This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

A war of new connections

The close links between American surveillance of Africa and military facilities in England are revealed by campaigners working for non-violent social change.

Never again, in 2015?

How is it possible that only 29 % of Americans believe that the interrogations carried out by the CIA, denounced as torture by the recent Senate Report, are wrong? To what do we owe such moral bankruptcy?

This is what the Arab spring looks like

Tunisian voters seem to declare that they hold no indiscriminate prejudice. They simply have a problem with incompetence, corruption, cronyism, and abuse of human dignity.

How we are permanently destroying Gaza

Without radical policy change new violence will erupt in 2015 and Gaza will become unlivable. Meanwhile Israel is relieved of any responsibility as an occupying power under international law for the UN’s Gaza Reconstruction Mechanism.

Podemos: a cat among the pigeons in Catalonia

Podemos supports the principle of Catalan self-determination, but hopes that Catalans would vote to stay in Spain, for a ‘right to decide’ about ‘everything’. This is radical.

Under divine instruction

The fanaticism of the ‘war on terror’ has long been a mere mask for elite self-interest. The US Senate report into the CIA’s torture programme is a call to end western fundamentalism.

The terror in the air

Our gasping for air occurs at a time in which we are suffocated by state-sanctioned violence and the tragedy of development. But the air is a medium which is radically democratic. And if air is freedom, then the breath is its radical calling.

Tunisia’s landmark victory in the struggle against violence against women

Feminist scholars argue that the Qur’an has been misinterpreted and Islamic jurisprudence distorted by patriarchy. They regard the real enemy as patriarchy, not Islam.

After the Doha Summit: is GCC reconciliation real?

The 35th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Doha, Qatar appears as a rare and positive momentum in the history of the GCC. However, Qatar's position remains convoluted and reconciliation remains improbable.

Open for business?

The timing of HSBC’s decision to shut down the bank account could not have come at a worse moment for the Ummah Welfare Trust, one of Britain’s largest Muslim charities.

Performing popular justice: from the disappeared to the outraged

What differentiates the escrache from merely a dangerous form of un-regulated retribution? Crucial to this question is the concept of containment.

Resisting the state from the inside and out: the Colombian Peace Community Model

The use of international norms coupled with the solidarity of international support has been a successful formula that has meant relative peace for the community for nearly 10 years.

The evolution of Palestinian resistance: a need to reassess

Ending the 1967 occupation is insufficient. Rather, Palestinian resistance should seek the decolonization of all of historic Palestine.

Reflections on intervention in the 21st century

Where stands now the ‘responsibility to protect’? Recent egregious intervention failures require simplistic nostra to be replaced by a more complex understanding.

Who is accountable for Gaza reconstruction?

The latest war in Gaza brought not only vast human suffering but devastation to its already pummelled built environment. Yet UN-sponsored reconstruction is proving agonisingly slow.

For young refugees from Syria, education equals hope

Young Syrian refugees have shown extradordinary resilience, but hope for their short and long-term futures hinges on better educational opportunities.

Existence is resistance

Even with an explicitly discriminatory policy in place, designed to force Palestinians to break the rules or leave the country, nearly all continue to apply for permits, paying the extortionate fees, using the system rather than fighting against it.

In Israel and the occupied territories, discrimination is enshrined in the law

Under the two legal systems, an Israeli settler and a Palestinian, accused of the same crime, will be treated, and sentenced, very differently.

The gunship archipelago

The growth of secretive floating armouries raises a challenge to maritime security worldwide. 

Eastern Ukraine: the humanity behind the headlines

The government in Kyiv, aid organisations and the international community must work together to address the humanitarian crisis created by the fighting in the east.

Pakistan school attack: years of inaction led to this atrocity

The Peshawar atrocity did not come out of a clear blue skythe foreboding context an inert, corrupt state ambivalent towards violence, hardly functioning public institutions and unregulated madrasas.

Turkey: tarnished democratic credentials imperil regional stability

Turkey's human rights credentials should be a foreign policy priority for everyone, not just for so-called consolidated democracies interested only in hosting Erdoğan at expensive dinner tables.

Turkey cannot be a global power until it is a stable democracy

On the rise of Turkey, its messy foreign policy, and the AKP's internal 'enemies'–Richard Falk's discussion with the Turkish PM provokes more questions than answers.

Welcome to the parallel universe: Richard Falk’s interview with PM Davutoglu

Through his references to things that are mundane, Erdogan speaks to people’s pockets. And through his references to God and the ancestors, he speaks to people’s hearts.

Turkey has elections, but not democracy

Whatever shortcomings today’s Turkey has, they cannot all be pinned on AKP rule. But democracy and governance are deeply troubled and becoming more so.

Turkish PM in conversation, part 4: The Arab Spring and Turkey’s future

Has the Arab Spring failed to go far enough? What kind of complicating factor is ISIS? Turkey's PM calls for a stategy to ensure democracy survives in the region–and hints at the opportunity Europe has.

Turkish PM in conversation, part 3: How do you create a fairer society?

Can Turkey talk about its concern for social welfare given its rapacious capitalist practises, lack of labour rights and persisting gender inequality? Prime Minister Davutoğlu elaborates on his 9-point programme.

Turkish PM in conversation, Part 2: Old Turkey, New Turkey

Many observers fear Turkey is heading towards majoritarian tyranny. How does Turkey's 'representative democracy' contrast with General Sisi's claims that he represents the 'general will' of Egypt?

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in conversation: Part 1

The AKP government has ruled Turkey for 12 years, presiding over dramatic economic growth and increased global prestige. Critics say that internal opposition has been silenced, democratic freedoms trampled and corruption is still rife. 

Violence and civil society on the Kenyan coast

Pessimism about the prospect of peaceful change was not shared by activists from the wide range of civil society organizations operating in Mombasa.

The fog of peace: post-conflict environments as sites of impunity, denial and dispossession

Too often the sterile, objective needs of capital, for a range of reasons, take precedence over the subjective needs of traumatised, conflict-affected peoples.

Zionist attitudes towards the Arabs: 1902 until today

This is an attempt to survey Zionist attitudes towards the Middle Eastern population, in the midst of which a state for the Jewish people was established.

Dogs, water and coffins: an untold story of British torture in Iraq

The UK has engaged in abuse and torture during the ‘War on Terror’ whilst, simultaneously, maintaining that its actions are driven by the ideals of democracy and human rights.

Redefining the poor as “terrorists”

Most so-called “terrorist” activity is a by-product of neoliberalism’s on-going crisis and its marginalisation of a growing proportion of the world’s population. 

The poetry in the pity

War remembrance is one of the oldest and most enduring forms of art in the western tradition. Our literary culture begins with the legacy of how to remember and commemorate a war to end all wars.

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