This week's editor

Jeremy Noble, editor

This week Jeremy Noble and the oDR team edit the front page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Lampedusa: Never again

The terrible migrant deaths off the Italian island have evoked horror across the continent. In a small camp in France, Rebecca Omonira-Oyekanmi talks to their fellow countrymen and women who have survived: their hopes, dreams, and learning to feel unwelcome in Europe. (First published in October 2013)

Who benefits from benefit?

The UK "benefit" system is about ensuring that people play the part alloted to them by economic and political elites.

Charlie Hebdo, and being non-European

Being European is a form of life beyond ethnicity, religion, skin color, or sex; it is a peculiar ontology that is open to everybody, that is an achievement of world history. 

Debating the long and the short-term view of sexual violence in war

Sexualized violence is an issue of security.  It is also an issue of women’s equality and rights. It's imperative that we use the traction generated by UN Security Council resolutions to move forward.

Hidden women human rights defenders in the UK

Without recognising the work of women who seek to protect human rights domestically, the UK government risks seeing the activist’s role as a stage of international development rather than as a core function of democracy. 

Our Lives: Poverty then and now in the UK

A report launched today, Our Lives: Challenging attitudes to poverty in 2015, captures the humanity of the experience of poverty and calls for change as radical as the social reform in the 1940s.

Violence compared: rape in Turkey and India

There are striking similarities in the responses to rape and murder cases of women in India and Turkey: a predilection for punitive measures without addressing the root causes of violence.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 1

The European Scrutiny Committee has locked horns with the BBC, repeatedly accusing it of a pro-EU bias. Is the corporation’s editorial independence under threat? 

Ending the humiliation of women in Northern Ireland

Women demanding democratic participation in Northern Ireland's peace process are using human rights principles to confront the hostility and exclusion they face from those in control of decison-making structures.

On the strangeness of contemporary antisemitism

Can we agree on one thing? That contemporary antisemitism is profoundly strange. 

The personal is political: the journey of a feminist slogan

All successful slogans are subject to misappropriation: it is a sign of their success. The personal is political – but mind the gap.

The new Sangatte: rights pushed out of sight

In the context of escalating police violence and local racism, the new day centre for migrants in Calais, France is an example of increased, anti-migrant state control posing as humanitarian assistance. 

A dangerous silence in India’s north-east

Unlike the 2012 Delhi gang rape, the violence meted out against women in India’s north-east has not elicited widespread calls on the government to act. The silence is proving costly.

Coming to a university near you: casualisation through internal outsourcing

Warwick University’s new ‘Teach Higher’ initiative aims to centralise ‘casual’ academic work. This move will only exacerbate the problem of precarious labour in the university. 

The Great Charter of Liberties

Looking at the distance between the Westminster parliamentary system and those to whom elected representatives are ultimately accountable, the Chartists had a point – in fact, at least six points.

Kenya’s Security Law Act: freedom of expression and media freedom

The measures risk deterring journalists from covering terrorism-related topics and may have a significant effect on the quality of public debate.

Missing from Turkey’s peace process: memory, truth and justice

The resolution of the Kurdish question is closely linked to both truth and justice for past crimes, but also to ending ongoing state violence against Kurds.

Does the governance and regulation of the BBC need to be changed?

The third City University and OurBeeb seminar on the future of the BBC was held on Thursday 26 March. This time, a real consensus began to emerge.

Banking on human rights

The Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank can contribute to the urgent socio-economic needs of people throughout the region, but only if member countries ensure its respect for rights.

The gender wars in Turkey: a litmus test of democracy?

The pent up fury and grief released by Özgecan Aslan’s attempted rape and gruesome murder reveal deep fault lines and simmering sources of disaffection in Turkish society.

A day of reckoning, 39 years later...

On this Land Day, while world powers have recognised the danger of the religion-centric Islamic State (IS), it is ironic that some of the same governments are urging Palestinians to accept Lieberman's "axe"-wielding Jewish version of IS.

Labour, life and love: Marxist feminists join the dots

Last weekend two generations of international feminists met at a conference in Berlin designed to prompt fresh thinking on Marxist feminist theory and inspire the renewal of a socialist feminist movement.

On Solidarity

The idea of solidarity has its roots in the history of the workers’ movement, and as this is usually excluded from conventional tales of human endeavour, it is seldom understood. 

Waiting for emancipation: the prospects for liberal revolution in Africa

Clearly, trade and finance are not organized, in Africa or the world at large, with a view to liberating a popular movement.

Farkhunda paid for Afghanistan's culture of impunity

How can we interpret the lynching of Farkhunda by an angry mob in the heart of Kabul city? What are its implications for the future of Afghanistan?

An irresistible force? Arab citizens of Israel after the elections

Binyamin Netanyahu may have returned to power by disowning the two-state solution and scaremongering about Arab voters pre-election. But Palestinians in Israel have become a force to be reckoned with.

Digital citizenship: from liberal privilege to democratic emancipation

On the anniversary of the Magna Carta, a call for a new debate on the conception of citizenship. Let’s seize the opportunity to transform our utopian dreams into everyday life.

Secretive and seedy: how aid donors are opening the agribusiness flood gates

When big agribusiness teams up with international aid organisations to corner the market on seeds, everyone loses. 

Building "a new Turkey": gender politics and the future of democracy

Can Turkey's government eschew gender equality, demonise the country's dynamic women's movement, and still prevent gender-based violence? Can a party that rejects gender equality be a force for democratisation?

Introducing three old ideas for a new Europe: flourishing, solidarity and care for the soul

These ideas--care for the soul, flourishing, solidarity--are ideas that according to Jan Patočka could be useful for reinterpreting our political space, in the face of a crisis which is shattering it.

Challenging Northern Ireland’s abortion law

The latest challenge to Northern Ireland’s abortion law is a very small step in the right direction, away from a post-conflict settlement in which women can be treated as secondary citizens. 

Gender-blind global health institutions ignore misery for women in Ebola-affected regions

"Invest in women” is a well-worn mantra of international development, but we must ask the question – invest for whom?

Explaining the jihadi threat in Tunisia

We must say that this scenario is both similar to and different from those in other countries of the region where authoritarian regimes fell in 2011.

Travelling theory

Around social thinkers from the South, who have not made it into the conventional sociological tradition, Connell proposes to build an alternative social science.           

Women and the Arab Spring: a dream turned nightmare

Change must start from within each individual. As quoted in the Quran, “Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”  

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