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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

The end of the Murdoch Archipelago

This week, the media mogul once unquestioningly known as 'the kingmaker' appears before the UK state inquiry into the British press - a day after his son and would-be heir. To mark this moment, we publish the new introduction to the defining account of the 113-year-old Murdoch dynasty, asking the question: how did we come to this?

"Food sovereignty" as a transformative model of economic power

The argument is being made that “food sovereignty” is an organising principle so demonstrably strong that it has the potential to transform economic power. Can we really invest in it as the ecological principle to take us into the 21st century? Jenny Allsopp reports from the AWID Forum 2012

YPF in the world

The sudden expropriation of Argentina’s YPF’s oil firm has stirred alarm across Spain, the EU and international business. But the galloping radicalization of economic policy led by a group of young officials in Buenos Aires is grounded in lessons drawn from the global crisis and the errors of European austerity. The results are uncertain, but the reasons are resounding.

The (mis)rule of the econocrats: how to re-politicise economics

The financial crisis demonstrated extraordinary failures on the part of policy elites and economic experts. And yet we remain governed by technocrats. We need to re-politicise economic policy-making, or else repeat the mistakes of the past.

European publics, desperately seeking European politics

The scope and seriousness of communication about Europe, and concurrent growing demands for European democracy from civil society might even legitimize an argument about an emerging European public sphere like never before. Yet the euro crisis debate also reveals the weaknesses of Europe as a political entity.

Britain's disabled are being abandoned by the state

The UK government is radically cutting support for the disabled. What does that mean for people living with disability?

Greece and the new pan-European value - profit

The fact that the Union’s upper echelons do not want to dig deeper for Greece in the name of accountability, name names and sever all ties with those that are personally politically responsible should make a lot of people suspicious about the Union’s motives.

What does transforming economic power mean?

Today's targeting of women in processes of realigning economic controls is perhaps quite unique. In order to unpack and understand economic power, we must revisit the different realms in which power operates, and the various forms that it takes - visible, hidden and invisible.

The Eurozone’s politics according to the Financial Times

In the last two years newspapers have been promising more or less the same thing to Eurozone citizens: collapse, soon. But the Eurozone has proved surprisingly resilient and shown evidence of a commonality of superior interests and a capacity to coordinate against the fringes.

Partnership or PR? Chevron in Bangladesh

Chevron are investing in communities and promoting human rights in Bangladesh, claiming that partnership with communities is not just good business practice, but crucial for social progress. But are these real partnerships - publishing what they pay, supporting anti-corruption measures and being accountable?

Bangladesh: journey of fear towards an uncertain future

The two large parties in Bangladesh have already turned to the worst sort of dynastic politics. At the same time, Islamist influences and left wing groups are becoming ever more involved with the dominant political forces. Alongside this, parliament has become totally ineffective

Reclaiming care as a fundamental end in itself

In the global context of economic insecurity and emerging 'care crises', there is a real risk that the development industry becomes complicit in compounding women’s burden of unpaid care and entrenching traditional gender roles -  something we must guard against, argues Emily Esplen

"Positive thinking" for the unemployed - my adventures at A4e

How to get Britain's unemployed back to work? Re-invigorate the job market? Skill them up? Or co-erce them into taking courses in 'motivation' and 'self-belief?' Tick 1,2 or 3... but just remember, you won't get the right answer if you don't have the right mental attitude!

Revolutionizing the Canadian social justice sector

Environmental groups seem to have attracted particular government ire. In other cases, officials have labelled civic groups unpatriotic… The Conservatives may have done Canadians a favour. Deprived of federal funding, independent activists will now have to learn new ways of ethically raising money from individuals, communities, and businesses.

The price of independence: Scotland and Britain according to the Economist

The magazine 'The Economist' has declared its position on Scottish independence. Their warning to the Scots: 'it'll cost you'. Their stand-point typifies a market fundamentalist view of Britain that denies the vast potential of a Scotland free of the Union.

SCRAP-GDAMS: realising global disarmament

Governments and the military industrial complex continue to do business as usual and such business is fostering conflict and war around the world. The year 2011 was particularly conflictive and 2012 is reaching new alarming levels, particularly in the Middle East. Sino-American relations remain tense and the situation in North-East Asia is also fluctuating. SCRAP fights back…

Draining the hourglass: Iraqi refugees in Jordan

In Jordan, Iraqi refugees are commonly referred to as ‘brothers’ yet at the same time also suffer a variety of social stigmas. But do Ali and his family have a better chance, having worked for the coalition forces?

The future of journalism

In this paper, Angela Phillips paints a picture of a media sector transforming itself in innovative and exciting ways, held back by failing business models. Will the future of our journalism rely on us giving away our private data? Or will we embrace the alternative: a simple online system that would allow us to pay for the content we want?

There is no alternative? New principles for the economy

Hendrik Tiesinga sketches out the basic elements of a new political and economic operating system

Beyond tax-and-spend: revising social democracy for a new age

The director of Britain's leading progressive think-tank sets out his vision for a transformation of social democracy that could renew its credibility and appeal for a new generation.

The debate France urgently needs after the Toulouse attacks

In 'sensitive urban zones' where a third of residents live below the poverty line and unemployment among young people is over 40%, it is difficult to see how people like Mohammed Merah can become part of France’s social fabric. 

European alternatives: trajectories of mobilisation responding to Europe’s crisis

The political culture that supported global and European civil society activism in the 1999-2007 period - challenging neoliberal economic and financial power in the form of governments, EU and global institutions – has appeared irrelevant at the very moment when it could have emerged as a credible alternative to the crisis of European economies and politics. A brief chronology and typology of European resistance so far.

Internships: OurKingdom cross-examines itself

OurKingdom uses unpaid volunteers. Are we providing opportunities and training to those that want and need them? Or are we contributing to a media culture becoming ever more elitist, as those unable to work for little or nothing are cast aside? How, in the current climate, can we improve?

The 1% Strike Back

The richest 1 percent of Americans capture 93 percent of all income growth. The challenge now is not to reinflate the economy, but to build a new foundation for growth by enpowering workers and holding executives accountable for the corrosive effect on democracy of this concentration of wealth.

General strike in the kingdom of Spain: the political economy and basic income

A basic income could be of enormous importance as an integral part of a package of measures designed to guarantee the material existence of all people and their possibilities of living according to their own life plans. Universalising property - by providing the essential conditions for material, and hence social existence to everyone - would universalise the essential condition of truly effective citizenship.

Our Olympics: a case for reclaiming the London 2012 games

As the London 2012 Olympics approach, a campaign is born to give the voice to the majority of British people who stand to gain little from the games, funded by 11bn of taxpayers' money. Who are the real beneficiaries? How do the people occupy the Olympics?

Four Russias: rethinking the post-Soviet map

Russia has traditionally been conceptualised as a single entity, albeit divided into many regions, but is this approach appropriate given the country's stratified population? Natalia Zubarevich argues that for a better understanding of Russia and where it is going we need to think not geographically, but arithmetically.

'Violent shopping': the riots and consumer capitalism

The report on England's riots recommends protecting children from excessive marketing. Too little, too late. If we want to prevent future riots, we have to kick back against consumer culture in its totality.

Pakistan tribal areas: what matters

Within Pakistan and internationally, there is a growing recognition that well-off tribesman will not become the tools of terrorist organizations. But will it come soon enough?

What is Sarkozysm?

Sarkozy embodies a turning point in French right-wing history: not just the French version of the "New Right" but a new way of conducting politics, and a new strategy for gaining and staying in power.

Liberalism requires immigration controls

Immigration controls by rich governments employ arbitrary rules to inhumane effect – breaking up families, locking up children, deporting good people to uncertain futures in godforsaken countries. Although liberals need immigration controls for their cherished welfare state to work, they are quite comfortable blaming conservatives for this conduct. 

The voice of liberal democracy needs to be preserved in Hungary

When the Media Law of the authoritarian Hungarian government meets with strident criticism in the free press of the world, and from heads of established democracies, as a major attack on the freedom of speech, Prime Minister Viktor Orbán and his people ask for time, arguing against the avalanche of criticisms that no one should assume that the Media Council established in 2010 will abuse the unheard of powers with which it was endowed until it has shown an inclination to do so. Meanwhile they are eager to export their ideas.

Why aren’t we all part of credit unions?

Want the money you save reinvested in your local community? Want to get the benefits yourself, rather than shareholders creaming off the profits? Then why aren't you a member of a credit union? Louis Brooke of Move Your Money explores the growth of this localised initiative in the UK.

The African Regent Hotel: culture and corruption in Ghana and Nigeria

There are contentious circumstances surrounding the building of a luxury hotel. These circumstances raise questions about the relation of West African corruption to West African culture. There are several versions of the story.

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