This week's editor

Rosemary Belcher-2.jpg

Rosemary Bechler is openDemocracy’s Editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Six key points about Greek debt and the forthcoming election

The international debt system needs a major overhaul.

Being in the same room with Mike Marqusee

A journalist's salute to a man who was more than a writer. In memoriam.

Charlie Hebdo: stop pointing fingers and drop the reductive approach

It is time everyone stopped intentionally misinforming audiences with uninformed rudimentary analyses.

Whose battle is it anyway?

The women and children of the Indian tribal population are trapped in deadly crossfire between the state and the Maoists. Forget gender equality: sexual abuse is rampant.

In Ukraine, NATO has ceased to be an instrument of US foreign policy

In the renewed cold war over Ukraine, while Russia’s economy has been weakened by European sanctions, the US is no longer the hegemon it once was—and NATO is under strain.

Charlie Hebdo and the right to offend

The right to offend, which the French secular republic with its long tradition of anti-clericalist satire holds particularly dear, is in everyday conflict with the values of the republic’s second largest religion.

Je Suis Hypocrite?



Surely #JeSuisCharlie was more than just a convenient slogan for the day?


Murder in Guantanamo

Ron Ridenhour became a famous journalist, with an annual prize for bravery awarded in his name after his early death at 52. Will Joseph Hickman get one this year?

Change the people

In a message to the tax evaders, a frightening voice says: “We know it all! Every single transaction of yours! You can hide nothing!” Meanwhile, Indians are getting more materialistic…

The need for international law

With both Russian and American nuclear arsenals being "modernised," international agreements and norms are now more important than ever. 

Greece on the cusp of change? Hold that thought.

The already frail economy is beginning to unravel, with revenues down and uncertainty as to how the country will finance itself and pay its debts once the electoral saga comes to an end. 

The resilience of the rule of law

Despite the west’s damaged credibility following the financial crisis, the rule of law has remained as a remarkably resilient idea. This is especially noticeable in China, which increasingly seeks to upgrade its judicial institutions.

The military-industrial complex in Iraq

Radical Islam has proven, with Washington’s help, a worthy successor to the Soviet Union, a superb money-making venture and great way to build a monumental national security state.

Unpacking the war on terror: letter to a young army ranger from an old one

You will be part of the most technologically advanced military on Earth and you will be greeted by the poorest of the poor. Are there fewer terrorists around? Does all this really make a lot of sense?

Spectral vessels

Powerful institutional agendas have acted to bolster the ‘ghost ship’ obsession. Such symbolism renders the specificities of Mediterranean migration opaque.

Charlie Hebdo – one week later

It has been exhausting having to confront the visceral divisions among us about the nature of what happened, the roles of religion, geopolitics, and racism. And the possibility that the west, thinking it ‘is Charlie’, has been spitting on their graves.

Letter from Paris

My friends and I, either in the past or more recently, all had some kind of personal and/or activist link with people among the victims…

The climate challenge in the south Mediterranean

Climate change is a long-term issue with low short-term risks for southern Mediterranean political systems. The fear of uncontrollable societal upheavals has pushed environmental matters to the bottom of the agenda.

‘Prevent’ in education within Hampshire

Prevent, a counter-terrorism programme, is a success in Portsmouth, where delivery took the significance of identity for young people into account. It can’t deal with events which can’t be prevented.

Ukraine steels for more unrest as Donetsk bus attack kills 12

The latest violence in eastern Ukraine would lead most observers to think an end to the military and political attrition is not in sight. They would be right.

Charlie Hebdo: justice for all

I am for leaving believers in peace. Believers are individuals like any other, neither superior, nor inferior to atheists or agnostics. 

Where is the outrage?

Europe’s hypocrisy and latent racism was also displayed after the Paris attacks.

Steering a perilous course

Irregular migration across the Mediterranean has increasingly shifted from being a cause for shared humanitarian concern to mere ammunition in domestic anti-immigration debates. We must reject all forms of identity-based prejudice.

#QuiSommesNous? A Socratic dialogue on “L’Affaire Charlie Hebdo”

Freedoms are not unlimited but who, when and how can we limit them? Two colleagues agree to disagreeContent warning: graphic and potentially offensive imagery, including torture.

I am not Charlie

The Danish cartoons were assembled to humiliate a vulnerable minority. In subsequent debates, the idea of freedom of speech has been subverted to undermine the right of Muslims to speak up on their own behalf.

The road to hell is paved with rapid reactions

In the wake of a vicious crime, caution and restraint are a virtue.

The Paris demo: I was there

Some say they have understood this call: only the future will tell. But the future is now. 

“Greece will neither want to leave the euro nor threaten to do so”

When the leader of a political party about to win government offers you the opportunity to implement policies you have been advocating for years, it is pure cowardice to shirk the task. Interview with the soon-to-be new Syriza Finance Minister. 

It´s high time to rethink how we measure global drug policy

What are urgently needed are new goals, targets and indicators for real reductions in supply and demand, instead of investing in military hardware, police equipment and intelligence support.

Democracy and terrorism: when definitions stifle free speech

Concepts like democracy, the constitution, and freedom of speech are slogans that are only meaningful in so far as they protect public faith in the American system.

Of weddings and borders

The Italian film On the Bride Side and Greek-Macedonian project Renkonto deploy weddings as an artistic medium to rewrite the boundaries of European citizenship. Both pieces chart cross-border practices...

Charlie Hebdo: the Prophet does not want to be avenged

Those who hold Muslims accountable for these acts, or demand that they apologize for them, are delusional. Beyond Europe, Al-Qaeda has declared open war against most Arab and Muslim-majority countries, especially those allied to the west. 

Charlie Hebdo, refuse the logic of war

European governments and civil society can respond to terrorism by affirming and building democratic institutions and thereby refusing the logic of war. Initially, this seemed to be the French civic reaction.

Peacebuilding begins at home: addressing rising tensions and insecurity in Europe

A prescient article received before the tragic events in France this week, suggests three pressing reasons for the European Union to re-establish its role as a peacebuilding instrument in the minds of the general public.

Bernard Maris, the fury of capitalism and the fury of terrorism

Have we been reduced to the 'clash of civilizations' where, in the name of security, a state of emergency forces all to close ranks in a staged, imaginary conflict where all possibility of dissent is erased? In memoriam.

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