This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

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.

Relaciones Cuba-Estados Unidos: bienvenidos al deshielo en el Caribe

A los asesores de Obama no se les debió haber pasado por alto las enseñanzas del pasado: al castrismo, debieron razonar, no se lo derrota con la CIA sino con la SEARS, la famosa cadena comercial. Publicado previamente en openDemocracy. English.

US-Cuba rapprochement: welcome to the Caribbean thaw

The Castro regime, they have reasoned, will not be defeated by the CIA but with SEARS, the famous retail chain. Español.

Embargos y delirios

Las sanciones resultan contraproducentes porque proveen al régimen de una coartada para evadir sus responsabilidades y, al empobrecer al cubano medio, lo hacen aún más dependiente del Estado. Publicado previamente en openDemocracy. English.

Embargoes and delusions

Sanctions backfired because they provided the regime with an excuse to shun its responsibilities, and impoverishing the average Cuban made him altogether more state dependent. Español.

Reading Xi Jinping in Beijing

The collected statements of China's president reveal a grand ambition for the country. Why then is his party's attitude to freedom so small? 

“Primero, tomaremos Atenas; luego, tomaremos Madrid”

El objetivo principal de Podemos es aglutinar una amplia mayoría, lo que en la práctica significa poner en pie un partido de clases medias que deje atrás el eje Derecha/Izquierda y ocupe la centralidad política. Publicado previamente en Can Europe Make It. English.

“First we take Athens, then we take Madrid”

The primary goal of Podemos is to marshal an ample majority, which means in practice to build a middle-class party, and to give up the traditional Left/Right axis for a position of centrality. Español.

Greece and the unlearned lesson of 1990

The EU might have predicted Syriza's overwhelming victory. After all, wasn't this the great unlearned lesson from the experience of east-central Europe over the last 25 years?

Asia at the crossroads

Aside from China, nearly all the states in Asia make use of the trappings of democracy, such as elections, parliaments, and the separation of powers. A new report examines the future of democracy in Asia in the next 15 years.

Building consensus in post-revolutionary Tunisia

Tawafuq’ as an idea refers to decision-making not through formal processes relying on potentially divisive majorities but rather informal processes.

A lit-fest expresses India’s genes

The five-day festival passed off “peacefully”, without the violent assertion of the right to be offended.

A world apart – why political and businesses elites need to remember working women

Recent experience suggests that women - and men - are reaching the end of their tether. It’s now high time to address the structural causes behind inequality in women’s work.

From Athens to Kobane, winds fill Kurdish sails

Could Greece, through democratic elections, become for Turkey what Tunisia became for Egypt in 2011 through mass protests?

The Collectivist, debt colonialism and the real Alexis Tsipras

As the new government’s statement on Mariupol reveals, Greece will leverage its position along a geopolitical fault-line to maximise its bargaining power. 

Islamic State: the unknown war

Western states express optimism about the anti-jihadist campaign in Syria-Iraq. A report from a high-level meeting in London offers another view.    

Charlie Hebdo numero 1178: all is forgiven?

Mutual recognition between people and cultures moves in mysterious ways, the cartoon its Rorschach test. 

Crisis in Yemen: what the media is getting wrong

It is important to stop perpetuating misconceptions about the current crisis (i.e., that it’s a sectarian conflict or proxy war among Iran and Saudi Arabia) that make for a good – albeit largely unfounded – story.

Lebanon is cracking under the pressure from Syria and Iraq

Hizbullah's attack today on Israeli forces near the Shebaa Farms area contested by Lebanon highlights how the country is a fragile mosaic close to shattering.

Obama, Netanyahu, Iran, Congress and the Republican Party

An intense political battle is going on over Iran on Capitol Hill. Insular Republicans underestimate at their peril international pressures driven by global security concerns.

Frankfurt-Moscow: a new Ostpolitik?

Europe and Russia share economic problems but also interests. A merged superbourse can be a giant step towards the future.

Argentina: beyond impunity

Argentina's democracy has travelled far since the early 1980s. Now, the sudden death of a senior prosecutor highlights the need for a new phase of reform.

Prevent and anti-extremism education

In fact, the removal of the ‘duty to promote community cohesion’ in schools from the UK's Ofsted inspection regime sent a very clear signal.

Carry on Sisyphus: short answers on Greece’s post-electoral politics

Perhaps paradoxically, Greece’s real problem is primarily political, not economic, and its name is “populism.”

Please mind the datachasm

They began to interpret things like him leaving the house without his mobile phone as indications that their suspicions were correct. Welcome to one half of the datachasm. Sleep safe.

After Syriza’s landslide: five predictions of a much similar future

In the end though, this will all probably lead mainly to more fragmentation, which will make fundamental change even more unlikely.

An introduction to Yemen's emergency

This piece aims to provide the minimum necessary background to understand recent and forthcoming events in a rapidly changing situation in Yemen.

EU and the Arab world: 'cooperation' to fight terror is an excuse

Maged Mandour

The EU is following a bizarre logic, where support is given to autocratic regimes who benefit from the rise of extremist groups, instead of seeking reasons for the rise of radicalization among European youth. Why?

Syndicate content