This week's editor

Mariam Ali

Mariam Ali is Associate Editor for openDemocracy's Arab Awakening page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Reinventing urban democracy in Barcelona

Barcelona's citizens are setting aside the historical baggage of the nineteenth and twentieth century struggles of industrial workers movements, inventing a newly resonant language of rights and democracy.

Breaching the long litany of unlesses: a response to Simon Glendinning’s ‘Saving Europe from salvation'

The risk to Europe is a perpetuation of crisis by implacable erosion, and with this the abdication of political institutions from protecting the interests of citizens that they are responsible for and to.

Philosophy as a model of active and responsible life

The task of philosophy then becomes an opportunity to dialogue. We have to risk being in search of what joins us in our dissimilarity. 

Political dissidence as care for the soul: reflections on Jan Patočka

In the experience and activity of political dissidence, care for the soul realized itself through denying the falsehoods imposed by the authorities and exalting truth above any imposed scheme.

Charter 77 and the “solidarity of the shaken”

The individual should learn to expose himself to the risk of giving up his egoistic prerogatives, in order to build a new form of community.

Making policy out of mindfulness

Does the attempt to rationalize mindfulness and make a tool for better performance and efficiency undermine its core concept?      

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. 

Europe in a labyrinth and the material power of ideas

The Greek government has the mandate to revive the idea of solidarity and social justice, but also the idea of the economy itself.

The crisis of means without ends: two forms of rationality in the foundations of Europe

Patočka calls for a renewed effort in Europe today to reestablish some kind of equilibrium between “the rationality of means” and “the rationality of ends”.

Money that flourishes

We need to embrace and create new money systems that focus on enabling us to achieve our goals and maximize our potential.

Athens, a flourishing polis

Amid the crisis, the Athens city council won the Bloomberg Philanthropy sustainable development and EFTA solidarity awards. 

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. 

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.

Defending the global knowledge commons

Members are encouraged to use creative commons licensing and to join others in a pledge to be open by agreeing to review for and publish in mainly if not solely open access journals.

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.           

'Pinkoes and Traitors': a tunnel vision of broadcasting history

Jean Seaton’s latest history of the BBC is mired by typos, inconsistencies and factual errors. Far from incidental, this is symptomatic of a broader carelessness that ultimately undermines her analysis. 

Still a chance for another Europe?

On the output side of Europe’s political system, we have an abdication of responsibility by representative institutions in the face of citizens’ demands. But the Greek elections mark a turning point.  

Is UKIP's star fading?

As UKIP seeks to instil discipline amongst its cadres, it finds itself walking a thin line between maintaining the populist rhetoric that harnessed its appeal to the “left-behind” and building a more polished, mainstream image.

Global terrorism as anti-movement

In an anti-movement can be found, in perverted fashion, those demands which a movement could have pursued – the call for justice, equality, dignity, respect and ultimately a brighter future.

What's in a game?

After Tony Curzon Price argued that Greece was not playing chicken and James Galbraith retorted that it's not even playing a game, an applied game theorist reminds us of the logic, in Greece's game, of claiming you're not playing one.

openMovements: social movements, global outlooks and public sociologists

Social scientists have a very specific contribution to deliver in a democratic public space, as openDemocracy’s articles daily testify. The articles by leading global sociologists published this week in openMovements are, we believe, exemplary.

The Rojava revolution

People fighting for survival experiment with their own path to democracy in the Middle East. Not just another effort to carve out an ethnic niche, but to establish a multi-ethnic, multi-religious democracy.

Struggling against fascism: an open letter

Considering the horrors wrought by the Islamic State, a professor writes to his former students at the University of Duhok to remind them that the starting point of the struggle for emancipation is within ourselves. 

Stark symbolism in the Israeli election campaign

All over Israel, we met Palestinians and other Arabs anxious to find meaningful ways of engaging with political questions broader than their own self-interest.

What about an international education?

The 2012 US federal law denying visas to Iranian students comes into conflict with the educational mission of the US State Department. 

The law of the forest and the freedom of the streets

The forest idea is not based on centre-periphery economies and spatial hierarchies, but on equitable networks of livelihood and exchange. It embodies many historic associations with freedom and social justice.

The problem of representation in ‘India’s Daughter’

Jyoti Singh, the real name of the woman in question, has not been allowed to be what she was, but made into what she had no say over.

Homo liber, homo idioticus

What can a document sorting out ruling class differences 800 years ago be used for? David Carpenter’s Magna Carta with a New Commentary is a book about documents, which is both its glory and its downfall.

A Great German Greek Grexit Game?

Curzon Price is clearly right that the “game” is not “chicken.” It is not zero-sum. But the real question is, is it a game?

Economic egoism and liberal dogma

By reducing European solidarity to a question of rules, Germany has become a problem for the European Union.

Antisemitism: the Middle East connection

The basis of Palestinian opposition to Israel’s actions has little to do with it being a Jewish state. Had it been a Hindu or a Buddhist state, the Palestinians would have been no less embittered. This article was a submission to the UK Parliamentary report into antisemitism emanating from the Middle East conflict, made in November 2014.

Stand in solidarity with the struggle of the Greek people

I ask you to stand in solidarity with the just struggle of the Greek people, which is also the struggle of every citizen. Our people have been asked to go hungry to bail out debts created by a wealthy minority, not just in the country but internationally.

How European Union switchboard "demoicracy" works

The complexity of the changing nation-state under the duress of globalization is currently snagged on a simplistic drive to fast-forward the past, driven by the desire to stay local.

The judiciary In Argentina is a very large family

Following a Latin American coup, the first act of the generals and commanders responsible was to remove the executive; the second was to shut down the legislative. Rarely, if ever, did they touch the judiciary. Español.

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