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This week's editor

“Phoebe

Phoebe Braithwaite is openDemocracy’s submissions editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

The Turkish referendum and Bild

A tale of two deep states?

The Second Amendment and democracy

Could our democracies be on the wane and our rights under attack because we are less willing to take up arms to die and kill for our country?

Virtue-signalling as a route to social status: instances from the semi-periphery

Two Budapest-based activists give a vivid account of the ideological constraints they are working under, not helped by certain fashionable forms of ‘intersectionality’.

Participation and foresight: putting people at the heart of the future

The demise of the Commission at the stroke of a Minister’s pen demonstrated the fragility of such bodies. So Welsh Government set out to incorporate the Commission’s function within legislation.

Multiple entanglements

“My presence in a public space holding a notebook let alone a voice recorder or camera would cause immediate suspicion.”

From civil rights to the occupy movement: talking across issues in independent media

Interest in the dynamics of collaboration, alliance-building, coordination, and networking point to intersectionalities in participants, issues, and tactics that movements have always faced. DemocracyNow! is a good example.

French tragedy or farce - 2: A ‘republican front’ against Marine Le Pen?

The truth is that the former economy minister has no solid constituency backing him, and no real popularity.

Citizens’ participation key to an inclusive and sustainable future

Collective action at all levels and balanced multi-stakeholder participation are prerequisites for generating more sustainable solutions.

Building foresight into humanitarian response and development

A call from Action against Hunger for long-term thinking and participation precedes news from the front, from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.

Not “one of us”: the French presidential elections

So, this new situation which looked simple with a choice between two different types of societies, has to face once again a bitter resistance from entrenched political interests from all sides.

Colonial history in the French elections: Algeria, Le Pen, and fascism at the heart of Europe

Marine Le Pen's declaration that colonialism was a positive thing is not only a denial of France's painful history, but an example of the fascism that we now face in Europe.

Why strike Syria, Trump?

Waging war and licensing military conflict is as big as it gets. We must be cautious of spurring on a president we can’t trust.

Foresight in an ageing world

With social cohesion a cultural priority, Israel has long been a leader in ensuring that its citizens are able to remain active within their communities as they age.

The weakening of Egypt’s regional role

As time passes, pressure on the regime will mount and a choice will have to be made between a domestic crisis, loss of valuable allies and international support.

Bolsonaro and the Brazilian far right

They call him “the Myth”. Federal congressman Bolsonaro is Brazil’s far-right star and a presidential hopeful. He is also one of the most popular politicians in Brazil. Español

Tomorrow’s Agency for Asylum

The new EU Agency for Asylum will play a crucial part in the near future in making a robust migration management system for the EU come true.

“You black bastard” Offensive, friendly banter, somewhere in between or both?

“There is no justification for racial discrimination, in theory or in practice, anywhere” and certainly not in Britain or Australia.

To be or not to be: the future of opposition in post-referendum Turkey

In post-referendum Turkey, it is not just Erdoğan and his supporters but the opposition as well who refuse to recognize their adversaries as legitimate – an explosive formula.

Refugee crisis and Central and Eastern Europe: what solidarity do we need?

There is a disconnect between law and practice whereby the EU is continually reforming the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) but seems incapable of implementing it.

From insecurity to insecurity: Black and Ethnic Minority Europeans in the UK

“If all the Europeans leave, who work so hard and they pay taxes, how are they going to manage to keep the benefit system in the first place?”

Reflections on post-humanitarianism in dark times

British opposition to search-and-rescue operations in the Mediterranean and Polish pseudo-theological justifications not to help refugees exploit the insecurities of the humanitarian movement.

Backsliding on civic space in democracies

An open civic space is a key ingredient of a successful and rights respecting democracy. Sadly, there’s a gaping hole between principle and practice. Español  

A hollow referendum

Instead of articulating a brand-new direction for the country, the referendum simply served to legitimize and solidify the powers that President Erdogan has held since July 2016.

O Banco dos BRICS precisa de uma estratégia sólida e participativa para o desenvolvimento sustentável

O NBD tem trabalhado até agora no escuro, com pouca ou nenhuma transparência sobre os projetos propostos ou um verdadeiro compromisso com a sociedade civil. English Español

The BRICS Bank needs a bold and participatory strategy for sustainable development

The NDB has up until now operated largely in the dark, with little to no transparency about proposed projects or real engagement with civil society. Español Português

El Banco de desarrollo de los BRICS necesita una estrategia para el desarrollo sostenible

El NBD ha funcionado hasta ahora en la oscuridad, con poca o ninguna transparencia sobre los proyectos propuestos o un compromiso real con la sociedad civil. English Português

Conflict in Syria: stop instrumentalising women’s rights

The international community is not listening to us. It must depoliticise the fight against sexual violence and humanise the countering violent extremism strategy.

Three humanitarian proposals

"The people we rescue are increasingly reporting having been exploited, abused, beaten, kidnapped for ransom or tortured along the journey from their country of origin to the Libyan coast."

Migrant smuggling to the EU – the need for a coordinated response

From national authorities to EU institutions and international organisations, it is imperative that efforts to tackle the threats are coordinated.

How to lose the next war in the Middle East: the short answer, fight it!

It’s hardly a brilliant observation to point out that, more than 15 years after the "global war on terror", the entire region is a remarkable mess.

French tragedy or farce: the 2017 presidential election – 1

Why Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s late surge? Are we about to see de Gaulle's fifth republic replaced by a sixth? And in 2017, what does a Citizens' Revolution look like?

Migration policies: effective ways to address smuggling

The European Council should review progress on the overall approach at its meetings in March and in June 2017, on the basis of a report from the Maltese EU Presidency.

‘Prevent’, free speech and antisemitism

As a talking point for debate it might be productive. The problem arises from the government of the United Kingdom ‘adopting’ IHRA’s definition of antisemitism in a quasi-official manner.

In crisis-stricken Somalia, no safe haven

Ignoring systemic abuses and the vulnerabilities of people most affected by previous and ongoing crises means that the current efforts will have limited long-term impact.

The world’s last colony: Morocco continues occupation of Western Sahara, in defiance of UN

Some claim that the admission of Morocco will now resolve the question of Western Sahara’s occupation but in fact Morocco is now emboldened.

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