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This week’s front page editor

Julian Richards

Julian Richards is managing editor of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The casualties of war: Libya and beyond

The architects of a decade's wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and now Libya devote great efforts to assessing the military aspects of their operations - yet are silent on the human damage. A new report highlights the international pressure for a shift of focus.

Building stable and peaceful states: a new framework for international action?

It is time to reframe the development discourse on conflict and fragility. A set of international objectives is needed that complements the MDGs to lead efforts to reduce conflict and fragility. But that is not enough. Making this happen will put the leadership, credibility and energies both of fragile countries and international actors to the test.

The London bombs, five years on: a digest

The coordinated bomb-attacks on London’s transport network on 7 July 2005 (“7/7”) left dozens dead and hundreds wounded, and marked the lives of millions in the city and beyond. The political, intellectual and security issues raised by the event were extensively discussed on openDemocracy in the ensuing months. A retrospect of unforgettable days, by David Hayes.

(This article was first published on 7 July 2010)

Thai military accepts Pheu Thai victory at the general election

Thailand’s military accept the victory of former Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra’s political party. Security situation in Bangladesh deteriorates after the caretaker government system is abolished. Pakistani defense minister asks the United States to leave Shamsi Airbase as the US shifts key supply routes through Pakistan to central Asia. Turkish Prime Minister visits Libyan opposition groups in Benghazi. All in today’s security briefing.

The flotilla and the siege – resistance and complicity

While the second flotilla to Gaza prepared to set sail this week under the motto ‘Stay Human,’ Europe moved a step closer to full participation in the Israeli oppression of Palestinians

Palestinian statehood: a turning-point

The Palestinian ambition of becoming a full member-state of the United Nations is approaching a crucial moment. A combination of numbers and strategy will bring its fulfilment closer, says Victor Kattan.

Beppe Grillo, biggest shake-up in today’s Italy

Beppe Grillo is by far the most original phenomenon of Italy’s immobile and inefficient politics. His personal biography is as compelling as the political ideas he propagates through his blog - the ninth most visited worldwide

London, a city of slavery?

An eighteen-year-old trafficked girl Y, subjected to years of exploitation and abuse, broke her silence today in an interview with Dan Foster, at the Children’s Legal Centre

Tensions rise between Israel and Hizbollah after Hariri indictiments

All eyes are on the Hizbollah-dominated Lebanese government as the UN indicts senior members over the Hariri killing. Referendum begins on Morocco’s revised constitution. US applying pressure on Syrian opposition to engage with Assad. All this and more, in today’s security briefing…

Lectures from a Spin Doctor: a Nato strategist's position at a top British university

When a Nato spokesperson is lecturing at one of the top British universities, it's clear that the autonomy of higher education is under threat

The SWISH Report (19)

Where is al-Qaida going after the Arab uprisings and the death of Osama bin Laden? The movement again commissions its chosen SWISH consultancy to offer it advice, and openDemocracy once more has exclusive access to the report.

Somalia: one country, three systems?

The international community is at a loss when it comes to solving Somalia. The country’s problems have slowly become every country’s problems: from cross-border terrorism to piracy. Looking to China may offer some lessons, says Patrick Duplat

The Philippines: a state of insecurity

Benigno Aquino's inauguration as the Philippines' president raised hopes of improvement in citizens' security. A year on the evidence of progress in this area is hard to find, says Jessica Evans in Manila.

India-Pakistan talks slowly move forward

Foreign secretaries of India and Pakistan meet in Islamabad to discuss security issues. In northern Kenya, inter-communal clashes over resources leave ten dead while Maoist rebels kill five security men in attacks in central India. Germany has agreed to supply NATO with bomb components for operations in Libya. All this in today's security briefing.

Sharia and Egypt’s Constitution: an Iraqi blueprint

The constitutional debates that took place in the run-up to the formation of the current Iraqi constitution provide a blueprint for the questions Islamic parties must address if they are to be insiders to the process of consolidating democracy.

Military success but political failure: the fight against Al-Shabab in Somalia

While cooperation between international forces, the Somali army and allied militias have delivered victories against Al-Shabab this spring, the political infighting and corruption of the Transitional Federal Government prevents further successes.

Greek protest in Syntagma Square: in between post-politics and real democracy

Syntagma Square is a political response to a highly polarised political establishment that has repeatedly failed in recent years to meet the demands of the body politic.

Greece’s exit from the eurozone: a poisoned chalice

In times like these not making a big mistake is half a battle won.

The new gold rush

Due to economic uncertainty, a rise in inflation, various debt crises, and intense price pressures, global investors are returning to gold as a secure investment. The increase in demand has pushed the price of gold to a new high, fuelling an unprecedented mining boom in countries with rich mineral deposits, such as Colombia.

Egypt shaped at the grass roots

While headlines in global media focus upon candidates for the presidency and new parties jostling for electoral advantage, the dynamics of change in Egypt are being shaped at the grassroots

Will the spirit of spring come to cyberspace?

Anonymous and LulzSec represent a real change in the politics of cyberspace. The networked power at the hands of the hackers may show itself to be the equal of people power on the streets

Dirty hands

In the passing of MF Hussain, there is more to be mourned than the death of an Indian artist in exile. Nor is this terminal condition confined to India.

Western complicity in the crimes of the Ben Ali regime

Often overlooked in the western press have been the collective, or one could say national, grievances of the Tunisian people, expressed as frustration at Tunisia’s lack of real sovereignty in a global order enforced by international institutions such as the IMF and the World Bank

Glimpsing the Tunisian Revolution

Tunisian activists, more than anything else, are proud of themselves for returning their country to global history, not as dependent or slave, but as empowered actor in the process of negotiating global values and institutions.

Why sectarian fight persists in Northern Ireland

This week has seen sectarian rioting between Catholics and Protestants in Belfast. Why does violence continue in Northern Ireland?

Letter from Australia to Britain: Trading in human misery - immigration and the "Malaysian solution"

Australia’s detention regime offers an ugly vision of where UK asylum policy may be headed

Another Falklands war unlikely but not inconceivable

Despite a tense exchange over the Falkland islands between British Prime Minister David Cameron and Argentinian President Cristina Kirchner, another war over the islands looks highly unlikely any time soon. Instead, argues James Lockhart Smith, the conflict will continue to take a diplomatic course, the outcome of which will determine whether military confrontation is likely in the long run.

After the “west”

The emergent reality of an interconnected world requires a new understanding of security which moves beyond the ideas of the “west vs the rest” and the "clash of civilisations", says Arshin Adib-Moghaddam.

Drone warfare: cost and challenge

The repositioning of the United States’s military strategy includes a great expansion in the use of armed-drones to attack targets in Pakistan and Yemen. But this development raises profound legal and ethical questions that are now entering the public arena.

Rapprochement across the Taiwan Strait

China and Taiwan seek to increase economic exchanges by allowing individuals to travel from Mainland China to Taiwan. Pakistani and Indian foreign secretaries are set to meet in Islamabad. Sudan and South Sudan reach Abeyi deal, and Syria’s Assad makes new promises to reform. All this in today’s security briefing.

The Human Cost of "War on Drugs"

50 years of criminalisation of drugs and 40 years of blatant failure of “war on drugs” has only made the problem worse. Policy makers must listen to the real victims: the people on the front lines

Syria’s broken spring: a Damascus report

A seething revolt across much of Syria is being met with ferocious repression by the Ba’athist government’s security forces. But so far, the two cities where close to half of Syria’s population lives - Damascus and Aleppo - are relatively calm. In this evolving situation, what are the prospects for Syria’s regime and people? Vicken Cheterian reports and reflects.  

Pakistan: the hard reality

Pakistan is too often portrayed in flawed and reductive ways that flatten its complexity and offer misleading guidance to policy-makers. This makes it all the more important to acknowledge some difficult truths about the country, says Anatol Lieven.

Cocaine Unwrapped

Interviewing Latin American leaders and victims of repressive policy, film-maker Rachel Seifert argues that the West should take real responsibility and rethink its failed war on drugs

Afghanistan: mapping the endgame

The United States's narrative of progress against the Taliban faces uncomfortable realities on the ground - and unexpected resistance in Washington.
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