This week's editor

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Why we occupy: Dutch universities at the crossroads

The Netherlands, a mere 10 years behind the UK, seems eager to catch up. Twin pressures of authoritarianism from above and neoliberalism from below make it necessary to develop the democratic alternative put forward by the movement for a new university.

Greece and the eurogroup: capitulation or breaching austerity's dam?

George Papandreou cancelling his referendum was a capitulation. Tsipras and Varoufakis achieving new space and flexibility and four months to achieve a genuinely new approach was quite an achievement.

Referendum on the academic boycott of Israel at SOAS

London's School of Oriental and African Studies is holding a referendum on whether to cut ties with universities in Israel—an experience which will be transformative in more ways than one.

Bliss Was It in that Dawn to Be Next Door

7716Daesh's depravity may be as much imitative as original; and the writer considers how the battle over freedom of speech is part of a bigger game, driving a wedge between France and its Muslims.

Bliss Was It in that Dawn to Be Next Door

7698The motives of many young would-be jihadists are childlike—the appeal of becoming ‘super-heroes’ to fill an existential void. The author meets a comic book writer aiming to lead them in a different direction.

Podemos: Latin America exports political ways and means

Together with the economic good times linked largely to rising exports, we are currently witnessing an unusual historical phenomenon: Latin America is beginning to export its politics. Español.

Will the real Modi stand up?

Lord Shiva is one God who assimilates in his person all contradictions. Modi did the same!

Reflections on responses to the Falk-Davutoglu interview

Turkey’s democratic future is dependent on a government and political opposition that foster national unity and a pluralist political culture and values of power sharing.

Repression and resistance in Istanbul: Tarlabaşı and Me

"Tarlabaşı is a place to hide."  Soon, there won't be any place to hide… 

An economic revolution may be under way in Europe, but it's not happening in Greece

Croatia's "Fresh Start" scheme may provide an option that not only stimulates growth, but directly and immediately benefits those with little responsibility for the current economic crisis: the poorest.

Free speech, "political correctness" and the university

The idea of "political correctness" is, at the best of times, a vacuous one to invoke in public debate or social commentary.

Rest in power, Assia Djebar

Why is it that the homeland always rejects its most erudite children? Latefa Guemar pays tribute to the feminist writer remembered for her intellectual honesty and unflinching stance against Algerian patriarchy, even from beyond its borders.

Syriza and the rise of a radical left in Europe: solidarity is the keyword

The key protagonist in channelling bottom-up solidarity proved to be – not for the first time in Greece’s history - the institution of the extended family.

From national liberation to neoliberalism: “peace” and aid in Palestine

The occupied territories are trapped in global structures of neoliberal capitalist exploitation, within which the PA and, indeed, Israel itself, increasingly resemble auxiliary nodes.

Interethnic communication in ‘Borderlands’

The Macedonian government shows little interest in fostering interethnic communication. It relies on nationalistic rhetoric and interethnic tensions.

Will the democratic debate over counterrorism gain the edge in battle?

It is our role, as citizens, to scrutinise measures taken in the name of our security and ask, once and for all, for evidenced-based policies: there are no such things as depoliticised and neutral counter-terrorism strategies.

Not so strange ideological bedfellows: Syriza and the Independent Greeks

As the European Commission sets the limits of economic policy all over Europe, it becomes increasingly difficult to think of economic issues independent of the question of EU integration.

The gardener, the grapes and the thorns: the backbone of Europe's future

Populism is now in an orbit of frontal collision with European and national institutions of democracy as developed today, demanding a reinvigoration of 'popular sovereignty.'

“Primero, tomaremos Atenas; luego, tomaremos Madrid”

El objetivo principal de Podemos es aglutinar una amplia mayoría, lo que en la práctica significa poner en pie un partido de clases medias que deje atrás el eje Derecha/Izquierda y ocupe la centralidad política. English.

Who is afraid of Syriza?

If Syriza’s government is crushed by financial markets it would be hard to argue that democracy is still able to control capitalism. 

The balkanisation of Greece’s centre-left politics

Greece’s Pasok centre-left, one of the most prominent parties in post-1980 Europe is now a pale shadow of itself and a marginal presence in the continent’s social democracy. 

US-Cuba rapprochement: welcome to the Caribbean thaw

The Castro regime, they have reasoned, will not be defeated by the CIA but with SEARS, the famous retail chain. Español

A Cuban end to the Cold War

No Latin American government, be it liberal or conservative, defends the embargo and sanctions against the regime of the Castro brothers. Español

“First we take Athens, then we take Madrid”

The primary goal of Podemos is to marshal an ample majority, which means in practice to build a middle-class party, and to give up the traditional Left/Right axis for a position of centrality. Español.

Greece and the unlearned lesson of 1990

The EU might have predicted Syriza's overwhelming victory. After all, wasn't this the great unlearned lesson from the experience of east-central Europe over the last 25 years?

A mellower Naipaul disappoints fans

All was forgotten. All was forgiven at this year's Jaipur Literary Festival. The short fuse replaced by a wire thick enough not to burn.

Asia at the crossroads

Aside from China, nearly all the states in Asia make use of the trappings of democracy, such as elections, parliaments, and the separation of powers. A new report examines the future of democracy in Asia in the next 15 years.

Building consensus in post-revolutionary Tunisia

Tawafuq’ as an idea refers to decision-making not through formal processes relying on potentially divisive majorities but rather informal processes.

A lit-fest expresses India’s genes

The five-day festival passed off “peacefully”, without the violent assertion of the right to be offended.

From Athens to Kobane, winds fill Kurdish sails

Could Greece, through democratic elections, become for Turkey what Tunisia became for Egypt in 2011 through mass protests?

William Blake: apprentice and master

While the English language is gifted with many great poets, William Blake was alone in writing so simply, and so powerfully, and so unforgettably. Now a new exhibition at the Ashmolean Museum is celebrating his visual and literary work in tandem. 

Charlie Hebdo numero 1178: all is forgiven?

Mutual recognition between people and cultures moves in mysterious ways, the cartoon its Rorschach test. 

Prevent and anti-extremism education

In fact, the removal of the ‘duty to promote community cohesion’ in schools from the UK's Ofsted inspection regime sent a very clear signal.

Carry on Sisyphus: short answers on Greece’s post-electoral politics

Perhaps paradoxically, Greece’s real problem is primarily political, not economic, and its name is “populism.”

Please mind the datachasm

They began to interpret things like him leaving the house without his mobile phone as indications that their suspicions were correct. Welcome to one half of the datachasm. Sleep safe.

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