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This week's editor

NSS, editor

Niki Seth-Smith is a freelance journalist and contributing editor to 50.50.

People flow: migration and Europe

The existing European approach to migration does not match reality or recognise the evolving complexity of human mobility. In our People Flow pamphlet of 2003, openDemocracy and Demos proposed a model that does. 

The good student of Europe at a dead-end

As Portugal goes to the polls, there's a hunger for something new, something that comes across as genuine and yet pragmatic, not just the old political blah-blah-blah.

Beijing tightens the screws

The Chinese state is now more ideological and more repressive than ever since the days of Mao.

The Sun trials - Friday 2nd October 2015

This week and next, openDemocracy will be bringing daily coverage of the trial of Sun journalists charged with aiding and abetting misconduct in public office by paying a police officer for information. Here is Friday's report.

Why is there no Syriza in Portugal?

Unlike in Greece or in Spain, in Portugal the dire crisis and steep austerity measures have not entailed important changes to the party system. Why? Português. Español

More Frontex is not the answer to the refugee crisis

Rather than investing millions more in fences, patrols, and an EU Border Guard, we need the courage to accept that the policies of exclusion have failed.

Heart and soul: meet the UK groups changing activism

We can't change where we're from, but building a mass movement means confronting power and privilege.

SOS from Dagestan

One year since a young man was killed in a police station in this North Caucasus republic, the victim’s family is still trying to find out what happened. на русском языке

On centrism and independence in Spain

"Facing an increasingly self-centered centre, we stand for citizens who are open to the world and to the present time, capable of organizing and cooperating according to their abilities and aspirations."

The idea of Jewish anti-semitism and recuperating the ‘Semites’

What if the label of ‘Semite’ were to be readopted by Arabs and Muslims as part of their identity-formation, so that any antisemitism would also include them?

Russia in Syria, and a flawed strategy

Moscow's entry into Syria's war is a challenge to the United States. But it also conjoins the two powers in military-political blunderland. 

Australian medics refuse to be silenced over refugee abuse at detention centers

A new gag law has turned refugee policy into a free speech issue, mobilizing health professionals to oppose the government’s policy more strongly.

No maps, no manuals: retrieving radical republicanism, restoring popular sovereignty

Republicanism brings into sharp focus an articulation of common freedoms strived for under extremely varying political conditions, in different times and places, with the shared commonality of facing unequal odds.

Is the 'migrant crisis' simply a question of humanitarian assistance?

The European left is crushed between right-wing movements declaring the moral priority of fellow nationals, and huge flows of migrants asking for dignity. How should social democrats respond?

Time to move beyond nuclear tribalism

"Question: Is nuclear power good or bad?

 Answer: No. Some nuclear is good, some is bad. For example, the Govt. should support an IFR."

Protests in Chișinău: views from the tent towns

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After another large-scale protest in the Moldovan capital this Sunday, the Moldovan government has been presented with yet another ultimatum—this time from the pro-Russian opposition. на русском языке

The Sun trials - Thursday 1st October 2015

This week and next, openDemocracy will be bringing daily coverage of the trial of Sun journalists charged with aiding and abetting misconduct in public office by paying a police officer for information. Here is Thursday's report.

Catalonia, Scotland and the fluid concept of democracy

Unlike Scotland, Catalonia has not been given the chance to have a definitive say on its independence. Does this further the cause for secessionists?

The Sun trials - Wednesday 30th September 2015

This week and next, openDemocracy will be bringing daily coverage of the trial of Sun journalists charged with aiding and abetting misconduct in public office by paying a police officer for information. Here is Wednesday's report.

The siege of Damascus: an account of everyday life in Syria’s savage war

Peter Oborne spent two weeks in Damascus and gives a compelling account of people's struggles and steadfastness in government-held territory.

The mounting paralysis of Latin America’s Left (Part 1)

An increasingly exhausted South American Left finds itself trapped between similar contradictions to those undermining its counterparts in Europe. Español.

Putin’s partition plans and the politics of cynicism

Russian military involvement appears to be increasingly focused on propping up the Assad regime, contributing to a partitioned Syria in which Russia establishes a firm foothold on the eastern Mediterranean.

To speak about Jews and Palestinians, we need a non-racist space for criticism

Contrapuntal reading is a way of listening to the plurality of voices of Jews and Palestinians, of seeing cultural identities not as essentialisations, but as mixed ensembles constituted with and through the Other.

Anti-Semitism in Muslim communities and Islamophobia in the context of the Gaza War 2014: Austria and Germany

There are significantly different motivations among Muslims with Palestinian, Lebanese or Turkish backgrounds. However, the experience of marginalisation and discrimination is a major element in the construction of identity.

Bahrain’s uprising: resistance and repression in the Gulf

A review of an interdisciplinary book exploring both the contemporary uprising and Bahrain’s lengthy history of contentious politics, exploring postcolonialism, foreign actors, human rights, and social media.

Kyrgyzstan's elections: a gentleman's agreement


With Kyrgyzstan’s political parties agreeing to overlook each other’s misdemeanours and the public afraid to speak out, bribery and corruption will continue to be endemic. на русском языке

Migration: the clock is ticking in Asia too

While the headlines focus on migration to Europe, a crisis is unfolding in South East Asia as the horrors of human trafficking and exploitation mount. It's imperative that South East Asia produces a regional response.

Islamic State in Kyrgyzstan: a real or imagined threat?


In July, Bishkek claimed to successfully foil an IS plot in the country. But is IS even in Kyrgyzstan?


Corbyn's victory is the new political reality

Corbyn’s leadership is new and untested. But the real question is not about one politician. It is about a climate of feeling which he represents.

Hidden in plain sight: children born of wartime sexual violence

Abortions and infanticide are widely reported in post-conflict settings. In Peru, women narrated familial and communal consequences of the internal-armed conflict, becoming bearers of collective history. From States of Impunity.