This week's editor

Mariam Ali

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

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Homophobia, fire and terror in Brazil

While specific horrific cases of homophobia are condemned, the overall mentality is not. Politicians wish the issue would disappear, and there is no education in schools.

Draining development: illicit flows from Africa

Since 1970, Africa has lost at least $854 billion through capital flight which is not only enough to wipe out the continent’s total external debt of $250 billion but leaving around $600 billion for poverty alleviation

The Snowden reboot

On working with Edward Snowden, and how he changed the way we view our world. Interview.

Democracy in America, part 1: What's wrong with gerrymandering?

Introducing a system that enables the powerful to cheat democracy and to disenfranchise voters.

The 2014 presidential elections in Turkey: a post-election analysis

The August 2014 presidential election is important not only for its own sake, but even more so for what it portends for the future of Turkish democracy.

Can the EU clean up politics in enlargement countries? Turkey as a case in point

What are some of the lessons learned from the EU’s experiences in Bulgaria and Romania, and what could they mean for Turkey?

Risky business: UK arms trade in the spotlight

From tear gas used against pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong to the horrors unleashed by Israel on Gaza, Britain has questions to answer.

What does Kobane mean for the international community?

There is still time to quell IS in Syria but the world must be prepared to act immediately, before it is too late.

A lesson for the Dalai Lama

There is undeniably a great difference in cultural values between Tibetan Buddhists who grew up within their community in India and the western converts who were raised with liberal western values. But this is no longer the end of the story.

Ethiopia’s alleged terrorists: vocal bloggers and independent journalists

In attempting to minimize the risks attendant to human rights work in an authoritarian setting, Ethiopian NGOs have been hesitant to support young activists who face government persecution. 

Tough times for progressives in Israel

The state of right and left politics in Israel during the latest conflict in Gaza, Hamas’ evolution, the BDS movement and weapons of mass destruction in the Middle East. Interview.

Ocean grabbing: a new wave of twenty first century enclosures

Not only are the small-scale fisher communities best placed to ensure food sovereignty, but they are also the starting point for any serious transition towards an ecologically and socially just food regime. We need a revolution to bring the oceans back into the global commons.

India’s fight against terrorism

Al-Qaida's aging leaders are struggling to compete for recruits with Islamic State. Nevertheless, India must prepare itself for all sorts of terrorist threats, not least terrorist re-emergence in Afghanistan. What role might NATO play in this?

Pakistan protests: underlying implications for India

As the political turmoil in Pakistan continues to unfold, the underlying implications for India-Pakistan relations are discouraging.  

Israel’s dual approach to Gaza and the West Bank: an overview

The areas now known as the West Bank and Gaza, despite geographic differences, were once similar in social, cultural and economic terms. But through a long process of one occupation after another, they were set apart and differentiated.

India’s subaltern border citizen

Could Delhi be solving the wrong problem? What it chooses to define as a law and order problem is essentially a governance crisis of severe proportions and one that the Indian state is not yet willing to acknowledge.

Remote control: light on new war

Armed drones, special forces, privatisation and secrecy are the preferred tools of military campaigns from Iraq-Syria to the Sahel. Now, researchers are mapping this landscape in the public interest.

Greens face problem with economic ‘growth’ framing

With well-being central to economic thinking, things like leisure and quality of life ‘naturally’ come to the fore – they’re assigned a value that was always excluded by the ‘economic growth’ frame.

An unaccountable relationship

As the relationship between government and military service providers becomes more systemic and more profitable, questions must arise about accountability and public insight. A new report, New Ways of War: is remote control warfare effective? is published today.

Democratic decline in the Maldives: will the world wake up?

When Gayoom the elder was president, the government sought to facilitate the entrance of Islamist groups into the Maldives. The resumption of this now may be another opportunity for proponents of genuine democracy to sharpen the concern of international observers. 

Bulgaria in limbo

A messy election in a troubling time leaves Bulgarians still waiting for light.

The EAF is dead! Long live the MENL!

The Front National has long been at the centre of pan-European party initiatives, which were always dominated by former FN leader, Jean-Marie Le Pen. The EAF was founded without FN-involvement, however.

Tempered desire: the BRICS and the Islamic State crisis

What roles have the emerging BRICS powers played throughout the crisis of the Islamic State? Reflecting on this can tell us about the internal and external nature of both the emerging powers and the more multipolar world that has been constantly heralded.

Responses to Ebola are still way too little, and may now be too late

The lack of ambulances, hospital beds, and even plastic gloves have all played a role in allowing the disease to get out of control, particularly in the slums of Freetown and Monrovia. 

ISIS airstrikes: between imperialism and orientalism

Maged Mandour

Islamic radicalism is the product of societal developments and it is not directly related to the religion of Islam. The lessons of Iraq are being actively ignored by the US and the west in general. The main tenets of American foreign policy, which have done well for extremism, are unchanged.

Resistance, repression, and the cycle of violence in the Uyghur Struggle

Is the state actively engaged in decreasing participation in nonviolent resistance and delegitimizing Uyghur grievances by highlighting escalating violence?

Prominent Uyghur academic Ilham Tohti jailed for life

With its shocking outcome, this trial might result in an increase in violence in the Xinjiang region, where protests for the mistreatment of a moderate voice could motivate the more radical factions.

How has Modi performed in 100 days in office?

The governance process seems to be running smoothly. Modi’s public announcement on corruption “Na khaunga na khane dunga’ (Neither would I pocket money illegally nor allow others to do it) is laudable, though only time will prove if he walks his talk.

The antiblackness of 'modern-day slavery' abolitionism

Antiblack racism underwrites the contemporary movement against “modern-day slavery.”  The anti-slavery movement is haunted by the specter of racial slavery even while it feeds off it parasitically. 

Trans-Atlantic slavery and contemporary human trafficking

Are we learning from the past or exploiting it? It is easy to obscure the similar economic rationales and incentive structures, as well as the participation of ‘legitimate’ enterprises and institutions, in both trans-Atlantic slavery and contemporary trafficking in humans.  

What the EU should be telling Palestinian leaders

In other conflict situations, the EU and its member states have pressed for justice, readily acknowledging that continued impunity, not justice, is the real impediment to peace.  The Israeli-Palestinian conflict should be treated no differently.

Human trafficking: from outrage to action

If we are to have any chance of addressing trafficking, we should work towards the elimination of labour recruitment fees; advocate for a global minimum wage; and look at ways of criminalizing the knowing or reckless use of the services of a victim of trafficking.

Extreme exploitation is not a problem of human nature

Extreme exploitation is a structural problem, not a problem of human nature. Unless we deal with the ‘root causes’, which I locate in inequality, then it will continue. And global inequalities are growing.

Narrow viewpoints and conflicting interests undermine anti-trafficking efforts: Q&A | Part I

Current anti-trafficking measures are weak because of a lack of inter-agency cooperation combined with a prioritization of national over human security.

A war going according to plan - but which plan?

A letter from Raqqa, in the heart of territory controlled by the Islamic State.

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