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This week's editor

Ray Filar

Ray Filar is co-editor of Transformation and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The politics of crime and the financial crisis in Greece

The exasperation of the domestic public has placed significant pressure on Greek politicians to put a halt to treating elite corruption with impunity. Unfortunately this has been pressure which they have proved overwhelmingly able to resist, notwithstanding the indictment of a former Minister of Defence in 2012. As a result the blame has fallen elsewhere

Romania’s rule of law is everybody’s business

The ease with which the current Government has unravelled the law in just a matter of weeks, should be of concern to every citizen, every entrepreneur and investor, in Romania and abroad.

'Central banks should admit their mistakes': an interview with the Bank of England's Andy Haldane

Andy Haldane, Executive Director of Financial Stability at the Bank of England, has been hailed as a new type of policy expert and intellectual. In this interview, for our Uneconomics series, he sets out his vision for the future of economics and economic policy-making. It is a future where central banks are humble, "listen as often as they speak", and own up to their mistakes.

Resisting relocation: active communities in revolutionary Egypt

Residents’ actions highlight growing expectations that a more inclusive model of decision-making is both possible and achievable. 

The Fire and the Games: how London’s Olympic opening confronted corporate values

London 2012's opening ceremony had a lot to say about the British and their homeland. Behind the eccentricity and humour lay a radical challenge to neoliberalism and the corporate control that the City of London thrives upon, and the Games have embraced. It showed that a different form of popular politics for Britain is possible, where freedom and equality are celebrated.

Migration and development: a question of barriers

Immigration policy should balance both the needs of the British economy and the developmental impact the policy will have on countries of origin. Overcoming popular and political resistance to this will not be easy, but it is a conversation that needs to start now.

This week's window on the Middle East - July 30, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Turkish people’s reactions to Syrian refugees are marked by anti-Arab sentiments.

Who’s heard of the ‘African Spring’?

If the under or mis-reported uprisings, protests, revolts and changes of regime in many parts of Africa over the past few years have told us anything, it is that politics on the continent does not always, or mostly, take place at the point of a gun.

The plight of Rohingyas in Myanmar, the international community and Aung Sung Suu Kyi

Now, the US, the European Union (EU) and others close their eyes to the plight of Rohingyas with the excuse that any intervention may thwart the process of democratization 

The Euro as the SDR of Europe?

By converting the Euro to a supranational means of settlement underpinned by Euro-National currencies, both devaluation and the Euro's survival may be achieved, albeit at heavy loss to creditors. This would, more than anything, come close to Keynes' vision for the Bancor, and give a localised Bretton Woods for the 21st century.

Expensive policies to acquire poor people’s land

Given the increasing polarisation and violence associated with the acquisition and rehabilitation of land in India and inadequate central legislation, a state policy is urgently needed that lays out a framework of principles to protect the people

Cholera epidemic in Haiti: a human rights issue that demands attention

The UN continues to have an active presence in Haiti after the earthquake. It is necessary for the organization to uphold and implement international human rights law in its missions and operations.

Yemen’s priorities: feed the starving children or security?

At the beginning of Ramadan 2012, recognition of the urgency of the humanitarian crisis in Yemen is welcome, despite being so badly delayed. But who needs help most?

The cooperative turn - building the right kind of autonomy

In the age of failing globalisation, cooperatives are the microcosms of a more stable and resilient economy. (A guest off-rpint from )

Arab Awakening weekly Open Thread: Africa's Spring

Arab Awakening's weekly Open Thread provides an opportunity for our columnists, writers, and YOU to share what has caught your attention this week in the Middle East in the comments section.

The rise and fall of the American childhood

In thirty years, Americans have undone many of the most important social achievements put in place to protect and support children.

This week's window on the Middle East - July 23, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Workers' strikes, the ongoing revolution from below

The struggle for security and against terrorism in Yemen: in whose interests?

People perceive that cash and support are available for military and security costs but not for development or humanitarian needs which affect the vast majority of the population on a daily basis. 

UK arms exports: getting it right at home

As UK delegates head into the final weeks of negotiations at the UN Diplomatic Conference on an Arms Trade Treaty, the Committees on Arms Export Controls Scrutiny of Arms Exports (2012) highlights the effects of domestic export decisions on the wider world and the importance of first getting it right at home.

The re-militarisation of South Africa’s borders

Heightened border security has been enforced during international summits and sporting tournaments. This idea of permanent, non-conventional threat provides a legitimation for an extensive increase of defence spending and resources, eagerly cheerled by the private sector. 

Building a civil economy

Game theory or gift society? The narcissistic vision of the homo oeconomicus has failed to acknowledge long-documented evidence of the primacy of cooperation. In this Friday essay, Adrian Pabst explores the liberating potential of an anthropologically informed economics for the age of austerity. 

Audit of British democracy shows need for a written constitution

How democratic is the UK? Since 1996, Democratic Audit has been publishing comprehensive assessments of British politic life to answer this question. Their fourth audit, just released, has been three years in the making. With corporate power on the rise, and the need for a written constitution increasingly in evidence, it is essential reading for anyone who cares about the health of democracy. Stuart Weir, former director of Democratic Audit, gives us an overview.

The philosophy of empowerment

JADS, an organisation active in defending its members‘ interests in rural districts of Madhya Pradesh, is facing a series of trumped-up police charges. The UK minister for international development has little to say while DFID’s political and economic agenda is so in tune with the Government of India’s embrace of corporate investment.

Euro economies must come before Euro debts

Ultimately, the size of debts accrued in the Eurozone has become too large for any credible rescue plan that does not include substantial write-offs far beyond Greece. The idea that Germany can hold together both the currency and the union whilst still protecting a mountain of sovereign and banking debts seems increasingly fantastical. To avoid decades of stagnation drastic action is needed - the first stage of which should be public audits of sovereign debt.

The kids are revolting. But why?

Reflections on the Summer 2011 English Riots one year on: the 'Underclass', welfare retrenchment and workfare regimes.



The post-Lehman financial system is its own source of risk - so why put up with it?

The cost of credit to the financial system is now higher than it is for industrials. The financial system has become a source of autonomous risk. Why do we need it, then?

Demilitarisation requires visionary leadership

An interview with Richard Jolly on human development and vision, military threats from within our countries and the prevention of future wars, cosmopolitan spirit, and the need to go beyond global photo opportunities

Moving on from the Market Society: culture (and cultural studies) in a post-democratic age

The politics of the market has given us individual freedoms, but inhibited any potent form of collectivity. We cannot return to the regulated social life that enabled a 'Fordist' democracy to function. So what now? Neoliberals are terrified of the emerging potential for a dynamic pluralist and democratic society. In this lecture, for the biennial 'Crossroads in Cultural Studies' conference, this potential and its history is explored, along with the possible contribution of cultural studies to such a development.

UK firms face unsightly reality of Qatar's global ambitions

The challenge for UK firms is a serious one - how to conform to the industry’s best practices which they preach in a country where the standard practice is so poor?

The commons: beyond the market vs. state dilemma

Elinor Ostrom, the Nobel Prizewinner who died this week, pioneered this work. Value is created through the logic of sharing with others in an open and even casual way. Innovation is no longer a monopoly, unassailably colonised by mercantile initiative.

Citizens fighting £1.5 billion police privatisation highlight security companies’ human rights violations

As G4S and Serco, both accused of human rights abuses, bid for a contract tendered by two English police authorities, protestors rally to pressure the West Midlands Police Authority to reject the bids on grounds of 'grave misconduct'.

A decade of slavery and tax avoidance into the bargain

An enslaved Filipino maid in the United States is in a better position than a journalist in Cairo when it comes to litigation against a US based company in Egypt

The struggle for Maya land, oil, and gold.

After two very recent attacks on Maya community leaders in Guatemala, the challenges faced by the lawyers applying domestic law and international indigenous rights legislation to these conflicts are revealing, as legal concepts are reinterpreted by governments in indigenous communities across the Maya region of Central America. View slideshow.

Reinventing Democracy

If democracy means rule by the people for the people, it has broken down. At pivotal moments in the past, altering the rules of the political has been a defining trait of the organised left, able to project a new social order out of latent concerns, as well as develop the means to alter the grammar of politics

Reinventing democracy in Europe: introducing the week

The economic and social travails sweeping through Europe can be traced to an imperceptible but seismic shift in the ground of European democracy. This is the takeover and corruption of democratic politics by an amalgam of economic and political elites, a change poorly compensated for by the rise of new forms of democratic protest and resistance.

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