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This week's editor

GK

Guest editor Ronan Harrington introduces this week's theme: Spirituality and Visionary Politics.

Ronan is a freelance political strategist and co-creator of Alter Ego, a gathering exploring the future of progressive politics.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Lebanese activists leave their ‘comfort zone’: how to overcome mistrust in conventional politics

In a context where all other forms of political action seemed to be blocked in the foreseeable future, municipal elections offer a unique opportunity to challenge the establishment.

Democracies, free speech and the right to offend.

In light of Donald Trump's discriminatory comments towards women, Mexicans and Muslims, ought some voices to be silenced? 

The crisis in European social democracy: a crisis like no other

Social democracy, as practiced so far, is disappointing and depressing. There are grounds for confidence in its future. But a qualitative leap is necessary.

An open letter to #NuitDebout from the Indignados’ districts of the internet

This open letter is against the manipulation of 'new ' parties. Let's be radical, demand what's possible. Español. Francais.

WhatsApp bloqueado? A culpa não é do Marco Civil da Internet

Foi bastante trabalhoso aprovar o Marco Civil da Internet. Mas, ao que parece, o trabalho ainda está longe de chegar ao fim. English

Why Donald Trump could be president

Trump plays very strongly in the symbolic field, operating on a series of different sectors’ frustrations. In an increasingly unequal society he introduces himself as a savior of the losers. Español

The dawn and delusions of the ‘Nerd Reich’: BlockBusters #1

It is both possible and necessary to think politically about the blockchain: delegation, transmutation and complexity.

Britain’s Investigatory Powers Bill: a gift to securocrats everywhere

Given the real and present dangers, surely governments should use any and all means to protect their citizens? Right? Wrong.

Shifty antisemitism wars

Convened by Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Global Forum for Combatting Antisemitism has become a strategizing opportunity on how best to thwart a growing BDS campaign.

Processos políticos no Brasil: ¿marginais ou centrais?

Desde o Brasil: analisando as políticas da marginalidade e as alternativas futuras desde fora do imaginário capitalista Anglo-Americano. English

Political processes in Brazil: marginal or central?

From Brazil: looking at politics of marginality and alternative futures outside the Anglo-American capitalist imaginary. Português

Response to Thomas Fazi's critique of DiEM25

A large digital assembly, properly set up, would reasonably conclude that the mechanisms of global capitalism need to be regulated, redistributing wealth from those few to the rest of us. Deutsch.

« Nuit Debout » : citizens are back in the squares in Paris

What distinguishes a social movement from any other kind of mobilization is the fact that it does not focus on a specific claim (such as labour reform) but challenges some of the core values ​​of a society. Français Español Português

The other of the others am I: risk and alterity in the Brussels attacks

An excess of security may not only increase paranoia, but can also make the ‘otherness’ much harder.  Português, Nederlands, Español

The ‘SYRIZA experience’: lessons and adaptations

SYRIZA did what the traditional way of doing politics dictates: supported social movements, built alliances, won a majority in the parliament, formed a government. We all know the results.

Conscience in the datasphere

Hobbes’s bargain appears to be unravelling. In truth, we don’t know who is supposed to protect us from whom.

The tragedy of Cologne and its aftermath – the depletion of civility

This is a vicious circle of harassment, animosity, and aggressive and uncivilized behavior that seriously undermines the resource which is crucial for successful integration.

'We are building a strange left': towards a democratic modernity?

Some reflections from Berlin on the launch of the Democracy in Europe Movement 2025 (DiEM25) on 9 February, 2016.

Hashtag analysis: #Clausnitz and #Bautzen

When hashtags help to uncover a societal problem: racism.

'Yes Minister' and the case of the UK's Investigatory Powers Bill

We need more safety and security, but that doesn’t have to come at the price of privacy, and it is not helped by unclear and rushed legislation.

The billionaire, big data and net neutrality: Facebook and democracy in India

“One user even said Facebook sent him a notification that his deceased uncle had supported Free Basics and so he should too.” 

‘First respect, then assess!’: anti-research assessment protest in Italian universities (#NoVQR)

How can you ask to judge the quality of a system while you are also subjecting it to the most massive disinvestment in the history of the Italian state?

Beyond powerlessness

If we want to escape from our situation of powerlessness and anxiety, we must re-examine our relationship to the political, and strive to produce new types of political practice. Français.

The UK's Investigatory Powers Bill report card: “Must try harder”

The British public will not accept a law that treats the Internet, the greatest modern innovation for cultural, economic and social development, as something that must be hacked, tracked, and mined.

Human rights in Europe should not buckle under mass surveillance

Privacy is a fundamental human right essential for living in dignity and security. This is why it is necessary that European countries pause and get back on the right track.

The paradox at the heart of the Snowden revelations

If proper oversight is not developed, Snowden’s legacy will have served only to reinforce one thing: the intrusiveness of global surveillance.

Pós-conflicto na Colômbia (5): TIC´s e participação cidadã

É chave incentivar a participação cidadã no processo de implementação dos acordos da Havana. As TIC são uma via importante. Español English

Back from the dead and standing on Travellers’ Doorstep – the case of the EU PNR Directive

This framework places the movement of travellers, including EU citizens, under constant monitoring, irrespective of the fact that they are a priori innocent and unsuspected of any criminal offence.

Privacy after social media: a reflection from healthcare and bioethics

The standard ethical argument for confidentiality and data protection via consent turns on personal autonomy.

Developing a global privacy regime in the age of mass surveillance: four key principles

Europe leads in the field of the protection of privacy, with legislators, particularly courts, addressing head-on the fundamental human rights challenges posed by executive action authorising mass surveillance.

The role of independent supervision in upholding privacy in the age of surveillance

This independence is even more important in an age where surveillance of individuals takes place on a mass scale, also benefiting from the potential in big data use.

MPs' first report on the UK’s Investigatory Powers Bill – improvement needed

Will the Joint Committee have the confidence to echo this critique? We all hope they will, so the home secretary will be forced to fix this legislation.

Targeted killings through drones are war crimes

The threat that terrorists pose to US interests and security did not create killing drones: rather the technical feasibility of killing drones has generated imagined terrorist threats. Book review.

‘Policed multiculturalism’ and predicting disaster

Counter-radicalisation in France draws on British and Dutch policies developed in the mid-2000s. It extends police action to areas of diversity management such as education, religion and social policy. With what results? Interview.

Smear campaign against Academics for Peace

A peace manifesto circulated by many Turkish academicians against the political war being conducted by the Turkish Government in the Kurdish region of Turkey has prompted a severe reaction. 

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