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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Greek election result: an assessment

The New Democracy party will lead the government even though it is utterly clear that at least one in three of the voters who backed it think very little of the party but felt they had no other option. This is as inauspicious a beginning for a new government with a mountain range of challenges as one could have imagined.

End in sight to "Othering the Union". Hope for Europe.

The European debt crisis is political more than financial, as argued by George Soros. But the solution to the political problem needs to confront domestic political elites throughout Europe, jealous of their power, with the dishonesty of their stance. Hold on tight - this process provides hope for genuine democratic transformation throughout the Union

Reflexivity, Soros and three months for the euro

The euro crisis needs a collective solution, designed and implemented by both the core and the periphery. It has to be a political solution underpinned by good economic and financial reasoning. What George Soros is telling us is that the latter is by no means guaranteed.

This week's window on the Middle East - June 18, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: while Libyans are quietly proving that they can forgive, forget and move forward together, the current political and military powers in Libya seem intent on proving the opposite to the rest of the world.

After the Greek election

Whatever the case, one thing is certain: Syriza will further increase its voting power. 

History podcast - the birth of modern Greece

In this hour-long informal conversation, Terence Mitchison provides the historian's background to the modern Greek state - from Venetian/Ottoman contestation to the Balkan wars of the 20th Century, the rise of Ataturk and the great population movements in the early 1920s. Parts 2 and 3 are available here.

The Bang! moment is now

To understand the dynamics and timing of the Eurozone crisis, you need to understand how the European Central Bank actually works. The truth is, it is not really a fully fledged central bank at all. National central banks, including Greece's, have been using their power to transform bad bank loans into cash; that cash is now leaving the periphery and forcing a stark choice on Europe

Osborne's Mansion House speech - it's so hard to be honest, guv

An attentive reading of the UK Chancellor's (finance minster's) latest speech to the City reveals the strain of ignoring what really limits Britain's ability to formulate a good response to its own double dip recession or to play a constructive role in the Eurozone crisis. In both cases, the root cause is the absence of true democratic legitimacy that pervades the Westminster/City nexus

Egypt: the deep state resurgent

Egypt's incoming president will enter office without a parliament to oppose him, with a military empowered to arrest and court-martial civilians at will, and a constitution based on that of the Mubarak era. 

Submission to Leveson from Media Reform group urges focus on ownership

The Leveson Inquiry has a broad remit: the culture, practice and ethics of the British press. A new media reform group has submitted their evidence and is urging Leveson not to sideline one of the pivotal issues: media ownership. 

GREXIT and the sovereign crisis of trust: why the Greeks should not accept the German terms of austerity

Greeks should not accept Germany's austerity measures but should remain in the euro, and ultimately seek a federal EU. This is the only way to end the sovereign debt crisis and restore EU trust, solidarity and collective responsibility.

A Chinese spring?

While Chinese petitioners and dissidents hold protest rallies every day in defiance of unaccountable officials, few of them question the necessity of upholding a strong executive authority. Thoughts on revolution and reform by a Chinese student in Cairo.

Elite hauteur: Greece, Niger and the IMF

It may be time to remind ourselves of the parallels between today's IMF-Merkel-Cameron package for Europe’s nations in the red, and the structural adjustment policies of the 1980's. Meanwhile, the centre has everything to gain from the misery of the periphery if only everyone can be persuaded to hold their nerve.

Mapping Greece's forthcoming elections

As Greek electoral law awards the party that comes first 50 bonus seats in the country’s 300-seat parliament, whether that party is ND or Syriza will be crucial. In either case, with so many Montagues and Capulets arrayed on the Greek public square, forming a government will not be easy.

Supplying war in Afghanistan: the frictions of distance

Pakistan has said NATO's supply convoys can cross the Afghan border so long as America's drones do not. Though the expanded use of cyberwarfare, covert special forces and drones is designed to overcome the frictional problems of waging war from a distance, logistics still matter. The world is not flat - even for the US military.

This week's window on the Middle East - June 11, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Will Islamic fundamentalism be a threat to democracy?

Global, independent, watchdog media is good for business. And enlightened business should support it

Independent media throughout the world - but especially in the emerging world - is having to re-invent its business models. At the same time, the business sector benefits directly from the honest public sphere that watchdog media creates. There is room, therefore, for imaginative business solutions to media's woes

Labour should talk about England (but no action, please): Ed Miliband on the Union

The Labour leader has set out his defence of the Union in a speech that appealed to his party to recognise England and show pride in the English. But is this enough, with Scotland considering independence and the English question waiting to explode?

Anger and activism at the G4S annual meeting

More than 70 people demonstrated outside the G4S Annual General Meeting in London yesterday to protest against the security company’s human rights record in various business sectors, from Israeli prisons to “asylum markets” in the UK. Protesters told Hilary Aked why they were there.  

Greece should leave the Euro, but for jobs, not to get away from the vultures

In a lengthy response to Ann Pettifor's call for Europe to abandon the Euro's "fetters of gold", the author disagrees with almost everything, except for the conclusion that Greece should leave the single currency

The contradictory aims of USAID in Egypt

Prior to the Egyptian revolution, the US democracy-promotion strategy helped consolidate the power of an authoritarian regime and today, the course adopted by its funding bodies is facilitating the marginalization of alternative social forces.

What lost, what gained for Scotland in the last 60 years?

As Britain remembers Queen Elizabeth's ascension, how has Scotland changed since 1952? A glance back in time to the archives of The Scotsman newspaper reveals a past with much to say about the nation's present and future.

Is Russia’s protest movement a flash in the pan?

Putin is back in power and the numbers of Russians actively protesting against the regime have dwindled. Six months on, what has the protest movement achieved and does it have a future? Dmitry Travin points to huge differences of opinion in different areas of the country and among different strata of society, and concludes it all depends on the economy.

Manal Al Sharif: a lesson in moral courage

Few individuals are willing to brave the disapproval of their countrymen and the wrath of their society. But Manal Al Sharif, a Saudi woman, has been courageous enough to stand up strongly for women's rights in the face of overwhelming hostility.

Inequality in Britain: Nick Clegg vs The Spirit Level

The Deputy Prime Minister has declared a war on social immobility in Britain. But he is denying the strong relationship with growing income inequality. He should take a leaf out of the Spirit Level book, which has now launched an accompanying campaign.

South Africa: social change or Plus ça change?

The consequences of Black Empowerment policies as implemented by the African National Congress (ANC) now constitute the most severe threat to South Africa’s young democracy to date. 

Some people, Mr Cameron - the Murdochs and a Satanic deal

Cameron has again denied any 'great conspiracy' between the British government and the Murdochs, despite accusations by 'Some People'. Anthony Barnett, who counts himself in this group, sets out why the pact was doubtless Faustian, and the denial heaping insult onto injury.

The Great British Summer?

As the UK gears up to the Diamond Jubilee and Olympic Games, the 'Great British Summer' is beginning. But behind the pomp and dazzle, big questions loom. What is 'great' and 'British' about these celebrations? Do they belong to the British people? OurKingdom invites you to investigate.

The human fighting machine

In the amorality of capitalism, the alternatives for an emigrant are virtually reduced to cynicism or melancholy.

Can disruptive policy create a sustainable finance system?

The ideas for creating a new and sustainable finance system are out there. If this thinking doesn't get greater exposure to policy makers and the media, the world of finance will remain a barrier to social and environmental progress.

Greece and the eurozone: managing the crisis

A Greek exit from the European single currency would not bring the catharsis that some expect. Rather, it will create new challenges that can only be met with major institutional reforms - to which Germany is central, says Simon Tilford.

Bahrain: split over proposed GCC union, and chronic failure of Sunni groups to mobilize

Bahrainis of all political affiliations waited in tense anticipation as rumours of a Saudi – Bahraini union circulated days before the Gulf leaders convened in Riyadh for the Gulf Cooperation Council summit on May 14th, 2012. The summit fell short of expectations however.

New Silk Road: stabilizing Afghanistan post-2014

As Afghanistan looks to a future beyond international intervention, regional support will become ever more important.

The Alabama syndrome

The European Union is not the United States; Germany is not Massachusetts; and Greece is not Alabama, more’s the pity.

An open letter to the leaders of Europe: abandon the Euro's 'gold fetters'

European leaders need to abandon the fetters that chain them to the interests of private wealth, and threaten European disintegration.

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