This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is a submissions editor at openDemocracy.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Migrants in the Mediterranean: mourning deaths, not saving lives

For as long as the humanitarian impulse to rescue the desperate and the destitute is trumped by Europe’s focus on border control, the death toll will rise inexorably.

Bliss Was It in that Dawn to Be Next Door

The motives of many young would-be jihadists are childlike—the appeal of becoming ‘super-heroes’ to fill an existential void. The author meets a comic book writer aiming to lead them in a different direction.

Podemos: Latin America exports political ways and means

Together with the economic good times linked largely to rising exports, we are currently witnessing an unusual historical phenomenon: Latin America is beginning to export its politics Español. 

Will the real Modi stand up?

Lord Shiva is one God who assimilates in his person all contradictions. Modi did the same!

Brazil´s foreign policy is in the dark

Brazil could play a critical role in promoting stability in an uncertain world. But no. From openDemocracy.

Debating a 5th World Conference on Women: defiance or defeatism ?

The past four World Conferences on Women have galvanized activism and strengthened women's movement building. Now is the time to assess and rethink the decision not to convene a 5th global gathering of women.

A Saudi-Iranian grand bargain

Pundits have long criticised the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) for propagating Wahhabism, its austere brand of Sunni Islam, but have failed to address the underlying regional context.

Reflections on responses to the Falk-Davutoglu interview

Turkey’s democratic future is dependent on a government and political opposition that foster national unity and a pluralist political culture and values of power sharing.

Repression and resistance in Istanbul: Tarlabaşı and Me

"Tarlabaşı is a place to hide."  Soon, there won't be any place to hide… 

Islamic State: bring on the drones

The challenge of jihadism in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere is reinforcing the United States's embrace of "remote control" warfare.

Righting a wrong: how to restore decency to the British Indian Ocean Territory

Past injustices inflicted on the last outpost of empire need to be acknowledged – and redressed.

Karabakh truce shaken by gunshots and tough talk

OSCE mediators urge an end to attacks after a month in which the 20-year-old ceasefire was broken in thousands of incidents.

Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Big Pharma giveaway

Out of all big industries making billions in profit, the pharmaceutical is probably the most ethically questionable.

Is there reason to hope for Minsk II?

The last Minsk agreement on eastern Ukraine failed to bring peace. The latest looks similar—but the context has changed.

There is no such thing as a moderate Syrian opposition

The Syrian Arab Army has multiple charities that go house to house looking after its men in uniform.

Syriza and the rise of a radical left in Europe: solidarity is the keyword

The key protagonist in channelling bottom-up solidarity proved to be – not for the first time in Greece’s history - the institution of the extended family.

Sectarianism and Iran’s foreign policy

Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif, toasted in the west as a rational thinker disinclined to give in to bombastic rhetoric, has also resorted to Iranophobia.

Riding the caliphate interstate with Jeff Steinberg

An interview on the origins of Islamic State and its relationship with regional and global powers.

From national liberation to neoliberalism: “peace” and aid in Palestine

The occupied territories are trapped in global structures of neoliberal capitalist exploitation, within which the PA and, indeed, Israel itself, increasingly resemble auxiliary nodes.

Ukraine ceasefire announced at Minsk summit—what next?

The ceasefire agreement in Minsk over Ukraine was better than no outcome at all. But only a little better.

Proper democracy triumphs in Delhi

The Aam Admi Party won as many as 67 of the 70 seats in the Delhi State legislature. Modi’s BJP managed to get just three of its candidates elected. Congress failed to win a single seat.

Assessing Europe’s response to the Paris attacks

Since rising intolerance in Europe is not confined to anti-Semitism, Europe’s response also needs to be broader.

Interethnic communication in ‘Borderlands’

The Macedonian government shows little interest in fostering interethnic communication. It relies on nationalistic rhetoric and interethnic tensions.

Will the democratic debate over counterrorism gain the edge in battle?

It is our role, as citizens, to scrutinise measures taken in the name of our security and ask, once and for all, for evidenced-based policies: there are no such things as depoliticised and neutral counter-terrorism strategies.

What freedom of speech? Of foxes, chickens, and #JeSuisCharlie

Most Europeans, at both elite and mass level, have a grossly inflated idea of the extent of freedom of speech in Europe, a direct consequence of the uncritical and self-congratulatory discourse on the topic.

Not so strange ideological bedfellows: Syriza and the Independent Greeks

As the European Commission sets the limits of economic policy all over Europe, it becomes increasingly difficult to think of economic issues independent of the question of EU integration.

Libya’s downward spiral

Libya after the Qadhafi regime is witnessing a complex array of struggles in which ambitions for power, claims to legitimacy, the taint of the past, and ownership of the 2011 revolution are among the key dividing lines.

Saudi Arabia’s new king fuelling the feud among younger royals

Saudi Arabia must cover its tracks by not only forcefully denouncing ISIS and JN but actively introducing stiffer measures demonstrating that it is genuinely combating terrorism. How does this play out in terms of royal power?

Spreading the risk: how to win back Islam from the fundamentalists

‘Spreading the risk’ is a great idea, but the aim should be to amplify the voice of those moderate Muslim movements challenging the hardliners, because without them reform in Islam is not possible.

A new era of accommodation

US-Latin American relations face a sea change in the coordinates of regional power, diplomacy and cooperation. The space for a fresh balance of interests has become manifest.

The gardener, the grapes and the thorns: the backbone of Europe's future

Populism is now in an orbit of frontal collision with European and national institutions of democracy as developed today, demanding a reinvigoration of 'popular sovereignty.'

On Arab-Arab racism

Maged Mandour

In the Arab World, elites are acutely aware of their condition of inferiority in the eyes of the west, and at the same time feel a sense of contempt for themselves, their culture and their own countrymen.

Who is afraid of Syriza?

If Syriza’s government is crushed by financial markets it would be hard to argue that democracy is still able to control capitalism. 

The balkanisation of Greece’s centre-left politics

Greece’s Pasok centre-left, one of the most prominent parties in post-1980 Europe is now a pale shadow of itself and a marginal presence in the continent’s social democracy. 

A Cuban end to the Cold War

No Latin American government, be it liberal or conservative, defends the embargo and sanctions against the regime of the Castro brothers. Español.

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