- oD 50.50
This week's editor
En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.
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The Hizbollah movement in Lebanon emerged intact and confident from war with Israel in July-August 2006. Since then it has reinvented its strategy, arsenal and thinking to pose an even greater threat to its enemy to the south. A forensic portrait of the world’s most sophisticated non-state force from Amal Saad-Ghorayeb.
The tendency of foreign observers to reduce complex Egyptian reality to formulaic description misses some of its most significant and dynamic elements, says Tarek Osman.
(This article was first published on 12 August 2009)
The Georgia-Russia war of August 2008 has altered calculations about the future of the two territories that were central to the conflict. The scholar of Abkhazian linguistics and history, George Hewitt, offers an assessment from Sukhum.
(This article was first published on 11 August 2009)
The political fallout of the Russia-Georgia war of August 2008 affects far more than the main combatants: it has had a profound impact on the post-Soviet space, the United States, the European Union, even China and Turkey. Ivan Krastev draws up a balance-sheet of a toxic conflict, and looks ahead.
(This article was first published on 30 July 2009)
A precise record of the individual victims of war and conflict worldwide is emerging as a key objective of humanitarian work, says John Sloboda.
The pressing challenge of climate change and associated problems of insecurity and development demands that the countries of west Asia and north Africa create new models of shared and inclusive cooperation, says Prince Hassan of Jordan.
The arrival of Barack Obama creates a last chance of real progress towards resolution of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. But to take it will require decisive leadership around a coherent strategy. Tony Klug outlines the key ingredients of a plan that speaks to the moment.
The issue of Israel’s West Bank settlements must not be subsumed by the larger Israel-Palestinian conflict, says Hazem Saghieh.
The enormous harm inflicted on civilians by the “new western way of war” can be measured in tens of thousands of deaths and displacements. But Washington and London’s responsibility goes even wider, says Martin Shaw.
(This article was published on 24 July 2009)
The United States is talking intensively to Syria and Hamas as well as Israel, Egypt and the Gulf states. But it is the Iran factor that is creating a new dynamic towards Arab-Israel normalisation, says Akiva Eldar.
Two young reformist politicians on either side of the separatist conflict in Moldova have made bold moves to assert their independence from ossified leadership, Will the new generation manage to free their country from the spell of the past, wonders Louis O'Neill
The endemic conflict in Somalia continues to devour lives and divert resources from the reconstruction of the country. Only a political solution that offers Somalis the promise of a better life will bring it to an end, say Harun Hassan & David Hayes.
(This article was first published on 15 July 2009)
The dominant style of doing politics in Georgia inhibits the reforms the country needs to ensure its people’s progress. The region remains tense as the anniversary of the war with Russia approaches. But there is an available route beyond current discontent, says Robert Parsons.
The Jakarta hotel bombs are evidence of a fragmentation of jihadi militancy in Indonesia. The attacks will have political consequences at elite level, says Charles Reader.
The militant Islamist movement’s version of the war with Israel in July-August 2006 needs to be adjusted, says Hazem Saghieh.
George W Bush made democracy-support a central theme of his presidency. Barack Obama, by contrast, has downplayed it. Yet the latter's approach may achieve more effective results, says Mariano Aguirre.
The unrest in China’s western province of Xinjiang - known to the Uyghurs as East Turkestan - has focused the world’s attention on a comparatively neglected people. It is long overdue, says Henryk Szadziewski of the Uyghur Human Rights Project.
(This article was originally published 9 July 2009)
The refusal of Belarus to recognize Abkhazia and South Ossetia points to a key factor behind its "marriage with Russia". Both may favour a union, but for very different reasons, explains Sergei Markedonov
The missed chances and false trails of the Arabs’ political projects are highlighted in their reaction to Iran’s proto-revolution, says Hazem Saghieh.
A year after the disastrous war with Russia, the political elite in Tbilisi remains uncertain about how to define a way forward for the country. Vicken Cheterian assesses its predicament.
The unravelling of the commitments made in earlier phases of the Israeli-Palestinian peace process must be reversed if Israel is to avoid international isolation, says Gershon Baskin.
The broader roots of the eruption of protest in China's far-west region of Xinjiang lie in the experience of the Uyghur people under Beijing’s rule, says Yitzhak Shichor.
Behind the modest progress in arms-reduction agreed by Barack Obama and Dmitry Medvedev is a larger trend towards a world without nuclear weapons, says Andrew Mack.
Georgia's leader-fixated politics lacks an institutional base and competing visions of the country's future. No wonder the gap between the rhetoric and reality of democracy is so sharp, finds Ilia Roubanis in Tbilisi.
The dangerous tensions between Armenia and Azerbaijan over the “frozen conflict” of Nagorno-Karabakh are growing. Hayk Kotanjian proposes a way forward from an official Armenian position. openDemocracy publishes the text as part of our longstanding and independent coverage of the Caucasus.
The challenges to Iraq's authorities following the withdrawal of United States military forces from Iraq’s cities include building clean and efficient institutions that command the respect of citizens. The fight against corruption is central to the task, says Zaid Al-Ali.
What kind of violence has the Sri Lankan state been committing against its Tamil civilian population as the island‘s civil war ended; on what scale and with what intentions? Martin Shaw explores the difficult terrain where war, atrocity and genocide meet.
The treaty concluded on 28 June 1918 reverberates today across a huge area from Iran and Iraq to the Balkans and even beyond, says David A Andelman.
The political character of Eritrea's leader has transformed the hope of Africa's youngest independent nation-state into a nightmare, says Selam Kidane.
(This article was first published on 22 June 2009)
The deep political tensions in Georgia have led to one of the country’s leading politicians, Nino Burdzhanadze, standing against the country’s president, Mikheil Saakashvili. She explains her thinking and appeals for engagement and understanding from the west. openDemocracy publishes the text as part of our longstanding and independent coverage of Georgia and the region.
A peaceful election dissolves myths and rearranges the country’s political jigsaw. But the issue of Hizbollah’s weapons remains, says Hazem Saghieh.
The urbanisation of Pakistan’s internal war is intended to turn the country’s population centres into places of permanent insecurity, says Razi Ahmed.
The use of violence as an instrument of political liberation leads rather to failure and regression, says Martin Shaw.