This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

"Foreigner in my own nation": the politics of Italian hip-hop

As a new generation struggles to overcome the cultural legacy of Berlusconismo, rap remains one of the most important forms of Italian protest. 

Explaining the jihadi threat in Tunisia

We must say that this scenario is both similar to and different from those in other countries of the region where authoritarian regimes fell in 2011.

Defending the global knowledge commons

Members are encouraged to use creative commons licensing and to join others in a pledge to be open by agreeing to review for and publish in mainly if not solely open access journals.

Travelling theory

Around social thinkers from the South, who have not made it into the conventional sociological tradition, Connell proposes to build an alternative social science.           

Women and the Arab Spring: a dream turned nightmare

Change must start from within each individual. As quoted in the Quran, “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”  

'Pinkoes and Traitors': a tunnel vision of broadcasting history

Jean Seaton’s latest history of the BBC is mired by typos, inconsistencies and factual errors. Far from incidental, this is symptomatic of a broader carelessness that ultimately undermines her analysis. 

Still a chance for another Europe?

On the output side of Europe’s political system, we have an abdication of responsibility by representative institutions in the face of citizens’ demands. But the Greek elections mark a turning point.  

Egypt: scattered thoughts on a counter-revolutionary moment

The euphoric, Bakhtinian, carnivalesque and dramaturgical moment of January 2011, which caught the attention of numerous observers and which lasted for almost four years, seems to have withered away. 

Global terrorism as anti-movement

In an anti-movement can be found, in perverted fashion, those demands which a movement could have pursued – the call for justice, equality, dignity, respect and ultimately a brighter future.

openMovements: social movements, global outlooks and public sociologists

Social scientists have a very specific contribution to deliver in a democratic public space, as openDemocracy’s articles daily testify. The articles by leading global sociologists published this week in openMovements are, we believe, exemplary.

The Rojava revolution

People fighting for survival experiment with their own path to democracy in the Middle East. Not just another effort to carve out an ethnic niche, but to establish a multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy.

No more popular protests? Reflections on Turkey’s Domestic Security Bill

Accuse the government of illegal use of force by the police, and what you get in return is the government inventing ways to make it legal, by treating popular protests as potential acts of terrorism.

Europe adjusting the noose around its neck

Steadfast, chins high, and completely oblivious to the momentous changes happening around it, the ossified political mainstream of Europe is marching towards the abyss.

Struggling against fascism: an open letter

Considering the horrors wrought by the Islamic State, a professor writes to his former students at the University of Duhok to remind them that the starting point of the struggle for emancipation is within ourselves. 

India’s Daughter: platforming rapists and ignoring activists

Udwin’s intervention has been true to her self-assigned role as an ‘amplifier’, but the only voice given an international platform here other than her own is that of the rapist.

Stark symbolism in the Israeli election campaign

All over Israel, we met Palestinians and other Arabs anxious to find meaningful ways of engaging with political questions broader than their own self-interest.

How music can shift the conversation on climate change

Artists from Egypt to Rwanda are working together to protect the Nile River Basin.

The law of the forest and the freedom of the streets

The forest idea is not based on centre-periphery economies and spatial hierarchies, but on equitable networks of livelihood and exchange. It embodies many historic associations with freedom and social justice.

The problem of representation in ‘India’s Daughter’

Jyoti Singh, the real name of the woman in question, has not been allowed to be what she was, but made into what she had no say over.

The BBC's imaginary crossroads

Tony Hall’s speech on March 2 was full of invented threats. This was a denial of the imminent need for change: the BBC needs rivals and the UK needs more voices. 

9/11 wars: a reckoning

Snared by geopolitical interests, post-9/11 interventions have too easily been captured by leading states. A robust law enforcement process must serve enforcers of law, not agents of geopolitical interests.

'India’s Daughter': the rapists’ callowness not the most distressing aspect of banned BBC documentary

The Indian Home Ministry’s attempt to block the screening could be seen as one example of a broader clampdown on whatever is deemed  ‘anti-national’. But what does that say about the mainstream culture?

Khon Kean in my mind: development is people

Development takes time. A lot of time. Meanwhile, people need to be free and we need to be kind. 

Homo liber, homo idioticus

What can a document sorting out ruling class differences 800 years ago be used for? David Carpenter’s Magna Carta with a New Commentary is a book about documents, which is both its glory and its downfall.

To address the global food crisis, we have to address the power of big agribusiness

There is plenty of evidence that the livelihoods of farmers and communities can be improved, and that agroecology can deliver a huge range of other benefits.

Economic egoism and liberal dogma

By reducing European solidarity to a question of rules, Germany has become a problem for the European Union.

Grief and rage in India: making violence against women history?

There was uproar in India at the brutal gang rape of a 23 year old student on her way home from the cinema. Can we harness the international attention to this case to demand that the world's leaders commit themselves to a policy of zero tolerance of violence against women ?

How European Union switchboard "demoicracy" works

The complexity of the changing nation-state under the duress of globalization is currently snagged on a simplistic drive to fast-forward the past, driven by the desire to stay local.

El Poder Judicial en Argentina: una familia muy grande

En Latinoamérica, cada vez que generales y comandantes realizaban un golpe de estado, destituían primero al Poder Ejecutivo y después cerraban el Legislativo. Pero casí nunca tocaban al Poder Judicial. Publicado previamente en openDemocracy. English.

The judiciary In Argentina is a very large family

Following a Latin American coup, the first act of the generals and commanders responsible was to remove the executive; the second was to shut down the legislative. Rarely, if ever, did they touch the judiciary. Español.

The BBC, the licence fee and the digital public space

The Controller of the BBC’s archive strategy maintains the institution’s fundamental role within the media ecology and argues that the Licence Fee should safeguard a new democratic digital public space.

What is Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) on about?

The opportunities and temptations of a newcomer among Germany’s political parties.

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

Daesh'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

The 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.

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