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This week's editor

En Liang Khong

En Liang Khong is openDemocracy’s assistant editor.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

Designing enclosure? An open letter to Apple

To mark International Day against DRM, we question why Apple continues to lean its considerable weight against the philosophy of openness in software.

Symbiotic Realism and just power

Four interlocking elements shape the global system: the neurobiological substrates of human nature (providing a more complex account of human nature), the persistence of global anarchy, which today coexists with conditions of instant connectivity and interdependence

The British syndrome: an abdication of responsibility

There are glaring absences at the heart of the UK elections contest. The new preface to his ‘Essay on Britain, now’ - by one of Britain’s leading political thinkers tells us why. Remarkably, it suggests ways in which to free ourselves from the trap we are in.

Who is your phone talking to?

“The Secret Life of your Mobile Phone” is a stage show dedicated to probing how smartphones leak private information. Why are our phones so sneaky?

In new gods do we trust?

Do you expect the machine to solve the problems? In this wide-ranging interview with the Director of the Open Rights Group we discuss bulk collection, state bureaucracies, the pre-crime era and trust.

España: el holograma como protesta

Millones de españoles han participado en manifestaciones y protestas en los últimos cuatro años. A partir del 1 de julio de este año pueden ser objeto de penas desproporcionadas y hasta de encarcelamiento por ejercer sus derechos democráticos. Entrevista. Publicado  previamente en Can Europe Make It . English

Britain started the fossil fuel age. Now it’s our chance to end it

The Welsh Assembly is due to vote on a cross-party motion which, if it passes, will cease all new fossil fuel extraction in the country.

The renewable revolution

Four reasons why the transition from fossil fuels to a green energy era is gaining traction.

Michael Fallon and Ed Miliband are both wrong about Trident

Westminster's pro-nuclear consensus is held together by irrational speculation about future threats. Trident must be decommissioned for the sake of life on our planet. 

Secretive and seedy: how aid donors are opening the agribusiness flood gates

When big agribusiness teams up with international aid organisations to corner the market on seeds, everyone loses. 

Defending the global knowledge commons

Members are encouraged to use creative commons licensing and to join others in a pledge to be open by agreeing to review for and publish in mainly if not solely open access journals.

openMovements: social movements, global outlooks and public sociologists

Social scientists have a very specific contribution to deliver in a democratic public space, as openDemocracy’s articles daily testify. The articles by leading global sociologists published this week in openMovements are, we believe, exemplary.

The BBC, the licence fee and the digital public space

The Controller of the BBC’s archive strategy maintains the institution’s fundamental role within the media ecology and argues that the Licence Fee should safeguard a new democratic digital public space.

Defending human rights in a digital age

Public Debate: Defending human rights in a digital age is being livestreamed from Goldsmiths media and communications department, University of London at 5.30.pm GMT this evening. Listen here and read on.

Trans-Pacific Partnership’s Big Pharma giveaway

Out of all big industries making billions in profit, the pharmaceutical is probably the most ethically questionable.

Please mind the datachasm

They began to interpret things like him leaving the house without his mobile phone as indications that their suspicions were correct. Welcome to one half of the datachasm. Sleep safe.

Ebola and global health politics: an open letter

The human toll from the Ebola outbreak is all too evident. A more proactive global health policy is needed to avoid its repetition.

Turkish PM in conversation, Part 2: Old Turkey, New Turkey

Many observers fear Turkey is heading towards majoritarian tyranny. How does Turkey's 'representative democracy' contrast with General Sisi's claims that he represents the 'general will' of Egypt?

Brazil doubles down on cyber security



The out-sized military response risks compromising citizens’ fundamental rights. If Brazil is to build a cyber security system fit for purpose, an informed debate is imperative.

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. 

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.

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.

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?

Frozen progress: beyond the egg-freezing debate

Behind the headlines of Silicon Valley companies offering female employees the chance to freeze their eggs lie more fundamental unresolved questions of gender in the workplace – and the role of work in our lives.

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.

Could incapacitating chemical weapons start an arms race?

Chemical weapons are banned, aren't they? Well, maybe not quite all of them are ...

Responses to Ebola are still way too little, and may now be too late

The lack of ambulances, hospital beds, and even plastic gloves have all played a role in allowing the disease to get out of control, particularly in the slums of Freetown and Monrovia. 

Miscounting human trafficking and slavery

Two recent ‘studies’ have attracted a lot of international attention. Each presents incredibly flawed findings. And these studies matter.

The future of the climate debate

The cutting edge of the climate change debate was absent from recent events in New York City, including mass marches. It’s time to unlearn the deluded notions that keep us from exploring the real issues for the future.

Oil’s rekindled allure

America’s European allies are feeling somewhat less deferential to Moscow because of the growth in global supplies. In other words, the striking spurt in US domestic oil production has added a patriotic dimension to its already powerful allure.

In praise of family existentialism

Two enraged, thrilling epics of the everyday make the reader the equivalent of the algorithm, seeking patterns amidst the mess, but accepting that there's no causal grand theory. A review.

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. 

Modi's energy revolution

India's economy and business climates continue to be hindered by the inability to provide sustainable and reliable electricy. But Modi has the opportunity to finally power India.

Towards a standard open decisions API

In the coming months, we look forward to helping move toward shared principles or standards for open government decision-making APIs. This work is highly political; therefore, we welcome the participation of any interested individuals in this project.

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