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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

Speaking with double tongues: what’s gone wrong in Hungary?

Now whoever asks a question is arrogantly refused the moral right of posing the question at all, and is actually faced with a threat that has been openly codified in law. That’s new. But Hungary's authoritarians still have to speak to the outside world in ‘European’. Europe is key.

Social democracy and Europe’s crisis

Elections in France in 2012, Germany in 2013, the European elections of 2014 and the ongoing negotiations for the reform of the EU’s multi-annual financial framework for the 2014-2020 period are opportunities. Whether socialists and social democrats will take advantage of them or not, remains to be seen.

The socio-economic foundations of Bahrain’s political crisis

A study of income inequality in Bahrain highlights the failure of the Government to extend its aid to those who need it most.

Cameron and the future of the Union: a forum

The Prime Minister has conceded that there will be a Scottish independence referendum and argued the case for the Union on these terms. This is a historic moment for Britain. openDemocracy asks its readers for their response in an open forum on the future of the Union.

Scottish self-government and the case for the union

The Prime Minister's Edinburgh speech on the Union was a historic moment for British politics. Now Scots must find their answer to his claim that Scotland in the Union is 'stronger, safer, richer and fairer'.

Paediatricians say: Drop the NHS Bill or you will damage children's health

In a letter to The Lancet 154 leading paediatricians call on the government to drop the Health and Social Care Bill

The Uneconomics guide to money creation

In it's latest book, "Where does money come from?", the New Economics Foundation provides one of the sharpest accounts of money creation in recent times. Can your high street bank really create money?

Can't find a job in the UK? You’re not trying hard enough

Unemployment in Britain could reach 3 million this year, an entire new welfare-to-work industry has sprung up, and the Government still thinks its main task is to get the 'work shy' stacking shelves. Barbara Gunnell asks how, in this Government's vision, has a lack of jobs become the fault of the job seeker?

Financing the transition to a green economy

By keeping investments in clean energy off the agenda, the Kyoto process delayed by a decade any serious engagement with global warming. To get the transformation of capitalism on its way, a serious rethink of eco-investment finance is essential.

Why Businesses Should Learn to Govern

Many businesses are larger economic entities then most states. Therefore it is important for them to act responsibly in every way. Businesses should in fact learn to govern, not forced by law but by a positive sense of duty

Of incontinence pads and private equity

Recent revelations on the privatised health and elderly care sectors in Sweden make for an excellent example of the worst excesses that the profit-motive can lead to in formerly state-run sectors.

Inequality, robin hood, and a lobbying list of sorts... (Oligarchy Watch Part 2)

Democratic Audit continue their brief, thorough updates on the state of British governance.

Occupy London: not in decline, preparing for Spring

The mainstream media is itching to ring the funeral bells for Occupy London. Here, an occupier argues the movement is still going strong, and sets out plans for the coming months.

Economics as a public art

Time to move beyond neoliberalism and its convenient amnesia. Economic policy should be practiced as a public art, not an elite science.

Ministry of Fun or Ministry of Fumble: do we really need the DCMS?

There hasn't always been a Department for Culture, Media and Sport. So what is its role, and would Britain be better off without?

Profiting from confusion: a management consultant's view of the NHS

A management consultant working in healthcare speaks out on what can be a cynical profession, thriving on the fear and uncertainty of clients. He forecasts a worrying future in which consultants play a central role as the NHS prepares itself for radical reforms.

Capitalism and the University: the debate ends, the struggle continues

After the tuition fee protests, before the market-friendly White Paper on Higher Education was silently abandoned, there was a crucial space for reflection on the English university. Was it facing a neoliberal attack? Or essential reform? What was the ideal university? And how could it be realised?

Meet the new boss in Ireland

That’s how democracy works between the EU and Ireland. The EU and its servants in the Dáil either give the Irish people too many votes or none at all.

Whose network?

Reflections on Paul Mason's new book, 'Why It's Kicking Off Everywhere'.

Land grabs: the threat to African women’s livelihoods

Despite the African Union's commitment to strengthening women's access and control of land by placing land rights in the public domain of human rights, it is silent on the issue of land grabs. This is a gap that the AU's land policy framework needs to plug, says Kathambi Kinoti

Disillusion, mistrust and suspicion: the legacy of the Afghan war

When we call for greater security, the soldiers tell us they are here for rebuilding. When we call for rebuilding, they state they are here for the security. In the end, they guarantee neither.

Uneconomics: a challenge to the power of the economics profession

The fall-out from the financial crash is continuing to destroy lives around the globe, yet the power of economists is being entrenched, rather than questioned. In this debate, we bring together anthropologists, sociologists, historians and heterodox economists to ask and answer the big questions.

Benefit cap: a divide-and-rule tactic

26K per family in hand-outs is the limit. Reasonable, isn't it? How else do we get Britain off benefits? A Citizens Advice Bureau adviser gives her views from the ground.

Still fatally flawed – the proposed NHS for England

David Cameron should respect the evidence and stop the unamendable Health and Social Care Bill, says former health minister Lord David Owen

Liberty is at stake: Commons, Lords and the Welfare Reform Bill

If the claim to financial privilege over the Welfare Reform Bill stands, little stops the Coalition from forcing through a broad range of laws. Say goodbye to checks and balances! Scrutiny, farewell!

Exceptionalism as an excuse in Europe’s crisis

This crisis is being used by the national leaders to push the EU down the wrong institutional path, namely intergovernmentalism. The British Tory-led government veto played a role in this, pushing the other member states down the only road that remained available to them, an intergovernmental treaty, but it did so on already ‘fertile ground’.

So who will speak for a better Scotland?

The debate over the Scottish independence referendum plays into the old labels: unionism versus nationalism. Scotland needs to reach beyond these and ask difficult questions if there is to be real change.

China’s big bet on green industry – and how it might green the world

After the failure of Durban, a promising plan B to reducing carbon emissions rests upon green development industrial strategies being pursued by individual countries. And here China is in the vanguard.

Britain won’t have a good society until we revive the ‘public interest’

The pressure group Compass is taking action to place the public interest back at the heart of Britain. Joe Cox of the group's campaigns team reports on their latest event, a citizen's assembly.

Is there such a thing as ethical capitalism?

In response to a growing realisation that neo-liberal capitalism is morally and literally bankrupt, Britain’s political leadership have provided three visions of ethical capitalism for us to aspire to. So, is there such a thing as ethical capitalism? And why is this question being asked now?

Less bank-bashing, more action: time to Move Your Money!

A call is going out to every British citizen who wants the financial sector to clean up their act. Move your money from the big banks to local, ethical or mutual alternatives and send them a message in a language they'll understand.

‘Epic Win’ for Anonymous? Hacktivism and the 99%

The Anonymous 'V for Vendetta' mask is an icon of the Occupy movement. But how does this band of deviant web pirates fit with the Occupiers ethics of responsibility, transparency and democracy? Cole Stryker's new book goes some way to deconstruct the generalisations.

The hole at the heart of the Labour Party

Ed Miliband’s sortie against Stephen Hester and City bonuses is a sign of life in Labour. But Labour’s position on the benefit cap reveals a deep-seated weakness.

The English conversation has finally begun. What took so long?

Englishness is finally finding a voice, after more than a century. Why has it been muted this long, and is it time now for a strong civic nation, or will an England of blood and soil emerge?
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