This week's editor

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Why we occupy: Dutch universities at the crossroads

The Netherlands, a mere 10 years behind the UK, seems eager to catch up. Twin pressures of authoritarianism from above and neoliberalism from below make it necessary to develop the democratic alternative put forward by the movement for a new university.

Bliss Was It in that Dawn to Be Next Door

7716Daesh's depravity may be as much imitative as original; and the writer considers how the battle over freedom of speech is part of a bigger game, driving a wedge between France and its Muslims.

Bliss Was It in that Dawn to Be Next Door

7698The motives of many young would-be jihadists are childlike—the appeal of becoming ‘super-heroes’ to fill an existential void. The author meets a comic book writer aiming to lead them in a different direction.

Liberalism without democracy: the case of Egypt

Maged Mandour

The weakness of the urban middle class and their sense of isolation has become a bastion for the support for autocracy. Fear of a social revolution has been the main driver in the alliance between the military and the urban middle class.

Will the real Modi stand up?

Lord Shiva is one God who assimilates in his person all contradictions. Modi did the same!

Language and democracy

In our daily lives, we have learned to filter vast amounts of advertising – including the politician's message.

Reflections on responses to the Falk-Davutoglu interview

Turkey’s democratic future is dependent on a government and political opposition that foster national unity and a pluralist political culture and values of power sharing.

Repression and resistance in Istanbul: Tarlabaşı and Me

"Tarlabaşı is a place to hide."  Soon, there won't be any place to hide… 

14 reasons for celebrating 200 years of Pride and Prejudice (1813)

Here are fourteen reasons for the celebration of this work of genius, beginning with seven celebrating what Pride and Prejudice might be said to have gained from its own historical moment, before moving to the 'feel good factor' of our times. A Valentine's card, originally published on February 14, 2014.

Syriza and the rise of a radical left in Europe: solidarity is the keyword

The key protagonist in channelling bottom-up solidarity proved to be – not for the first time in Greece’s history - the institution of the extended family.

Sharia law, apostasy and secularism

Opposing religious fundamentalism is a dangerous political activity. It is not a distraction from ‘real’ politics - the demands of social justice and civil liberties - but a pre-condition for achieving them.

Islam and the "culture of offence": missing the point

In the age of ISIS, dissent and criticism of religion is a life and death necessity. It has been - and remains - key for human progress.

Assessing Europe’s response to the Paris attacks

Since rising intolerance in Europe is not confined to anti-Semitism, Europe’s response also needs to be broader.

Interethnic communication in ‘Borderlands’

The Macedonian government shows little interest in fostering interethnic communication. It relies on nationalistic rhetoric and interethnic tensions.

What freedom of speech? Of foxes, chickens, and #JeSuisCharlie

Most Europeans, at both elite and mass level, have a grossly inflated idea of the extent of freedom of speech in Europe, a direct consequence of the uncritical and self-congratulatory discourse on the topic.

Not so strange ideological bedfellows: Syriza and the Independent Greeks

As the European Commission sets the limits of economic policy all over Europe, it becomes increasingly difficult to think of economic issues independent of the question of EU integration.

Roast or toast? Mapping changes in violent men

Recognising that we have reached a stalemate in dealing with violent men, and an impasse in policy and research on perpetrator programmes, there is fresh interest in whether men can be engaged in a process of change.

Saudi Arabia’s new king fuelling the feud among younger royals

Saudi Arabia must cover its tracks by not only forcefully denouncing ISIS and JN but actively introducing stiffer measures demonstrating that it is genuinely combating terrorism. How does this play out in terms of royal power?

On Arab-Arab racism

Maged Mandour

In the Arab World, elites are acutely aware of their condition of inferiority in the eyes of the west, and at the same time feel a sense of contempt for themselves, their culture and their own countrymen.

“Primero, tomaremos Atenas; luego, tomaremos Madrid”

El objetivo principal de Podemos es aglutinar una amplia mayoría, lo que en la práctica significa poner en pie un partido de clases medias que deje atrás el eje Derecha/Izquierda y ocupe la centralidad política. English.

The balkanisation of Greece’s centre-left politics

Greece’s Pasok centre-left, one of the most prominent parties in post-1980 Europe is now a pale shadow of itself and a marginal presence in the continent’s social democracy. 

Embargos y delirios

Las sanciones resultan contraproducentes porque proveen al régimen de una coartada para evadir sus responsabilidades y, al empobrecer al cubano medio, lo hacen aún más dependiente del Estado. English

US-Cuba rapprochement: welcome to the Caribbean thaw

The Castro regime, they have reasoned, will not be defeated by the CIA but with SEARS, the famous retail chain. Español

Embargoes and delusions

Sanctions backfired because they provided the regime with an excuse to shun its responsibilities, and impoverishing the average Cuban made him altogether more state dependent. Español

A Cuban end to the Cold War

No Latin American government, be it liberal or conservative, defends the embargo and sanctions against the regime of the Castro brothers. Español

“First we take Athens, then we take Madrid”

The primary goal of Podemos is to marshal an ample majority, which means in practice to build a middle-class party, and to give up the traditional Left/Right axis for a position of centrality. Español.

The art of #BlackLivesMatter

A myriad of creative responses to police violence show that art is at the forefront of instigating social change.

A mellower Naipaul disappoints fans

All was forgotten. All was forgiven at this year's Jaipur Literary Festival. The short fuse replaced by a wire thick enough not to burn.

Caste no bar

Dalit literature has emerged as a powerful force against the exploitation of lower castes in India. But the revolutionary transformation that it seeks to enact can only occur through a plurality of voices, engaged in meaningful dialogue.

Building consensus in post-revolutionary Tunisia

Tawafuq’ as an idea refers to decision-making not through formal processes relying on potentially divisive majorities but rather informal processes.

A new economy for a regenerative society

Most of the products of our growth-addicted economy are useless, obsolete and unnecessary junk that do not contribute to our human purpose; on the contrary they impoverish, deplete and contaminate our eco-livelihood.

A lit-fest expresses India’s genes

The five-day festival passed off “peacefully”, without the violent assertion of the right to be offended.

A world apart – why political and businesses elites need to remember working women

Recent experience suggests that women - and men - are reaching the end of their tether. It’s now high time to address the structural causes behind inequality in women’s work.

From Athens to Kobane, winds fill Kurdish sails

Could Greece, through democratic elections, become for Turkey what Tunisia became for Egypt in 2011 through mass protests?

The Collectivist, debt colonialism and the real Alexis Tsipras

As the new government’s statement on Mariupol reveals, Greece will leverage its position along a geopolitical fault-line to maximise its bargaining power. 

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