This week's editor

Ray Filar

Ray Filar is co-editor of Transformation and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

‘Tit for tat’ extremism and the rise of far right anti-Muslim movements in the UK

Visibly Muslim females were the subject of anti-Muslim hate and elderly Muslim men and women going about their daily business have also been subjected to fear, intimidation and abuse.

News credibility in an age of stakeholder media

Are reporters mere adjuncts of power and spies? That is how ISIS treated the martyred journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff. To this day, the failure of the American news industry to expose the Bush administration’s WMD myths before the invasion of Iraq is thrown in our faces.

How polar extremisms fuel and support each other

Groups hold similar roots of discontent, such as poverty, discrimination and the sense of values under threat, but manifest these sentiments in an array of diverse extremist ideologies with highly varied targeted ‘Others’.

To fight extremism we need more Islamisms, not less

As with most other societies that have forced Islamism underground, today’s British fighters in Iraq and Syria were in all likelihood unconvinced by the quietism of Britain’s religious scholars.

Islamists without a book

Most doctrines, political or religious, are embodied in sacred texts that act as guide and inspiration to their followers. Modern Islamists are significantly different.

Vision from a ‘pro-EU’ Serbia

Understanding that rampant nationalism is a thing of the past, and understanding even better that support from the international community is crucial, Aleksandar Vučić is now presenting himself as ‘pro-EU’.

Brazil's vote, Marina Silva's chance

A charismatic environmentalist is now leading Brazil's presidential race. Can she win and create the new politics she promises?

In defence of liberalism 1: on historical critiques

Were more on the Left capable of reading liberal philosophy without foaming at the mouth, they’d realise that – actually – it’s perfectly possible to argue their case within the fundamentals of liberalism.

Overlooked and underrated: women in right-wing extremist groups in Germany

Right-wing extremism continues to be perceived by mainstream media and statutory organizations as a predominantly “male problem” since the stereotypical view regards white women as non-violent, peaceful, loving and caring individuals. This is highly misleading. 

Far-right violence in Greece: an effective response

More democracy and power to the people is a good starting point. Democracy is not weak or defenseless in Greece and freedom of thought and ideology are the essence of democracy.

Rehabilitating perpetrators of violent extremism and hate crime: the importance of gender-based approaches and the limits of online interventions

Counter-messaging and counter-arguing is invaluable for the resilience of our societies, but often does not have the intended impact on the target group, since arguing only strengthens their radicalisation. So what should we do?

The new wave of counter-terrorism

The FREE Initiative aims to prevent and counter far-right extremism across Europe by creating a platform for individual activists, organisations, government officials and others to learn from one another.

The twilight of neoliberalism: can popular struggles create new worlds from below?

If the ideologists of neoliberalism want to present it as the natural order of humanity, a more sober historical assessment points out that it has lasted about as long as Keynesianism did before it – a few decades.

Introducing this week’s theme: Confronting Europe’s problem with far-right violence

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This week's guest theme addresses a violent issue which has often been overlooked in Europe. Far-right extremism is often relegated to a second tier security threat due to the tendency to see these groups as irrelevant to inquiries into national security and terrorism. But we should be wary of this.

Still stateless, still suffering: It’s time for European leaders to take action

Life without a nationality means life in limbo. Statelessness is a man-made phenomenon which afflicts millions across the globe. It demands international attention.

Israel's security after Gaza

Israel's military forces have embraced new tactics, weaponry and a network-centric strategy. But the latest conflict in Gaza leaves the country's security problems as intractable as ever.

Will Turkey’s centre-left dare to reform itself?

The problem is that the Republican People's Party (Turkey's centre-left main political party) remains torn between the supporters of a European-style social democracy and those of a die-hard Kemalism. 

Turkish-Kurdish peace: has the hour come?

Could Kurdish voices become part of the political mainstream in Turkey; and could the PKK have its status as “terrorist” removed? 

“Expressing concern”: India’s balancing act on Gaza

India has moderated its position on the Israel-Palestine conflict over time, exchanging statements of condemnation for those “expressing concern”. But behind India’s strategic balancing act there also lies a precise domestic calculus.

Quakers urge recognition of Palestine

A statement on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict made by Quakers in Britain at their Yearly Meeting in Bath, 8 August 2014.

Responsible consumption and the moral-industrial complex

The World Economic Forum and other elite think-tanks lobby behind closed doors to change global institutional frameworks in ways that shift responsibility for poverty, global warming and chronic illness from corporations and governments to individual consumers.

A new kind of freedom born in terror

The revolution which has been taking place across Rojava (literally, ‘Western Kurdistan’), where three cantons were set up in January this year, has a grassroots democratic model.

The Governorate of Homs: the Islamic State’s new fiefdom?

The Islamic State (IS), has been able to assert its dominance over wide areas of Iraq and Syria. The Province of Homs is particularly interesting, because the IS is expanding there, but has been unable to establish its authority over all rebel forces. 

The World Bank in the OPT

The World Bank’s relationship to occupied Palestine is an unusual one, and one that has not been particularly effective in terms of its stated goals. This is partly due to limitations of its mandate and of the ‘development for peace’ paradigm.

Dishonourable tv fiction: ‘The Honourable Woman’, BBC 2

The risible notion of balance, a smokescreen for privileging the Zionist narrative, has been taken to extremes in the BBC’s treatment.

Crafting “smart cities”: India’s new urban vision

With a new government in Delhi, India’s urban agenda is now focused on the creation of “Smart Cities” in industrial corridors.  Such an initiative is driven by the demand of foreign investors to find sanitized spaces in developing countries in which they can operate easily – unhampered by politics. 

Iraqis and Kurds: a question of responsibility

Iraq's escalating crisis highlights the contrasting attitudes to the United States of politicians in Baghdad and the Kurdish region.

Can an insurgency be stamped out solely by military means?

The vast majority of ‘success stories’ in counterinsurgency operations have relied not only on military means but on political and economic reforms to accommodate the grievances that caused the insurgency in the first place.

America and Islamic State: mission creeping?

The United States is increasing support of its Iraqi and Kurdish allies and escalating attacks on its jihadist enemies. Islamic State's long-term plan, though, remains on track.  

The social, political and electoral rise of Golden Dawn

The political and economic elites did not hesitate to present a far-right political party as a ‘responsible’ political power. This left the door open for the neo-Nazi movement.

The ebola crisis: exposing the failures of local and global governance

Just as the downing of MH17 revealed the defects of mechanisms governing the security of global air-space, this deepening crisis has exposed the glaring inadequacies of global public health governance mechanisms.

Naming the political game in Turkey: populism

Turkey elected its first president through direct suffrage; so what can we expect now? It is populism that is increasingly in charge of Turkey's politics -  not any one person.

Why the UK has no foreign policy

In the absence of any political lead either from their UK masters or their indirect US ones, the UK's foreign office diplomats are left with little direction to exercise real clout, and no role, even on a realpolitik basis, to play in a changing and challenging world.

After Gaza, what’s next for Israel?

Israelis believe that the status quo represents the best short-term ‘solution’ to the Palestinian problem, since separation is almost impossible, but integration undesirable. The weakening of the PA, and inability of Hamas and Israel to reach a stable agreement in Gaza, however, demonstrate how unsustainable the status quo has become.

Anti-representative democracy and oligarchic capture

The super-rich have captured the electoral-representative institutions of contemporary democratic regimes. The ideal of anti-representative democracy can help us understand and counter this phenomenon.

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