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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

There and back again? Media freedom and autonomy in Central and Eastern Europe

Collusion between the press and politicians is not confined to western Europe. Central and Eastern European countries are also plagued by their own mini-Murdochs – and in these more fragile democracies, they represent an even bigger threat.

A democratic case for the free market?

What is the meaning of economic liberty? Is there a moral case for the free market? A review of the recent book 'Free Market Fairness' by John Tomasi tackled these questions, introduced here by the editor of the Democratic Wealth series.

Fraternité 2020: a European Citizens' Initiative

Since April of this year, European citizens can launch a pan-European civic initiative (ECI) to bring a matter to the Commission and the Parliament. How does it work in practice? Fraternité 2020, the first ECI ever registered, is a telling example.

How Labour embraced the City

The political victory of the City over manufacturing has been a long and cross-party project with significant consequences for our current economic predicament. Robin Ramsay examines the journey from the 70s to the present day. 

After the elections, an alarming audit of Romanian democracy

A motley alliance of socialists, liberals and conservatives won the 9 December Romanian parliamentary elections. What they clearly share is profound dislike for the country's once-powerful president, Traian Basescu, whose five-year mandate continues into 2014. What is less obvious is how they will govern the country.

Is Erasmus Europe's success story?

In our new 'Eminent Europeans' series, we ask the continent's share of intellectuals - philosophers, artists or scientists - to share their vision of Europe. In the first article, Jan Truszczyński, the European Commission's Director-General for Education, Training, Culture and Youth, explains why the Erasmus programme is one of Europe's biggest achievements.

A return to Sovereign Money?

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) recently published a working paper arguing for the removal of private bank’s privilege of creating the national money supply.  The so called ‘full’ or ‘100%’ –reserve reform has a long history – but, with the Icelandic parliament actively investigating the proposal and little sign of current reforms rebooting the economy, might its time have come? 

Four Labour myths that scapegoat immigrants

How much distance is there really between Ed Miliband and Gordon Brown’s “British jobs for British workers”? 

This week's window on the Middle East - December 17, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Fixing the rules of the game

Can Labour build a Britain that works together?

'This is a speech of celebration and integration'. So said Ed Miliband today, of his latest speech on the One Nation Labour approach. But is his party in touch with everyday experiences across Britain?

Mills responds to Curzon-Price on productivity, wages and the UK's low earners

We may not be able to do much about the top decile protecting their earnings, but we can drive the bottom up if we focus on areas of existing strength in productivity - here's why

Something rotten in the ANC state

The palaces of President Zuma and the massacre of miners symbolise how the gulf between rich and poor has widened in the eighteen years since the African National Congress came to power in South Africa. On the eve of the ANC conference, a report on growing disillusionment among former supporters.

European foreign policy: resilience versus time

With most European efforts focusing on salvaging the economy and an inaudible External Action Service, is there a future for European foreign policy?

Bulgarian national identity in an era of European integration

Almost six years after its accession to the European Union, Bulgaria is confronted with the ghosts of a nationalist past. Barriers to Europeanism, however, are weaker than ever.

Dwelling on the cost of housing

More than a decade of viewing property as an investment has driven up prices and eroded the status of affordable housing as an enduring human need. It is time to consign “basic economics” to the scrap heap and hold successive governments to account.

Making finance work for women

Just as it is not an inherent feature of the financial system to work against society, it need not be the case that it discriminates against women. A flourishing group of financial cooperatives and mission driven banks are leading the way in showing how

Lessons from the periphery

Democratising the EU is not about Europhilia or Euroscepticism. In modern society, power and democratic accountability go hand in hand. European leaders should draw inspiration from the Union's periphery!

Tax avoidance: indignation only gets us so far...

There has been a huge shift in public opinion in the UK on big corporations and rich individuals avoiding tax. How best to build on this?

The commercial republic: a contradiction in terms?

Republican thinking today relies heavily on a classical conception of citizenship. Can this ever be compatible with modern commercial society?

When the possible death of humanities is a progressive development

MOOCs (massive open online courses) and more freely available lectures and university content are transforming the education landscape, and alliances between academia and corporations are ever-increasing. But this revolution in education might pose a lethal threat for hardly commodifiable disciplines such as those of the humanities. 

Monti's move and the Italian game of politics

Two big announcements have shaken Italian politics up last week: with Monti's resignation and Berlusconi's comeback, a year of positioning on the Italian chessboard is rapidly moving towards a conclusion.

Why the EU needs Croatia (even more than Croatia needs the EU)

Croatia is expected to become the 28th member of the European Union by July 2013. Strangely enough, as things stand now the EU might have more to gain from this accession than Croatia does.

An interview with Jimmy Wales

On Sky News, Dermot Murnaghan sits down with Jimmy Wales, co-founder of Wikipedia, to discuss the media, old and new.

A credible platform for progressive parties in Europe

European trade unions and many progressive parties simultaneously ask for lower European budgetary constraints to counteract recession, while agreeing with austerity at home. But there's a way to resolve this contradiction – and to reverse depressive tendencies, foster growth and increase competitiveness in Europe.

Why the EU deserves the Nobel Peace Prize

The European Union's Nobel Peace Prize, which it will officially receive today, was a reminder that the EU is much more than just a market or a currency union. It is the foundation of Europe’s security, freedom, and prosperity. But this very foundation is now threatened by short-sightedness and misunderstandings.

This week's window on the Middle East - December 10, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week: Brothers in the hood: Egypt’s soft powers and the Arab world

An Imaginary Board Meeting at Pearson

According to a new study, Britain - far from being a basket case at education - is in fact ranked 6 in the world. But who was the ranking produced by? Does it stand up? And who is it really good for? Michael Bullen plays fly-on-the-wall at an imagined Pearson board meeting.

Devaluation could exacerbate inequality rather than reduce it

Continuing our Devalue or Else series, Tony Curzon-Price replies to John Mills, arguing that further devaluation could even increase the earnings divide across UK industries. Could this effect be enough to offset the equality gains from increased employment?

Turkey's democratic shortfall: is Prime Minister Erdogan the main problem?

International observers have always nurtured mixed feelings towards Recep Erdogan, the Turkish prime minister: is he a resolute champion of democratisation, or an Islamist with hidden authoritarian tendencies? The answer might have less to do with his personal traits than with the system he operates within.

We're heading to dark days

Oliver Huitson listens to Mark Serwotka, General Secretary of the Public and Commercial Services Union, talk about the Autumn statement, tax avoidance, Union strategy and the Conservative vision for the nation – where are we headed, decades of austerity, or is Britain “de-developing”?

Tunisia: Siliana and the heritage of Farhat Hached sixty years after his assassination

Farhat Hached is still making history in Tunisia, where the government is fixated on shifting Tunisian society in a more religious direction, while failing to address the country’s appalling poverty and unemployment. We learn about that history.

Tariq Ramadan interviewed post-Arab spring

We are making a mistake, a very big mistake if we look at what we call the Arab Awakening only by looking at the whole dynamics in political and not in economic terms.

The European Union's social failure

During the current economic crisis, the European Union has focused its efforts on building a financial union – while making next to zero progress on a political or social one. If there is really no alternative on the table, then democracy becomes a façade (“Fassadendemokratie”).

OurBeeb forum session 1: funding and the licence fee

On 31 October 2012, OurBeeb held a day-forum at King’s College London to discuss the future of the BBC. Full audio and video highlights start with a discussion between David Elstein and Lis Howell on how to fund public service broadcasting. 

Why devaluation could reduce inequality

It is not just Britain's balance of trade that would be aided by a substantial devaluation but also inequality and the host of ills it brings with it. John Mills explains why in this second round of articles from the debate Devalue or Else.

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