This week's editor

Heather McRobie

Heather McRobie is an editor at 5050.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Iran behind the conciliatory veil

Right-wing US and Israeli venom against the outline agreement is one thing; genuine concern about the Islamic regime’s Shia expansionism and human-rights record is however another.

The Arab World: towards bi-polarity?

Maged Mandour

In Egypt, Syria, Iraq and Bahrain, it will be very difficult for revolutionary democratic movements to succeed in such a bi-polar order.

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.

It’s not all about Islam: misreading secular politics in the Middle East

Western policymakers once understood the dynamics of secular politics in the Middle East, but this knowledge has been subsumed under a fixation on Islam’s supposed threat to western security interests.

Securitisation not the response to deaths at sea

The European Union has responded to the humanitarian crisis presented by refugee deaths in the Mediterranean—but only through the lens of border control.

After Tunis. What next for the World Social Forum?

One of the arguments is that as the crisis has hit the North, it is time for South-based activists to travel to teach their northern comrades how to deal with debt crisis and precarity.

How many people have to die before we start talking responsibly about immigration?

Last week’s deaths in the Mediterranean were directly linked to xenophobic politics in Britain.  

Turkey and the Armenian genocide: the next century

For the Armenian diaspora, today is Armenian Genocide Remembrance Day—but not in Turkey. Perhaps members of the country’s Kurdish minority can help shake up a polarised narrative.

Prohibiting autonomous weapons systems

They have been dubbed ‘killer robots’. Concerted international action is needed to prevent the emergence of weapons which could operate without meaningful human control.

Violence is not inevitable: It is a choice

In 1915 a thousand women met in the Hague to demand an end to war. A thousand women are doing so again this week. It is time the women were heard and their vision shared.

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.

Spain’s hologram protests

Millions of Spaniards have engaged in protests over the past four years. As of July 1 they can be subject to disproportionate fines and even jail for exercising their democratic rights to freedom of expression, assembly, protest and information. Interview.

Sudan and Operation Decisive Storm

Major opposition parties in Sudan boycotted the elections that took place earlier this month, but are now supporting the government's decision to join Operation Decisive Storm disregarding the effect this will have on the people of Yemen.

Climate change and security: here’s the analysis, when’s the action?

We have moved beyond the tired old controversy about whether climate change causes armed conflict. The new discussion must look to compound risks: where climate change, arbitrary governance and lawlessness interact.

AFRICOM behaving badly

United States Africa Command likes to think that it is in the business of exporting ‘rule of law’. But it has been riddled with misdeeds, since it began overseeing the US military pivot to Africa.

Britain started the fossil fuel age. Now it’s our chance to end it

The Welsh Assembly is due to vote on a cross-party motion which, if it passes, will cease all new fossil fuel extraction in the country.

Crisis in the Mediterranean: Europe must change course

As leaders of European Union member states prepare to meet to discuss the Mediterranean refugee crisis, the Council of Europe commissioner for human rights sets the bar for an adequate response.

Gao Yu, and power in China

The jailing of a veteran journalist for leaking a party document is an instructive moment for those studying the mind of authority in China.

Two eras of revolution, and the next

The passing of the bipolar cold war brought a new kind of revolution. But it too is changing as American policy and global politics move on.

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.

Islamic State’s latest victims: poor defenceless Christian Ethiopians

After all, what IS wants is to create a polarized world of Muslim vs Christians by tapping into local discontent of various sorts.

What the EU must do now to halt this tragedy on its shores

There are answers to the Mediterranean migrant-deaths crisis. They just require the European Union, whose foreign ministers met yesterday, to grasp the political nettle.

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.

'Regret' and 'delay': when will Britain end the exile of the Chagossian people?

If rhetoric about Britain "standing tall" is to mean anything at all, supporting Chagossians long-denied right to return home must be an absolute priority for whatever Government is formed after May 7.

Europe's war on migrants

The unending series of mass drownings in the Mediterranean of migrants and refugees are not unfortunate tragedies: they are the dread outworking of the occluding of humanitarian concern by the rhetoric of border control.

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.

Where is another Europe now?

Europe either hangs together or - as the American revolutionaries liked to point out - the nations of Europe will be hanged separately.

Cuba ante la apertura diplomática con Estados Unidos

Si se levanta el embargo y Cuba deja de estar incluida en la lista de los estados que patrocinan el terrorismo, según Washington, el penúltimo muro de la Guerra Fría habrá caído. English.

A tale of two men

The experience of fighters on opposite sides of the "war on terror", marking the 700th column in this series.

Yemen: seeds of conflict, ground of transition

The conflicts in Yemen belong to a complex history, with familial as well as political dimensions. The deep Yemeni context must be grasped if a humane solution is to be found. 

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? 

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