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This week's editors

RB, editor

Rosemary Bechler edits openDemocracy's main site.

Parvati Nair directs the United Nations University Institute on Globalization, Culture and Mobility.


Cameron Thibos edits Mediterranean Journeys in Hope.

En Liang Khong is assistant editor at openDemocracy.

Alex Sakalis is the editor of Can Europe Make It?

Constitutional conventions: best practice

America and the world’s jungle

An official directive that grants the United States army expanded counterinsurgency powers reveals Washington’s imprisonment in an exhausted vision of security.

Ending the Gaza blockade

The blockade has proved counterproductive with regard to all the major policy aims of the international community. The Quartet powers should encourage Israel to think about a better way to safeguard its security interests

Iran warns Russia not to back new nuclear sanctions

Iran warns Russia not to back new nuclear sanctions. Car bomb blast hits outside NATO base in Kandahar. Israel violates Lebanese airspace. Conflict in Jamaica kills 44. Blast kills four in southern Russian city. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

NPT: the gulf between the nuclear haves and have-nots

The key question as the conference enters the endgame is whether the P-5 nuclear weapon states are willing to drop their demands for the removal of so many of the disarmament commitments that are important to the non-nuclear countries, including references to a nuclear weapons convention or time bound framework to achieve the total elimination of nuclear weapons

Egypt and Sudan tussle with Nile basin countries over water rights

Egypt and Sudan state opposition to Ugandan-Rwandan-Kenyan-Ethiopian deal on Nile waterway management. South Korea reinvokes definition of North as 'principal enemy'. Shimon Peres denies nuclear weapons deal with apartheid South Africa. Jamaica suffers violent attacks following deal to extradite suspected drugs baron. All this and more in today's briefing.

The new UK coalition and international development policy

The dust has settled, the first peacetime coalition in seven decades is in office and the work begins. What about UK international development policy under the new blue and yellow colours?

US-China summit begins in Beijing

US-China summit begins, Clinton advocates joint action against North Korea. 25 killed in Islamist attacks in Somalia. Thai government extends curfew as Bangkok returns to normal trading. Jamaica declares state of emergency in two Kingston parishes. UN children’s camp in Gaza torched. All this and more in today’s security update.

Is it time for a worldwide strategy for the building of peace?

On average, one dollar spent on programmes to prevent violent conflict achieves as much as sixty dollars spent reacting to crises once violence erupts. So why is there no worldwide strategy for the building of peace? November 1918 marked the end of the 'war to end wars'. One hundred years later, we should now be calling for a new Versailles Convention.

Interviewing Hamas in Lebanon

Ousama Hamdan used to be the go-between between Hamas and Iran, but for years has been the Hamas leader in Lebanon. He talks about problems with the peace process in the Middle East, and the challenges of political partnerships

Mapuche – the ‘terrorist threat’ in Chile

Mapuche territory once stretched from the Pacific coast and islands of Chile across the Andes into Argentina. The Mapuche are still fighting for recognition, now against Chile’s two biggest forestry companies, government obduracy, and an anti-terrorist law drafted by the Pinochet regime

Europe faces stark choice between dissolution and cohesion after Greek crisis

The Greek crisis may spur further integration in the EU, rather than signal its downfall.

Crimes in the Caucasus

Documenting a great historical tragedy unknown to most, Oliver Bullough's new book is a fascinating and groundbreaking work. Thomas de Waal reviews "Let Our Fame Be Great"

Circassian Nationalism and the Internet

Circassian communities are scattered throughout the North Caucasus and the diaspora is spread throughout the world. On the day of Circassian Genocide and Exile, Zeynel Abidin Besleney examines the role played by the internet as a lifeline linking otherwise isolated activists and communities and reinforcing the Circassian nationalist cause

A world on the margin

The diverse social insurgencies in such countries as Thailand, Greece, India and China can also be seen in a common frame, as responses to a global process that produces extreme inequality and exclusion.

Curfews across Thailand anticipate further unrest

Curfew extended in Bangkok after Red Shirts dispersed. International investigation reports South Korean Cheonan sunk by North Korean torpedo. State of emergency imposed in southern Kygyzstan. Pakistan prepares for offensive in North Waziristan. Maoist attacks prompt strategy rethink in India. All this and more in today's briefing.

Pakistani students accused of terrorism win fight against deportation

Pakistani students accused of terrorism win fight against deportation. Bangkok rocked by violence as ‘Red Shirt’ leaders surrender. Taliban launch an attack on Bagram air base. New sanctions draft announced as pressure mounts on Iran. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

An "exit strategy" is little use in the Afghan labyrinth

We need to break old assumptions if Afghanistan and Pakistan are to be secured, argues Carlo Ungaro

Iranian nuke deal on the Turkish-Brazilian axis met with suspicion by US and Israel

Turkish-Brazilian deal on Iranian uranium draws criticism from US and Israel. Sri Lanka celebrates 'victory day' as damning report issued by International Crisis Group. All this and more in today's update.

NPT conference: half time glass half full

Frustration at the failure of nuclear weapon states to honour the agreements made at previous NPT Conferences is growing. In heated exchanges in New York the 184 countries without nuclear weapons want to ensure that this time the NPT outcome has direction, accountability and muscle. Half way through the conference Rebecca Johnson reports that there is still everything to play for.

Washington vs Waziristan: the far enemy

The new pattern of United States military attacks in the AfPak borderlands is fuelling ever-greater hostility on the ground. The arrest of a presumed Taliban militant in New York is one of its symptoms. The long war is recharging itself.

How to make peace with Iran

The case for diplomatic engagement rather than military confrontation with Iran is well-founded in principle and achievable in reality, says Arshin Adib-Moghaddam.

Afghan civilian shot dead during protest

A protester is shot dead as hundreds march against civilian casualties caused in a recent night raid in Afghanistan. President Obama asks Congress to fund an Israeli missile shield. At least five people have been killed in clashes in Bangkok. Russian security forces have killed three of the organisers of the March terrorist bombing of the Moscow metro. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Objecting: an act of civil disobedience

Conscientious objection is not "opting out". It is an effort to stimulate a new social imagination and a revolutionary mentality that does not normalise violence.

Conscription: our bodies...or our money?

In recognising a right of conscientious objection specifically to military service, the international community of nation states has effectively conceded the morality of such a standpoint. An eventual extension of the interpretation of this right to embrace conscientious objections to payment towards military expenditure would be a further step in the building of a “culture of peace” even within our still bellicose societies

Listening to our conscience

A new anthology of women conscientious objectors reveals the extent to which rejection to military service is part of a greater movement for social change. Vanessa Alexander went along to the book launch

Fragile post-election Iraq suffers sectarian bomb attacks

Baghdad bombings in wake of inconclusive election bargaining in Iraq. Suspicions mount of North Korean involvement in Cheonan sinking. Murders taint government-opposition relations in Ethiopia. US warns Burma over purchases of North Korean weapons. All this and more in today's briefing.

United States at the NPT: how far will the 'good guy' go?

Unless the role and value assigned to nuclear weapons in deterrence is challenged among the nuclear-armed states, the notion of nuclear deterrence will remain seductive – and a proliferation drive. Those wanting to bring about real security in a non-nuclear-armed world need to do far more at this NPT Conference. Rebecca Johnson reports from New York.

Against power-mongering - moving on from the politics of 'winner-takes-all'

The longing for 'macho' style 'strong' politics is exposed by the UK's post-election arguments

Israel and Palestine re-enter peace negotiations

Indirect Israel-Palestine peace talks underway after four-month deadlock. Death toll rises as Thai peace plan stalls. Afghan peace draft considers Taliban exile. four killed as elections begin in the Philippines. All this and more in today’s security update.

Implementing SCR 1325: lessons from Israel

The attempt to implement Security Council Resolution 1325 after the failure of the Oslo Peace Process revealed a paralysed women's movement in Israel. Is it time for feminist resistance rather than arguing for women's participation in peace processes?

Searching for gender justice

How and when will the Rome Statute and Security Council Resolution 1325 actually contribute to the delivery of justice to a critical mass of the world’s women?

Britain, let’s talk about security

An inconclusive general election casts uncertainty over the shape of Britain’s next government. The issue of national security, amid conditions of severe financial constraint, will be high on the incoming administration’s agenda. But the political space for a fresh approach to the country’s defence needs is already narrowing.

Hung Parliament raises questions on UK security policy

The outcome of the UK general election raises serious concerns regarding foreign and security policy. North Korea is committed to resuming negotiations over its nuclear weapons programme. The political alliance set to become the new government of Iraq is bitterly criticised as being sectarian and ‘Iran-orchestrated’. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Rescuing Ukraine from NATO

President Yanukovich sees it as his mission to protect the country from NATO. That’s why he extended that lease allowing Russia’s fleet to stay in Crimea. For as long as the fleet stays in Ukraine, the country cannot join NATO

US to extend sanctions on Syria for another year

US extends sanctions on Syria for a further year. Times Square bomb suspect. Yemeni ship seized by Somali pirates. Greeks take to street in protest at latest package of austerity measures. All this and more in today's update.
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