This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is a submissions editor at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

How to beat terrorism: lessons of an Arab journey

Arab citizens are squeezed between authoritarian rulers, violent opposition groups and western counter-terrorism. But in their spaces of freedom, a quietly intense search for orderly change is occurring, says Rami G Khouri.

Leeds footsoldiers and London bombs

“I don’t really know why those men from Beeston set off those bombs in London, but I think I know where to look for the answers”. Max Farrar draws on his fieldwork among northern England’s deprived young people to explore the deeper roots of 7/7.

Iraq in the mirror of Fallujah

After two sieges and under an intense security regime, armed resistance to United States forces continues in Fallujah.

Terrorism: not who but why?

The roots of bombings in Madrid and London, Istanbul and Baghdad lie in a complex mixture of political, cultural and religious influences. Turi Munthe clears the path to a better understanding.

Tackling terror by winning hearts and minds

The decisive instrument in preventing attacks like those in London is the capacity of the human mind to imagine and implement solutions that lead to real change. Scilla Elworthy proposes a fresh way of addressing terrorism.

Civility and its discontents - or how not to think about pluralism

A globalised public sphere no longer affords the luxury of isolation, splendid or sordid, from the “other”, argues Amyn B. Sajoo, nor from the mirror it holds up to our shallow liberalism.

Iraq's war on women

Violence and intimidation against women are escalating across Iraq. The world’s commitment is needed to halt this assault on human and democratic rights, says Lesley Abdela.

Counter-terrorism: a true popular war

Communal trust and public debate between citizens have proven to be the most formidable weapon against terrorists, writes Jim Lederman

As I write these words, a suicide terrorist's bomb has exploded barely 100 kilometres from my home. Three women are dead and more than ninety people have been wounded.

Al-Qaida's new generation

The lesson of the London bombs is that the “war on terror” is failing.

An attack on the world

The London bombings are the latest assault on a prominent global symbol, intended to emphasise the “empire’s” vulnerability. In response, the world needs a new way of thinking that combines technology and democracy, says Francesco Grillo.

After the G8 and 7/7: an age of 'democratic warming'

The conjunction of the G8 and the London bombings carries a message of democracy to the global community, says Tom Nairn.

There was genocide in Srebrenica

I once recommended that Srebrenica be fenced in as a memorial to the suffering and death inflicted by genocide. Today, half the Serb population denies genocide ever took place. The return of laughing children to the playgrounds is held up as a symbol of enduring normality. But I’ve seen these children play hopscotch on the foundation of a razed mosque in Zvornik, symbol of a community that is no more. They dance, innocently, unaware of the graves beneath their feet.

London lives

The best response to London’s terror attacks is to stay calm and keep a steady focus on existing, vital political issues, says Mary Kaldor.

The London bombs in the wider war

The explosive force that killed and wounded hundreds of Londoners on 7 July is part of a chain of events that stretches to Fallujah and Baghdad.

Targeting Iran

How does the election of Iran’s new president affect the likelihood of a United States – or an Israeli – attack?

Welcome to Costa-del-Gaza

What will Gaza become after Israeli occupation? Eóin Murray reports on embattled Jewish settlers and Palestinian fears.

Iraq: thinking the unthinkable

Iraq’s insurgents, in developing new tactics as fast as the United States can counter their old, are forcing Washington to review its Iraq strategy.

I am an Iraqi journalist

Alia Amer defends her calling as a service to the Iraqi people – and asks herself every day if the sacrifices they are being asked to make are worth it.

Belgrade: war crimes in daily life

A day’s walk in Serbia’s capital brings journalist Dusan Velickovic closer to the emotional heart of a country still struggling to face the truth of its past.

Afghanistan bleeds

An upsurge in violence in the first post-9/11 theatre of the “war on terror” presents severe problems for United States military forces.

Keeping Armageddon at bay

The historic rapprochement between India and Pakistan will not endure if fundamentalists on both sides have their way, argues Maruf Khwaja.

Lebanon's election, no solution

Lebanese democracy has spoken. But Syrian influence, Hizbollah’s weapons, United States intransigence, sectarian divisions, personal rivalries, and regional pressures signal an unstable road ahead for the “cedar revolution”, reports Hazem Saghieh.

Before the flood

The peoples of the middle east need to create new ways of living together that recall the rich historical mixing of Muslims, Christians and Jews, says Jihad N Fakhreddine.

Ahmed, a story of Iraq

Alya Shakir’s family has survived wars, conscription, prison, robbery and exile, but it is a 3-year-old cousin who opens her eyes to Iraq’s current nightmare.

An unwinnable war

Donald Rumsfeld has broken a taboo: the United States military cannot win in Iraq.

Between Iraq and Afghanistan

The two main combat-zones of George W Bush’s “war on terror” are providing an education in guerrilla warfare to a new generation of militants.

Iraq: the wrong war

The global political economy is producing failed states, networked insurgency and extremist politics. Fighting “old wars” in response, as in Iraq, is a guarantee of failure, says Mary Kaldor.

Letter to my Baghdad friends

For this American writer in Amman, Jordan, the nearness of her beloved Baghdad evokes an intense longing to return. But she cannot.

Bush's credibility gulf

The gap between the United States’s words and deeds in Iraq and Afghanistan is sowing bitter seeds that George W Bush’s successors will harvest.

Lebanon's pre-election hangover

Political party games are dominating the election campaign in Lebanon, but the issues of Hizbollah and Iran cannot be long avoided, says Zaid Al-Ali in Beirut.

The SWISH Report (3)


We would first like to take this opportunity to thank you for coming to us for an independent assessment. You might have chosen one of the many consultancies available in Britain, even though they may have a marked tendency to tell you what you want to hear. We therefore welcome this unusual opportunity to give a candid and independent assessment of policy options and we hope that you will accept a certain degree of blunt speaking as we feel you will find this of particular use, given the experience of the recent election campaign. We assume that the particular experience of the campaign is the main reason you are seeking fully independent advice.

The end of secularism in Iraq

The domination of politics by religion is a relatively recent trend in Iraq – and offers no long-term solution to Iraq’s crisis, says Zaid Al-Ali.

Letters from Hiroshima

As the Review of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty continues in New York, openDemocracy publishes letters from the mayor of Hiroshima. The letters, sent to world leaders each time they authorise the detonation of a nuclear weapon, are part of the city’s vow to remind the world of the horrors of atomic warfare.

Climate change's nuclear fix

The threat posed by global warming is fuelling the arguments of the nuclear-power lobby, but how convincing are its claims?

Hizbollah's warning flight

A dramatic, under-reported incident over northern Israel carries a sobering message for United States strategists in Iraq.
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