This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Unpacking the war on terror: letter to a young army ranger from an old one

You will be part of the most technologically advanced military on Earth and you will be greeted by the poorest of the poor. Are there fewer terrorists around? Does all this really make a lot of sense?

Spectral vessels

Powerful institutional agendas have acted to bolster the ‘ghost ship’ obsession. Such symbolism renders the specificities of Mediterranean migration opaque.

Charlie Hebdo – one week later

It has been exhausting having to confront the visceral divisions among us about the nature of what happened, the roles of religion, geopolitics, and racism. And the possibility that the west, thinking it ‘is Charlie’, has been spitting on their graves.

The climate challenge in the south Mediterranean

Climate change is a long-term issue with low short-term risks for southern Mediterranean political systems. The fear of uncontrollable societal upheavals has pushed environmental matters to the bottom of the agenda.

‘Prevent’ in education within Hampshire

Prevent, a counter-terrorism programme, is a success in Portsmouth, where delivery took the significance of identity for young people into account. It can’t deal with events which can’t be prevented.

Black deaths: still fighting for justice in the UK

Ken Fero's award-winning films about black deaths at the hands of the police in Britain record the continuing struggle to get justice. They have never been broadcast in the UK.

Charlie Hebdo: justice for all

I am for leaving believers in peace. Believers are individuals like any other, neither superior, nor inferior to atheists or agnostics. 

Charlie Hebdo and the blasphemy of censorship

The massacre in Paris spreads fear and reinforces the retreat from free expression in Europe. It also sharpens an unavoidable choice over legal and political order.

Where is the outrage?

Europe’s hypocrisy and latent racism was also displayed after the Paris attacks.

Steering a perilous course

Irregular migration across the Mediterranean has increasingly shifted from being a cause for shared humanitarian concern to mere ammunition in domestic anti-immigration debates. We must reject all forms of identity-based prejudice.

The Egyptian lesson: how to strengthen student opposition

In a country choked with ironies, the Egyptian regime might just be building up the new student opposition that it is trying to eliminate.

Arab dictators: between tactical brilliance and strategic stupidity

Maged Mandour

The Arab World is becoming increasingly unstable and the current elites are using severe coercion to remain in power. However, the use of coercion will lead to instability, as the opposition becomes more radicalized and prone to violence.

Some observations on the forthcoming Israeli elections

The first polls taken after the election process was set in motion showed that Netanyahu was not seen as popular. So why did Netanyahu call for elections now?

#QuiSommesNous? A Socratic dialogue on “L’Affaire Charlie Hebdo”

Freedoms are not unlimited but who, when and how can we limit them? Two colleagues agree to disagreeContent warning: graphic and potentially offensive imagery, including torture.

I am not Charlie

The Danish cartoons were assembled to humiliate a vulnerable minority. In subsequent debates, the idea of freedom of speech has been subverted to undermine the right of Muslims to speak up on their own behalf.

The Paris demo: I was there

Some say they have understood this call: only the future will tell. But the future is now. 

“Greece will neither want to leave the euro nor threaten to do so”

When the leader of a political party about to win government offers you the opportunity to implement policies you have been advocating for years, it is pure cowardice to shirk the task. Interview with the soon-to-be new Syriza Finance Minister. 

It´s high time to rethink how we measure global drug policy

What are urgently needed are new goals, targets and indicators for real reductions in supply and demand, instead of investing in military hardware, police equipment and intelligence support.

Democracy and terrorism: when definitions stifle free speech

Concepts like democracy, the constitution, and freedom of speech are slogans that are only meaningful in so far as they protect public faith in the American system.

Women defenders of human rights: the good, the great and the gutsy

Harriet Wistrich is a beacon in the darkness that threatens to engulf the British legal system today with massive cuts in legal aid, and the prevailing culture of disbelief of asylum seekers and women escaping violence.

Of weddings and borders

The Italian film On the Bride Side and Greek-Macedonian project Renkonto deploy weddings as an artistic medium to rewrite the boundaries of European citizenship. Both pieces chart cross-border practices...

Charlie Hebdo: the Prophet does not want to be avenged

Those who hold Muslims accountable for these acts, or demand that they apologize for them, are delusional. Beyond Europe, Al-Qaeda has declared open war against most Arab and Muslim-majority countries, especially those allied to the west. 

Charlie Hebdo, refuse the logic of war

European governments and civil society can respond to terrorism by affirming and building democratic institutions and thereby refusing the logic of war. Initially, this seemed to be the French civic reaction.

Peacebuilding begins at home: addressing rising tensions and insecurity in Europe

A prescient article received before the tragic events in France this week, suggests three pressing reasons for the European Union to re-establish its role as a peacebuilding instrument in the minds of the general public.

Bernard Maris, the fury of capitalism and the fury of terrorism

Have we been reduced to the 'clash of civilizations' where, in the name of security, a state of emergency forces all to close ranks in a staged, imaginary conflict where all possibility of dissent is erased? In memoriam.

"Support the right to make fun of extremists": an interview with Caroline Fourest

We are facing a political threat, a totalitarian Islamist threat that manifests in terrorism. Journalists are defending something which is elementary to our democracy: our freedom to breathe and to laugh.

Securing peace instead of rewarding expansion

An appeal, by over 100 German-speaking experts on Eastern Europe, for a reality-based and not illusions-guided Russia policy.

Charlie Hebdo: Free speech, but not as an absolute value

Debates over what limits to free speech are acceptable are entirely valid – whether or not we approve of Charlie Hebdo images, or their mass republication on numerous websites this week. 

No, we’re not all Charlie Hebdo, nor should we be

I respect your right to show solidarity with the victims of this horrible crime by reposting those drawings, but only if you respect my right not to do so because I happen to find them bigoted and incendiary.

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.

Syriza won't save you

Will Syriza really dismantle the status quo in Greece?

Shrinking economies, growing expulsions. We need Greece's Syriza. (Part One)

What takes extreme forms in some countries, including Greece, is actually taking place in milder ways in many developed countries considered to have recovered from the crisis--from the US to the Netherlands. See part two here.

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.

Against the European Parliament

Piketty and Habermas argue that the EU and the eurozone can be democratized by strengthening electoral-representative institutions. Such powers would only make popular control over EU political decisions even weaker than it already is.

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.

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