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This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Aerial bombing against Isis is counterproductive

The few politicians in Europe resisting the pull of air strikes, such as Jeremy Corbyn and Matteo Renzi, appear intimidated. They should be strongly supported with activism and intellectual argument.

Erdoğan and Putin: unalike likeness

The leaders of Turkey and Russia are often compared. But their differences are more instructive than their similarities.

(This article was first published on 22 November 2014)

Why we should oppose British air strikes against ISIL in Syria

Britain’s Prime Minister says we should not undertake air strikes lightly – he is right: we need to think about legitimate state building, not replying to terror with terror.

¿Hay discordias entre los manifestantes y los organizadores de las protestas antigubernamentales en Brasil?

Los manifestantes reconocen que tanto el gobierno como la oposición son culpables de corrupción, a pesar del discurso selectivo de los coordinadores de las manifestaciones. English. Português.

Another ‘Dodgy Dossier’ for war

Undeterred by the disastrous results of ‘regime change’ in Iraq and Libya, western powers have for four years been determinedly trying to help regime change in Syria along.

Playing with people’s emotions

'Every time the western media decides what to air, and who to call a terrorist, they generate a lot of debate in our country.' A leading Pakistani digital rights activist on the politics of counter-terror and surveillance.

A discord between demonstrators and the organizers of antigovernment protests in Brazil?

Demonstrators in Brazil recognize that both the government and the opposition are guilty of corruption, despite the selective discourse of the groups coordinating the demonstrations. Português. Español. 

Um desacordo entre manifestantes e os convocantes dos protestos?

Manifestantes percebem a corrupção afetando tanto Governo como oposição, a despeito do discurso seletivo dos grupos que tem chamado as manifestações. Também defendem serviços públicos universais e gratuitos como saúde e educação. English. Español.

Post-democracy in Armenia? How the new Constitution will depoliticize Armenian society

Is the new constitution an attempt by Armenian capital and oligarchs to signal to EU elites and European capital that they are determined to fulfil transnational capital’s wildest dreams? A conversation.

Mourning Paris, Beirut and Kabul

Most western commentators describe ‘the events’ in Paris as entirely different, an attack on our way of life. Which ‘way of life’ is under attack in Kabul and Beirut? 

Why the west cannot defeat ISIS

Maged Mandour

ISIS has emerged from the wounds of the Arab world—for which the west is to a large extent responsibleand current airstrikes are pouring salt into these wounds.

The aid crisis for Syrian refugees

As the war is prolonged, families are exhausting their savings. Without a massive re-thinking of how aid is delivered and distributed, refugees in the region are going to look for ways to leave.

Fictiocracy: democracy as an illusion

Latin America is the domain of democracy as an illusion. An illusion that is maintained by its governments’ narratives, and a democracy that is corrupted by crime. Español. Português.

Ficciocracia: la democracia como ilusión

Latinoamérica, con sus dificultades para consolidar el estado de derecho, es la región de la democracia como ilusión. Ilusión que relatan los gobiernos y democracia capturada por la corrupción y el delito. English. Português

“Ficçocracia”: a democracia como ilusão

A América Latina conta com democracias plenas em muito poucas nações que conseguiram consolidar um estado de direito. Na maioria dos casos, só existem condições para viver a ilusão da democracia. Español. English.

Argentina, gobernada por sus dueños

Por primera vez en Argentina, el centro derecha ha demostrado que puede ganar en las urnas, consolidando la alternancia democrática. Está por ver si volverá a cometer los graves errores del pasado. English

Argentina, now to be run by its proprietors

The Argentine electoral system exhibited its virtues by showing that an incumbent can be defeated, and a centre-right president has been elected. Will he repeat the right-wing’s major errors of the past? Español.

Israel, ISIS and the Paris attacks

The recent spate of terror attacks around the world have given Israel an opportunity to showcase its military and intelligence capabilities—and to further crack down on Palestinians.

Where is the outrage on David Cameron’s scandal in the Gulf?

The UAE, we now know, was busy planning its own operation against Muslim Brotherhood affiliates at home while urging David Cameron to do the same in Britain.

International community neglects to act on Yazidi genocide

Mass murder, rape, slavery, and kidnapping; the situation for the Yazidi community is dire and the international community's reponse has been wholly inadequate.

América Latina busca papel decisivo na COP de Paris

Aproximadamente 25% das terras cultiváveis, 22% das selvas e 31% da agua doce do planeta estão na América Latina. A sustentabilidade do desenvolvimento na região determinará o futuro de todos. Español. English.

América Latina busca tener un papel decisivo en la COP de París

Cerca del 25% de las tierras cultivables, el 22% de las selvas y el 31% del agua dulce del planeta están en Latinoamérica. La sostenibilidad del desarrollo en la región determinará el futuro de todos. English. Português.

Latin America seeks decisive role at COP21 in Paris

About 25% of the world’s farmable land, 22% of its forests, and 31% of fresh water are found in Latin America. The sustainability of development in the region will determine the future of all of us. Español. Português.

We could have stopped the Paris attacks

William Binney and Kirk Wiebe worked at the NSA for decades, before blowing the whistle on mass surveillance. They say they invented a surveillance system that could have given citizens more freedom and security….

The hard dilemma: counterterrorism and/or shallow freedom

How do we limit the freedom of individual terrorists, terrorist groups and support networks to operate unimpeded in a relatively unregulated environment, whilst maintaining individual freedoms, democracy and human rights?

After Paris: stop declaring more wars

In embracing the failed American anti-terror model, France and Europe are abandoning their own successful one.

You are the border, not us: Greek – Macedonia border

UNHCR, the leading UN refugee protection agency, is supporting the enforcement of border restrictions designed to implement a selective right to claim asylum based on nationality.

Violence comes home: an interview with Arun Kundnani

ISIS’s recruits are not corrupted by ideology but by the end of ideology. More radicalisation, in the genuine sense of the word, is the solution, not the problem.

Yemen is not Paris: western media’s cold shoulder

Yemen is a failed state devastated by fighting, with thousands of civilians killed by a strong jihadist presence and widespread suffering. It has made very few headlines.  

Can democracy and genocide co-exist in Burma?

The treatment of Rohingya may be a detail in the general opening up and wooing of a state known for its unspoilt and unexploited natural resources. But what about western media?

Corporate reputation is a pressure point in the fight for digital human rights

"Make it right, make it fair or we will leave." This threat is nothing short of an internet giant's worst nightmare. 

O Governo mais curto da história de Portugal

O XX Governo Constitucional de Portugal caiu ao fim de apenas 12 dias. Uma coligação composta pelo Partido Socialista, o Bloco de Esquerda e o Partido Comunista, unidos somente pela sua rejeição à austeridade, foi a responsável. English.

Portugal´s shortest-lived Government

The XX Constitutional Government of Portugal lasted just twelve days. A leftist’s coalition has brought together the socialists, the radical left and the communists, only united by their wish to battle austerity. Português.

The Indian diplomat and her nanny: why consistency is crucial

Why the personal and the political have to be united (originally published January 2014 and re-published as a tribute to Rick Cohen who died earlier this week).

We need more, not less democracy

I hope you'll join me in installing free software for freedom, fighting against mass surveillance, and refusing to be instrumentalised by those who have failed us – our intelligence services.

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