecration. 

Tempered desire: the BRICS and the Islamic State crisis

What roles have the emerging BRICS powers played throughout the crisis of the Islamic State? Reflecting on this can tell us about the internal and external nature of both the emerging powers and the more multipolar world that has been constantly heralded.

ISIS airstrikes: between imperialism and orientalism

Maged Mandour

Islamic radicalism is the product of societal developments and it is not directly related to the religion of Islam. The lessons of Iraq are being actively ignored by the US and the west in general. The main tenets of American foreign policy, which have done well for extremism, are unchanged.

Resistance, repression, and the cycle of violence in the Uyghur Struggle

Is the state actively engaged in decreasing participation in nonviolent resistance and delegitimizing Uyghur grievances by highlighting escalating violence?

Prominent Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti jailed for life

With its shocking outcome, this trial might result in an increase in violence in the Xinjiang region, where protests for the mistreatment of a moderate voice could motivate the more radical factions.

How has Modi performed in 100 days in office?

The governance process seems to be running smoothly. Modi’s public announcement on corruption “Na khaunga na khane dunga’ (Neither would I pocket money illegally nor allow others to do it) is laudable, though only time will prove if he walks his talk.

The antiblackness of 'modern-day slavery' abolitionism

Antiblack racism underwrites the contemporary movement against “modern-day slavery.”  The anti-slavery movement is haunted by the specter of racial slavery even while it feeds off it parasitically. 

Trans-Atlantic slavery and contemporary human trafficking

Are we learning from the past or exploiting it? It is easy to obscure the similar economic rationales and incentive structures, as well as the participation of ‘legitimate’ enterprises and institutions, in both trans-Atlantic slavery and contemporary trafficking in humans.  

Three years on and the Copts' plight continues

Mina Fayek

Three years after the Maspero massacre, no justice has been served. This was a state crime, and more worryingly, the Egyptian state seems to be increasingly engaging in hostile acts towards Copts.

Extreme exploitation is not a problem of human nature

Extreme exploitation is a structural problem, not a problem of human nature. Unless we deal with the ‘root causes’, which I locate in inequality, then it will continue. And global inequalities are growing.

Narrow viewpoints and conflicting interests undermine anti-trafficking efforts: Q&A | Part I

Current anti-trafficking measures are weak because of a lack of inter-agency cooperation combined with a prioritization of national over human security.

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