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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

¿Qué pasó con la participación ciudadana en Brasil?

Cuando la participación depende de los gobiernos, la sociedad civil no cuenta con las herramientas necesarias para redimir a la democracia de los defectos de las elecciones y la parcialidad de los partidos. Português English

Moving Backwards: What Happened to Citizen Participation in Brazil?

Where participation depends on governments, civil society can’t do much to redeem democracy from the flaws of elections and the bias of parties. Español Português

Bahrain: an oasis of religious freedom in the Middle East?

Why is Sheikh Nasser signing a declaration of “Religious Tolerance” in Los Angeles when the monarchy has counterintuitively sown sectarian divisions at home? 

This is why we fight: Interview with Isabel Flota Ayala

AWID spoke with Isabel Flota Ayala, an indigenous activist from the International Indigenous Women’s Fund (IIWF) about people who fought bravely for her communities. Español

Nothing justifies homicide!. #InstintoDeVida in Latin America

It is urgent that in the 7 most lethal countries of Latin America we adopt plans for the reduction of homicides. The task before us is titanic. However, we know what the problem is and have tools at our disposal. #InstintoDeVida. Español

¡Nada justifica el homicidio! #InstintoDeVida en América Latina

Es urgente que en los 7 países más letales de América Latina, adoptemos planes para la reducción de homicidios. La tarea frente a nosotros es titánica. Sin embargo, conocemos el problema y tenemos herramientas a nuestra disposición. #InstintoDeVida. English

Nationalism, or how to drown out what is important

What if we put First World struggles in context? Español

Europa y América Latina: el estado de la cuestión

La Cumbre de la UE con la Comunidad de Estados de América Latina y el Caribe (CELAC) prevista para octubre 2017 se ha pospuesto sin fecha para su celebración. English

Europe and Latin America: the state of the question

A EU Summit with the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC), due in October 2017, has been postponed with no clear indication of when it will take place. Español

The New Left Agenda of Human Rights in Latin America: Which Rights Matter?

The resurgence of socio-economic claims and a greater emphasis on cultural rights have created a more diffuse and nuanced debate. Few areas of the world exemplify these changes more than Latin America. Español

Long live the struggle!

A statement by the #she_defends campaign on the international day for the elimination of violence against women: the fight for justice continues!

Foolish consistency: Spain’s Kosovo-Catalonia conundrum

By equating Kosovo with Catalonia, Spanish leaders reveal themselves as unable to distinguish between legitimate aspirations for self-rule and destabilizing separatism.

The struggle for survival – what’s next for Syrian journalism?

Media outlets, whether state-sponsored or opposition, often seek to send a specific message to a party through their articles, without complying to any kind of journalistic standards. عربي

Peacemaking in Colombia: lessons from the negotiators

One year ago, on November 24th 2016, after more than 4 years of intense negotiations, a Final Peace Agreement between the Colombian government and the FARC guerrilla was signed. DemocraciaAbierta talked to experts and advisers who were at the negotiation table in Havana. See the whole project here.

Ten reflections inspired by the Rohingya crisis

The educated, middleclass layman, who is interested in the world and has a sense of social justice, but doesn’t quite know what to do with it. This is about me...

Populismo por todas partes

Múltiples formas de populismo amenazan nuestro futuro común. El rol de los intelectuales progresistas es contribuir a aclarar lo que está en juego y proponer nuevos caminos a seguir. English

Syrian cultural policies in Turkey: Islamists and secularists beyond the wall – Part II

Changing mocking views of Syrian culture demands endless efforts. عربي

Populism has no side

Multiple forms of populisms may threaten our common future. Our role as progressive intellectuals is to contribute to clarify what is at stake and propose a new way forward. Español

‘We need to talk’ about Sisi’s twisted take on human rights

No one is keeping the Egyptian government from “fighting terrorism.” But Sisi’s rhetoric on the “right to combat” terrorism underlies his belief of an “Egyptian exceptionalism.” 

Ellecer “Budit” Carlos: We are going through a revival of the Marcos dictatorship

What appeared to have been a people's revolution was in fact a revolution of the bourgeois, hijacked by élites. Another elite simply took the place of Marcos and his cronies.

German-Turkish tensions in a collapsing Jamaica coalition

While the Turkish narrative in the close-alliance-cum-uneasy-stand-off between Germany and Turkey remained constant over the past decade, momentous changes have now occurred to the German political system.

“Is Populism a Problem”? – a story for the World Forum for Democracy 2017

If you’ve ever shared a room with an elephant… you know what matters isn’t the presence of an unpredictable beast – what matters is the fragility of that room.

The lobbies of glyphosate: a danger to the health of Europeans and of their democracy

The court summons these citizens received for a few splashes of paint on the facade of this powerful lobby’s headquarters illustrates the increasing criminalization of protest in Belgium. Francais, Español.

Recognising and resisting militarisation; Demilitarise King’s at DSEi

It’s time we reflect on the militarisation of our education, of our society as a whole, to confront our complicity and our responsibilities, stand up, and put an end to the business of war.

Bodies at the gates

Bodies are not just simply tools or targets in practices of state violence but also crucial in the resistance of the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms trade fair.

Challenging elections in Chile

Some of today's established reforms in Chile will go down in History as significant changes, yet Michele Bachelet ends up her second term in office with a mere 25% approval rating. Español

Poniendo al Pacífico en el mapa

Este año,la Semana Internacional de la Sociedad Civil de CIVICUS tendrá lugar en Fiyi y permitirá a los delegados de la sociedad civil de todo el mundo explorar el frente de batalla en la lucha global contra el cambio climático. English

Putting the Pacific on the Map

The 23rd Council of Parties (COP23) has beeen held this week in Bonn, Germany at the headquarters of the UN Climate Commission. But next month ,CIVICUS will gather world's civic society in Fiji, allowing delegates from around the world to explore the frontlines in the global fight against climate change. Español

Moment of truth for refugees and asylum seekers on Manus Island

Australia can end this human rights tragedy. Wherever they end up eventually, the Australian government needs to immediately bring these men to safety.

Fox/Sky: more twists and turns

The 21st Century Fox bid to buy the 61% of Sky it doesn’t own has provoked a formidable level of opposition. Will that count when push comes to shove?

"Diversity, Ofcom and the BBC: the £1 billion gap"

Next year, will the BBC Chair Sir David Clementi get a grip on diversity and close the BBC's £1 billion diversity gap?

The tragedy of the Venezuelan opposition

The opposition camp in Venezuela is more divided than ever. Yesterday’s reasons for unity have now become reasons for breaking it up. And Chavismo is winning some breathing space. Español

Poland on fire: voices from the provinces

There is a growing atmosphere of hatred in which anyone who opposes the current government is labeled the ‘worst sort’, or even ‘Soviet murderers’.

Is Lexit a centrist fantasy?

Lexit exists more in the mind of its opponents than in any on-the-ground reality. Why do commentators in the FT and Economist talk it up?

How communication technology became a tool of repression: the case of the UAE

With the help of international ‘cyber security dealers’, the internet has been transformed into a central component of authoritarian control.

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