This week's editor

James Ron

James Ron hosts this week's openGlobalRights theme: public opinion and human rights.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

A new narrative on human rights, security and prosperity

It’s up to us to ‘reframe the narrative’ of development, to move beyond the historic thrust of capital and war and to say no impunity for the murder of Indigenous women. Jennifer Allsopp reports from WILPF's Centenary Conference in the Hague.

'Tragedy' and responsibility in the Mediterranean

The European Council says that the situation in the Mediterranean is a tragedy. Its statement may display some sympathy, but an acknowledgement of responsibility is nowhere to be seen.

Scotland’s growing influence on UK foreign policy

Kirsty Hughes talks to Scottish National Party and Scottish Green politicians on foreign policy, the EU and the tectonic shift in Scottish politics.

Migrant “cockroaches” and the need to tame tabloid hate

The moment for action is now, in the election run-up, but current regulation of the British press offers no prospect of fast-tracking urgent and serious complaints. 

Mourning the Mediterranean dead and locking up survivors

Although the EU, US and others have demonstrated a willingness to intervene militarily in Libya or Syria, a willingness to take responsibility for the consequences is woefully lacking. 

The Arab World: towards bi-polarity?

Maged Mandour

In Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain, it will be very difficult for revolutionary democratic movements to succeed in such a bi-polar order.

The British syndrome: an abdication of responsibility

There are glaring absences at the heart of the UK elections contest. The new preface to his ‘Essay on Britain, now’ - by one of Britain’s leading political thinkers tells us why. Remarkably, it suggests ways in which to free ourselves from the trap we are in.

Sabeen Mahmud: “I stand up for what I believe in, but I can’t fight guns”

Sabeen Mahmud alleviated intellectual poverty until the day she was murdered, 24 April 2015. In an interview with Karima Bennoune in 2010 Mahmud explained why she founded a politico-cultural space in Karachi.

Mairead Maguire: breaking the silence on Palestine

Palestinian women human rights defenders and peace makers, in resisting the injustices being perpetrated upon their people, deserve our support and we must each do what we can to break the silence.

Always historicize!

The proper way for radicals to conceive of their activism is in terms of the speeding up of current historical trends, not their interruption or reversal.

The Armenian Genocide and the law

The law, in particular the Law of Abandoned Properties, became the Ottoman Empire's most important tool during the Armenian Genocide a century ago. Economic interests blinded people to the plight of their fellows who were made to disappear. 

After Tunis. What next for the World Social Forum?

One of the arguments is that as the crisis has hit the North, it is time for South-based activists to travel to teach their northern comrades how to deal with debt crisis and precarity.

In new gods do we trust?

Do you expect the machine to solve the problems? In this wide-ranging interview with the Director of the Open Rights Group we discuss bulk collection, state bureaucracies, the pre-crime era and trust.

Bradford West: politics comes alive

A fusion of history, politics and personality gives the electoral contest in one British constituency a unique flavour.

Spain’s hologram protests

Millions of Spaniards have engaged in protests over the past four years. As of July 1 they can be subject to disproportionate fines and even jail for exercising their democratic rights to freedom of expression, assembly, protest and information. Interview.

Sudan and Operation Decisive Storm

Major opposition parties in Sudan boycotted the elections that took place earlier this month, but are now supporting the government's decision to join Operation Decisive Storm disregarding the effect this will have on the people of Yemen.

Climate change and security: here’s the analysis, when’s the action?

We have moved beyond the tired old controversy about whether climate change causes armed conflict. The new discussion must look to compound risks: where climate change, arbitrary governance and lawlessness interact.

AFRICOM behaving badly

United States Africa Command likes to think that it is in the business of exporting ‘rule of law’. But it has been riddled with misdeeds, since it began overseeing the US military pivot to Africa.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 3

UK media coverage of EU issues is frequently superficial and plagued by basic errors. The BBC, and others, must work to change this.

The plurality deficit: public service broadcasting and institutional competition

Is institutional competition the answer to the ‘plurality deficit’ in public broadcasting? The evidence suggests no.

'Regret' and 'delay': when will Britain end the exile of the Chagossian people?

If rhetoric about Britain "standing tall" is to mean anything at all, supporting Chagossians long-denied right to return home must be an absolute priority for whatever Government is formed after May 7.

Who benefits from benefit?

The UK "benefit" system is about ensuring that people play the part alloted to them by economic and political elites.

Contradictions and challenges of the Podemos phenomenon

Podemos came from the streets, social media platforms and out of a horizontal ideology not found in the traditional parties.

The renewable revolution

Four reasons why the transition from fossil fuels to a green energy era is gaining traction.

Where is another Europe now?

Europe either hangs together or - as the American revolutionaries liked to point out - the nations of Europe will be hanged separately.

Our Lives: Poverty then and now in the UK

A report launched today, Our Lives: Challenging attitudes to poverty in 2015, captures the humanity of the experience of poverty and calls for change as radical as the social reform in the 1940s.

Tenants in danger: the rise of eviction watches

Collective resistance to the erosion of housing rights is growing. We need to turn this into a national movement.

Cuba ante la apertura diplomática con Estados Unidos

Si se levanta el embargo y Cuba deja de estar incluida en la lista de los estados que patrocinan el terrorismo, según Washington, el penúltimo muro de la Guerra Fría habrá caído. Este artículo fue publicado por primera vez en openDemocracy el 16 de Abril, 2005. English

Cuba on the eve of a diplomatic rapprochement with the US

Diplomatic change will oblige Cuba to introduce internal political change. Otherwise, for the government in Havana, the risks are many.

So much for free speech: Southampton University and the pro-Israel lobby

If our universities can’t stand up to the Israel lobby and uphold free speech, how will the international community ever stand up to the state of Israel and uphold international law?

Good Friday and the wait for a new politics in Northern Ireland

Northern Ireland's peace process may be upheld as an international "model", but it still has a long way to go in shifting identities away from tribalism and towards mutual recognition. 

Why bother about digital rights? An absence in the election campaigns

Digital rights are too often reduced to questions of ‘security’. In their election manifestos none of the major British parties appear to have grasped their wider significance.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 2

Infuriated by the BBC’s lack of coverage of its work, The European Scrutiny committee is at the centre of a discussion about the ‘limits’ of the corporation's independence. 

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 1

The European Scrutiny Committee has locked horns with the BBC, repeatedly accusing it of a pro-EU bias. Is the corporation’s editorial independence under threat? 

Ending the humiliation of women in Northern Ireland

Women demanding democratic participation in Northern Ireland's peace process are using human rights principles to confront the hostility and exclusion they face from those in control of decison-making structures.

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