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This week's editor

Dawn Foster, Co-Editor

Dawn Foster is Co-Editor at 5050 and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Defending political autonomy – or: Habermas on Europe

Habermas likes to regard 'national solidarity' based on 'national identity' as a stage in the development of solidarity. It is just a step towards the mutual beneficence and trust that is based, not on imagined histories, but on actual mutual participation in political deliberation and decision-making.

Can the bottom-up actions of citizens regenerate democracy in Europe?

The digital revolution has strengthened the ability of large organisations to arrange production in ways that weaken collective resistance, and to control and keep watch on our societies. But those who understand the dual role of this revolution also see possibilities for the regeneration of democracy, while acknowledging the great challenges.

The stadium of struggle: when capital masquerades as football

International football has been drastically reworked by global capital over the last three decades into a site of immense inequity. The hypocrisies of the recent World Cup urge us to see how the space of football, led by the forces of capital, is now ripe for insurrection.

Beyond vulture economics

The current situation is not based on bad faith or capriciousness. The reality is simply that an economically shaky country does not have the money in its coffers to pay off the scores of private investors who took advantage of the country in a weak moment.

Gender and poverty in the UK: Inside the household and across the life course

Unravelling the components of couples’ incomes and investigating individual trajectories over the life course are essential to produce a more rounded and complete picture of the links between gender and poverty, says Fran Bennett. 

Egypt's government by bullying

The farcical convictions of three Al-Jazeera journalists are mafia-style warnings that there is no safety in the law, western governments, or in the international media. Egypt’s new army regime is attempting to intimidate domestic opposition and cow its western backers.

Ethiopia : a leadership in disarray

It may be that, in Ethiopia, history is so powerful that the past permeates the present, and it repeats itself. In this case, what we see today is simply another interregnum between two powerful men.

New shots heard 'round the world

A somewhat bleak survey of American democratic prospects for this American Independence Day begins by reminding us what America was meant to be all about. 

Socratic citizenship in twenty-first century Europe

Here we have the formulation of the political aspect of ‘care for the soul’, the extension of this striving for truth into the realm of politics. This, according to Patočka, is the Greek heritage of Europe.

Brazil’s divided society: a legend of good and bad gangsters

A few weeks before the World Cup kicked off, reports began to appear in the international press about violent riots in the cities of Brazil, especially in Rio de Janeiro - events at one and the same time bizarrely normal and something new. 

The illusion of opportunity: the "global city" revisited

Theorising the "global city" must now account for the increasing scale of income inequality, socio-economic segregation and sharply disjunctive living conditions which characterize those global urban spaces created by wealth, industry and innovation.

The Arab millennials will be back

Like much of the rest of the Arab Spring, the urge of the millennial generation across North Africa and the Middle East for a more multicultural world seems far from realization, but they have put it on a future Arab agenda. Its moment will return.

Argentina vs the international financial system

The extended legal fallout of Argentina's default in 2001 is reaching a crucial stage, with realism now at a premium.

Forecasting India-Japan ties under Modi and Abe

India's newly elected prime minister Narendra Modi and Japan's prime minister Shinzo Abe enjoy a friendship which signals increasing co-operation and integration of both nations' economic and defense plans in a new regional strategic partnership. 

What all is getting expelled...and once expelled is invisible

Low growth, unemployment, inequality, and poverty are no longer reliable markers for capturing the 'economic cleansing' afflicting European institutions and societies throughout Europe. This 'works' on the backs of all those who have simply been expelled.

For a European Republic

Today we have to move away from the idea of a United States of Europe, to think of the EU as a republic, as the European res publica, and to put citizens and civil society back into the centre stage that they have abandoned.

Deliberate starvation: impact on peace and reconstruction in Syria

For the international community, realizing the magnitude of the challenges and the spiralling economic costs, that include ripple effects on stability and foreign investment in the region, may be what it takes.

It’s time to put the power of sharing back into the sharing economy

A vibrant debate is questioning the meaning of sharing in relation to the big questions of our time. 

Five light pieces on a serious subject: why we want the university president's job

We argued that four eminently qualified scholars could contribute much more to a university than any single person could. Split four ways, the minimum base salary for the president of $400,000 CAN would constitute a raise for each of the applicants.

Mosul, Maliki and ISIS: the view today from Erbil

It is surely not overly pessimistic to anticipate tension between Kurd and Sunni Arab in the months and years to come, almost regardless of the outcome of the current fighting. But Kurds are looking like much the best sort of neighbour in this desperate region.

Basic Income: transforming lives in rural India

An experiment in paying villagers in some of India’s poorest villages a modest regular cash payment without conditions has transformed their lives. It could provide an effective anti-poverty programme for all India’s poor. But which way will Narendra Modi jump?

The realities of a daily trip to the jobcentre in a wheelchair

Film: a journey to the jobcentre reveals the near-Kafkaesque experience many have of the UK government's system of 'support' for jobseekers.

Why is the New Economy movement so white?

In the wake of a major conference on the New Economy in the USA, questions are being raised about the membership and leadership of the movement it represents. For the New Economy movement to succeed, it must be led by those for whom the mainstream economy has never worked. 

Slavery and trafficking: beyond the hollow call

It is only by being utopian that we'll be able to overcome the low-cost, high-volume retail business model that currently reigns supreme.

Whither Europe? The Modest Camp vs the Federalist Austerians

Proposals are multiplying – especially as evidence mounts that the crisis is continuing, despite all the official announcements of its end. Why not save Europe today, so that we can consider, in due course, how best to proceed with deeper, more difficult measures later on? 

Not the end of the "Arab Spring", is it?

Much has happened in the Middle East in the last four years, but in Europe, the development of the state and of democracy took four centuries and many wars.

The economics of anxiety: neoliberalism as obsessional neurosis

Neoliberalism is not a monolithic shock doctrine. It is an anxious form of crisis management, which evolves through its failed attempts to conceal a repressed truth.

Anxious subjects, political fears

If it did not sound too eccentric or polemical, then, I would go as far as singing the praises of a politics of anxiety, i.e. a politics preserving the limits and enigmatic essence of social life.

Australia’s one hundred days of truth-telling

Operation Blame the Victims was in full swing again today as Scott Morrison insisted that it was the unarmed men who received the beating who are to blame.

Brazil’s economy of violence: the 50-year noose

Brazil is indeed stuck in the past. However, this temporal disjunction is less the outcome of being economically or institutionally backward, but more of an insistence on resorting to violence as a mean of managing political anxiety. 

Global Preventive Security and its unbearable lightness

One now plays a part in one’s own protection. The institutions can help one to strengthen one’s preparedness. One must not blame them if they fail despite the promise of a maximum-security programme. 

Privatisation of governance: a multi-stakeholder slippery slope

A tight overlap between economic and political elites creates a massive push to shrink the public sector to accommodate private interests. This amounts to an abdication of state responsibility and a betrayal of the social contract between citizens and the state.

Content creation in the age of the mobile internet

The tradeoff between the capacity to upload and the possibility to download goes to the heart of the battle between active creation and passive consumption. Today it is clear that the digital divide will be about whether access translates into sophisticated usage.

“Spain is Different”: Podemos and 15-M

Podemos has presented itself as a party of "decent ordinary people”, who understand the needs of ordinary citizens and are open to taking their lead from them through the participatory process (as opposed to positioning themselves as the intellectual vanguard). 

Eurosceptic parties will save Europe’s soul, despite themselves

We must take seriously all the new parties in the European Parliament, not least because they might well be doing us a favour.

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