This week's editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Civil disobedience is not the same as violent extremism

Several leading Swedish academics published a protest in a major daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter this March, regarding Swedish government plans for preventing extremism.

Smartness Inc.

The powers behind India’s first ‘smart city’ tell us that “land is not an issue”. But with the neoliberalisation of space comes a disturbing transformation of citizenship via data and real estate.

Deficits in the EU that should worry Europeans

In Greece for the first time the EU authorities demand a government complete a programme that it has neither designed nor has a democratic mandate to implement.

Has the west given up on democracy?

Authoritarians are methodically cracking down on opposition elements, restricting civil society activity, swapping surveillance and censorship tips and technologies to keep domestic dissent at bay.

May 2015, aka “The month I realized dissent was illegal in Canada”

Bill C-51 and this revision to Canada’s hate laws make it possible for reasonable dissent, formerly protected under free speech laws, to be labeled terrorist, racist, or both, and prosecuted as such. 

Europe’s migration crisis: central Europe’s dangerous game

Should a serious migration crisis erupt as a result of conflict escalation in Ukraine, the odds are that the V4 would need assistance through exactly the kind of EU solidarity mechanism they now oppose.

New counter-extremism laws must not cut out spaces for dialogue

How do we address extremism in a way that does not impinge on civil liberties and exacerbate tensions in our communities?

Smoke and mirrors over 'Brexit': key questions on the path to the EU referendum

Cameron has unleashed a process he won't be fully able to control, having major impacts on the UK's political dynamics and its constitutional future at home and in the EU over the next two years.

A second generation of grassroots movements in central and eastern Europe?

What comes next for central and eastern Europe’s civil society and social movements? The trend is for new forms of social participation that are community-oriented.

How to stop Boris? Labour, the Liberal Democrats, and what the left must now do

The only way parties of the left can stop Boris Johnson is by coming together and ending their internecine tribalism.

PC thought-bots embarrass themselves with PEN boycott

What’s really at stake in awarding a character prize to the French satirical weekly?

The world: an issue missing from this election campaign

A look at the three main parties’ manifestos confirms that none of them really have any big ideas about the rest of the world.

Designing enclosure? An open letter to Apple

To mark International Day against DRM, we question why Apple continues to lean its considerable weight against the philosophy of openness in software.

The ‘western model’ and its discontents: an interview with Pankaj Mishra

The Indian essayist Pankaj Mishra believes that the west has lost the power to create a world after its own image. What is the future of the ‘western model’?

Symbiotic Realism and just power

Four interlocking elements shape the global system: the neurobiological substrates of human nature (providing a more complex account of human nature), the persistence of global anarchy, which today coexists with conditions of instant connectivity and interdependence

Long view of the future in South America

What took the left to government in this part of the world should be understood as part of a process of exclusion of the poor strata of society from the socio-political arena. Español.

Back to the future in Turkish politics: CHP in search of a social democrat identity

Kilicdaroglu not only promised to address the problems of the country’s 17 million poor, but tied the reforms to a timeline, not at all common in Turkish politics. 

The British syndrome: an abdication of responsibility

There are glaring absences at the heart of the UK elections contest. The new preface to his ‘Essay on Britain, now’ - by one of Britain’s leading political thinkers tells us why. Remarkably, it suggests ways in which to free ourselves from the trap we are in.

In new gods do we trust?

Do you expect the machine to solve the problems? In this wide-ranging interview with the Director of the Open Rights Group we discuss bulk collection, state bureaucracies, the pre-crime era and trust.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 3

UK media coverage of EU issues is frequently superficial and plagued by basic errors. The BBC, and others, must work to change this.

The plurality deficit: public service broadcasting and institutional competition

Is institutional competition the answer to the ‘plurality deficit’ in public broadcasting? The evidence suggests no.

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. 

Contradictions and challenges of the Podemos phenomenon

Podemos came from the streets, social media platforms and out of a horizontal ideology not found in the traditional parties.

The renewable revolution

Four reasons why the transition from fossil fuels to a green energy era is gaining traction.

Why bother about digital rights? An absence in the election campaigns

Digital rights are too often reduced to questions of ‘security’. In their election manifestos none of the major British parties appear to have grasped their wider significance.

Scrutinising the Scrutineers: part 2

Infuriated by the BBC’s lack of coverage of its work, The European Scrutiny committee is at the centre of a discussion about the ‘limits’ of the corporation's independence. 

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? 

On the strangeness of contemporary antisemitism

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

Rule Britannia

Today’s parallel with feudal 1215 is the absolute dominance of a “collective monarchy”, combining the power not merely of the Westminster state but also of the corporate and financial institutions and their elites. 

Our otherness: imagining Balkan and mid-Eastern identities

Rayna Stamboliyska

The original quote by Orwell is “He who controls the past controls the future. He who controls the present controls the past”. In just two sentences, he has embraced our fate.

Project modernity

The universalism of the Enlightenment had, at best, a paternalistic attitude towards 'the savages', and at worst, sought to eviscerate entire peoples, cultures and histories.

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.

Further notes on the evolution of the jihadi international movement

The Islamic State project is finding some consensus in countries where political deadlock reduces our social lives to a primordial level. Social and economic frustration stays at an all-time high level, even in a country like Tunisia.

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.

Shia crescent: self-fulfilling prophecy

Iran does not have influence over the region’s various Shia actors by default, but is helped by the way the Arab world regimes have historically treated Shia actors in the region. 

Syndicate content