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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Libya: popular revolt, military intervention

The changing dynamics of the Libyan conflict highlight the contradictions of "humanitarian intervention" when pressed to serve the western way of war, says Martin Shaw.

The new Arctic: trade, science, politics

The opening of the Arctic to ship-passage will transform the region’s political as well as environmental landscape, says Øyvind Paasche.

Daniel Goldhagen and Kenya: recycling fantasy

Daniel Goldhagen’s book “Worse Than War” includes British colonial rule in Kenya in the 1950s among its case-studies of “elimination”. A close reading of the demographic evidence reveals the falsity of the argument, says David Elstein.

(This article was first published on 4 March 2010)

The Black Bloc – a dead end (response to Jonathan Moses)

The Black Bloc ‘tactic’ used at the March 26th anti-cuts demonstration is an entirely counterproductive dead-end.

Migrants in Brussels – against the odds

Migrant women especially face extreme discrimination in Brussels. But they don’t necessarily see it that way.

Juliano Mer Khamis, 1958-2011

In memory of the Jewish Palestinian and Israeli actor, director, film-maker and activist who founded the Freedom Theatre in the Jenin refugee camp.

Yemen: travails of unity

The growing insecurity and violence in the most ancient of Arab lands are creating a slow political implosion. The world must take greater note, says Fred Halliday.

This article was first published on 3 July 2009

Consolidating emerging MENA democracies

Democracy is once again the challenge. Overcoming divisions through the development of new welfare systems will be vital to the success of this project.

In defence of Black Bloc

The state, with its monopoly on the legitimate use of violence, can afford to be idiotic in its analysis of the black bloc, denouncing their actions on March 26th as "mindless violence". But the clamouring within the anti-cuts movement to disown this element violates the basic principles of solidarity.

The War and Peace Report

Democracy Now's War and Peace Report, presented by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, is a unique source of television news on world conflict. We are glad to rebroadcast their daily show here on openDemocracy.

Korea after reunification: challenges and opportunities

Last year’s deadly rise in tensions in the Korean peninsula put off any prospects of reunification. Young-II Kim, a North Korean defector and executive director of PSCORE, an organisation furthering the understanding between Seoul and Pyongyang, appears more optimistic. In an interview with Javier Delgado Rivera, he dissects the major issues the Korean Peninsula will face when reunification comes about.

Wikileaks, South Ossetia and the Russian "reset"

Wikileaks has finally settled the controversy over who attacked whom first in the Russo-Georgian war of August 2008, with papers firmly pointing to a miscalculation by Georgia and its superpower friend. For Hans Mouritzen, however, such historical details are dwarfed by a more significant subsequent development: the US-Russia great-power reset.

Inching closer towards moral breakdown

The truth about western humanitarian interventions is a moral truth

Why reconsider your report Judge Goldstone?

A Palestinian student asks why the report was retracted, what kind of pressure did Richard Goldstone come under, and why now?

Libya in context: imperialists no longer paper tigers?

Maybe saving the lives of civilians by taking away their fundamental political agency is the real problem with UN-NATO interventions, rather than some hidden economic self-interest.

Teargas and corpses: a photographer's journey to Libya and Bahrain

As unrest and revolution spread across the Arab world earlier this year, 21-year-old freelance photographer Michael Graae jumped onto a flight from London to Bahrain to document it. In the days that followed he witnessed the shocking horrors of the conflict and came face to face with pro-Gaddafi forces. Ryan Gallagher talked to him to discover the story behind his pictures

Kashmir and the Arab spring

In Kashmir, a 63-year-old conflict, some people find inspiration in Egypt’s revolution

The Skinback Fusiliers, Episode Two

openDemocracy and Our Kingdom are proud to serialise The Skinback Fusiliers, a fast, funny and deeply disturbing novel about life in the British army today seen through the eyes of three young men. The book is available on Kindle and through Amazon here.

Libya and a decade’s war

The west’s military-political strategy against the Gaddafi regime echoes its flawed approach to Afghanistan and Iraq, says Paul Rogers in this, his 500th weekly column for openDemocracy.

UK Uncut, responsibility and the logic of networked activism

Much of the critical rhetoric attacking UKUncut's choice not to denounce the violence on March 26th fails to understand the organisational make-up of the UKUncut network and, more generally, of the national anti-cuts movement.

Libya's challenge: democracy under the gun

The military intervention in Libya now threatens the Arab democracy risings. This makes diplomacy and demilitarisation essential, says Mark Taylor.  

Gaddafi and Libya – a case for just intervention?

Full militaristic intervention cannot be justified on the grounds that this is a ‘just war’. We are then left with the option to intervene militarily in a smaller way or not to intervene militarily at all.

Silent Fear in Zimbabwe

Civicus’ policy coordinator travelled to Harare on Monday, March 28 for an open forum on developing civil society organisation in conflict situations. She describes what happened next.

Libya Peace Talks: UN Resolution 1325?

For the sake of Libyan society as a whole, women must play a more equal and visible role in shaping it.

Whatever happened to Bosnia?

The Dayton political structure, the media, religious figures, and even civil society have been used to entrench divides that could still lead to the partitioning of BiH,Bosnia rather than membership in a united Europe. How can they overcome this impasse?

Islamophobia and the Arab spring

If the opportunity can be seized to help more people to build prosperous lives of liberty in their own countries, perhaps Europe’s Islamophobes will be able to stop worrying about immigration or insecurity.

Libya: time to decide

Providing air support and arms for the Libyan opposition is necessary if stalemate and partition are to be avoided, argues Ranj Alaaldin

The Song of the Survivor: T.C. Boyle and Invasive Species Eradication Programs

Humans are the only species who feel we have a responsibility to other species. T.C. Boyle's fiction explores the dilemmas raised when our obligations to other species and organisms conflict

Will the falling dominoes reach Pakistan?

The wave of popular uprisings that has driven out Presidents Ben Ali of Tunisia and Mubarak of Egypt and is shaking other countries in the Middle East - could it swamp Pakistan?

Pro-Ouattara forces make gains in western Ivory Coast

Fighting erupts in western Ivory Coast. India and Pakistan meet to discuss anti-terrorism measures. Syrian cabinet resigns amid ongoing unrest.

UK Uncut cannot denounce the violence on 26 March

Those most heavily involved in UKUncut are under enormous pressure to denounce the violence on behalf of the rest of us in the network. Without doing so, it is hard to see how UKUncut will regain lost support from the general public and the mainstream media. But this cannot be the answer.

The Skinback Fusiliers, Episode One

openDemocracy and Our Kingdom are proud to serialise The Skinback Fusiliers, a fast, funny and deeply disturbing novel about life in the British army today seen through the eyes of three young men. The book is available on Kindle and through Amazon here.

Why democracy in the Arab world is no foregone conclusion

One way of assessing the prospects for democracy in the Middle East is to compare this region not only with eastern Europe in the late 1980s but also with southern Europe in the mid-1970s, where aged authoritarian regimes gave way to young democracies.

Libya: war or humanitarian intervention?

In the end the prospects for democracy depend on whether the rebels can mobilise support politically throughout Libya. The problem with the military approach is that it entrenches division. Our preoccupation with classic military means is undermining our capacity to address growing insecurity.

Libya, Arab democracy, and western policy

The United States and European intervention in Libya leaves open key questions about the future of western power in the wider region, says Godfrey Hodgson.
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