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This week’s front page editor

Julian Richards

Julian Richards is managing editor of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The Greek catastrophe and a possible way out

The lead author of a major econometric analysis of the Greek economic crisis discusses the disastrous outcomes of the policies enforced on Greece by its international lenders, and the IMF’s admission that it made serious errors in its assessment of the impact of austerity on the Greek economy and society.  

Populism, anti-populism and European democracy: a view from the South

Isn’t it time to start dissecting the extremism of this ‘moderate centre’? Is it not the duty of every truly moderate citizen/social scientist, of every democrat, to radically oppose this extremism camouflaged as moderation? 

Misunderstanding our mission

The founder of Human Rights Watch tells Stephen Hopgood and James Ron that this organisation is globalizing itself; though it has a long way to go, over time it will prove effective. But human rights and social justice are not the same thing. A contribution to the openGlobalRights debates on Emerging Powers and Human Rights and Economic and Social Rights.

Eviction Brixton: creating housing insecurity in London

The marketisation of access to housing security is central to the increasingly normative experience of housing precarity in London. Lambeth Council's eviction of long-term squatted and short-life housing co-op communities is pouring fuel onto the fire: making people homeless to clear the way for public housing stock sell-offs.

Car parks for global wealth: the super-rich in London

Over half of the super-prime market is now owned by foreign wealth, funds and individuals – looking to make money by simply parking it there while stock markets and other forms of investment offer scant reward or sleepless nights.

A Greek tragedy on the London stage: the City, the Eurozone crisis and an urban dark age to come

Capitalist perpetrators of the crash are intent on using the opportunity provided by austerity to divert political and economic power to compliant nation states and emergent para-sovereign bodies, such as the EU Troika, that operate outside the constraints of democratic control and public accountability. 

Naked in the flat

Could you live without any belongings? Helsinki-based Petri Luukainen took radical action to conquer the clutter of his apartment: he got rid of all his stuff. This is the second video in our Everyday Stories series, showcasing people who are adding more meaning and sustainability to their lives. (Video, 5 mins)

The neo-liberal knowledge regime, inequality and social critique

The argument about students holds that there should not be a direct public subsidy of a private beneficiary. But on the impact agenda the situation is reversed. Here the Government’s view is that there should not be public funding unless there is a private beneficiary and that that beneficiary should not pay.

‘We can’t be content with running alternative coffee shops, while leaving the global financial system to our opponents’

Funded by their sympathisers in business and corporations, the neoliberals worked at promoting that programme, slowly but surely, to people in a position to put it into practice. Lots of people feel helpless and powerless in the face of neoliberalism because they are helpless and powerless.

Investing in food security? On philanthrocapitalism, biotechnology and development

Africapitalism and philanthrocapitalism represent a progressive convergence of business principles with social philanthropy. But vigilance is needed to ensure long-term success amid shifting debates about GM crops and their regulation.

Neoliberal networks: a response to William Davies

The question of how these two disparate logics - network sociality and neoliberal competitive individualism - relate to each other is arguably the key issue in the analysis of contemporary power relations. 

How to kill a zombie: strategizing the end of neoliberalism

An ideology which promised to liberate us from state socialist bureaucracy has instead imposed a bureaucracy all of its own.  This only looks like a paradox if we take neoliberalism at its word. 

Ostrom and the Commons

Elinor Ostrom's studies of commons-based social organization have important lessons for those looking to develop new commons, online and elsewhere. Here Dan Hind sets out some key findings from her work, and sketches some of the implications.

The neoliberal trap

Credit isn’t extended to help people get ahead. It’s the means for producing securitizable debt, which means financialization (one of the key features of neoliberalism) needs poor people, poor people cut off from public services and left to fend for themselves.

Reframing the agents of resistance at Gezi Park

As the bearer of an underlying democratization process in Turkey with all its paradoxes, AKP still goes unchallenged insofar as the different groups of opposition who became visible in Gezi Park still cannot put forth convincing arguments to win the “50 per cent”.

Stealing Ramadan

As this conflict wears on, both the regime and the militias fighting it begin to resemble one another. For war-weary Syrians the only difference seems to be in the colours of their flags.

Neoliberalism, crisis and the world system


An insider glimpse of the conference that inspired this week's theme, plus an outsider view.

 

The scapegoats of Empire: racism and resistance in the city of romance

As the citizens of Venice propagate myths about the city’s expanding 'oriental' workforce they humiliate members of their own community and allow the island’s true invaders to escape justice. 

Elemental Dr Watson?

Michael Edwards explores a new documentary about three people who are confronting environmental degradation in a spirit of transformational activism.

'Sorry for the inconvenience, we are changing the country': Brazil

In the last month, Brazil has joined the growing number of countries whose civil society has gone to the streets to start large demonstrations. Why did it happen? Who are the protesters? What do they want? What were the main reactions? These are some of the important questions.

Radical Virtues

Is there a radical politics of virtue? One that can say anything useful to our own society? Yes, and it comes from an unexpected source.

Bulgaria’s belated struggle for democracy

Our protests cannot match theirs in scale. But we demand our share, however small it might be. It is ideas and determination that unite all these events.

Egypt: from rebel to revolution?

From the revolution’s very beginning in January 2011, western diplomats were keen to reduce the demands of the Egyptian revolution to a call for formal democracy. In doing this, western spokesmen and domestic elites ensured that more substantive reforms – such as an overhaul of the entire socio-economic system – were dropped by the wayside.

From eurocrisis to a global new deal

The author of a new book on the ongoing crisis in the eurozone discusses the survival of the euro, the default alternative, who might gain from a failed austerity, and the prospects for global Keynesianism. An interview.

Is Germany paying for southern Europe?

Germany is not paying for southern Europe. On the contrary, it benefits from it.

QE: a timeline of quantitative easing in the US

Bernanke and the Fed are under mounting pressure for further action; with Operation Twist at an end and much of the rest of the economic toolkit exhausted, is the next option as simple as QE5, or no?

The Islamic state in context

Almost by default, the swelling numbers of young Arabs, especially in the culturally vibrant centres of the Arab world (Cairo, Tunis, Beirut, Damascus, Casablanca, Kuwait, Manama), will create plurality - in social views, political positions, economic approaches, and in social identities and frames of reference.



Tahrir squared

A functioning state and pride in this functioning state is as much part of the Egyptian identity as the rest.  It is precisely this compact of pragmatism, pride and aspiration that need to be understood to make sense of recent events.  

A year of democratic farce

Samir Amin, Egyptian philosopher and economist, director of the Third World Forum in Dakar, talks about the last year in Egypt with the Brotherhood in power, interviewed by Giuseppe Acconcia.

Talateen seta

The '30-June', (or 'talateen seta' as it is in Arabic), is a password that you can depend on every time to discharge an endless volley of complaints and political theories and speculations. Not everybody is against Morsi and the Brotherhood...

Back to the old Egypt?

If the claims of the opposition activists are true, why don’t they use this 'massive electoral strength' in trying to win parliamentary elections, only a few months away? 

The destruction of the commons

These tools are too powerful for governments not to use. John Boehner, Dick Cheney and Nancy Pelosi – who agree on nothing – have agreed to defend the legality of the NSA program. That’s positive: the rules of surveillance and the supervision of the snoopers might need to be re-written.

A mixed record: Peru struggles to face its past

A new report from the International Center for Transitional Justice highlights delays in implementing a national reparations program for victims of Peru's 20-year internal armed conflict. But even with compensation, can Peruvian society achieve the reconciliation and inclusion it strives for? 

The disappearing entrepreneur

Russia’s small businesses are officially disappearing. Perestroika was supposed to give everyone the chance to be his own boss. Things, however, turned out rather differently.  Mikhail Loginov charts the rise and fall of small business in Russia. 

Turns of the century

Instead of experiencing a proliferation of terrorism, we are witnesses to a proliferation of resistance against the standard economic model of the last sixty years. It’s an endogenous shock, not an exogenous one. The socio-economic contract has been broken.

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