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Legacy media and political parties are both threatened by a growing disconnect between citizens and the elites, and the emergence of new political and media actors offering fresh opportunities for members of the public to participate in political life. The objective of the World Forum for Democracy 2017 is to review novel initiatives and approaches which can enhance democratic practices and help parties and media, but also other political actors, to re-connect.

We are media partners to World Forum for Democracy 2017: the subject this year is 'populism'. Our week on the front page begins on October 21 in the run-up to that event and asks what kind of media we need "to re-connect to citizens, make informed choices and function optimally in 21st century democracy."

"I don't falsify elections and I don't spread propaganda. But I'm still a teacher, I exist"

As Russian law enforcement turns its steely eye to the country's classrooms, three schoolteachers share their experiences of politics and propaganda. Русский

Getting to know you: mapping the anti-feminist face of right-wing populism in Europe

These three parties are only a part of the right-wing populist anti-feminism that is spreading across Europe. The European Women’s Lobby and its members continue to keep track, and evolve policies to resist.

How Bannon constructed ‘a people’

Stephen Bannon has been instrumental in the rise of right-wing populist politics in the US and Europe. His aim: to bring such politics into the mainstream and to push progressivism into the dustbin of history.

CEU and NGO crackdown: a double blow for Roma inclusion in Hungary

The university, its culture, and its location here in Budapest, are a vital component of the social and economic expansion of Roma in Europe. Few universities have made Roma empowerment so central to their mission as CEU have.

On World Press Freedom Day, journalists are assailed on all fronts

Attacks on the media usually go hand-in-hand with attacks on civil society, and are a barometer of the levels of injustice, corruption and authoritarianism in any society.

Towards an inclusive and pluralistic citizenship in Syria

Talk about building a new form of citizenship in Syria might seem unrealistic today, but in fact, it should be seen as a long-term strategy.

Where do we go from here? Designing the future of Europe

The future is created. By us. The European Commission’s White Paper on the Future of Europe invites politicians and citizens alike to focus on what they want for the future. 

To be or not to be: the future of opposition in post-referendum Turkey

In post-referendum Turkey, it is not just Erdoğan and his supporters but the opposition as well who refuse to recognize their adversaries as legitimate – an explosive formula.

Why the right to science matters for everyone

The right to science influences everything from freeing wrongfully accused prisoners to crop rotation—but what happens when that right comes under threat?

Citizenship and democratic production

Citizen producers take advantage of networked knowledge and benefit from new available production spaces. New skills and know-how are required, however, for the inclusion of all social sectors. Español Português

Gender and fundamentalism: when religion muscles in on development

The truism that there cannot be real development without women’s participation needs a caveat: women’s rights cannot be achieved while religious forces are involved in development.

Without global solidarity the women’s movement will collapse

Borders are closing across the world, blocking women from the Global South both from seeking refuge, having a voice and working on global gender justice.

The Dutch elections – making sense of its fractures

It was the al Qaeda attacks in 2001, followed in quick succession by two political murders, that completely altered not just the landscape but the logic of Dutch politics.

Time for a Fifth World Conference on Women?

Not holding a fifth UN world conference in 2015 has left a vacuum, a dangerous thing when patriarchal ethno-nationalists are colonizing public space. It is time to insist that international human rights institutions deliver for women.

Under Trump, we are all women

The same strategies used against women for decades by the Christian right and the anti-abortion movement are now, under Donald Trump's presidency, being turned on the American people as a whole.

Five reasons why we don’t have a free and independent press in the UK and what we can do about it

Britain's press is controlled by the same networks of people as run everything else. Is it really free?

The populist challenge

Does the fight against post-democracy require a populist political intervention?  Español

What “the biggest trial of fascist criminality since Nuremberg” means for the future of Greece

Slow progress has been made on Greece’s most important criminal trial to date but the outcome will determine a lot.

Erdogan's war on women

Kurdish women in one of the strongest and most radical women’s movements in the world are taking a battering from the Turkish state with impunity - as Europe looks the other way

Is segregation on the increase in the UK?

Can mixed communities and a shared society in the UK become recognised as a desirable objective, supported by a strategy and policy framework?

How the Alt Right is trying to create a safe space for racism on college campuses

Right-wing movements in the US are repackaging ideas from white nationalism into a new, more middle-class culture by using the strategies and language of the left (4,500 words).

Resurgent Sikh fundamentalism in the UK: time to act?

Growing confidence among resurgent Sikh fundamentalist networks in the UK was evident in recent protests against inter-faith marriage. A desire to control Sikh women’s relationship choices is a key focal point for their mobilisation.

Kosovo youth engaged in greater political participation - more still to be done!

“These platforms utilise the skill sets of young participants, enabling them to take initiatives that will contribute to the community and promote democratic values and participation.”

Barcelona: city of refuge

Barcelona seeks to welcome refugees and migrants into the fabric of the city, but its efforts have been stymied by the national government.

Is Momentum a mob? No – this is what democracy looks like

A few unpleasant incidents are being highlighted to undermine a huge, peaceful, democratic movement.

What does an anti-Semitic party look like in Europe today?

As Britain debates antisemitism and the left, support for populist right-wing parties using hardline anti-Semitic messages is growing across the continent. 

Defiantly principled: Breivik v Norway

A survivor of Anders Behring Breivik's mass murder supports recent court verdict that the Norwegian state has infringed on the human rights of the terrorist.

Hashtag analysis: #Clausnitz and #Bautzen

When hashtags help to uncover a societal problem: racism.

Time for Kosovo's media to stand up for gender equality

For a country of 1.7 million people, Kosovo has a large and vibrant media landscape. All too often, however, the media fails to treat women with humanity and respect.

Crowdfunding a revolution in Montenegro

Montenegro is witnessing the biggest protests in its history in calling for the resignation of Prime Minister Djukanovic, and activists are turning to crowdfunding to sustain their revolution.

More than a refuge, a welcome

In today’s world, it is essential to take welcoming into account in the cycle of reproduction of social life.

From ethnicity to empathy: a new idea of Europe

Europe must become harmonized in terms of citizenship rights in order to reduce the prevalence of the politics of envy that is rife across the continent. [Reposted from openDemocracy, July 2003]

Freedom to speak? No-go areas and unsafe spaces

At the heart of the debate on free speech and censorship are contested understandings of where power resides. Where should the line be drawn?

Golden Dawn: organising, encouraging, sustained by violence

Sixty nine members of Golden Dawn are currently on trial in Greece for serious crimes. Can it really be mere coincidence that so many Golden Dawn members are implicated in such serious and violent offences?

Populism in Europe: a primer

EU President Herman van Rompuy has called populism "the greatest danger for Europe". But what exactly is populism? And why are EU leaders feeling so threatened by it?

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