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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

A price that matters

Reproduced with thanks to Civitas, in this 2012 pamphlet John Mills sets out the case for devaluation as the best means of returning the British economy to balance and prosperity. It is published here in full, except for tables and footnotes, as part of OurKingdom's new series - Devalue or Else!

Devalue or Else - a new OurKingdom debate on the British currency

With a troubled future ahead for the UK, could devaluation hold the key to a more balanced and productive economy? Throwing up a range of political and economic questions beyond the tired dichotomy of austerity vs Keynesian stimulus, the debate will shed fresh light on the UK's economic position and its options in a globalised marketplace. 

US election: a Kenyan perspective

Kenyans look up to Barack Obama, whom they consider to be their most prominent "son" - but his first four years in office have fallen slightly short of their expectations.

The poisonous logic behind cuts to child benefit

Before British families bid what could be a final farewell to universal child benefit, we take a look at what is motivating Iain Duncan Smith.

A spectacle, not an election: how Italians see the race

Italians do follow the presidential election, but they see it more as an entertaining race than as a scrutiny whose outcome might directly affect their daily lives.

Mexican perspectives: within the USA and outside it

Undocumented Mexican migrants in the USA, despite being the group most vulnerable to a flagship Republican policy, have no voice in the country’s future. Those who can vote have a moral obligation to those who can’t: stop Mitt Romney in his tracks

The presidential election and US foreign policy in the Middle East

In the presidential campaign, American foreign policy towards the Middle East has overshadowed other regions by far – underlining considerable differences between each candidate’s approach to this part of the world

The fight for a genuinely democratic Europe

In France, the Manifesto of Appalled Economists underlined some of the country’s most prominent economic concerns about the European response to the global crisis. It was signed by over 700 economists and more than 6,500 concerned citizens. Today, we publish their call for a more open, more democratic European Union.

Spanish endogamy and the US elections

Europe may be less interested in this year's election than in the 2008 one - but that doesn't mean it is any less important.

American election, Egyptian perspectives

Where the world sees two radically opposed candidates, the Egyptian street sees two sides of the same coin.

How the US elections look from Brazil

As a future great power emerging right in the USA's backyard, Brazil takes a special interest in the presidential race.

Islamisation and the future of the Islamic world

When Islamic groups command the legislative and executive powers in a country, the Islamisation of society takes centre stage. Young, enthusiastic, and ideologically driven members want rapid moves: clear legislations, conspicuous political positions, and social policies to reflect what they consider to be their ‘victory’.

The Icelandic constitutional experiment

This Saturday, a year after a Constitutional Council has written a draft constitution with the help of citizens, voters agreed this draft should be the basis for a new constitution. This writing experiment stands out for its surprisingly democratic process, but a closer look reveals some of its limitations.

US elections and the Gulf States

Do the Gulf States expect anything at all from the next president of the US? 

 

East Asia and the US political cycle

As far as foreign policy topics go, China, and Asia more broadly have become an essential issue in the presidential campaign – and they were fiercely discussed in last night's debate. But how does East Asia see the election?

US's last chance in Afghanistan: reconciliation with the Pashtuns

%22Bordering"The west's campaign in Afghanistan is simply out of date. If there is any hope in a positive outcome, then a paradigm shift from conflict to dialogue is required.

TUC London March and Rally no match for the coming catastrophe

Limited, moderate, ineffectual — we must do better than London's little uprising on Saturday 20 October.

How the US elections look from Cuba

The Cuban government has had to deal, since 2008, with the fact that expectations of Obama were as unrealistic among Cubans as they may have been among Obama supporters in the United States.

Hades and the Hegemon: Greeks face up to elections in the US

Today openDemocracy launches a special global feature: How do the 2012 US elections look from here? And we launch it in Greece, Europe’s cradle of democracy and twenty-first century scandal for democracy worldwide.

Getting economists to wake up to reality

The Uneconomics series challenged the power of economists, inviting diverse perspectives from disciplines whose work on the economy has been increasingly recognised post-crash. This reflection by the editor ends the nine month series.

Is the new Justice Secretary tough enough to act on the evidence that prison doesn’t work?

Chris Grayling may find the solutions to his problems lie in penal reform.

Catalunya and Spain: more than time for dialogue

In addressing Catalunya's call for autonomy, the EU and Spain must remember lessons from Slovenia’s case for independence. There are clear parallels between the situation in Spain and that of Yugoslavia in the late 1980s.

Why Poland is the new France for Germany

Has Poland replaced France as Germany's most trusted European partner?

London's not yet ready to love its bankers

The author finds himself debating whether the intelligence squared forum in London should vote to "love its Bankers", in a meeting well-stocked with the subject themselves.

Britain is in crisis - Miliband’s One Nation may signal a way out

Britain needs a national conversation on its imperilled political and moral culture. Has the Labour leader had the first word? 

What the bankers did next... a short film

Since the crash of 2008, British taxpayers have shelled out an incredible £1.2 trillion on bailing out and propping up the banks. Nearly five years on, the UK’s banking scandals seem never-ending. This Spinwatch film investigates the continuing culture of lobbying in the City. 

The future of democracy in America

The Tea Parties draw strength from deep roots in the American tradition. In his updated edition of America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism, the author says regardless of who wins the elections in November, this radical conservative tendency poses a serious threat to the future of US democracy. 5,000 word essay

This week's window on the Middle East - October 15, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Tahrir Square’s rent-a-thug culture

"Who does this world belong to?" - unaccompanied immigrant children in Italy

Unaccompanied immigrant children in Italy have left their countries hoping to find a job and better opportunities, but their aspirations quickly fade away. Often, they risk being exploited to work in the black labour market or are recruited by criminal gangs – with nobody standing up to protect them.

The Russian Mafia and organised crime: how can this global force be tamed?

We hear a lot about Russian organised crime and its links with the Russian state. But it operates not just at home: its reach is global. Euan Grant explains how it operates and what can be done to challenge its power.

Occupy a narrative

One year on, the Occupy movement is but the shadow of its former self. Whatever happened to the 99%?

Latest climate signs should jolt leaders into global action

Although climate change has seemingly disappeared from the global political agenda, recent signs show we're not that far away from disaster. What will it take for our leaders to finally act?

Two forgotten dimensions to the Syrian conflict

Two other fault lines, unrelated to the sectarian issue, need to be taken into account in order to understand the multi-dimensional Syrian conflict.

Same old stories? Trade unions and protest in Italy in 2011

The demand for politics over markets, a key message in the Occupy and Indignados movements, is also key here. A considerable drop in trust is clear: trust in all national institutions and political actors (parliament, parties, and trade unions).

The ongoing attack on democracy in the Maldives

If western countries are unwilling to place any pressure against a regime of questionable legitimacy, allied with a former dictator and hard-line Islamists, while failing to provide any support for a popularly-elected leader committed to democracy and to nonviolence, what kind of message does that send?

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