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This week's editor

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Can Europe actually make it?

Between a destroyed economy, blatant institutional dysfunction and fledging popular support, the current picture of the EU looks bleak. But it is not the end of the Union yet!

Brazil’s mensalão: corruption and context

Corruption traditionally involves the spiriting away of public funds for private gain, here the ultimate gains were arguably public. Poverty levels in the country fell more than 51% between 2002 and 2010.

This week's window on the Middle East - December 3, 2012

Arab Awakening's columnists offer their weekly perspective on what is happening on the ground in the Middle East. Leading the week on the democratic rollback which has ignited Egypt's streets: The Saturday Mothers

The Saturday Mothers

To the memory of Mother Berfo who has searched for her disappeared son for thirty years.

The revolution continues: Morsi’s miscalculations and the Ikhwan’s impasse

After President Morsi’s Constitutional Declaration providing him with unprecedented sweeping powers, the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt faces unprecedented protests. Is this a sign of its political weakness?

Britain, become a republic! You can even keep the Queen!

Britain has been fooled. Told that 'republicanism' just meant sacking the monarchy, the British have missed its radical vision for the future. We interview the author of a new pamphlet that seeks to ignite the flame.

Christmas trees, Islam and right wing populism: a Danish Christmas story

‘Christmas takes ages and costs a lot of money…’ goes a popular Danish Christmas carol. This year, Christmas started early and revitalized old debates about failed integration, cultural incompatibility and Islamization.

How Britain could leave the EU

Unless politicians, business leaders and trade unionists find the courage to make the case for membership, it is only a matter of time until Britain leaves the EU.

Mexico's lost generation

Enrique Pena Nieto will assume the Presidency of Mexico on the 1 December 2012, a day which will mark the return of his party, the Institutional Revolutionary Party (PRI) after 12 years absence.  Their first job:  Mexico’s biggest labour reform in over 40 years.

Democracy in a state of emergency: Greece, the EU and the eurozone debt crisis

Day after day, it is becoming clearer that the European Union has no intention of tackling its democratic deficit. It is time for the Union to realize it has failed Greece, European citizens and its own ideals - including democracy.

Leveson has reported, now let the campaigning begin!

Two of the most prominent campaigners for wide-reaching reform of the British press, Hacked Off and Media Reform, respond to the long-awaited Leveson Inquiry report.

An iron chain of bondage: lessons from the Knights of Labor

As modern workers, we have much to learn from the rich tradition of labour republicanism in America. The second piece in our Democratic Wealth series, hosted with Politics in Spires

Russia paralysed by pragmatism

Officially, the Russian government is above politics. While this stance worked well during the boom years, since the financial crisis it has been paralysing government. Reform is urgently needed. But how can these be pushed through without recourse to politics? Russia’s non-political period is drawing to a close, Dmitry Butrin reckons.

Elections in Catalonia: it takes two to tango

On Sunday November 25, the Catalan elections illustrated the fact that, in politics, nothing is ever sure. But also, and more importantly, that nothing is ever as simple as politicians would like it to be.

India Burning

When the rice harvest season finishes in a few weeks, fields in India will turn black as farmers burn thousands of acres. This practice shows one of the failures of the Green Revolution, with devastating regional and global consequences. A food-security-obsessed India cannot ignore these issues for much longer.

Deconstructing false myths: Spain vs Catalonia

This Sunday's election confirmed the success of nationalist parties in Catalonia - paving the way for a probable referendum on independence. However, this outcome is alienating to many - Catalans and Spaniards. When two cultures have been interlaced for so long, how does one draw the line between "them" and "us"?

Reclaim the future? An idea whose time has come

This weekend radical activists from across Britain will come to the capital to debate, discuss and plan for a future beyond the dead end of austerity.

Vultures are circling the carrion of sovereign debt

In the struggle between Argentina and a "vulture fund", a New York judge has sided with the vultures. It's a move that could have significant consequences in Europe. Public pressure may yet force a turning point: the introduction of an agreed process for sovereign default.

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