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This week’s editors


Francesc Badia i Dalmases is Editor and Director of democraciaAbierta.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

This week's window on the Middle East - June 3, 2013

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: A toast to the Brotherhood

On the World Economic Forum and globalization

Our columnist attends a conference and can see why Gandhi suggested that humans are best organized in the small compounds he called “Swadeshi”.

The Gezi Park occupation: confronting authoritarian neoliberalism

Gas, gas, gas, it is the only way they deal with problems that come under one heading.

Toward a generative economy

What kind of economy is consistent with living inside a living being? This question is being answered in experiments across the globe, from community forests in Mexico to "industrial symbiosis" in Denmark.

Government corruption leads to industrial accidents, not global brands

Corrupt political systems create conditions for industrial tragedies, not the presence of global brands. 

Why cutting expenditure won't reduce the UK's deficit

The deficit is the consequence, not the cause, of Britain's financial problems. Reducing it would require big increases in spending from corporates and consumers. Could the trade balance component be the easiest route out of austerity?

City of London Elections 2013: the battle, the count, the lessons

The recent elections to the City of London’s local authority were fiercely fought, after years where the majority of seats went uncontested. Lessons should be drawn for any future attempt to reform the financial services industry.

Gridlock: the growing breakdown of global cooperation

Economic and political shifts in large part attributable to the successes of the post-war multilateral order are now amongst the factors grinding that system into gridlock.

EU economic and monetary disunion

Backtracking on the EU's monetary union will be politically very costly, but in the absence of a genuine economic and political union this stands out as the most likely scenario. What are the alternatives? Are there any?

Half-capacity Jordan: whose stories do we need?

The way Jordanians imagine their national collective identity must evolve from tolerance to acceptance and from diversity to true inclusion.

Untangling Egypt's web of political and economic challenges

Minimising IMF financial support through access to Gulf State finance allows Morsi to craft new political narratives that reject views of Egypt as a US client state and redefines Egypt within a framework of Arab nationalism and centre-right political Islam.  

The boundaries of Israeli unity

Two years ago, the rallying cry was "The people demand social justice", which was more open ended, proving its tenuousness in the question of Palestinian solidarity.


The Great Tax Robbery - reviewed

Private Eye's Richard Brooks has released a new book, The Great Tax Robbery, reviewed here by a former colleague. How did HMRC come to be 'captured' by big money, and why is government doing so little to correct it?

Why politicians can’t be honest about the EU

Responding to Stuart Weir's recent article, Damian Hockney says the EU's supposed benefits are as illusory as the supposed damages the UK would suffer from leaving.

Two notions of liberty revisited - or how to disentangle Liberty and Slavery

The modern liberal concept of liberty has roots in Roman law and the Roman understanding of the master and the slave. We need to unpick that heritage to imagine a better basis for our political aspirations

The British legal profession has a duty to help ensure justice for all

Legal aid and Law Centres are under threat in the UK, along with the principle of equal access to justice. Geoffrey Bindman QC says it's time for the legal profession to dig into their pockets and help meet the gap in state funding. This week's Friday Essay.

Europe’s seven most endangered species of monuments and sites

How best to preserve the archaeological record of the past, which so often obtrudes on political objectives of the present? And what happens when nation states are effectively bankrupt?  Are its monuments to be allowed to collapse into decay?

London's hospital campaigners march on Downing Street

A&E departments across London are already overstretched - but nearly half of them are now threatened with closures, and undermined by privatisation. This Saturday, hospital campaigners from across London join up to march on Downing Street.

A republican call for a basic income

Republicanism offers a persuasive guide to the political shaping of markets. A basic income could be the foundation of a democratic republican economy that frees all citizens from the commodification of labour.

Debate: Britain and the EU – Is the UK leading the way or running away?

Watch the debate with Graham Watson MEP (ALDE Group Leader) and Martin Callanan MEP (ECR Group Leader), moderated by Peter O’Donnell, covering many of the key issues for debate. What would Britain actually lose?

The new normal: housing and protest in Britain

Action is stirring in response to the country-wide housing crisis. Severe shortage and cuts to housing benefits leave the UK struggling to put roofs over heads. Some local authorities and tenant groups are trying to rebel; they need concerted support.

Europe's bold ride to stabilise Mali

On May 15 the EU will organise a donors’ conference on Mali. It should address the underlying causes of terrorism and instability, making investment in youth a priority 

Economic justice requires more independence, not less

A republican economy should aim at maximising the genuine independence of economic actors. Only then can corruption be tackled at the root.

Reason and responsibility: the Rana Plaza collapse

The Rana Plaza tragedy was an outcome of a corrupt system that is rotten to the core. Who should - and can - be held accountable?

After Section 75 - where next for NHS campaigners?

On 24th April the House of Lords voted through the NHS ‘section 75’ regulations, which open up the NHS to far more private sector competition. The  overwhelming opposition from grassroots campaigners and NHS workers fell, ultimately, on deaf ears. So where do we go from here?

Britain's housing crisis: on Novara Radio

We need homes, but why growth? The Novara radio show discusses the housing crisis in Britain. For more Novara radio episodes, go to the Novara Media website.

Kickstarting taxation

The Starbucks and Googles of this world will always find tax loopholes. We need to link taxation once again to civic virtue and demonstratable social impact. We'll get them on the spirit of the law, not the letter.

Republicanism and tax justice

Republicans can offer the principles needed to work towards a tax system built for the global common good.

The only socialism we will ever know?

Looking for signs of life and the difference that was made, surely that dreary grey oblong could not have been the spiritual home of the 99%? But it was and it did.

A new dawn for the Unions? Frances O’Grady and economic democracy

The TUC’s new General Secretary seems to represent real change in the 'pale, male, stale' world of British unions. But can she shake them up in policy terms, and draw in the energy of a disparate anti-austerity movement?

This week's window on the Middle East - April 29, 2013

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week, Attack on the French Embassy in Tripoli: what now for Libya?

Is there any austerity in the UK?

The Coalition is not cutting the deficit, while many on the right argue that spending is rising. So what's the real picture? The director of centre-left think tank IPPR gives his analysis on whether there is really austerity in Britain.

The link between immigration policy, labour markets and exploitation in the UK

The UK government’s commitment to tackling trafficking for labour exploitation is being undermined by its immigration and labour market policies.

Europe’s austerity, the beginning of the end?

Europe is increasingly unpopular, the recession hits the euro area and Angela Merkel is now facing a new populist party. So Brussels opens up to a timid change of season. But austerity has not yet been defeated politically, in elections and in the streets.

The military in our midst

Up in Arms normally focuses on the figure of the soldier in order to track the militarization process. Here we visit the overlooked role of the ‘military wife’ as a key to interpreting far-reaching policy decisions.

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