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This week’s front page editor

Rosemary Bechler

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy's mainsite editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

(Fill in the blank) … - Muslim

The cynical manipulation of the category of ‘radical-Muslim’ in order to advance a political trajectory and perpetuate unqualified stereotypes is most unfortunate.

Nothing is inevitable in Syria

The question remains the same - to intervene or not to intervene, but a change is needed in how we frame the debate.

Explosive theatre

The reality of war between nuclear states is beyond our imaginations, yet the issue demands public debate. As tensions rise over Iran’s nuclear programme, can theatre help us think the unthinkable? Review

Translating Egypt’s revolution: introducing an anthology of essays

The forthcoming volume, Translating Egypt's Revolution, draws on the interdisciplinary nature of the field of translation studies today as it seeks to describe and explain the myriad ways in which the Egyptian people wrested back control of their public space and public culture in 2011. Come and debate their findings at an event at the University of East London on Thursday night.

Reconciliation is not happening in Sri Lanka, and the problem isn't a question of time

The Tamil call for independent statehood stemmed from a very basic need for security against genocide. For many, including the next generation of Tamil youth activists, the events of 2009 consolidated this need.

What is Kony2012?

Invisible Children's controversial campaign highlights the pressing question of international engagement in conflict, which openSecurity seeks to address through our debate 'Peacebuilding from a Southern Perspective'.

Bangladesh's International Crimes Tribunal: a critique of the critics

While criticism of the ICT is important, its chief critics have dehistoricized the context in which this trial is taking place, and expressed disdain in terms which position Bangladesh as the under-developed, untrustworthy ‘Other’.

And now what? Greece after its official creditor-led default

Following Greece’s recent mammoth 206-billion-euro bond swap, people wrongly believe that the private bondholders of the Greek debt lost money and that the country is on a path to recovery. The only solution for Greece remains a debtor-led default and exit from the euro-zone under the leadership of a radical democrat political movement

Dealing with the past in post-conflict societies

Unless the past is articulated in such a way in which the connection of events and experiences are integrated in a real and meaningful way, the ‘truths’ which drove conflict will continue to be reproduced.

'Neo-Ottomanism', pluralism, and economic development in Turkey

It’s naive to think that Turkey has become less nationalistic in recent years; the only change has been in the nature and context of this nationalism.

Bahrain – the struggle continues

The king’s image is getting smaller at Manama Airport and photos of Hamad’s annointed heir, the crown prince, are nowhere to be seen. This, and an imprisoned Pearl Roundabout, symbolise much about Bahrain today.

Re-thinking detention without trial

Whatever the outcome in Abu Qatada’s case, there is an opportunity to learn from mistakes when dealing with terrorist suspects in the future. Whatever type or range of future terrorist threat the UK faces, there should be no need to resort to detentions without trial in the UK or to tacitly support torture abroad

'What Sri Lanka is...': acknowledging the ethnic conflict in post-war reconciliation

The term 'local reconciliation' may seem benign, but recent research amongst Tamils in the north of the country highlights the damaging silence hanging over the survivors of the conflict, and a determination to reach justice through transparency over past and present wrongs.

Santorum reignites 'worship' war

Santorum has a distinguished record as a champion of religious liberty, but tarnishes his credibility by launching this ill-informed broadside against the President. 

Democracy imperilled in the Maldives

The United States and much of the international community has understandably been focused on increasingly violent conflict in Syria. However, attention also needs to be given to the Muslim people of this Asian nation and their commitment to the power of nonviolent action

Two contrasting types of ethnic relations: the case of two cities of Kurdistan/Iraq

Is it inevitable that tensions between ethnic groups should degenerate into ethnic conflicts? The Kurdish/Iraqi case suggests that multi-faceted aspects come into play.

It is time for an inclusive politics

With Communities Secretary Eric Pickles pushing a tough new government approach to British Muslim organisations, the former head of the Muslim Council of Britain argues the time is ripe for rapprochement.

Syria, and the cost of failure

The Syrian regime's violent repression persists, in a context of regional rivalries that fuel the country's conflict. The ensuing impasse also reflects the dominance of state interests over international justice.

Mexico’s war on drugs: can you expect the military to function as police?

A side-effect of the war on drugs launched by President Calderon was to involve the army in carrying out police operations against gangs. However, this blurring of lines between both security institutions resulted in an increase in human rights violations.

The danger of inaccurate information in conflict reporting

Before we stop to think, we share. We don’t think about what it means to re-Tweet a news article. Are we claiming ownership of the information contained in it? In increasing public exposure to this information, are we taking personal responsibility for its accuracy?

Moral principles, the ‘Leftists’, and the Syrian Revolution

Criticizing the uprising, in itself, is not immoral. But what is immoral, is to criticize the uprising without declaring their solidarity with the Syrian people.

Partners in need: Turkey, the European Union and the United States face the Arab Spring

The Arab spring has cast Turkey back into the western fold and away from alternative alliance patterns which seemed to be in the pipeline only a few years ago. Turkey won't act in Syria without its western partners. Meanwhile it is the very incompleteness of the Turkish model which is of such interest to its neighbours.

Religion and coming to terms with soldiering in the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)

Judaism is crucial for how IDF soldiers comprehend their role as soldiers and share their experience, as well as providing them with the worldview that locates their role as individual soldiers within a larger framework of collective meaning. This applies not merely to the minority of religiously observant recruits, but also among the remaining conscripts.

The Pakistan Lawyers' Movement: setting a course for genuine democracy?

Peace in Pakistan and the entire region can only be achieved by the creation of genuine democracy in Pakistan, with its military institutions accountable to its elected bodies. Pakistan’s army consumes 38% of Pakistan’s budget without accounting for most of it.

Tunisia: free speech double standards

In Tunisia, the flag of freedom of expression has often been waved when politically convenient and forgotten when it isn’t.

Averting all-out civil war in Syria

International diplomacy should declare its unequivocal support for the peaceful protesters and the deluge of peaceful demonstrations still flooding the streets of many Syrian cities, thus pushing for a steady shift of power relations on the ground back to the political, rather than military, realm. These demonstrations bear witness to the determination and bravery of those ordinary Syrians who are steadfast in their resolve to uphold the moral high ground vis-à-vis the regime.

All stick and no carrot

Why are Europe's fiscal technocrats so afraid of democracy? There is no evidence that good economics requires keeping European peoples out of the equation.

Written for the Late, Lamented Occupied London

An American celebrates the achievement of the Occupy movement in a 'farewell but let's meet again soon' letter sent across the Atlantic to Occupy London.

Peacebuilding in Kashmir transcends the religious divide

The conflict in Kashmir has largely been seen through the prism of religious antagonism. New research on cross-border peacebuilding calls the classic conflict analysis into question.

'Reconciliation in Sri Lanka means the youth must lead the way': a sceptical response

There is nothing objectionable in arguing for greater and more meaningful participation of youth in the political process, so long as this is not a substitute for a proper post-war constitutional settlement.

Reconciliation in Sri Lanka means the youth must lead the way

International calls for justice in Sri Lanka which are insensitive to domestic public opinion further alienate a youth population suspicious of Western intervention and determined to develop their country.

Afghanistan: the endgame drama

The military-political interplay in Afghanistan is taking an alarming new tilt for Washington. The possibility of a more precipitous exit is rising.

Nigeria and Boko Haram in jihadi media discourse

Boko Haram, a violent islamist group operating in Nigeria, is often linked to Al-Qaeda and Somalia jihadists Al-Shabab, though there is no evidence to support these claims. Christopher Anzalone investigates the position of Boko Haram in international jihad looking at its profile in jihadi media sources

Perspectives for the western Balkans in light of the ongoing European crisis

All western Balkan states depend heavily on their cooperation with the EU. If the EU crumbles under the weight of the economic crisis, what fate awaits the countries of the former Yugoslavia?

Hungary's struggles for freedom and democracy

The greatest concern with regard to EU criticism aimed at influencing the political course of Hungary is that without a good understanding of the political realities, even the best intentions may unintentionally play into the hands of Jobbik. Meanwhile Government statements are meant to convince those who are disturbed by the usurpation of power to give up all hope for the next forty years. Now the situation is more complex and in a way more precarious than in 1956.

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