This week's editor

Mary Fitzgerald

Mary Fitzgerald is Editor-in-Chief of openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Christian Zionism and Netanyahu's speech

The Israeli prime minister's purpose in Washington was to consolidate a vital and largely unrecognised political-religious alliance.

The increasingly dangerous Israeli-Iranian front in Syria

Israel, Iran and their allies struggle over their interests in the fate of Syria, only adding to the instability in the region.

Indonesia regresses with the use of the death penalty

The prospect of execution of two Australians in Indonesia has caught international media attention, amid Australian protest. But these are part of a wider official spasm, in a country dominated by a ‘tough on crime’ narrative.

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.

Cuba + internet = democracia (?)

Muchos piensan que internet es la clave para establecer una democracia liberal capitalista en Cuba. Pero ésta es una visión simplista y determinista. English.

Cuba + internet = democracy (?)

Many people think the internet holds the key to establishing a liberal capitalist democracy in Cuba. But this view is simplistic and deterministic. Español

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.

El Poder Judicial en Argentina: una familia muy grande

En Latinoamérica, cada vez que generales y comandantes realizaban un golpe de estado, destituían primero al Poder Ejecutivo y después cerraban el Legislativo. Pero casí nunca tocaban al Poder Judicial. English.

What is Germany’s Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) on about?

The opportunities and temptations of a newcomer among Germany’s political parties.

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.

Women seeking asylum: closing the protection gap

Globally the British government is pushing for better protections for women, yet the same protections are unavailable to those seeking asylum. Asylum Aid is asking why a quarter of women’s claims are overturned on appeal.

Putin still has plenty of friends in London

If we take a brief look back at our history of “getting tough” with Russia, we can see where our political and financial elites really stand.

Turkey and Armenia: genocide? what genocide?

April 1915 saw the start of the genocide against Armenians and other minorities in the former Ottoman Empire. Erdoğan hopes he can ignore the anniversary and it will go away—while Armenian politics is stuck in victim mode.

Arrest of a nonviolent leader in the Maldives challenges the international community

‘Terrorism’ charges might give the government leverage against a bid made by Nasheed to participate in any official political action at any point in the future. What happens now?

Why does Germany insist on a failed programme for Greece?

The elephant in the recent Eurogroup meeting room was Greece's 2010 failed structural readjustment programme, admonished by Yanis Varoufakis as 'fiscal waterboarding'. Why does Germany persist in defending it?

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.

Poland: trust no one but the law

Last week the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg rejected a Polish appeal on CIA-prison cases involving the violation of numerous human rights' guarantees on behalf of two Guantanamo detainees. This was an important lesson. 

Defending human rights in a digital age

Public Debate: Defending human rights in a digital age is being livestreamed from Goldsmiths media and communications department, University of London at 5.30.pm GMT this evening. Read more.

The international community and the crisis in Yemen

If Hadi is to build on the popularity he gained in recent days, he needs to prove that he is the rightful heir to the 2011 revolution. That is the kind of support Hadi needs from the international community, not just kind words and drones.

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.

Resetting Palestine's political system

Repairing the Palestinian political system cannot wait any longer. In Arabic.

Obama's human-rights lacuna in struggle against ‘extremism’

The US president went on the front foot against fundamentalist violence in the Middle East at a summit in Washington. But he was hobbled by his failure to place human rights in the region front and centre.

Ebola: exposing the failure of international development

The Ebola crisis has revealed the consequences of deep-seated, unequal global social and economic relations that international development, as practised in recent decades, has had a role in creating.

You faked your life? Towards a culture of protection in UK asylum

To ensure those in need of international protection receive it, attention must be given to the impact of the societal, political and institutional context on decision-makers’ ability to assess an applicant’s credibility. 

For African dictators, terrorism has its up-sides

In the name of 'fighting terror', African strongmen are strengthening their hold on power.

Mainstreaming post-conflict reconciliation

For the members of the UN Security Council, post-conflict reconciliation cannot remain an afterthought. It is a key component in the prevention of endless cycles of bloody conflict.

Mass surveillance: wrong in practice as well as principle

The paradox of mass state surveillance, as the answer to non-state violence, is that it can overlook the intelligence targeted law enforcement finds and render critical infrastructures vulnerable—never mind threatening fundamental freedoms.

Migrants in the Mediterranean: mourning deaths, not saving lives

For as long as the humanitarian impulse to rescue the desperate and the destitute is trumped by Europe’s focus on border control, the death toll will rise inexorably.

Bliss Was It in that Dawn to Be Next Door

The 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!

Brazil´s foreign policy is in the dark

Brazil could play a critical role in promoting stability in an uncertain world. But no.

Debating a 5th World Conference on Women: defiance or defeatism ?

The past four World Conferences on Women have galvanized activism and strengthened women's movement building. Now is the time to assess and rethink the decision not to convene a 5th global gathering of women.

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