This week's editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

When words have meaning and history goes both ways

The massive police hunt for French Islamic terrorists responsible for the attack on French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo on Wednesday, January 7, has come to a bloody end this Friday afternoon.

Freedom of expression: a sacred right

There is a disconnect between the teachings of the Qur’an and much of the Muslim population’s understanding of the Qur’an. How do we address and resolve this issue?

Charlie Hebdo, a non-clash of civilisations

The Charlie Hebdo attack was an act of violence by deranged individuals. It should not be interpreted as a replay of the Huntingtonian clash of civilisations, somehow justifying past stigmatisation and future backslash against Muslim populations.

No, we are NOT all Charlie (and that’s a problem)

It is comforting and politically expedient to claim that “we” are attacked because “they” cannot deal with “our” freedoms, particularly freedom of speech.

Welcome to Transformation

Can the world be reconstructed through the fusion of personal and social change? We say yes. Here's to another year of Transformation.

Why Syriza is good news for Greece and Europe

The Cold War is over. Scaremongering campaigns on the part of German and European officials make no sense, as Syriza is not a threat to Europe, but a breakthrough.

Never again, in 2015?

How is it possible that only 29 % of Americans believe that the interrogations carried out by the CIA, denounced as torture by the recent Senate Report, are wrong? To what do we owe such moral bankruptcy?

This is what the Arab spring looks like

Tunisian voters seem to declare that they hold no indiscriminate prejudice. They simply have a problem with incompetence, corruption, cronyism, and abuse of human dignity.

Podemos: a cat among the pigeons in Catalonia

Podemos supports the principle of Catalan self-determination, but hopes that Catalans would vote to stay in Spain, for a ‘right to decide’ about ‘everything’. This is radical.

Tunisia’s landmark victory in the struggle against violence against women

Feminist scholars argue that the Qur’an has been misinterpreted and Islamic jurisprudence distorted by patriarchy. They regard the real enemy as patriarchy, not Islam.

After the Doha Summit: is GCC reconciliation real?

The 35th Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) Summit in Doha, Qatar appears as a rare and positive momentum in the history of the GCC. However, Qatar's position remains convoluted and reconciliation remains improbable.

Open for business?

The timing of HSBC’s decision to shut down the bank account could not have come at a worse moment for the Ummah Welfare Trust, one of Britain’s largest Muslim charities.

Performing popular justice: from the disappeared to the outraged

What differentiates the escrache from merely a dangerous form of un-regulated retribution? Crucial to this question is the concept of containment.

Resisting the state from the inside and out: the Colombian Peace Community Model

The use of international norms coupled with the solidarity of international support has been a successful formula that has meant relative peace for the community for nearly 10 years.

We promise you an operetta

The development of Egypt's military-brand nationalism over the past year can be traced in a series of formulaic, epic 'operettas'.

The evolution of Palestinian resistance: a need to reassess

Ending the 1967 occupation is insufficient. Rather, Palestinian resistance should seek the decolonization of all of historic Palestine.

Existence is resistance

Even with an explicitly discriminatory policy in place, designed to force Palestinians to break the rules or leave the country, nearly all continue to apply for permits, paying the extortionate fees, using the system rather than fighting against it.

CEDAW and the quest of Iranian women for gender equality

A basic right for Iranian women could be guaranteed within an Islamic framework of governance provided those in government were inclined to interpret the faith in the spirit of equality, says Shirin Ebadi.

On the verge of failure or success: the complex relationship of Europe and migration

This International Migrants Day, the warm solidarity shown by local populations is at odds with the attempts of European institutions to criminalise people on arrival. And there are signs of progress.

What does the ‘New Turkey’ stand for?

Through multiple New Turkeys, the country seems not to have settled as yet on its political course. Turkey is always new, forever young, never passing the stage of puberty.

Turkey: tarnished democratic credentials imperil regional stability

Turkey's human rights credentials should be a foreign policy priority for everyone, not just for so-called consolidated democracies interested only in hosting Erdoğan at expensive dinner tables.

Turkey cannot be a global power until it is a stable democracy

On the rise of Turkey, its messy foreign policy, and the AKP's internal 'enemies'–Richard Falk's discussion with the Turkish PM provokes more questions than answers.

Welcome to the parallel universe: Richard Falk’s interview with PM Davutoglu

Through his references to things that are mundane, Erdogan speaks to people’s pockets. And through his references to God and the ancestors, he speaks to people’s hearts.

Turkey has elections, but not democracy

Whatever shortcomings today’s Turkey has, they cannot all be pinned on AKP rule. But democracy and governance are deeply troubled and becoming more so.

Turkish PM in conversation, part 4: The Arab Spring and Turkey’s future

Has the Arab Spring failed to go far enough? What kind of complicating factor is ISIS? Turkey's PM calls for a stategy to ensure democracy survives in the region–and hints at the opportunity Europe has.

Turkish PM in conversation, part 3: How do you create a fairer society?

Can Turkey talk about its concern for social welfare given its rapacious capitalist practises, lack of labour rights and persisting gender inequality? Prime Minister Davutoğlu elaborates on his 9-point programme.

Turkish PM in conversation, Part 2: Old Turkey, New Turkey

Many observers fear Turkey is heading towards majoritarian tyranny. How does Turkey's 'representative democracy' contrast with General Sisi's claims that he represents the 'general will' of Egypt?

Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu in conversation: Part 1

The AKP government has ruled Turkey for 12 years, presiding over dramatic economic growth and increased global prestige. Critics say that internal opposition has been silenced, democratic freedoms trampled and corruption is still rife. 

Violence and civil society on the Kenyan coast

Pessimism about the prospect of peaceful change was not shared by activists from the wide range of civil society organizations operating in Mombasa.

The fog of peace: post-conflict environments as sites of impunity, denial and dispossession

Too often the sterile, objective needs of capital, for a range of reasons, take precedence over the subjective needs of traumatised, conflict-affected peoples.

The poetry in the pity

War remembrance is one of the oldest and most enduring forms of art in the western tradition. Our literary culture begins with the legacy of how to remember and commemorate a war to end all wars.

Geopolitics and international state crime: an accountability black hole

There is a conspiracy of silence around victors’ justice within the United Nations and in global diplomacy, as if it is embarrassing even to call attention to such a fundamental deficiency in the implementation of international criminal law.

State crime, civil society and resistance: lessons from Tunisia

What the state proclaims as legality can in reality be crime on a grand scale. What it defines as crime may instead be resistance to state crime. Only organised civil society can expose these truths.

American torture--past, present, and future?

Make no mistake. Getting even this partial and redacted report into public view is a real victory for everyone who hopes to end state torture. But it’s just the beginning.

Leaderless no more

The rise of new left leaders such as Alexis Tsipras in Greece and Pablo Iglesias in Spain reflects a new desire for leadership and political representation at odds with the neoanarchist culture that has for long dominated the radical left and influenced the movements of 2011.

Syndicate content