Syria and Egypt: genocidal violence, Western response

The contradictions of the crisis: on openDemocracy: Syria's war is posing acute problems to western political leaders. The largest-scale use of chemical weapons to date, in opposition-held areas east of Damascus on 21 August 2013, killed over 350 civilians and hospitalised 3,000 more. The crisis this has unleashed is bringing the United States and France… Continue reading Syria and Egypt: genocidal violence, Western response

Paths to change: peaceful vs violent

A new post on openDemocracy It is now two years since the "Arab spring" spread popular protest across the one world-region still overwhelmingly dominated by authoritarian rulers, and thus heralded a major new phase of the democratic upheavals that have transformed the world over recent decades. These largely peaceful mass movements achieved remarkable, if qualified,… Continue reading Paths to change: peaceful vs violent

On the fall of Gaddafi

openDemocracy, 5 September 2011 Libya: the revolution-intervention dynamic The overthrow of the Muammar Gaddafi regime in Libya - messy and incomplete though it remains - represents a striking success for the Arab revolt which began only in December 2010. While the movements in Tunisia and Egypt achieved regime change through peaceful protest, that in Libya… Continue reading On the fall of Gaddafi

The Arab Spring: Protest, Power, Prospect

My contribution to this new openDemocracy forum. What a difference six weeks make. In mid-February 2011, largely peaceful revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt seemed to be spreading throughout the Arab world, notably in Bahrain, Yemen and Libya. In early April, Bahrain has seen repeated violent repression, Yemen massacres of protesters, and the Libyan revolution has… Continue reading The Arab Spring: Protest, Power, Prospect

Libya: popular revolt, military intervention

Published on openDemocracy, 7 April 2011. This replaces an earlier draft published on this site. In mid-February 2011, the protests which began the Libyan revolution seemed to demonstrate the unstoppable progress of people power. It seemed that even Gaddafi’s kleptocratic and personalised regime - which unlike Tunisia or Egypt never allowed space for civil society… Continue reading Libya: popular revolt, military intervention

The global democratic revolution: a new stage

My take on the historic significance of the Arab revolutions on (written before the unfolding of the Libyan crisis). The epic events across the Arab world in the first months of 2011, diverse and many-sided as they are, can be understood as a single episode: the latest phase in the worldwide democratic revolution which… Continue reading The global democratic revolution: a new stage