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

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.

Kobane, transforming the regional dynamic

The fight for Kobane is not limited to a local struggle against IS militants, but reverberates politically and strategically across the region.

Don’t touch my constitution! Burkina Faso's lesson

A popular uprising in the west African country reflects a wider awakening among citizens and young people across the continent.

Peace in Syria: civil society and a utopian glimpse of hope in dark times

Attention on the still ongoing Syrian civil war has chronically faded. Last remaining hopes for peace seem to have been dashed. But a peace conference that took place some months ago thought outside the box.

Turkey’s Arab Alawites and the Syrian conflict

Turkey's Alawites do not face the same threats as the people of Syria and Iraq. Despite the porous nature of Turkey's southern border, it is not about to collapse. But the Alawites of Hatay feel vulnerable.

The EU-Mexico global agreement: time to put words into actions

The EU-Mexico Global Agreement is a vestige of a different era, the EU emboldened by ‘its success’ in shaping and promoting the democratisation of southern Europe, then of the post-Communist countries in the early 1990s.

Barroso's farewell speech

In his parting speech, Barroso argued that the EU is, ‘now better prepared than we were before to face a crisis, if a crisis like the ones we have seen before should come in the future’.

Fair taxation: paths to progress

World leaders say they are tackling multinational tax avoidance. If so, they must expand and deepen current reforms.

US Republicans are not alone: fear and hatred on the campaign trail

The blame game allows these commonly quite similar parties in practice to distinguish themselves from each other in rhetoric.

A Syrian fearing exile and return

Many Syrian activists have left Syria voluntarily, either being refused permission to return or being threatened with imprisonment or death. They face an unknown destiny in exile.

Mare Nostrum and migrant deaths: the humanitarian paradox at Europe’s frontiers

An industry has grown up around migratory routes in which care and control functions alternately clash and merge with each other. Understanding the humanitarian-policing nexus at play is key to moving beyond the current impasse.

The state: the final frontier

If Catalan markets are subject to European regulation, if redistribution is increasingly coming under threat, and if the inhabitants of Catalonia prefer a different combination of public services, why should it have to share the same state structures as Spain?

Brazil: the road to 2018

Brazil emerges from the 2014 election with a re-elected president, two problems, and four names in mind.

BDS and the politics of ‘radical’ gestures

Boycotts and divestment can be useful tools for righting wrongs, but they are apolitical tantrums in cases of right versus right.

The most important thing you‘ve never heard of

Introducing a secret trade deal which could affect everything from healthcare to banks to the air we breathe. Plus: find out what we're not being told about Ebola.

A critique of Arab critique

The Arab world is often misunderstood by the tendency to ignore or flatten its differences - through time, across states, between peoples. Challenging this essentialism is the condition of progress. 

Tunisia: elections, justice and dignity

It is widely said that young people did not vote on Sunday, and at some of the polling stations in central Tunis there were few young people in the queues.

Syrian civil society in Lebanon: challenges and opportunities

Instead of empowering Syrian civil society and helping it to build its capacity, the aid community is rendering us more fragile. 

Why not Kurdistan?

As the Iraqi crisis haunts the Kurds, double standards in the principle of self-determination come to the fore.

TTIP and TPP: harnessing the anger of the people

In parallel to the EU-US trade deal currently under way, the US is negotiating a similar agreement with 11 countries of the Asia Pacific: the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Walden Bello, leading critic of neoliberal and corporate globalisation, identifies the global strategy underpinning the two agreements. Interview.

When the direction of a few reroutes the journey for all

The TTIP can annihilate any work undertaken so far in the European Union on chemicals safety, consumer protection, workers’ rights and climate change.

A sky full of drones

Western enthusiasm for Malala Yousafzai overshadows the fact that western policies deny children in Pakistan their most basic rights. The short-term memory of the media cycle, coupled with political self-interest and selective attention continue to marginalise the trauma of CIA drones.

"Rwanda: The Untold Story": facts and fabrication

A BBC documentary on Rwanda produced great controversy, including in an article by Andrew Wallis. But his own critique is itself selective and inaccurate in important ways, replies one of those he criticised.

How ISIS impacts on Turkey’s daily life

We must face up to the fact that an Islamic terror has now entered Turkey if we are to find a solution to the danger which is ISIS and the political and societal problems that give rise to it.

Gaza reconstruction package: should taxpayers be concerned?

Israel could be charged with bearing some part of the $7.8 billion price tag for rebuilding what was destroyed in July and August. However, the international community has rushed to shoulder the burden for the third time in six years.

Can the Arab world defeat ISIS?

Maged Mandour

What will three forces contribute to the defeat of ISIS: Arab autocrats, moderate Islamist groups and secular democratic protest movements - the first initiators of the Arab Revolt? We can discount the first...

When the US chooses terrorism

IS was created by lack of justice, dignity and governance. Instead of tackling these root issues, the US chose to target the outcomes through brutal terrorism to maintain its hegemonic power structure in the region. 

Democracy in America, part 5: What's wrong with Congress?

Obstructive members of Congress blame others, of course, the president in particular, but the failing institution in America’s constitutional system is Congress itself. Power has shifted. 

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