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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Nepal: Maoists' lock, India's door

Nepal’s path from civil war to a new constitutional and democratic order is proving hard. An influential Maoist movement and a powerful India are at the heart of the country’s stalemated political transition, says Manjushree Thapa.

UN Security Council imposes new sanctions on Iran

UNSC imposes fourth round of sanctions on Iran. Obama meets Abbas and pledges aid. NATO helicopter shot down by Afghan Taliban. Dutch vote at national elections. NATO supply convoy hit in Pakistan. All this and more in today’s security briefing.

Connecting the dots: Iran's nuclear ambitions, human rights and intelligent sanctions

The sanctions being imposed by the UN need to be reworked to inspire the confidence of Iran's suppressed people.

Ex-hacker exposes suspected "Collateral Murder" wiki-leaker

Ex-hacker exposes suspected wiki-leaker. Iran announces plans for aid convoy to Gaza. Somalis flee clashes in central provinces. US considers sanctions in response to Cheonan crisis. All this and more in today's security briefing

Colombia: the “green wave” that wasn’t

The first round of the contest to succeed Álvaro Uribe as Colombia’s president produced one big surprise and five lessons, says Adam Isacson.

Israel: the third strategic threat

Israel's assault on an aid flotilla heading to Gaza is a decisive episode in the country's challenge to international humanitarian law and its advocates. But it may have unexpected results, say Thomas Keenan & Eyal Weizman

Sri Lanka's war: time for accountability

The end of Sri Lanka’s post-war electoral cycle makes it even more important for the world to stand for justice over the country’s human-rights abuses, says Meenakshi Ganguly.

This article was first published on 28 April 2010

Book Review: Voices from the Grave - Two Men's War in Ireland

How do you document the history of a conflict in which illegal organisations are among the central players? Voices from the Grave, by the veteran Northern Ireland correspondent Ed Moloney, is an intriguing attempt to answer that question.

Rector takes on Ukranian Security Services

On May 18, the Ukrainian Security Services paid a strange visit to Borys Gudziak, rector of the Ukrainian Catholic University in Lviv. Their goal, it seems, was to ensure his students would not take to the streets to protest against the new President when he arrived in town the following day. Gudziak refused to co-operate and produced a following memorandum that has sent shockwaves through Ukraine.

UN launches inquiry as Israel intercepts second peace flotilla

UN launches inquiry as Israel intercepts second peace flotilla. US identified as world’s greatest user of targeted killings. Philippine rebels interested in renewed talks. Sudanese president barred from African Union conference. US missiles used in Yemen raids. All this and more, in today’s security update.

Turkey reviews Israel ties after flotilla assault

Turkey looks to minimise its ties to Israel after the IDF raid on the peace flotilla. In Afghanistan the peace jirga endorses President Karzai’s peace plan. The Japanese Prime Minister resigns after failing to shift US bases from Okinawa. All this and more, in today’s security update…

Israel’s neo-zionist illusion

The true target of the violence onboard the Turkish boat carrying humanitarian aid to Gaza on 31 May was the US. But this attempt to force Obama into backing Israel uncritically was based on an outdated, neo-zionist view of geo-politics. For the US is not the power it was

Out of Asia

The meeting of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation could hail a realignment of power politics in Asia, argues Ángel Gómez-de-Ágreda

Skating on thin ice in Sochi

The 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi threatens to be overshadowed by a centuries-old row between Russia and the disposessed Circassian nation, writes Sufian Zhemukhov. Russia should take the opportunity to engage and impress its way to a lasting solution.

Israel-Turkey-United States: Gaza’s global moment

Israel’s assault on a flagship attempting to break the blockade of Gaza has sparked international condemnation. Behind the crisis lie deeper shifts in world politics in which Turkey is playing a key part.

Brazil-Turkey and Iran: a new global balance

The tripartite nuclear-fuel agreement signed in Tehran is a watershed in the emerging configuration of a multipolar world, says Mariano Aguirre of the Norwegian Peacebuilding Centre.

UN condemns Israel raid on aid flotilla

UN condemns Israeli commando raid on aid-flotilla. Amnesty calls for inquiry into possible extra-judicial killings during Kingston violence. British troops come under US command in Kandahar. Russian delegation visits South Korea to assess Cheonan findings. All this and more in today's update.

Napoleon's conquest and its legacy

Alan Forrest explores the legacy of the empire and state-system imposed on Europe during the Napoleonic wars. The article continues our series Lest we forget, an editorial project in association with History & Policy, asking historians to reflect on wars gone by and the light they shed on present conflicts.

An Open Letter to Barack Obama

Please take a few moments to reflect on the relations between the United States and Israel in the light of a recent incident

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.
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