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Democracy

بغايا بغداد التعيسات

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الى بدر شاكر السياب الذي قال "بغداد مبغى كبير" في ليلة حالكة من عام 1938، كانت العاصمة العراقيّة معرّضة للطوفان بسبب ارتفاع منسوب المياه في نهر دجلة. في حالات كهذه، تستعين الشرطة بالمارّة من أجل حثّهم على إنقاذ مدينتهم. إلا أن شوارع المدينة كانت خالية بسبب البرد القارس وتأخر الوقت، فسارع عدنان محيي الدين، معاون الشرطة، إلى التفكير بمنطقة قريبة من النهر ومن "السدة"، مكمن الفيضان، لا تنام بسبب طبيعتها. إنها منطقة "الكلجيّة"، الحاضنة الرئيسة لبيوت الدعارة في جانب الرصافة من بغداد آنذاك. ذهبت سيارات الشرطة إلى "الكلجيّة" ودعت الجميع هناك إلى العمل على إنقاذ العاصمة من خطر الفيضان. لبّى الطلب كل من كان سهراناً في تلك الليلة. ...

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ABC Radio (Australia) Interviews Jadaliyya co-Editor Mouin Rabbani on Palestinian Reconciliation

[Mahmoud Abbas, speaking in 2010. Image by Olivier Pacteau.]

In this interview with ABC Radio (Australia), Jadaliyya Co-Editor Mouin Rabbani explains the background and examines the prospects of the April 2014 Palestinian reconciliation agreement. Rabbani answers questions about the formation of a new Palestinian government, its political program, and economic challenges.    

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Tunisia: The Collective Making of a Constitution

Tunisia’s National Constituent Assembly (NCA) session held on 26 January 2014 did not put an end to disagreements among its members. However, it did represent the culmination of the work done by members. These members were elected by people on 23 October 2011 to draft the provisions of the Constitution of the Tunisian Republic. The draft was ratified during the January session. The ratification of the constitution has thus pushed quarrels and political conflicts among assembly members from center stage to the margins. Before the NCA had begun its work, politicians promised to complete the drafting process in one year. However, drafting the 149 articles of the ...

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Lebanese Judges and Journalists: Breaking the Stereotypes

[Image via Legal Agenda.]

On 24 February 2014, a Lebanese court ruled in favor of Judge Randa Yaqzan in her case against al-Akhbar newspaper and journalist Mohamed Nazzal. Following the ruling, the convicted media outlet (al-Akhbar) criticized the court, going as far as questioning the legitimacy of the court’s right to examine other cases pending before it. [1] By doing so, al-Akhbar seemed to switch roles with the court: turning the newspaper’s trial by the court into a “trial” of the latter.  The newspaper’s “revolt” followed a string of media stances critical of judicial action, most prominently the indictment issued in the case of domestic violence against the victim, Roula ...

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Press Release: DePaul Divest Declares Victory in Student Campaign

 [The following is a press release issued by the DePaul University chapter of Students for Justice in Palestine on 24 May 2014.] CHICAGO – Following two months of campaigning at DePaul University, student coalition DePaul Divest declares victory in a campaign to divest from corporations that profit off of human rights violations perpetrated against Palestinians via the illegal Israeli occupation of Palestine. While a majority of divestment campaigns have been carried out through student government resolutions, DePaul Divest opted to pose the question of divestment to the entire DePaul student body through a Student Government Association (SGA) referendum this ...

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Stillbirth: The New Liberal-Conservative Mobilization in Turkey

[Prime Minister Erdoğan at the G-20 summit in St. Petersburg, Russia in September 2013. (Photo by Sergei Karpukhin, Pool/AP Photo)]

Liberal-conservatism was the dominant intellectual discourse in Turkey for more than three decades. The 1980s was its moment of departure. It suffered a hiatus under the shadow of the Kurdish war in the 1990s, but militaristic brutality also increased its sympathizers. The 2000s was its golden age. Its triumphalism reached an apex during the 2010 referendum. Ever since, its dominance has been crumbling. State versus Society, the Military versus the Civilians, the Authentic Bourgeoisie versus the Old Elite Among other factors, the 1980 coup convinced many intellectuals that the military was at the root of Turkey’s problems. Therefore, any civilian initiative deserved ...

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Notes on Turkey's Local Elections

[Supporters of the CHP carry

After weeks of tension and uncertainty, there was an almost carnival atmosphere at polling stations in Istanbul on 30 March—at least during the daytime. The sun shone from a crisp, blue sky, and there was a sense among government supporters and detractors alike that Turkey’s long spiral into political crisis since the outbreak of anti-government protests last summer could somehow be arrested or reversed by the one thing the country has long prided itself on doing well: elections. News channels carried heart-warming fluff stories about some of the country’s oldest citizens turning out to vote, and journalists joked about the sartorial choices of the various candidates. ...

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في نقد الثورة2/2

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عالجنا، في المقال السابق، مشكلة انحسار النقد الثوري، وشرعية النقد، والمحددات التي ينبغي تأبطها عند دخول الحيز النقدي، وعطفْنا على ذلك بكشف وفحص نقدين شائعين ومناوئين لمنطق الثورة الذي نعتقده. ونروم، في هذا المقال، نقد تصورين ظهرا لنا أثناء محاولاتنا تحليل الحِراك الثوري الممتد، منذ لحظة الميلاد في آخر يناير وحتى الوقت الراهن. وذلك تحقيقاً للقصود التي ذكرنا: الوعي وتقويم المسار وتقدير التضحية والبذل. على أنه قبل الخوض في سرد انتقاداتنا، بما تحمله من تبريرات ودفوع، يتوجب علينا، وإن في عجالة، استجلاء منهجية اختيارنا ذينك التصورين بعينهما للنقد والغربلة. والحال أن اختيارنا قام على عوامل ثلاثة هي الذيوع والتكرار والحسم. فكلما كانت التصورات منتشرة ودأب الثوار على فعلها ...

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Media On the Margins: An Interview with Alex Christie-Miller about Turkey's Attack on the Media Beyond Twitter

A twitter logo on an iPhone display is seen in front of the Turkish flag. Photo by Karl-Josef Hildenbrand/picture-alliance/dpa/AP Images]

On this edition of "Media on the Margins," Malihe speaks with Istanbul-based freelance journalist Alexander Christie-Miller shortly after Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan's ban on Twitter went into effect and before the country's elections. On 20 March, during a campaign rally ten days before the local elections, Erdogan said, “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic!” That same evening, Twitter users in Turkey were welcomed to a screen message that reads “Twitter is blocked in Turkey by court order.” One week after the twitter ban, ...

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All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarigul and the CHP (Part Three)

[Sarıgül in the thick of it. Image via reubensilverman.wordpress.com]

All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarıgül and the CHP (Part Three) [Part one of this article can be found here; part two can be found here.] Even before the campaign had started, there had been whispers that Sarıgül would make a better CHP General President than Deniz Baykal. At the time, he had dismissed such suggestions, saying, “I am bound to the problems of Şişli for another five years. We already have a President.”[1] Now, however, his tone was changing: asked how he had won, he explained, “We have brought back the spirit and the conviction of the 1974 CHP.”[2] That was an era before Baykal’s faction had formed. The implication was clear: the time had come ...

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All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarigul and the CHP (Part One)

[Mustafa Sarıgül. Image via reubensilverman.wordpress.com]

All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarıgül and the CHP (Part One) [People ask,] “Why are you always beating up on Sarıgül?” Let’s start the matter from here. I ask you: in this country has there ever been a party like the Republican People’s Party, which—without having done a bit of work—turns to the left for its votes? There’s never been such a freeloading party…I don’t know how many hundred suits [Sarıgül] has—he’s changing them twice a day. He doesn’t even know how many stylists he has. Can benefits come to the workers from all this? Can we approve of such a thing?...A social democrat can’t be like this. - Sırrı Süreyya Önder To many of its detractors, the ...

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Official Statement Regarding Barnard Administration's Removal of SJP Banner

[The following statement was issued by Students for Justice in Palestine of Columbia University on 11 March 2014] On March 10th, Columbia Students for Justice in Palestine hung a banner on Barnard Hall. The banner was placed after members of C­SJP went through the required bureaucratic channels and processes in order to give voice and presence to our week­long events as part of Israeli Apartheid Week (IAW), a global period of action and awareness­raising that has been occurring throughout the world for the past ten years. This morning we awoke to find that our banner – which simply read “Stand for Justice, Stand for Palestine,” and featured the logo of our ...

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New Texts Out Now: Sheila Carapico, Political Aid and Arab Activism: Democracy Promotion, Justice, and Representation

Sheila Carapico, Political Aid and Arab Activism: Democracy Promotion, Justice, and Representation. Cambridge and New York: Cambridge University Press, 2013. Jadaliyya (J): What made you write this book? Sheila Carapico (SC): After the Cold War, European and American professional democracy brokers flocked to formerly Warsaw Pact and Third World states with projects to monitor elections, promote civil society, train human rights activists, and so forth. They played a conspicuous, indispensable role in ...

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ما هي خصائص الثورة المضادة؟

  كما أن هناك رد فعل لكل فعل، هناك ثورة مضادة لكل ثورة. الثورة المضادة ظاهرة طبيعية، كما هو رد الفعل التالي على الثورة المضادة. ولا تنتصر إحداهما على الأخرى إلا إذا كان رد الفعل أفعل من الفعل الأول. وهذا لا يتم الا إذا أضاف طرف من الطرفين إلى ردّ فعله فهماً أعمق لطبيعة عدوّه. وهنا فقط، من خلال الفهم الأعمق، يرتفع ردّ الفعل عن طبيعته الميكانيكية، ويصبح أداةً لمعرفة فاعلة وجديدة. ولذلك لا يُعوّل على كلام فضفاض عن ثورة مضادة، إن لم يتضمّن هذا الكلام محاولة لفهم ماهية هذه الثورة المضادة. للثورة ...

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Representing Hamas (Part 1)

Shlomi Eldar, Lehakir et Hamas [“To Know Hamas"]. Jerusalem: Keter, 2012. The latest book by veteran Israeli journalist Shlomi Eldar, Lehakir et Hamas [“To Know Hamas], is a must-read for anyone interested in Hamas and the trajectory of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict since the beginning of the second intifada in 2000. Eldar has researched his subject thoroughly, and provides an original and revealing account of the movement. He has had extraordinary access to the movement while also providing a ...

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الخطر القادم من حمدين صباحي

"الخطر" القادم من حمدين صباحي مهما كانت نسبة الأصوات التي سيحصل عليها حمدين صباحي في الانتخابات الرئاسية في مصر،  فإنه سيشكل "خطراً" على النظام القائم ما بعد الانتخابات، ذلك أنه مرشح لقيادة المعارضة المفتتة حالياً، والتي تفتقر إلى قيادة موحدة. هذا إذا لم يكن هناك مسعى لتدارك هذه الإمكانية من خلال "استيعابه" في منصب وزاري أو آخر، وهو أمر يبدو الآن مستبعداً. ويدرك صباحي هذا الدور الممكن، إذ صرح خلال الأيام الأخيرة قبل الانتخابات أنه ستكون هناك جولات انتخابية قادمة. ولا ...

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Press Release: SJP at UCLA Concerned by Judicial Board Verdict and Its Implications for Student Government

[The following press release was issued on 21 May 2014 by Students for Justice in Palestine at the University of California Los Angeles in response to a recent no conflict of interest verdic by the UCLA Student Judicial Board.] Contact: sjpucla1@gmail.com Students for Justice in Palestine views today’s Judicial Board ruling in SJP v. Singh and Rogers as a major blow to the integrity of student government at UCLA. Sunny Singh and Lauren Rogers’ actions clearly constituted a conflict of interest, ...

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Iraqi Authorities Turn Their Sights on Journalists

[The following briefing was published by Reporters Without Borders on 26 March 2014] Reporters Without Borders is extremely concerned about the growing hostility that the Iraqi authorities are displaying towards critical journalists. One of latest violations of freedom of information is a warrant for the arrest of Awn Al-Khashlok, the head of Baghdadia TV, and Anwar Al-Hamdani, the host of the station’s “Ninth Studio” programme, on charges of disturbing public order and inciting chaos and ...

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Digital Platforms, Analog Elections: How Civic Groups Are Trying to Bring Back Democracy in Turkey

When Gezi protesters occupied the park last summer and took their frustration with the government to the streets, Prime Minister Erdoğan told them to “be patient and face off at the ballot box.” It was exactly Erdoğan’s reductive framing of democracy, which limits political legitimacy to elections and takes an uncompromising, polarizing stance against opposition, that Gezi protesters stood against. Nonetheless, unlike similar political movements in the United States and Western Europe that have abandoned ...

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On Prison & Egyptian Regime’s "War on a Whole Generation": Democracy Now! Interview with Alaa Abd El-Fattah

In a Democracy Now! global broadcast exclusive, we spend the hour with one of Egypt’s most prominent dissidents, Alaa Abd El-Fattah, speaking in his first extended interview after nearly four months behind bars. An open Internet and political activist, Fattah has been at the forefront of the struggle for change in Egypt for many years and has the distinction of having been actively persecuted by Egypt’s past four successive rulers. Facing a potential return to prison in the coming months, Fattah sits ...

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Event Report-Back: Countering the Counter-Revolution in Egypt

On 5 March 2014, the Middle East Studies Center at the American University in Cairo hosted political scientist Timothy Kaldas for a lecture titled “Countering the Counter-Revolution.” Kaldas is a professor at Egypt’s Nile University whose work can be found on Mada Masr and other media outlets. Following the ouster of President Mohamed Morsi in July, and the subsequent return of the Egyptian military to the political spotlight, activists in Egypt have struggled with how to proceed on the revolutionary ...

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All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarigul and the CHP (Part Two)

All Politics Is Local: Mustafa Sarıgül and the CHP (Part Two) [Part one of this article can be found here.] By 1987, Turkish politics was returning to its old patterns. Though the new constitution remained in effect and General Evren still presided over the state as president, the five-year ban from politics for leaders like Ecevit and Baykal was at an end and they had begun to plot their returns. Sarıgül too was busy positioning himself for the upcoming elections by recruiting large numbers of new ...

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What Role for Law in the Palestinian Struggle for Liberation?

Is international law part of the solution in the Palestinian quest for self-determination and human rights – or part of the problem as a number of voices now argue? Al-Shabaka Policy Advisor Noura Erakat provides insights into the positions of those who argue the law is the problem and then discusses the ways in which law can be made to work for the Palestinian people. She shows why the “triumph of human rights does not necessarily lead to justice” and argues for a political program that uses the law ...

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Human Rights Roadmap for a New Libya

[The following report was published by Human Rights Watch on 3 February 2014] Human Rights Roadmap for a New Libya Introduction After four decades of authoritarian rule, Libya faces the challenge of reforming outdated and repressive legislation and writing new laws that guarantee the full panoply of citizens’ rights. The enduring legacy of Muammar Gaddafi’s rule includes laws that have curtailed the freedoms of generations of Libyans. Since the 2011 revolution in Libya, with some exceptions such as ...

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