This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Voting for the climate?

Climate policy should be a major consideration for voters heading for the polls in May’s European parliamentary elections.

The sharing economy: a short introduction to its political evolution

Can the sharing economy movement address the root causes of the world’s converging crises? Not unless sharing is promoted in relation to human rights, democracy and social justice. This is the sixth article in our series on the role of money in the transformation of society.  

A reading list on the sharing economy

Want more details on the sharing economy and where it might be heading in the future? Check out this comprehensive list of resources, complete with web links.

Why the precariat is not a “bogus concept”

The precariat, a class-in-the-making, is the first mass class in history that has systematically been losing rights built up for citizens. So, why is it the new dangerous class and how is it differentiated from other class groups in the evolving global labour process?

Money, debt and the end of the growth imperative

Like a cancer, the political, interest-based, debt-money system corrupts everything it touches. It’s time it was replaced. This is the fifth article in our series on the role of money in the transformation of society.

Welcome to the age of resistance

I plead guilty to the indictment of avowed optimism. We have entered an age of resistance for which we must build an analytics. New forms, strategies and subjects of resistance and insurrection appear regularly without knowledge of or guidance from Badiou, Zizek or Negri.

Buy low, sell low: the secret to a healthier economy

To raise the quality of life, we must lower the cost of living for one another, and that’s what ‘buy low, sell low’ economics has to offer. This is the fourth article in our series on the role of money in the transformation of society.

What is the fifth estate?

For the first time since 1848, a renewed Europe from the bottom up is possible: with the new social coalitions of the Fifth Estate.

The BRICS of collapse? Why emerging economies need a different development model

They have pursued GDP growth with little or no investment in human, social and natural capital. This does not bode well for the future of the world economy.

Is laughter the best medicine for monopoly capitalism?

When the New York Public Library hosted an event with Mexican business-philanthropist Carlos Slim, the night got a whole lot funnier when 50 people staged a laugh-in. This is the third in our series of articles about the role of money in the transformation of society.

Introducing Teatro Valle – searching for a European commons

‘European citizenship’ is a ‘constituent’ process that emerges, develops and is constantly elaborated within social practices. How does the practice of the commons effect it? This week’s guest feature reports back on an experiment conducted last September in Teatro Valle. 

A third way for Cyprus?

Cyprus cannot be a nation-state under Greek Cypriot majority rule, or two nation-states in a loose co-federation under the surveillance of NATO forces. But could Cyprus be a new united Republic founded on the ideas of labour and a common Mediterranean civilization? If the EU said yes. 

Can philanthropy support the transformation of society?

Can philanthropy be more than a smile on the face of inequality? Two of America's leading philanthropists say "yes." This is the second article in our series on the role of money in the transformation of society. 

Bosnia and Herzegovina: putting social justice on the agenda

This is a revolt, not yet another NGO or academic report assessing BiH’s progress on its ‘Road to Europe’ or to NATO, nor a bland press statement from the Office of the High Representative, the supreme agency of foreign intervention in BiH.

The perils of procedural democracy: a lesson from Bosnia

The lack of substantive democracy has been bringing citizens onto the streets throughout the European Union, the Middle East, and even United States for many years now.

Money: in terms of social change, it’s both ‘beauty and the beast’

Is money a curse or a cure in relation to injustice and inequality? Welcome to a provocative new series on the role of money in the transformation of society. 

Diasporic walking sticks

In the cultural realm, we rarely talk about failing bodies, dialysis and dependency. Stuart Hall is one of those who did. Following him, what might it take to create new cultural resources from which to bring post-colonial debility and its histories into the cultural imagination? 

End the hypocrisy of European arms deals in the Middle East

Earlier this month the South Korean export agency announced that, following an international campaign supported by Campaign Against Arms Trade, they would cancel a shipment of 1.6 million gas canisters to Bahrain. This sets an important precedent which Europe should be following.

In the carbon wars, big oil is winning

We humans have a choice: we can succumb to carbon’s gravitational pull and so suffer from increasingly harsh planetary conditions, or resist and avoid the most deadly consequences of climate change.

State and revolution

Maged Mandour

The Arab world, after analyzing the nature of states in the Middle East, needs to find its own indigenous path to democracy, based on its own unique historical, and societal conditions.

Corruption, the common denominator in Tunisia

An ordinary citizen in Tunisia must ask if the new constitution will change anything in the near future. There are only two things that will give hope; to see projects being implemented, and to see those who manipulate the system being tried.

Europe, the EU and European identity

European identity was the negative construct of a Europe torn apart by world war. It was a negative outcome of an attempt to forge a European identity in the Cold War, squeezed, as Europe was, by the rivalry of the USA and USSR. But negative cultural formation cannot carry the day.

Middle east peace: it’s not the economy, stupid

Corruption and inequality in the Palestinian territories are a significant factor behind public scepticism and cynicism about economic plans. Palestinians are well aware of corruption in business, and their negative views are exacerbated by socioeconomic divisions.

A French style “Tea Party”?

Every conceivable attempt to mobilise all the extremes has been used to beef up recent French demos. With some success.

A rising authoritarian wave

The de-regulation of financial capital threatens to bring us back to capitalist authoritarianism that flourished in the 1920s and 1930s. But this time it gathers strength with no strong popular movement in the United States or any European country to challenge it.

Dealing with corporate political power

The political deployment of corporate wealth has escaped not only the constraints of constitutional rules but even the debates over those rules. Doesn’t the removal of corporate decisions into the hands of judges and corporate lawyers challenge individual freedom as much as a ‘nanny state’?

#Iceland3: people who take food from bins should be applauded, not arrested

The British court case against three men who "skipped" food from Iceland supermarket has been dropped. But food waste, food banks, and corporate capitalism are the real political scandal.

South African youth complex: locating youth in a complicated youth-state relationship

Faced with high unemployment and widespread social ills, South Africa’s youth are ambivalent towards the state, and emerging as increasingly independent of it. What does this tell us about the present climate and possible outcomes of South Africa’s fast approaching elections?

Silence = death: Sarah Schulman on ACT UP, the forgotten resistance to the AIDS crisis

When the AIDS activist movement ACT UP was formed in New York in 1987, 50 per cent of Americans wanted people with AIDS quarantined, while 15 per cent favoured tattoos. An interview with Sarah Schulman on her film United In Anger: A History of ACT UP. 

Does Jordan need nuclear energy?

Nikita Malik

Jordan hopes to become self-reliant with the creation of two nuclear power plants. However, in the future, there are dual challenges in the form of cost and safety.

Welfare benefits are calculated by political objectives not empirical calculations

"Humans as persons of necessity exist in social relationships." Adequacy of Minimum Income Schemes is a debate that is gaining traction across the EU.

Regional integration in the Global South: triumph or grandstanding?

The fact that the benefits of global free trade are not particularly equitably shared across geographies is one of the reasons why regional integration has caught the fancy of leaders in the global South. 

Worldwide inequality

The advocates of market fundamentalism have sought to close down totally the intellectual space for enquiry and discourse. But a more just and humane model of development, based on equitable distribution of the world’s resources, is a viable alternative whose time has come.

A Cuban diary

Which way should Cuba look for its futurenorth or south? Or might it, through trial and error, find a different path that could have lessons for all of us?

East end boys and west end boys: does gentrification lead to homophobia?

Three men recently attacked my date and I in London's gay village Soho. They threw coins and shouted "faggot". I think gentrification partly prompted their resentment. 

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