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

Scientism and free-market jihad

For the past forty years, our vision of life has shrunk to one based on a selfishness born of scientism. It is time to embrace different ways of seeing the world. 

Remembrance and the reserve-reserve army of labour

In November each year, with increasing collective commitment it seems, we remember the servicemen and women who have died in recent wars and those of the previous century. It is curious, remembrance.

Physical space and ‘Occupy’ tactics: a new trend in civil resistance?

Does the term ‘occupation’ delegitimize movements by casting participants as short-term guests, instead of representatives communicating grievances held by a wider society within a public forum that is theirs?

China, the limits of exception

China's leaders present two stories about their country to the world. The gap between them is a recipe for growing tension.

Multiple intelligence agencies: a blessing or a recipe for failure?

Intelligence experts tend to agree that it is better to decentralize intelligence bodies, so that no one agency has access to too much power. Has the US taken this too far?

Partnership or power projection? The EU and its 'neighbourhood'

The EU is advancing its image as a 'benevolent neighbour' and 'democracy promoter.' Is this a reflection of reality, or good public relations?

The Italian social strike is a landmark event for the precariat

Last week the Italian precariat took a step beyond primitive rebellion and began to constitute itself as a politics. As its arguments take shape those involved must work to engage with communities outside of the activist world.

A political tsunami called ‘Podemos’

Are we entering the ‘bear hug’ phase in the political and economic Spanish elites’ strategy to beat Podemos, or have they begun to realise that Podemos could win?

Saving Europe from salvation

National competences are not something one can waive away with a magic wand and reassign to international institutions. Limited sovereignty all round is the road we must travel.

Iran’s emerging institutional power and its effect on negotiations with the United States

It is now the US shift in institutional power that is threatening the process and undermining the President’s efforts. 

The law is the law: legalistic distortions between official Spain and Catalonia

The Catalanists’ democratic credentials are shoehorned into a one-size-fits-all horror story of minority nationalism that allows non-violent Catalans to be condemned in carelessly violent language. 

Britain and the EU – a sorry tale of collapsing influence and dishonest debate

Without EU 'reforms' he may not even recommend a 'yes' in the referendum on membership in 2017, says British PM. But what he asks for is mostly there already.

Jerusalem: a city on edge

The old city of Jerusalem is the singular most contested city in human history.

The last Arab

Maged Mandour

The signs of the erosion of Arab identity are visible across the region. This identity is directly tied to the nature of the Arab political order: the two go together.

The refutation of the Djerejian doctrine

When, rarely, Middle East elections take place, the Djerejian doctrine seems confirmed. But it is the west who only endorse one vote at one time, when the results serve its interests.

The imminent prospect of a US-Iran breakthrough worries the hawks

The more fundamentalist elements of the IRI, are now frightened with the prospect of diplomatic normalization and the loss of their grip on power. They fear that they will be overthrown.

Choosing the next UN leader should not be left to three people

The secretary-general of the United Nations holds the world in his hands. It shouldn’t be possible to count those who decide who that is on the fingers of one.

Iran’s unresolved conflict between reformers and fundamentalists

Either the Islamic Republic wishes to remain in its fundamentalist cocoon and alienate more educated, westward-looking young Iranians, as well as be regarded as a pariah by the international community, or it wishes to join the modern world

An unexpected borderzone: the come-back of the Franco-Italian border

The arrival of the migrants created conflict between Italy and France – with both Nicolas Sarkozy and Silvio Berlusconi facing an election year – and quickly escalated into threatening the Schengen Agreement.

Islamophobia, a foreseeable consequence of ultra-liberalism?

Islamophobia does not result from a specific strategy to create the ideal scapegoat, but Muslims came in opportunely to fulfil this function within ultra-liberal European societies.

Arab League's absence reveals the reality of governance in the Arab world

Discrepancies in the Arab League expose the long-standing conservative, tribal, nepotistic and ineffective governance of the Arab world. Will exposure result in urgently needed government reform? 

The new cold war Russia (again) won't win

The last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, burst the 25th-anniversary balloon of the symbolic end of the cold war by warning of a new one, fed by NATO's eastward expansion. An economically weak USSR lost the last one; a still weaker Russia will lose this one too. 

Turkey, Kobane and the Kurdish question

The US wants Turkey to join the military effort against Islamic State at Kurdish-dominated Kobane, across the Syrian border—but Ankara’s focus is the Kurds within its own.

Life after Europe: the Post-Europe Project

The joint editors of Europe – the very idea introduce the next stage of their project – a discussion inspired by the Czech philosopher and political dissident Jan Patočka. An invitation to discussion.

Hungary: ruling in the guise of democracy

After 1989, within two decades, the hitherto ‘dormant’ authoritarian, leader-worshipping, order-obsessed right-wing mentality has gradually found its way to the surface. Its institutional shape is precisely impossible to define.

What happened to the Middle East Marshall Plan?

With economic instability and political upheaval spreading through the Arab world, is it time for a Middle East Marshall Plan?

Thoughts on autonomous weapons systems and meaningful human control of cyber

In cyber, borders, states, agencies – the traditional ways of organising international cooperation and communication no longer count. In cyber, everybody is a potential adversary.

The cooling wars of cyber space in a remote era

Hyperbolic language used to describe the potential consequences of cyber attacks has contributed to the ‘securitisation’ of the debate around cyber security issues. Increased transparency and accurate information is essential.

Palestine's statehood options: a dialogue

What are the choices facing Palestinians regarding their state sovereignty, and how best should they be pursued? Two legal scholars debate these increasingly urgent questions. 

From the few to the many: swarm economics

With 3D printing, the distributed production economy can alleviate structural imbalances, injustices and diseconomies, if we manage with foresight.

The financial logic and human cost of the war on terror

The general frame of war on terror rhetoric is that no one is safe and secure unless politics is securitised in order to pave the way for growing investment in the military industry.

Fossil addiction: is there a road to recovery?

There is no shortage of knowledge about global environmental and climate problems. Nor was there 40 years ago. So why is nothing happening?

Westphalia to Southphalia

Does the rise of non-western states such as China, India, South Africa, and Brazil threaten the dominant model of international politics?

Race and racism in modern Turkey

Ninety years since the establishment of the Republic, in an ever more complex society, the limitations and contradictions of Turkish national identity are coming to the fore more and more. 

Privatizing security: talking with Lou Pingeot

National security entrusted to the market's private military and security companies can only address the symptoms, not the causes, of war and insecurity. Interview.

Syndicate content