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This week’s editor

Claire Provost

Claire Provost is editor of 50.50 covering gender, sexuality and social justice.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Serbia after Ratko Mladic: the arrest and the rest

The latest opinion poll on the subject revealed that nearly three-quarters of those surveyed wouldn’t have informed the police about the fugitive’s secret location had it been known to them. Fortunately, their assistance was not needed.

Belgium: blame the chubby nationalist

The creation of a new Belgian government seems as unlikely as the Red Devils ever winning the World Cup. Bart de Wever, leader of the nationalist New Flemish Alliance (N-VA), receives much of the blame, but representatives from all political parties across the language frontier are unable to bridge the ever wider gap between north and south

Real Journalism Now: the media after Spain's revolution

‘Why are the traditional media losing their credibility? Why do our citizens no longer trust us? In the Puerta del Sol - the seat of the Spanish Revolution - why were they shouting ‘Television: manipulation’?’

Bahrain in the shadow of the Libya War

Support by the Arab League for the military operations in Libya has been an effective diplomatic means for Saudi Arabia and the GCC to redirect interest in internal Arab states of affairs away from the Arabian Peninsula and onto North Africa. The strategy seems to work nicely: the silence surrounding Bahrain has been deafening.

Osh: one year on

Before the interethnic violence of last June, Osh was a remarkable meeting point of Uzbek and Kyrgyz cultures. That Osh is no longer, but shared history provides the best hope for a peaceful future, writes Nick Megoran

Facing the Greek crisis: it’s the politics, stupid

As 200,000 people, led by a movement across Greece calling itself ‘The Outraged’, surround the parliament in Athens chanting, “Thieves, thieves, thieves”, here are ten proposals from a political scientist’s point of view for the Greek government, but also its European partners.

Could western neo-cons and Iranian hardliners be ratcheting up nuclear tensions for their own motives?

On the eve of the second anniversary of Iran's ‘stolen’ presidential election, with the Arab Spring unfolding all around, there are mounting tensions over the nuclear issue

America and Iraq-Iran: a new balance

The United States’s post-9/11 strategy sought to establish a new order in the middle east. A proposed regional-security constellation involving Baghdad and Tehran is a measure of its failure.

Turkey's “passive revolution” and democracy

A near-decade of rule by strategic, business-friendly, moderate Islamists has transformed Turkey’s political dynamics. Now, the prospect of a third successive electoral victory seems to offer the Justice & Development Party (AKP) a chance to consolidate its hegemony over the once entrenched military-led “deep state”. But the situation is not so simple for the AKP, nor so clear for Turkey’s future. Rather, increasing domestic tension and regional turbulence are posing critical new questions over the country’s democracy and model of governance, says Kerem Oktem.

With eye to US, post-bin Laden Pakistan turns to 'all-weather' friend China

Pakistan and China hail their relationship during a recent state visit of Pakistani prime minister Yousaf Gilani to Beijing. In Sudan, fighting between Northern and Southern armed forces in the contested border region intensifies. India buys transport aircraft from the US in the highest value military contract between the two countries. Russia cancels joint military exercises with India. All in today's Security Briefing.

"Racism" or "Racist incident", what's the difference? UCU and the EUMC ‘working definition’ of antisemitism

Is it good to pretend that racism can be identified simply with reference to the victim's perception of racism? The Macpherson report into the conduct of the police in investigating the killing of Stephen Lawrence is being mis-read

Al-Qaida, and a world in balance

Where is al-Qaida going after the Arab spring and the death of the movement's figurehead? The dynamics of global security in the 21st century offer an answer. The question is also one that the Pakistani journalist Syed Saleem Shahzad was investigating at the time of his shocking murder.

Ratko Mladic and justice: another route

The effect of the international tribunal where those accused of crimes during the Balkan wars face trial is to reinforce divisions in the region. It’s time to consider other justice mechanisms that could address this problem, say Katharine Engelhart & Ozren Jungic.

Italian Spring

The Berlusconi era may be nearing its end, but media populism remains a danger across Europe and requires new political forms of organisation to combat it

SlutWalk: not so easy an issue

The SlutWalk protests may be inspired by commendable principles to prevent sexual violence. But the misreading of the Toronto police’s statements stop us asking harder questions about sexuality and gender relations

May and Spain's Bermuda Triangle

Real Democracy Now, if it had done nothing else, has rescued a supine Spanish electorate from the stultifying boredom of the recent election period. However, people still turned out to vote. So what’s new?

Five reasons why Europe is cracking up

In Germany, France and Italy, but also in many other places, we find ourselves confronted with a generation of leaders ever more shortsighted and given over to electioneering: among them, none speak to Europe nor for Europe.

The fiery birth of the Prevent counter-terrorism strategy: England's Summer of Discontent, ten years on

As the UK government reviews its counter-terrorism, counter-radicalisation strategy, Jonathan Githens-Mazer and Robert Lambert argue that a panicked reading of the events of summer 2001 - the attacks on the twin towers and communal riots in the north of England - have set the tone of a divisive and counterproductive debate on the connection between radicalism and terrorism. On the tenth anniversary of the Oldham, Burnley and Bradford riots, it is time for a fundamental rethinking of counter-terrorism and community cohesion strategy.

Yemen on the verge of collapse

Endemic violence continues across Yemen as tribal forces contest with loyalist troops for control of the capital. Nato extends its campaign in Libya as high level defections from the Gaddafi regime continue. A former Mossad chief criticises the Israeli government’s security posture. All this and more, in today’s security update…

The nuclear dilemmas of South Asia

An accelerating nuclear arms race between a fragile Pakistani government aiming at a strategic balance with India and an Indian state that ignores its neighbor's security concerns is on the verge of spiraling out of control, says Yogesh Joshi

After Obama’s Middle East speech: save Palestinian reconciliation

To get beyond the current impasse in the Israel-Palestine conflict, the "Quartet principles" need to be abandoned in favor of an active promotion of Fatah-Hamas reconciliation.

Bonfire of the experts: the Arab uprisings and the Israeli-Palestinian question

We need to understand that patience on the Palestinian side has almost completely run out after many fruitless years of aimless negotiations and feeble international mediation. The Palestinians – exasperated by US reluctance or impotence - see the shelf-life of the long-running but deeply flawed peace process expiring later this year.

Hue and cry over the UCU

Critics of Israel are increasingly accused of delegitimising Israel and encouraging antisemitism. This creates a climate of suspicion in which the onus is on critics to somehow demonstrate that they are not antisemitic.

Ratko Mladic’s arrest and international justice

The forthcoming trial in The Hague of the arrested Serb warlord is an occasion to assess the achievements of the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, says Benjamin Ward.

International justice, wild west vs ICC: a coming crisis

The killing of Osama bin Laden and arrest of Ratko Mladic highlight the precariousness of international order and international law as much as their advance, says Martin Shaw.

The man and the machine: in search of Barack Obama

In his first two years in office, President Obama had six foreign-policy goals. None has been achieved.

We have broken the silence: Fresh from Madrid, a member of the Communications team of the 15 May Movement

This interview with Beatriz Pérez took place in the early morning of Thursday 26 May in English with additions from an interview she gave to radio Una linea sobre el mar (thanks to simultaneous translation by Mayte Carrasco). It was checked and finalised by Beatriz on Saturday 28 May.

Sri Lanka: war crimes and accountability

The report of an expert panel finds evidence of serious human-rights violations during Sri Lanka’s long civil war - but also that the political and legal environment conducive to investigating these is lacking. This situation presents all those who seek to develop a principled approach to post-war Sri Lanka with serious moral and political dilemmas, says Asanga Welikala.

Ready, set, crawl!

Despite protests and intense political pressure on Prime Minister Maliki’s coalition government, reforms in Iraq are likely to be slow, sporadic and contradictory. Meaningful reform is undermined by a political system that fosters immobility, an incompetent and politicised bureaucracy, corruption and a general over-reliance on the state

A very Georgian disagreement

Post-Soviet Georgia is no stranger to drama or revolution, and after a short interregnum, the country once again finds itself in a febrile mood. Sergei Markedonov analyses the background to the present unrest.

Beyond the comfort zone?: Reactions to The Skinback Fusiliers

After the serialisation of the novel, The Skinback Fusiliers, the author looks back on the reactions provoked by his brutal account of life as a British squaddie

Bosnia: what course after the storm?

Between the advocates of interventionism, who think that only action from the international community can prevent Bosnia’s implosion, and those who, on the contrary, deem Bosnians to be the only ones who should be responsible for their future, we are convinced of the necessity of a middle path: one of shared responsibility, with a demanding partner who can go beyond the past errors and put the country on the road to EU membership

Ratko Mladić's arrest: a start, but let it not obscure how much more is needed for justice

Poisonous ethno-nationalist political rhetoric, genocide denial and the celebration of war-time leaders are still routinely permitted in the discourse of Bosnian politicians, the media and citizens – if ‘citizens’ is the right word to describe the Bosnians who live in this protectorate-state purgatory

Some kind of revolution

In Puerta del Sol, the camp’s peaceful and serious ethos seems to have won the demonstrators the respect of many older members of the Madrid community. Can it have lasting impact across the country?

Skinback Fusiliers, Episode Ten

We present the final episode from a brutal novel about life as a British squaddie, by an acclaimed British author
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