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This week's editor


Our guest editor, Valsamis Mitsilegas, director of the Criminal Justice Centre at Queen Mary University of London, introduces this week’s theme: Privacy and Surveillance in 2016.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Democracy in crisis: two and a half theories about the operation of democratic capitalism

Global financial market-driven post-democracy is well able to describe the logic that governs the realities of contemporary markets and politics, but cannot explain why these realities are justified, universally beneficial or sustainable

Reclaiming Europa and the uncontrolled power of business

The common denominator of Greece's and Europe's (and the world's) problems is the uncontrolled power of business. Politics has become privatised. On behalf of ‘efficiency’ the defence of the common good was outsourced to business groups. With the result that is unfolding in front of our eyes.

On social destitution, misdirected protest and the missing crisis of capitalism

The current crisis was not imposed by technocratic elites, but by democratically elected centre-right and centre-left governments.  It is to a great extent due to the weak response from society that neoliberal capitalism is consolidating further, as governments are imposing exactly the ruinous policies that were at the root of the financial crisis.

China approaches a defining moment

China is faced with the necessity of adjusting the way the political system operates, the economy is managed and society is governed. Where it could maintain the political status-quo and grow the economy through catching up with foreign technology, expertise and science, China is now quickly approaching the point where it will need to create new recipes.

"Unsourcing" - does free labour ultimately require free goods too?

Crowdsourcing has been discovered by the corporate sector, The Economist tells us, as a great way to turn consumers into free labour. "Unsourcing", is the McKinsey-speak for the method pioneered by Wikipedia (and adopted by openDemocracy). But what are the system-wide implications of this move? Where will income to buy products come from once products are made by free labour? A bandwagon too far for the management consultants? Or the opportunity to think about the transformative politics necessary to sustain that world?

The power of ignorance and the problem of abundance

Warning! This article will make you smarter. You're best to guard your ignorance as a powerful political and economic tool, particularly during these current times of financial crisis. 

The Euro is a big success - no kidding

The Euro was the ultimate in supply side economics, designed to perform exactly as it has done in an economic crisis - strip away traditional economic tools of recovery and push states into "internal devaluation", privatisation and attacks on labour rights. It's performing perfectly.

"But you told me I could, Sir". Bob Diamond's "bent for the job" defence

Bob Diamond, ex-Barclays chief, defends himself by saying he got a nod and a wink from the Bank of England and the Treasury, all of whom were happy to see LIBOR fixing as a "noble lie". It wasn't. The lie just shows how ignoble was the system it sought to uphold.

Diversity and uniformity in the Eurozone - making a united Europe work

Underpinning the Euro crisis is a collection of mismatches, of cultures, institutions, expectations and norms between varied European actors and, critically, debtors and creditors. Europe will not survive without unification to smoothe and manage these differences, but it need not be as painful or depowering as many currently argue. There is a positive, optimistic side to greater union. 

After the Katastroika

While European governments breathed a sigh of relief as their preferred candidates won, Syriza will continue to haunt both Greek and European politics as an advocate of a real alternative to EU-imposed austerity.

The Euro - stepping back from the brink?

The recent summit marks an important turning point in building a genuine economic union in Europe and averting market attacks on weaker members. Closer fiscal union should not be feared, provided the political and, critically, democratic frameworks are developed to underlay this significant advance of the European project.

Harder than cracking Diamond

The resignation of the Barclays chief, if welcome, should not be allowed to obscure the need for fundamental reform. And Britain - that large hedge-fund with a small country attached - is deeper in need of it than anyone else.

A memorial in exile in London’s Olympics: orbits of responsibility

Two sets of extraordinary statistics attached to contemporary events are not connected to each other in a relationship of cause and effect but through a chain of associations and a series of responsibilities not faced and thus acted upon. 

A job seeker has set himself alight: how many in the UK are steps from such desperation?

The job seeker who set fire to himself in Birmingham appears to have been driven to this horrific act by an all-too-common glitch in the welfare system. A Citizens Advice Bureau worker explains how such desperation is only steps away for many seeking support from the British state.

This week's window on the Middle East - July 2, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Emirates parents are questioning why their children under 15 are required to register for Identity cards, although they can’t drive, register vehicles, or pay water and electricity bills.

The Euro or devaluation - how to have both

If the purpose of the Euro is to reduce transaction costs within a common market, this can be maintained while internally devaluing within the nation state. Rather than through crude supply side measures, this can be achieved by the introduction of a National Unit of Account. Here's how.

An intelligent industrial policy: and pigs might fly?

The call for a return to an ‘active industrial policy’ has failed to present a modern challenge to finance capitalism. For this argument to ring true in the 21st century, it must first consider with what type of knowledge it is now engaged. How can policy itself escape the pitfalls of nostalgia, lobbying and the bailout mentality? 

LIBOR's poker

The City's Financial Services Authority has given Barclays Bank a massive fine for lying about its cost of capital in the obscure process that sets a key price in the financial markets. It shows again that finance is too important to be left to the so-called market.

Outsourcing charity – the G4S way

The security firm G4S has spread its tentacles far and wide in the UK. Now it is extending its reach into charity, after it signed a contract with a charitable housing association in Yorkshire. Where next?

Open letter to a good friend and colleague

... who happened to become Greece’s Finance Minister yesterday…

A Manifesto for Economic Sense

The economic lessons of the 1930s need not be repeated. Two of the world's leading economists ask us to sign a manifesto for common sense

Soros: economist/philosopher or trading superstar?

A finance insider reads Soros' intervention at Trento and wonders whether this is just a trading superstar talking up his own portfolio? 

Papandreou speaks truth to (European) power

Interview of former Greek Prime Minister George A. Papandreou by Jean-Christophe Nothias, Editor in Chief of The Global Journal. Originally published at  the Global Journal. Cross-posted with thanks.

Save the Euro - who for?

The strongest force holding the Euro together is the political force of creditors. Were the currency to collapse, much of the debt would collapse with it. So the question is, who are we saving the Euro for?

The Eurozone crisis - the slate must be wiped

Both economically and politically the Euro project has been deeply flawed. Enormous debts have been accrued which will never be repaid. The slate must be wiped clean.

This week's window on the Middle East - June 25, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: events in the Arab world are becoming more and more interlinked, and more and more - sectarian tensions cloud thinking.

The road for another Europe

A Brussels forum on June 28 seeks alternatives to the inaction of the European Council on Europe's recession and the restoration of democracy.

The Progressive Challenge: taking on robber baron politics

The following is taken from the opening speech at the Take Back the American Dream Summit in Washington, D.C., on June 18

Watching the watchers

Lack of co-operation on supervision of sovereign credit raters is undermining Rio+20’s pursuit of new Sustainable Development Goals

The immorality of tax-dodging - reserve some indignation for the State

The basis of taxation - especially of the super-rich, but also of the increasing numbers who feel no great traditional or ethnic attachment to the nation - must be solidarity, whose only sustainable basis is a common view of the good we're building. The State needs to recognise its duty in supplying that if we are to solve our fiscal crises

Modern Greek history podcast, parts 2 and 3

Parts 2 (50 mins) and 3 (50 mins) of the generalists' introduction to modern Greek history take us from 1920 to the present day. Part 1, 1820-1920, is here, and the two articles that have served as anchors for the conversation are here (Doxiadis on the historical roots of current economic structure) and here (Takis Pappas on the political history that led to crisis)

German own goal: why Berlin’s sense of invulnerability will be its undoing

Without a mutualisation of risk, the euro will collapse, with devastating implications for German exports, the value of Germany's foreign investments, and the stability of its banking sector. By contrast, the reforms needed to stabilise the eurozone pose far fewer risks to Germany.

Trimming the hair of an old man: or, volunteering within Chinese civil society

The focus on radical political activism in most western discussions of Chinese civil society is unrepresentative of the civil society that actually exists. What this does have is a box of hats, a network of contacts and a presence on QQ, the instant messaging service that has penetrated deep into the fabric of Chinese life.  

Erdogan vs women: the abortion debate

Is it a coincidence that a woman minister’s ideas overlap with many Turkish men’s ideas? We really need some of Foucauld’s understanding of state power to be able to answer this question.


Why all the fuss over Fujairah?

Behind the sabre rattling, analysts should not overlook growing relationships between the emirates and Asian countries.

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