This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Soma: slow massacre, the cost of Turkish success ?

There remains a class in Turkey who have been left behind. They may be supporters of the government – Soma was an AKP stronghold – but they have not seen many of the benefits of the new Turkey. 

France and the European elections

Just as shocking as if Nick Griffin's daughter had cornered 27% of British votes, it is clear why Nigel Farage does not want to be associated with – and tainted by – his French counterpart. But is it a surprise that “Enough” is at the core of the FN platform?

Grazie Italia – a ray of hope in a distrustful Europe

This is a crucial opportunity for Italy to make its mark and counter the dogma of austerity as much as the division between so-called core countries and peripheral countries. It is an opportunity for proposing alternatives and a path of growth.

New Zealand shrinks away from legal high limelight

Manufacturers aim to reap maximum profit in the minimal time before it is banned, so poorly developed NPS are thrown on the market in vast quantities with little regard to their effects. Meanwhile, prohibition simply forces a black market.

Adidas shoe factory strike and its implications for grassroots democracy

The strike at an Adidas shoe factory, the sheer scale of it and workers’ increasing skills of organising strikes without bona fide union representation have created a renewed round of debate on how Chinese authorities will handle increasingly tense industrial relations in China. 

Take care of the squats (because they contribute to a just city and not just to a vibrant urban life)

Often seen as a nuisance and facing endless legal battles, squatters can actually have positive effects on the urban environment, by helping with the housing shortage and creating grassroot environments.

Lawlessness at Kasumbalesa border impedes regional integration in Southern Africa

Lack of security in the region has led to protests by truck drivers at the Kasumbalesa border crossing between Zambia and the DRC. The SADC has failed to prevent this disturbance to its cross-border trade 

Combatting youth unemployment in Bosnia and Herzegovina

Bosnia and Herzegovina's youth unemployment crisis threatens to undermine national educational reforms, opportunities for innovation, and economic prosperity by creating a significant 'brain drain' of Generation Y workers. 

Can the birthplace of democracy provide the seeds of its renewal?

When popular opposition was stirred up to the building of Athens' first mosque in the neighbourhood of Votanikos, Syriza defended the rights of Muslims to a public place of worship. A distinct politics then: power to the people, but on the basis of explicit principles publicly explained and argued for.

Europe: a concrete idea

The rise of the far-right parties and more generally of the anti-European or euro-sceptic ones, such as the British UKIP, is a clear sign that moderate solutions to the current crisis are not enough any more. A reply to Etienne Balibar.

Tunisia’s legacy of pollution confronts democratic politics

Oudhref’s response toward the government is, ‘You ignored us for twenty years, and now the first project you bring us is a waste dump?’

Syndicate content