This week's editor

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

New security laws could make Turkey into a police state

The latest crackdown on journalists in Turkey is another twist in the spiral into authoritarianism of a state bereft of an effective political oppositionwith 'Putinisation' an increasingly realistic description.

Zionist attitudes towards the Arabs: 1902 until today

This is an attempt to survey Zionist attitudes towards the Middle Eastern population, in the midst of which a state for the Jewish people was established.

Dogs, water and coffins: an untold story of British torture in Iraq

The UK has engaged in abuse and torture during the ‘War on Terror’ whilst, simultaneously, maintaining that its actions are driven by the ideals of democracy and human rights.

Redefining the poor as “terrorists”

Most so-called “terrorist” activity is a by-product of neoliberalism’s on-going crisis and its marginalisation of a growing proportion of the world’s population. 

Trust can fix our future: lessons from the simplicity of island life

After spending twelve days on an island in Palau without the ample resources of modern life in developed cities, Andrew Broadbent ponders the crucial role trust will play in restoring our communities.

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.

Detention knows no borders

The first ever parliamentary inquiry into immigration detention in the UK listened to the voices of 'experts-by-experience' and those still trapped in detention. How will the report in February 2015 reflect the shocking testimony that was heard ?

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.

"Unas pocas cosas" (a few minor incidents)

Yet more political corruption throughout Spain; calls for the Prime Minister’s resignation; a new left-wing party challenging bipartisan politics. Is the Spanish electorate ready to change the rules of the game?

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.

The political emotions of Martha Nussbaum

Why does love matter for democracy? A conversation with one of the world’s leading philosophers. 

Resistance in Occupied Western Sahara: women defining a society

Although men and women both actively participate in resistance projects, Sahrawi women facilitate most of the communication between non-violent activists from one city to another in this under-reported struggle.

Tamed by Beijing

The death knell for Hong Kong’s Umbrella Revolution was sounded even as the movement entered December. The final days saw Beijing play its hand well, through the careful application of minimal force and strategic patience.

Who cheered Mubarak’s acquittal on?

Mina Fayek

Less than four years have passed since the people of Egypt revolted against a tyrannical regime. Those tyrants have had all charges against them dropped, to many people's dismay.

After the torture report—rebalancing the scales of justice

In the voluminous responses to the long-awaited US Senate committee report on torture by the CIA, the essence of what must follow—prosecutions, not pardons—has been buried.

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.

An inversion of democracy: the case of Alabama and Israel

Democracy does not end at the ballot box. All humans are equally deserving of respect. The legislators of Alabama and Israel have undermined the trust placed in them by the public and so we must question their commitment to their duty to serve.

Human rights essential for holding states to account

Time and time again, regardless of political persuasion, when people are asked if they support, say, the prohibition against torture or the right to life, the answer is a resounding yes.

Extremism and 'Prevent': the need to trust in education

‘Prevent’ is the part of the UK government’s counter-terrorism strategy designed to respond to the ideological challenges of terrorism and extremism. Are its priorities self-defeating? There are promising alternatives.

Egypt: a reality too dark in which to glimpse hope?

The last known message from the Egyptian activist Zainab Mahdy reads, " It's like we're digging in water...There is no justice…I am aware of that…there is no victory coming…we are just lying to ourselves so that we can live."

Who wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights ?

Many of the assumptions about who wrote the Universal Declaration of Human Rights are wrong. The less known story of the men and women who wrote this foundational, emancipatory and anti-colonial document must be told in today's world.

Tracing the impact of the Ferguson uprising in Turkey

It seems that the time has come for Erdogan to return the favour and make a similar phone call to Obama. He has an excuse to do so now, which can only spell more heartache.

Israel in the Arab consciousness: friend or foe?

Maged Mandour

The events of the Arab Revolt have dramatically shifted the position of Israel in the region. Arab regimes have moved from rejecting the existence of Israel to accommodation, to implicit cooperation, in some cases, open cooperation.

British democracy and women's right to live free from violence

As the general election approaches in May 2015, women's organisations in the UK have issued the Women's Safety Manifesto. Politicians ignore it at their peril when it comes to the vote.

Call for the release of Ahmed Maher

The Egyptian activist and leader of the April 6 Youth Movement languishes in jail with countless others, as western governments resume business as usual with an increasingly oppressive Egyptian state.

Russians resisting war and repression

There are segments of the Russian population that, even in a politically inclement environment, bravely voice their open opposition to Russia’s military involvement in Ukraine.

Gay in Gambia: not a joke

Gambia rushed through its new criminal code in relative secrecy. With political opposition and activist groups thwarted, the international community has a responsibility to speak out. 

Invisible governments

Why has the response to Ebola been so weak in Sierra Leone and Liberia? The relationship between elite wealth and foreign aid means that the powers that be in Monrovia and Freetown are in no hurry to end the global media obsession with the Ebola crisis.

Positive discrimination a la Erdoğan and its political background

Erdogan’s controversial comments calling gender equality into question come at a time when women’s issues have become connected to the very idea of the Turkish state and civilisational values.

Letter from a petro-state

In the wake of the US Senate narrowly failing to pass the Keystone XL pipeline bill, we must return to the central question: is Canada becoming a petro-state?

Do we all live in Bhopal now?

A Greenpeace study finds 473 US chemical facilities each endangering 100,000 or more people with a Bhopal magnitude disaster on its 30th anniversary.

Turkey: seeing Kurdish politics through a narrow prism

With its stance on Kobane, Ankara is in danger of undoing advances in the Kurdish peace process. It must act boldly now to set things back on course.

The decline of political Islam in Tunisia

A host of factors and failures have combined to outweigh Ennahda's successes in the transitional period, seeing its popularity shrink since its electoral victory in 2011

British perfidy in Greece: a story worth remembering

It was the day, seventy years ago this Tuesday, when the British Army at war with Germany switched their allegiance, opening fire upon – and arming Greek collaborators with the Nazis to fire upon – a civilian crowd in Syntagma Square.

The Cold War was a success compared to this

As long as the radical left held to the democratic rule of law, they were given the space to articulate their views. They didn’t flee to communist walhallas, but remained in the sights of the intelligence services.

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