This week's editor

Alex Sakalis, Editor

Alex Sakalis is associate editor of openDemocracy and co-edits the Can Europe Make It? page.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Special deal, root and branch reform or Brexit? Cameron’s EU-policy - a sceptical view from Germany

The concessions which Britain will be granted today in negotiations with Brussels and Berlin may well turn out to be self defeating in the long run, because they will marginalise Britain. 

Morocco, UN myopia and the Libyan crisis

It may be understandable that the UN should clutch at any straws to address the miasma in Libya. But Morocco shouldn’t be one of them.

Suppressed at home, neglected abroad, Ethiopian migrants

The May 24 election, contrary to US Under Secretary of State Wendy Sherman’s misjudged and widely criticized comments, is a hollow piece of democratic theatre.

Brazil in decline?

The sluggish economic situation is much less worrisome to Brazil’s future than the measures being approved in the National Congress.

Civil disobedience is not the same as violent extremism

Several leading Swedish academics published a protest in a major daily newspaper Dagens Nyheter this March, regarding Swedish Government plans for preventing extremism.

Deficits in the EU that should worry Europeans

In Greece for the first time the EU authorities demand a government complete a programme that it has neither designed nor has a democratic mandate to implement.

Has the west given up on democracy?

Authoritarians are methodically cracking down on opposition elements, restricting civil society activity, swapping surveillance and censorship tips and technologies to keep domestic dissent at bay.

May 2015, aka “The month I realized dissent was illegal in Canada”

Bill C-51 and this revision to Canada’s hate laws make it possible for reasonable dissent, formerly protected under free speech laws, to be labeled terrorist, racist, or both, and prosecuted as such. 

The wretched of the sea: an Algerian perspective

The securitisation of immigration control has failed to solve the migrant crisis because it ignores the root cause: a global system that puts profits before people.

Writing history before it happens

Nine surefire future headlines from a bizarro American world.

Spilling the beans, Riyadh style

With recent events, the Saudis are involuntarily proving Obama's point: petrodollars and weapons cannot buy them security, but social and political reform just might.

Europe’s migration crisis: central Europe’s dangerous game

Should a serious migration crisis erupt as a result of conflict escalation in Ukraine, the odds are that the V4 would need assistance through exactly the kind of EU solidarity mechanism they now oppose.

New counter-extremism laws must not cut out spaces for dialogue

How do we address extremism in a way that does not impinge on civil liberties and exacerbate tensions in our communities?

Smoke and mirrors over 'Brexit': key questions on the path to the EU referendum

Cameron has unleashed a process he won't be fully able to control, having major impacts on the UK's political dynamics and its constitutional future at home and in the EU over the next two years.

Europe's eastern partnership: why Riga matters

Russia's aggression towards states such as Georgia and Ukraine is a crucial test for the European Union. The forthcoming summit in Riga is the moment for a decisive response.

Countering hybrid war: civil resistance as a national defence strategy

The western response to Russian hybrid war in Crimea and eastern Ukraine has been predicated on a show of military force. Nonviolent civilian defence promises us another path.

The dangers of a blanket ban: ‘hawalas’ in Kenya

The closure of Somali remittance firms in Kenya, as a direct response to Al-Shabaab, only means cutting off one of the few pro-poor financial systems that exist.

Libya: "Rejoicing at our bloody democracy"

For sustainable peace, the UN must refuse to sanction militarism as the default response to unwanted migration and invest in grassroots women and youth human rights defenders.

Negotiating the Greek public debt: wrong finance minister was fired

Expenditure reduction leads to falling household incomes, contraction in public services and a rising incidence of poverty, all without progress toward the professed goal, reduction in the nominal public debt.

Erdoğan, Syria and the Kurds: be careful what you wish for

A complex political triangulation links the Turkish president with the Syrian imbroglio and the Kurdish question, but his political target is receding.

From shore to shore: regional collapse and human insecurity

These are policies that, whilst having a humanitarian veneer, radically exacerbate the burdens of migrants and displaced persons from and in countries like Libya, Syria, Eritrea, and Somalia, alike. 

The world: an issue missing from this election campaign

A look at the three main parties’ manifestos confirms that none of them really have any big ideas about the rest of the world.

Multilateral nuclear disarmament: it would be a nice idea

The conventional wisdom among nuclear-weapons powers is that their arsenals can only be dismantled multilaterally, step-by-step—yet the associated co-ordination dilemmas keep proving insuperable.

Ferguson to Baltimore: taking on institutionalized racism

What are our values? Equal opportunities? Freedom of expression? Protection of human rights principles? If so, the US is building a frightening track record of alienating and insensitive behavior.

Ed Miliband's foreign policy would not be benign

For political reasons, support for British militarism has been seen by successive Labour leaderships as a key test of seriousness and virility.

Nepal: natural disaster, unnatural suffering

Shockingly, none of the funds that have been pledged by international donors have actually been transferred to Nepal. We know rapid response is possible when security or economic interests are threatened.

Palestinian unity: a dream buried deep?

Neither Fatah nor Hamas are willing to accept power sharing, and the division between them is no longer merely ideological in nature.

Iraq's vanishing heritage: risks and solutions

Despite the challenges involved in rescuing Iraq's endangered cultural and archaeological sites, a recent conference put forward concrete, long-term solutions.

Nepal: Britain’s friend in need

Britain and Nepal share something quite rare in the history of international relations: a veritable friendship between states and peoples.

Why military interventions fail

In examining history, it is hard to avoid the conclusion that a number of major ‘stabilizing interventions’ should not have occurred at all.

Migration makes the world

Far from being the most vulnerable and weak, or just another form of factor mobility in a globalised economy, migrants may be the most powerful individuals.

Missing journalists: Tunisia’s Arab Spring meets Libya’s

Two radically different “Arab Springs” have collided in the ordeal of two Tunisian journalists in Libya.

BRICS from below: counterpower movements in Brazil, India and South Africa

While movements in Brazil and South Africa have been fueled by unrealized socio-economic expectations and by explosive growth in India, what they have most in common is the subordination of democracy to money.

Amendments to Sudanese criminal law

Walaa Salah

Amendments don't mean change. It’s high time for a comprehensive campaign against the entire legal system, calling for dignity and equality for all.

Surveillance, migrant deaths and humanitarianism in the Mediterranean

Smugglers are not the cause of migration; they are the consequences of the EU’s expanding border surveillance regime. The EU should concentrate on saving migrants from this regime.

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