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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

China rising: what would Mackinder do?

Will China follow the course Mackinder plotted in relation to Tsarist Russia, turning inward once maritime expansion is checked?

Kashmir's e-protest

Fahad Shah reports on the rising tide of e-protest in Kashmir.

Sixty-five years after Hiroshima, the nightmare of nuclear war haunts us still

Daniel Bruno Sanz reviews the sci-fi imaginings of nuclear war and their place in contemporary consciousness.

Israel’s security trap

Israel’s combative military posture, evident both in a tense border skirmish with Lebanon and in its wider strategic plans, is a recipe for permanent insecurity.

Georgia, two years on: a future beyond war

A vicious short war between Georgia and Russia erupted on 8 August 2008 over one of Georgia's “occupied territories”, South Ossetia. Two years on, Mikheil Saakashvili remains in power, surrounded by another cluster of ambitious young colleagues. Tbilisi’s construction projects are transforming the city’s public spaces and social customs. A new realism governs foreign policy and economic ambitions, with Turkey an increasingly prominent neighbour. But amid the flux, the key to Georgia’s future relationship with Russia may lie in the distant past, says Donald Rayfield in a richly textured portrait.

Cameron was right: Pakistan has some soul searching to do

The outrage at David Cameron's criticism of Pakistan's role in combating terrorism hides the truth: Pakistan is a fractured society in need of rediscovering a sense of unity with which it can defeat the Taliban, argues Zainab Mahmood.

A Good Friday Agreement for Kashmir

The prospect for peace in Kashmir lies, according to Naveed Qazi, in an adaptation of an arrangement similar to the one that brought peace to North Ireland.

British prime minister's terrorism allegations anger Pakistan

Pakistani and British officials meet ahead of Zardari visit to London. One killed as rockets fired from Sinai towards Israel and Jordan. President Obama confirms US combat troop withdrawal from Iraq. Iranian president calls for one-on-one television debate with US president. Chechen leader hands over leadership to younger comrade. Sudan makes UN peacekeeping forces report all movement within the country. All this and more in today's security briefing.

Kosovo, law and politics

The International Court of Justice ruling on Kosovo’s independence offers the European Union a vital opportunity to lead the process that must follow, says Engjellushe Morina in Pristina.


Court scrutiny of the British security services is to be welcomed; we can't debate properly our security needs without openness.

Myanmar’s 2010 elections: a human rights perspective

Benjamin Zawacki of Amnesty International details the numerous human rights concerns raised by Myanmar's anticipated election.

The AfPak war via WikiLeaks

The release of official United States material by the website Wikileaks confirms and amplifies enduring political assessments of the Afghanistan war, not least on openDemocracy.

Lebanon's paths to war

The investigation into the assassination of President Rafiq Hariri is just one trigger among many that could lead Lebanon and the wider region to war.

Culturalism: culture as political ideology

More unites than divides Left and Right in the fierce debate on multiculturalism, argues Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt.

Kosovo, Serbia and Bosnia: after the ICJ

The International Court of Justice ruling on Kosovo’s declaration of independence benefits Serbia too. But what of its effects on Bosnia? Florian Bieber considers the implications of the ICJ opinion.

Wounded Afghan civilians - Nato's responsibility

Dave Lannen calls on Nato to make full provision for the care of wounded Afghan civilians.

Protection centres for victims of domestic abuse opened at Baghdad police stations

Iraqi interior ministry opens protection centres for victims of domestic abuse. Israeli defence minister says all Lebanon would be within bounds in case of Hezbollah confrontation. France declares war on al-Qaeda in northern Africa. All this and more in today's security briefing.

Manipulating the Memory of the Rwandan Genocide

The Rwandan government has made remarkable strides in infrastructure, the economy, healthcare, and gender equity in political representation,but their continued attack on independent thought and criticism is disheartening – and dangerous. As the August presidential election looms, it is important not only to hail Rwanda’s success but also to ask hard questions about government abuse of authority

Wikileaks release 90,000 documents relating to war in Afghanistan

US condemns release of tens of thousands of classified Afghan war documents. Duch, Pol Pot’s infamous prison chief, is jailed for 19 years. Tehran reacts angrily to further EU sanctions on Iran. Bangladeshi war crimes court issues first arrest warrants. All this and more in today's security briefing.

Is there a UK "deep state"?

A one-time senior British diplomat names his country's 'deep state' as acting to prevent public knowledge of what happened when it invaded Iraq. Is there really a state within the state in the UK?

Papuan struggle enters new phase

The Papuan movement is acting with a new strategic maturity in its quest for autonomy, argues Jason MacLeod.

Igor Sutyagin and the price of freedom

The imprisonment of military researcher Igor Sutyagin for alleged espionage has long troubled Russian human rights campaigners, writes Zoya Svetova. He is now free, but only after agreeing to agree he was a spy. Those familiar with Russian prisons will understand why he acted as he did, but he faces a difficult task persuading others of his integrity.

Afghan civil society must not be abandoned

Afghan civil society and NATO war aims: talk to the Taleban and all traditional leaders

A tale of three wars: Afghanistan, Iraq...Iran

The United States and its allies are rethinking their commitment to Afghanistan by the week. But an attack on Iran would return all calculations to ground zero.

Why criminalise dialogue with terrorists?

UK Parliamentarians, the US Congress and the European Parliament need to take a closer look at the aspects of counter-terrorism legislation that have an adverse impact on mediation

Tomlinson's killer not charged

The British public prosecutor has just announced that there will be no charges against the police who killed a bystander at the G20 protests in London.

US imposes fresh sanctions on North Korea

US imposes fresh sanctions on North Korea. Sudan's Bashir defies arrest warrant. British PM concludes his first visit to Washington. Suspected rebels attack Russian power plant. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Women's plight highlighted at Afghan conference

Clinton promises security for Afghan women. Sudanese security services criticised for role in repression. Israel likely to secure F-35 fighter deal. ASEAN summit hears concerns that Burma is seeking to develop nuclear weapons. All this and more in today's security briefing.

The world’s first presidential genocidaire?

The ICC's decision to reinstate three counts of genocide against President Bashir of Sudan is to be welcomed

The power in telling stories

Nonviolence is a value, a tool, and a force which ordinary people can and do use daily. The undocumented nature of much nonviolent action perpetrates the myth that it is ineffectual: it is our duty to tell the stories.

Eritrea and Isaias Afewerki: a cold logic

The achievement of Isaias Afewerki’s regime in Asmara is to have used confrontation with its neighbours to entrench its survival. It is a political lesson that the international community still needs to learn, says Selam Kidane.

Kashmir: cri de coeur

Labelling Kashmiri anger "separatist" or "anti-national" does a disservice to the victims of violence while serving to cover up and excuse state repression, argues Seema Kazi.
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