This week's editor

Heather McRobie

Heather McRobie is an editor at 5050.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Scotland and the crisis of the British and European Unions: How do we democratise?

How does the debate on Scottish independence fit into the wider economic crisis and the conflation of 'economics' with 'business'? Gerry Hassan considers what an independent Scotland might look like and how its democracy could function.

The five follies of David Cameron

Perhaps now, as the eurozone and the entire EU struggles to survive, there will have to be a serious debate in the UK about the EU.

Occupy: you can’t evict an idea

The Occupy movement has changed the national conversation in America, and challenged the rightward tilt of the political landscape with its clear message that wealth inequality is incompatible with democracy, says Ruth Rosen

Wars of Decline: Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya

This article assesses the wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya in terms of their legality, their consequences - local, regional and global - and their impact. It describes the growing impotence of western powers in reshaping global politics by force. Rather, it argues, the flawed application of organised violence as a tool in the defence and projection of western power has dissolved the grandiose project of the ‘American century.’

Mexico's parallel worlds

It is strange how you have to go abroad to see the ability of wildly divergent realities to persist, side-by-side, as if nothing were more natural.

India’s proliferating relations with Africa

India’s demand for resource security, potential trade and investment opportunities and a strategic partnership with the African Union is similar to that of China; but the approach that each nation has taken is rather different.

How far have Human Rights advanced when poverty is so widespread?

If the measure of a society is how it treats its most vulnerable, then societies everywhere have cause to be ashamed. In a changing and dramatically unequal world, the global human rights system must prove its worth, says Vijay Nagaraj

Merkel and Sarkozy are proposing a catastrophe that will destroy the left across Europe

The entire continent is being steered towards disaster - for the sake of economically nonsensical policies that benefit only the banks while decimating societies.

Audio: Anthony Barnett discusses the rise of social movements in 2011

Audio: Founder of openDemocracy, Anthony Barnett, discusses the Occupy movement and its antecedents on Resonance FM show Novara hosted by Aaron Peters.

England, Scotland and the North: a view from 'flyover country'

With Scotland on the road to further devolution if not independence, and the cuts set to deepen, its time to talk about the oft-forgotten North of England.

Why the ‘Arab Spring’ hasn’t reached Sudan

What is it about the nation in Libya and Egypt’s own backyards, which in the face of poorer and worsening conditions, continues to be characterised by a culture of complacency?

UK arms sales to Libya - stop, start, stop and start again

The UK's Campaign Against Arms Trade wants to see an immediate stop on arms sales to repressive regimes, the closure of UKTI DSO and an end to all taxpayer support for the arms industry.

The Bahrain ‘Spring’: the revolution that wasn’t televised

Bahrain needs to set about the hard work of healing societal cleavages, to build the truly sovereign and democratic country which the majority of its citizens appear so determined to achieve. If their much-touted ‘democracy promotion’ rhetoric is to have any real significance, western governments must help rather than hinder this process.

Towards a Red-Green People’s Europe

The president of PASOK and of the Socialist International addressed the German Green party in an audience including Dany le Vert and Cem Özdemir, the first son of Turkish guest workers to enter mainstream German politics, in Kiel on November 25. This is the text of his speech – a tour de horizon of the key elements of an alternative, democratic People’s Europe which he says just needs some time to re-occupy.

A Greek tragedy: the making of the Greek and Euro-Atlantic ruling classes

Who is George Papandreou? The author challenges what he sees as the defence over recent years on this website of PASOK’s reform agenda by Anthony Barnett and Mary Kaldor. This neoliberalism in sheep’s clothing, he argues, has nothing to do with the radical democratic reform proposed by the Arab uprisings and Occupy movements. This is our latest debate on whether Europe can make it.

Euro end-game or end of crisis? Eurozone heads into critical summit

There will be huge sighs of relief if the potential political and economic catastrophe of a break-up of the euro is avoided. But a return to 'normal' politics it will not be.

The material stakes in the Democratic Republic of the Congo elections

Private interest, not public voice, governs the immediate future of the DRC - the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Capitalism no longer exists: it's communism for the rich

The Occupy movement criticises the basic premises of capitalism, but the current economy bears little resemblance to them. 'Capitalism' is now a global fraud enterprise, a million miles from its free market roots.

This crisis is no excuse for technocratic government

In the author's prescient May 2010 article there is the central observation that we are seeing a fundamental fault-line separating economic logic and political legitimacy. The author would have preferred to be less right. Today, saving democracy from the market means all democracies facing the market together.

Reform, rupture or re-imagination: understanding the purpose of an occupation

In 2011 occupations have become the tactic of choice for popular movements worldwide. But how exactly does the physical holding of space contribute to a movement's aims?

Hope from below: composing the commons in Iceland

Never again can the world be told by the custodians of the old that the people cannot be relied upon to write the contract between citizens and government, and write it well.

If things are so bad in Britain, where's the uprising?

Given the obvious harms being inflicted on the population of the UK, in the name of austerity, why did the resistance not start sooner? And now that is has began, why are more people not getting involved?

Occupy London and the unions: brothers in arms or a marriage made in hell?

Occupy London came out in support of the N30 public sector strike over pension reform - but there was disagreement among the ranks. Can Occupy support Britain's unions, and what can the unions learn from the movement?

The missing migration component of Turkey-Africa relations

Turkey needs to come to terms with the immigration responsibilities that come with increased trade links with Africa.

A mass strike in Britain – is this a new era for organised labour?

Yesterday's day of action saw over two million public sector workers take to the streets, in response to far more than the immediate issue of pension reform. Have the trade unions caught the popular spirit of Occupy?

Fred Halliday was right: The LSE, Gaddafi money and what is missing from the Woolf Report

Fred Halliday has been vindicated in his long battle with the LSE over taking Gaddafi money. But the underlying reason - corporate and government pressure on the university is not addressed by the Woolf Report into the scandal.

N30 strike: a new chapter in Britain's history of collective action

Today's strike, November 30, will mark a new chapter in Britain's historic struggles for workers and ordinary people to have their lives determined by their collective will.

The Museum of Neoliberalism: full or empty?

A new occupation has sprung up in a disused museum in London. The occupiers have turned one floor into a museum of neoliberalism. But will it be a space for transportation to a future better world, or an embodiment of the end of history?

N30 strike and Cameron's propaganda

UK-wide anti-cuts strikes on November 30 are predicted to bring 2.6 million workers onto the streets. The Coalition has responded with a propaganda war against the day of action.

Review: "That used to be us" ... before becoming lazy writers

Tom Friedman, font of mixed metaphor, is scrabbling for a big idea that just won't show up. His latest book (with co-author Michael Mandelbaum) finds little favour with our reviewer

Mutualising the media: the answer to UK press ownership?

What would employee-owned or co-operative media models look like? Could they allow for genuine public interest journalism?

Why we should resist the idea of student as consumer

What are the consequences of the marketisation of higher education in England? Our consumerist society may get the education it deserves, but will it be the education it really wants or needs?

Higher education under siege: challenging casino capitalism’s culture of cruelty

Ongoing education reforms in Britain and the US are set in the context of wider issues concerning marketisation, neoliberalism and political protest.

Great Britain in the Greek looking glass

Rather than offering any illumination into the causes of the Greek crisis, Channel 4's 'Go Greek for a Week' held the mirror up to British society's image of itself - but our delusions of fair play and national propriety are just that.
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