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

openMovements: social movements, global outlooks and public sociologists

Social scientists have a very specific contribution to deliver in a democratic public space, as openDemocracy’s articles daily testify. The articles by leading global sociologists published this week in openMovements are, we believe, exemplary.

Israeli elections: no expectations from the Palestinian side

For the Palestinians, who wins the election makes no difference. In the West Bank and Gaza the mood moves between indifference and the sense that all the parties are hostile towards them in one way or another.

The Rojava revolution

People fighting for survival experiment with their own path to democracy in the Middle East. Not just another effort to carve out an ethnic niche, but to establish a multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy.

No more popular protests? Reflections on Turkey’s Domestic Security Bill

Accuse the government of illegal use of force by the police, and what you get in return is the government inventing ways to make it legal, by treating popular protests as potential acts of terrorism.

Europe adjusting the noose around its neck

Steadfast, chins high, and completely oblivious to the momentous changes happening around it, the ossified political mainstream of Europe is marching towards the abyss.

Struggling against fascism: an open letter

Considering the horrors wrought by the Islamic State, a professor writes to his former students at the University of Duhok to remind them that the starting point of the struggle for emancipation is within ourselves. 

India’s Daughter: platforming rapists and ignoring activists

Udwin’s intervention has been true to her self-assigned role as an ‘amplifier’, but the only voice given an international platform here other than her own is that of the rapist.

Podemos and gender: nods and winks

Are the politics of Podemos as revolutionary as they claim, or are they just the same set of rules in a new format for yet another club for the boys?

Awake to the challenge: African women's leadership at Beijing+20

If you randomly pick a person on the street in a remote part of any African country and ask them what they know about women’s rights, whatever the tone of voice - angry or excited, they are likely to mention “Beijing”.

Guantánamo - time to end the lease

Those who protest that only regime change and full recognition of human rights in Cuba should precede any deal have surely had their arguments demolished. 

The impact of the coalition on Ennahda and Nidaa Tounes

The multi-party government in Tunisia has shown the parties' willingness and ability to compromise, but has also revealed divisions that present both risk and opportunity.

Stark symbolism in the Israeli election campaign

All over Israel, we met Palestinians and other Arabs anxious to find meaningful ways of engaging with political questions broader than their own self-interest.

CSW: the vital need to defend women human rights defenders

We deserve that you put aside your ideological, political and religious differences and fully recognize and affirm the human rights of women and girls and gender justice. Nothing less. Lydia Alpizar speaking at the UN CSW

What about an international education?

The 2012 US federal law denying visas to Iranian students comes into conflict with the educational mission of the US State Department. 

In the shadow of an empire

Maged Mandour

The reasons for the involvement of the west in the MENA region are not limited to oil and security. These are the arguments used by both local autocrats and western powers to maintain control. The real threat however is a global revolutionary movement.

Gaza fishing industry held hostage at sea

Since the ceasefire agreement last August, fisherman in Gaza are facing increasing restrictions that are threatening their livelihoods. 

Movements, money and social change: how to advance women’s rights

At the UN CSW underway in New York, a statement signed by almost 1000 women’s rights organizations calls out the lack of ambition for the scale of the issues at stake, and for real resources and accountability.

The law of the forest and the freedom of the streets

The forest idea is not based on centre-periphery economies and spatial hierarchies, but on equitable networks of livelihood and exchange. It embodies many historic associations with freedom and social justice.

The problem of representation in ‘India’s Daughter’

Jyoti Singh, the real name of the woman in question, has not been allowed to be what she was, but made into what she had no say over.

The BBC's imaginary crossroads

Tony Hall’s speech on March 2 was full of invented threats. This was a denial of the imminent need for change: the BBC needs rivals and the UK needs more voices. 

9/11 wars: a reckoning

Snared by geopolitical interests, post-9/11 interventions have too easily been captured by leading states. A robust law enforcement process must serve enforcers of law, not agents of geopolitical interests.

Homo liber, homo idioticus

What can a document sorting out ruling class differences 800 years ago be used for? David Carpenter’s Magna Carta with a New Commentary is a book about documents, which is both its glory and its downfall.

Misdirection at the Chilcot Inquiry

The Inquiry shows us that when asked a difficult question there is nearly always a way to deflect responsibility.

A Great German Greek Grexit Game?

Curzon Price is clearly right that the “game” is not “chicken.” It is not zero-sum. But the real question is, is it a game?

To address the global food crisis, we have to address the power of big agribusiness

There is plenty of evidence that the livelihoods of farmers and communities can be improved, and that agroecology can deliver a huge range of other benefits.

High-stakes European poker: a reply to Curzon Price

Frances Coppola responds to ‘The Varoufakis game is not chicken’, authored by Tony Curzon Price. Greek exit now would be disastrous for both Greece and the Eurozone. 

Egypt’s political prisoners

Egypt’s president has a simple solution for activists who protest against his draconian laws criminalising public assembly. Jail them.

Economic egoism and liberal dogma

By reducing European solidarity to a question of rules, Germany has become a problem for the European Union.

Antisemitism: the Middle East connection

The basis of Palestinian opposition to Israel’s actions has little to do with it being a Jewish state. Had it been a Hindu or a Buddhist state, the Palestinians would have been no less embittered. This article was a submission to the UK Parliamentary report into antisemitism emanating from the Middle East conflict, made in November 2014.

A question of sovereignty, justice and dignity: the people vs. the government on fracking in Algeria

The call for national mobilisation to oppose shale-gas exploitation in Algeria has been a success. But despite uninterrupted, growing protests and recent clashes, the Algerian government is pressing ahead with its shale-gas development plans.

Stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people

I ask you to stand in solidarity with the just struggle of the Greek people, which is also the struggle of every citizen. Our people have been asked to go hungry to bail out debts created by a wealthy minority, not just in the country but internationally.

How European Union switchboard "demoicracy" works

The complexity of the changing nation-state under the duress of globalization is currently snagged on a simplistic drive to fast-forward the past, driven by the desire to stay local.

Cuba + internet = democracia (?)

Muchos piensan que internet es la clave para establecer una democracia liberal capitalista en Cuba. Pero ésta es una visión simplista y determinista. English.

Cuba + internet = democracy (?)

Many people think the internet holds the key to establishing a liberal capitalist democracy in Cuba. But this view is simplistic and deterministic. Español

The judiciary In Argentina is a very large family

Following a Latin American coup, the first act of the generals and commanders responsible was to remove the executive; the second was to shut down the legislative. Rarely, if ever, did they touch the judiciary. Español.

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