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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 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.

What future for a Greece in crisis?

Will Greece see a process of painful rebuilding, be mired in stagnation and despair - or even face a social explosion?

The numbers do lie: why statistics won't save health care

A statistical approach to improving health care systems has recently become popular internationally.  This technocratic approach to health is flawed when we do not consider the underlying political and social realities that undergird different communities and nation states.

The seductions of violence in Iraq

Violence in Iraq is not a throw-back to some more ‘primitive’ past, driven by dark passions dredged up from history.  On the contrary, it has a logic and a constitutive power of its own fully in line with the contemporary experiences that Iraqis have undergone both before and after 2003. Moreover, it seems to be regarded by those in power as a good deal less troubling than public accountability.

EU voters may finally be given some real choices

The emerging split between the centre left and centre right in the EU over fundamental questions of economic policy including sustainable growth and social justice is without precedent.

New treaty or institutionalised hypocrisy?

Mrs Merkel and much of the German political establishment doggedly espouse the doctrine of ordoliberalism, despite growing opposition not only on the left but on the right, with economic liberals such as Mario Monti and Guy Verhofstadt arguing for growth-inducing measures. Where can we look for an explanation? 

Britain's budget 2012: an overview of the elephant traps

Today the Chancellor presented his third budget since the Coalition gained power and ushered in the era of austerity. Tax expert Richard Murphy decodes a "really rather nasty budget" and ponders its gifts to the opposition.

Reclaiming 'common sense': new pamphlet is a rallying cry to the 99%

"This year will either see us create a new, more plausible, basis for our shared life, or settle back into the old, dispiriting fictions." So says Dan Hind in a new e-pamphlet published by OurKingdom, invoking the spirit of Thom Paine and urging the 99% to reclaim the public realm. We interview the author.

Green Zone Nation: The South African government’s new growth path

Recent flirtations of the ANC with the Chinese model of economic development suggest that South African political elites fall for the erroneous fantasy that social tensions can be bought off with consumer goods

Britain is not just ‘undergoing privatisation’, this is a modern enclosure movement

Cameron is leaving no stone unturned in his 'revolution' of the public sector. This is not about the privatisation of individual services: a bigger game is being played, with profound importance for Britain and her people.

Will the private interests of peers swell the vote for England's health bill?

More than one in four Conservative peers - 62 out of the total of 216 - and many other members of the House of Lords have a direct financial interest in the radical re-shaping of the NHS that is perilously close to being enacted. These peers have been able to vote on the crucial divisions that will determine the immediate and long-term future of the NHS and the coalition’s Health and Social Care bill. 

Tackling inequality: a new role for the state

In the last thirty years, a rising share of the global economic pie has been colonised by the world’s rich. It is this concentration of income that is the real cause of the present crisis. It created the conditions for the 2008 Crash and is now driving us into an era of near-permanent slump.

University campuses in the Far East - money, power or democracy?

Yale should have proud independence from the lures of power and money in its bones. That does not mean shunning either, but treating both as servants of a better ideal. But the recent announcement of a campus in Singapore suggests that it has forgotten that stance. More generally, this sort of forgetting is a danger to the fabric of democracy

Tahrir not twitterati: the future of middle-class movements in India

If it has to actually challenge the powers that be, the anti-corruption movement must move to real grassroots work and not canvass on astroturf

Systemic reform is urgently needed for Roma

Small steps forward are not sufficient to stop the overall negative current when it comes to the social exclusion of Roma. Those small steps forward will soon become irrelevant if serious reform is not put in place

And now what? Greece after its official creditor-led default

Following Greece’s recent mammoth 206-billion-euro bond swap, people wrongly believe that the private bondholders of the Greek debt lost money and that the country is on a path to recovery. The only solution for Greece remains a debtor-led default and exit from the euro-zone under the leadership of a radical democrat political movement

India: dynasty, corruption and plunder

A short history of looting and dynastic power in India

Fallout of News Corp. Scandal in the US?

In the US, the deleterious effect of rampant commercialization is the real scandal. 

Partners in need: Turkey, the European Union and the United States face the Arab Spring

The Arab spring has cast Turkey back into the western fold and away from alternative alliance patterns which seemed to be in the pipeline only a few years ago. Turkey won't act in Syria without its western partners. Meanwhile it is the very incompleteness of the Turkish model which is of such interest to its neighbours.

Forget the ‘golden age’ of capitalism: there’s no return, and our future can be better

Talk on the British left of a return to a Keynesian, pre-monetarist system is historically untenable. Aaron Peters argues that the solution to the current crisis resides not in statist capitalism but through a greater correspondence between the mechanisation of labour and a respect for human agency.

All stick and no carrot

Why are Europe's fiscal technocrats so afraid of democracy? There is no evidence that good economics requires keeping European peoples out of the equation.

The $100 bn Facebook question: will capitalism survive ‘value abundance’?

Open-source software, shared innovation and crowd-sourced manufacturing threaten capitalism as we know it.

Reflections on Britain's student movement

This exchange revisits the student movement that erupted in Britain over the winter of 2010-2011. It produced a new cohort of young activists, fueling the anti-cuts movements and Occupy. But to what extent was the movement middle-class, a-historical, and shaped by neoliberalism?

Hungary's struggles for freedom and democracy

The greatest concern with regard to EU criticism aimed at influencing the political course of Hungary is that without a good understanding of the political realities, even the best intentions may unintentionally play into the hands of Jobbik. Meanwhile Government statements are meant to convince those who are disturbed by the usurpation of power to give up all hope for the next forty years. Now the situation is more complex and in a way more precarious than in 1956.

Living on borrowed time? The changing frontiers of the NHS debate

The author of 'The Plot Against the NHS' discusses the political struggle over England's national health service and considers what those determined to save it can still do.

Learning to work for nothing

If you want to know what the UK government's 'workfare' schemes really mean, ask the people who are doing them

'An excess of democracy'

Occupy and the direct action movements of today have much in common with the radical movements of the 1960s/70s. Can the new generation move beyond the successes and failures of the past, to develop an alternative political economy?

Regeneration: the launch of a new collection on intergenerational justice

A new collection of essays on intergenerational justice was launched in London with an open debate. Is the generational prism useful, and what are the distinctive challenges for the young?

Subterranean politics and the European debate

Subterranean European politics draws on a new meaning of Europe already visible in cross-border citizens’ mobilisations, civil society networks, trade union struggles; it has now to shape Europe’s politics and policy-making.

Netwar 2.0: the convergence of streets and networks

To the extent to which we are not witnessing a clash between two capitalisms but a process of reconfiguration realized through the hegemony of finance, information and circulation, the only way to change the current situation is through the autonomous organization of the multitude’s living labour in the streets and on the net.

Out of Time: bringing history to bear on economics and policy

If politicians learned from history, they could avoid repeating its policy mistakes.

A Tory feminist takes on an anarcha feminist

A three-part exchange between an anarcha feminist and Feminism for Tories blogger 'Clara X'.

Five things you need to know about the NHS bill

The NHS bill proposes a radical shake-up of England's health sector. Here are some key facts everyone should know.

The blame game

Problems of illegality and impropriety in Britain's financial industry go far beyond the casino operations and investment banks, they are a common part of the industry's culture.
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