This week's editor

Mariam Ali

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

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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. 

Waiting for emancipation: the prospects for liberal revolution in Africa

Clearly, trade and finance are not organized, in Africa or the world at large, with a view to liberating a popular movement.

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.

Tunisia, bridging the gulf

The terrorist attack in Tunis highlights the challenges facing Tunisia's new government and underlines the need for western support in meeting them.

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.

"Foreigner in my own nation": the politics of Italian hip-hop

As a new generation struggles to overcome the cultural legacy of Berlusconismo, rap remains one of the most important forms of Italian protest. 

Islamic State: a letter from Raqqa

A fourth personal communication from the heart of territory where Islamic State holds sway.

Arms and the men: Sweden’s revoked Saudi arms deal

From the outside, the Swedish snub to the Saudi royals looks like a big triumph for women’s rights over commercial pressures. Close up, the ethical picture is a little muddier.

Gender-blind global health institutions ignore misery for women in Ebola-affected regions

"Invest in women” is a well-worn mantra of international development, but we must ask the question – invest for whom?

Explaining the jihadi threat in Tunisia

We must say that this scenario is both similar to and different from those in other countries of the region where authoritarian regimes fell in 2011.

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.  

Bibi’s upset comeback

After a last minute electoral upset, Israeli Prime Minster Benyamin Netanyahu will almost certainly form a new government. What does a fourth term for Bibi mean for Israel, Palestine and the wider region? 

Egypt: scattered thoughts on a counter-revolutionary moment

The euphoric, Bakhtinian, carnivalesque and dramaturgical moment of January 2011, which caught the attention of numerous observers and which lasted for almost four years, seems to have withered away. 

Brexit: a Norwegian view

"British leadership is needed to help Europe become stronger, more free and more prosperous". Norway's minister of EU affairs draws on his country's experience to make the case.

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.

Armenian genocide, a century on

A hundred years after the genocide of Armenians in the Ottoman empire, widening acceptance of the crime is shadowed by Ankara's continual evasion.

China, the idea-hungry nation

China's restless intellectual energy carries an echo of Austria-Hungary in the pre-1914 years.

Non-violence, anima of revolution

The  Arab spring in 2011 is but one instance of a wider movement of change, says the author of Philosophy of Nonviolence: Revolution, Constitutionalism, and Justice beyond the Middle East.

The right to resist in occupied Palestine: denial and suppression

The right of Palestinians to resist their occupation is enshrined in international and customary law, a fact that is denied and violated by Israel and wilfully overlooked by the rest of the world.

Universal rights, double standards

What is the difference between the human-rights shortfalls of Venezuela and Mexico? Objectively, not much, but Washington has a different perspective.

Afraid of the dark

The lights have gone out in Syria, a symbol for the destruction it has seen. This video, a part of the #withSyria campaign, calls for the international community to step up.

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.

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