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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Letter from wounded London

The terror attacks in London are a moment to reaffirm democratic values, says openDemocracy editor Isabel Hilton.

(This article was first published on 7 July 2005)

War comes to Ingushetia

The border of Chechnya and Ingushetia used to mark the line between war and peace. Now the shootings, torture and disappearances have begun.

Guantánamo: the inside story

Clive Stafford Smith is a lawyer who represents many of the more than 500 prisoners in Guantánamo Bay. In an exclusive interview for openDemocracy, he describes the prison camp and the conditions that lawyers work under, tells us that his clients have been tortured and explains how false information extracted by torture is contaminating US intelligence. Listen to Guantánamo, the inside story.

(This was first published on 23 November 2005)

Iran and the American election

The revival of talk about war with Iran is tied to the unfolding race for the United States presidency

(This article was first published on 5 June 2008)

Syria: conversations in a pariah state

The layers of religious faith, the shards of political frustration and the surprise of everyday encounters help compose John Casey's rich, allusive portrait of Syria.

The Syria-Israel talks: old themes, new setting

The latest phase of negotiations between Damascus and Jerusalem will need the right constellation of events to become more than another lost opportunity, says Carsten Wieland.

(This article was first published on 27 May 2008)

The mufti and the general: lessons from Somalia

When should democrats talk to political and violent extremists, and who should do the talking? Ram Manikkalingam receives guidance from a gathering in Somalia.

A world beyond control

The United States and military is planning for the long-term challenge of low-intensity insurgent warfare. But its thinking remains locked in the past

(This article was first published on 22 May 2008)

Hizbollah and Lebanon: the curse of a state

Lebanon has won a breathing-space. But the country's enduring political and military crisis is also that of the Islamist movement that appears to have won the latest round, says Robert G Rabil.

(This article was first published on 21 May 2008)

Kosovo to Kashmir: the self-determination dilemma

The debate over Kosovo has highlighted deep divisions in the international system on the issue of self-determination of peoples. Solutions to self-determination disputes lie in compromises that embody a mix of realpolitik and principle, says Sumantra Bose.

Pakistan’s rivalrous coalition

The fissures in Pakistan's new government are allowing the country's dangerous problems to fester, says Irfan Husain.

Georgia, Abkhazia, Russia: the war option

Russia is tightening its pressure on Georgia, using its influence over Abkhazia and South Ossetia as a lever. Why, and where is Europe, asks Robert Parsons.

Serbia’s political carousel

The outcome of Serbia's fourth election in two years passes the advantage to the political power-brokers, says Eric Gordy.

Israel at 60: the “iron wall” revisited

Israel has reached a landmark anniversary. But the ideological project underpinning the state's six decades of existence has brought the country to a strategic impasse, says Avi Shlaim.

The Iran risk, again

Washington's severe problems in Iraq and Afghanistan are leading it to refocus military attention on Tehran

The world’s food insecurity

The severity of today's world food crisis resembles that of the early 1970s. But the role of the financial sector and of global climate change are key differences, says Paul Rogers.

(This article was first published on 24 April 2008)

Afghanistan’s Vietnam portent

The demolition of a French empire at Dien Bien Phu is inspiration to a Taliban aiming to erode the resolve of the United States and its allies, says Paul Rogers

(This article was first published on 17 April 2008)

Hamas: talk to them

A scrutiny of Hamas's history, thinking, internal politics and relation to the Palestinian public makes the case for dialogue with the movement, says Jeroen Gunning.

A war of decades

Washington's bubble of optimism about Iraq has burst. The fallout reveals the contrast between American and jihadi strategic thinking, says Paul Rogers.

The Iraqi whirlwind

The uncertain and fragile security situation in Iraq challenges the view that the war is being won.

(This article was first published on 3 April 2008) 

Lebanon’s “14 March”: from protest to leadership

The political alliance that promised to save and inspire Lebanon in 2005 now needs to renew itself from within, says Hazem Saghieh.

Basra’s second battle decoded

The conflict in Basra is part of a wider political struggle over the future of Iraq, says Reidar Visser.

European missile defence: the America-Russia-Iran knot

The installation of United States military systems in Poland and the Czech Republic will provoke a dangerous new arms race, argue Tom Sauer & David Webb.

Iraq in 2012: four scenarios

What will Iraq's future resemble - and under which United States president? Volker Perthes outlines four possible, contrasting outcomes by 2012, and invites response as to the most likely.

(This article was first published on 11 September 2007)

A global threat multiplier

Two new reports highlight the unavoidable emergency of climate change and the key responsibility of governments in taking radical measures to address it.

Pakistan’s tough inheritance

A new government in Pakistan must address the difficult political legacy bequeathed by the country’s discredited president. Irfan Husain assesses the challenge.

Halabja: the politics of memory

The Saddam-era poison-gas attack on the Kurdish town of Halabja on 16 March 1988 has from the start been surrounded by distortion and denial. Only truth can deliver justice for the victims, says Joost R Hiltermann.

Israel, the United States and Iran: the tipping-point

A Washington military resignation - and Israel's operations in Gaza - may affect the likelihood and timing of a war with Tehran, says Paul Rogers.

Jordan: directing democracy

A research project using film to study democracy and civil society Jordan becomes for Deena Dajani a lesson in the scope - and limits - of freedom of speech.

The war over there

Iraq, Afghanistan, and Pakistan are near-invisible in the United States election. That may not last

Islam and ideology: the Pakistani connection

The formation of Pakistan is a case-study in the argument over whether religion can be understood as a variant of political ideology, says Izzud-Din Pal.

Gaza: unlock this prison

The humanitarian crisis in Gaza demands urgent action on both the aid and political fronts, says Geoffrey Bindman.

Riyadh: city of women

Saudi Arabia's professional women and young people are creating their own spaces of personal freedom in a conservative and segregated society, finds Bissane El-Cheikh.

When will they ever learn? Women, men and peace-building

International Women's Day is a moment to press global power-brokers to realise the aspiration of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 to allow women to take their rightful place at the heart of peace-building, says Lesley Abdela.

Kosovo and Palestine

Kosovo’s unfinished business has lessons for the Palestinians’ national struggle too, says Yossi Alpher.
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