RELIGION
Should the burqa be banned?
L1
A storm of controversy has been stoked after photographs emerged of police in Nice ordering a Muslim woman on the beach to remove items of clothing following a burqini ban in 15 French towns. But is it right for governments to decide what a woman should, or should not wear? Some, especially in Western society, see the burqa as a tool of oppression against women. But for others, governments banning the clothing some Muslim women wear is an infringement of personal freedoms and, in Western society, an Islamophobic measure. Should it be up to the state to decide?
 August 30th 2016
27 - 86% / 14%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Asra Nomani L1
17.8
Author: "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam." Former WSJ reporter. Former journalism professor, Georgetown U
2
Freddy bin Yusuf L1
12.0
3
Dr. Craig Considine L1
8.0
Rice University, Lecturer in the Department of Sociology,
4
Nushin Arbabzadah L1
8.0
Writer. Raised in Afghanistan.
5
Julia Bard L1
8.0
Julia Bard is a freelance journalist, a member of the Jewish Socialists' Group and on the editorial committee of Jewish Socialist magazine.
POLITICS
Should Britain leave the EU?
L1
Three years after promising a referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron announced in late February that Britain will go to the polls on June 23 to answer the question: "Should the United Kingdom remain a member of the European Union or leave the European Union?" If voters opt to leave, it will have profound consequences not only for the UK but for the EU and transatlantic relations. The EU is already embattled and a divorce with its second-largest economy and second most populous member state - albeit one which has always had a troubled relationship with the bloc - could inflict grave damage. The US has declared a "profound interest" in a very strong UK staying in a strong EU. Within Britain, the debate is already fierce and being fought on five main fronts: Migration, the economy, security, Britain's global influence and sovereignty.
 April 21st 2016
13 - 78% / 22%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Roland Rudd L1
3.0
Chairman and Founder of Finsbury (www.finsbury.com). Chairman of Business for New Europe and Treasurer of Britain Stronger in Europe.
2
Joe Wallace L1
2.0
Europe editor at The World Weekly
3
Mark Fletcher L1
2.0
Conservative PPC for Doncaster North 2015. President of the Cambridge University Students' Union 2007-09. Conservative Party Activist.
4
Ralph Cunningham L1
2.0
Former managing editor of International Tax Review, a publication covering tax issues for large businesses around the world.
5
Luke Cooper L1
2.0
Luke Cooper is a lecturer in Politics at Anglia Ruskin University and the convenor of the Another Europe Is Possible campaign.
LAW & CRIME
Should prostitution be legal?
L1
Often described as the world’s oldest profession, there are few jobs that evoke such controversy. Today more than 40 million people around the world have turned to prostitution to make a living and many sex workers see their trade being as legitimate as any other. But with human trafficking and child exploitation rife in the dark underbelly of the illegal sex trade, for many others, prostitution is far from a choice. Most countries have laws against prostitution, but the practice thrives because, as with any market, where there is demand for sex there will always be people willing to sell it. Is legalisation and regulation the best way to ensure this market is a safe one for its predominantly female and frequently vulnerable workers in which to operate? Or should governments do everything they can to crack down on the practice? If so, who should be criminalised: those who sell sex, those who buy it, or both?
 September 19th 2016
13 - 82% / 18%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Laurie Shrage L1
10.0
Laurie Shrage is Professor of Philosophy at Florida International University
2
Don Hinrichsen L1
4.0
3
Scarlet Alliance L1
4.0
Under Decriminalisation, sex workers are better supported to negotiate with clients + report violence without fearing arrest/deportation
4
Thierry Schaffauser L1
3.0
I have been a sex worker for 14 years. I have worked on the streets, as a porn actor and as an escort.
5
Pace Ed L1
2.0
POLITICS
Is representative democracy the best political system?
L1
Along with the rule of law and the liberalisation of trade, representative democracy is seen as the standard political system for most countries around the world. It is a half way mark between central rule and real democracy. But is it truly the best system in terms of guaranteeing the well-being of all of its citizens? Is it efficient enough? Are there better alternatives?    
 May 12th 2016
13 - 90% / 10%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Manuel L L1
6.0
2
Josh White L1
6.0
Africa Editor at The World Weekly
3
Salman Shaheen L1
5.0
Editor-in-Chief of The World Weekly
4
Warblegoose Honk L1
4.0
Touch me in the morning Then just walk away We don't have tomorrow But we had yesterday
5
Tom Hussain L1
3.0
POLITICS
Has the world reached peak democracy?
L1
The 20th century saw the explosion of democracies across the world, first as European colonialism fell and then as the Soviet Union collapsed, leaving American-led liberalism the sole hegemonic force in the world. But as US influence wanes, the next superpower, China, will be a dictatorship that shows Pax Americana is not the only way of doing business. Meanwhile, rising authoritarianism in once emerging democracies such as Russia, as well as in Turkey and Latin America begs the question: is democracy on the retreat?
 September 12th 2016
9 - 89% / 11%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Josh Kurlantzick L1
6.0
2
Brian Klaas L1
6.0
Dr. Brian Klaas is the author of the forthcoming book: The Despot's Accomplice: How the West is Aiding & Abetting the Decline of Democracy.
3
Simon Anholt L1
5.0
Simon Anholt is the founder of the Good Country, the Good Country Index and the Global Vote.
4
Ulrike Lunacek L1
4.0
Vice President and Green Member of the European Parliament from Austria.
5
GARRY CAMPBELL L1
1.0
Current affairs interest , wanting good world news coverage.
POLITICS
Should vital matters of peace and economic prosperity be decided by public referendum?
L1
This week, the Colombian people delivered a shock to their government by voting to reject the peace deal with FARC that stood to end five decades of conflict. In doing so, they made their voices clear on the future of their country, but they may have also jeopardised it by rejecting the deal negotiated by the government. Similarly, in Britain this year, the people were consulted for the first time in over four decades on membership of the European Union, voting to leave despite the vast majority of experts predicting painful economic consequences. For Swiss people, referendums on all manner of policies are a part of ordinary political life, and have generally functioned relatively smoothly, but when they rejected free movement it left the country tied up in knots over its agreements with the EU. In many instances, representative democracy has left people feeling shut out of the political process, especially when politicians go back on the promises that got them elected. But referendums can often be derailed by media bias, spin and the pull of populism. And on vital issues of peace and economic prosperity, in which votes can often be led as much by the heart as by the head, should the public be the ones who make the final decision with so much at stake? Or is it patronising to assume people are not qualified to have a direct say in the future of their nation?
 October 3rd 2016
8 - 86% / 14%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Adam Payne L1
4.0
Politics reporter, Business Insider UK.
2
Fabienne Peter L1
4.0
Professor of Philosophy, University of Warwick, UK
3
Andrew Capel L1
1.0
Community activist living in mid Wales. Recently joined the Campaign for Democracy which is based in Llanidloes, Powys
4
Salman Shaheen L1
0.0
Editor-in-Chief of The World Weekly
5
Evan Ravitz L1
0.0
POLITICS
Should the former colonial powers pay reparations to nations they once subjugated?
L1
The colonial era saw Europe’s share of the world’s GDP jump from 20% to 60%, leading many to point out that Europe didn’t develop the colonies - rather, the land, resources, and labour of the colonies developed Europe. Anthropologist Jason Hickel, writing in the Guardian, notes India commanded 27% of the world’s economy prior to British colonisation: when the colonialists left in 1947, it only represented 3%. Historian Mike Davis describes how the British overhauled India’s agricultural system, destroying traditional subsistence practices to make way for cash crops - at times exporting 10 million tonnes of food to Europe a year. As a result, up to 29 million Indians died of famine in the latter 19th century. Similarly, the socio-economic growth of Haiti - the first black nation to successfully rebel in 1804 against its coloniser, France - was instantly jeopardised by the colonial powers’ retaliatory boycott on Haitian products. France demanded 150 million francs as compensation; it took Haiti 122 years to pay. With many former colonies continuing to suffer from systemic poverty, widespread corruption, lack of infrastructure, and political instability, should the Western powers pay reparations? Opponents of this notion state that ex-colonies already receive their fair share of aid. Opponents also stress that the sins of the fathers should not be visited upon their children, and that those most likely to bear the financial brunt of eventual reparations won’t be the elites (whose present-day fortunes often derive from colonialism), but ordinary taxpayers. David Horowitz famously argued that reparations were a “separatist idea”, painting Africans as victims while pitting them against the nations which “gave them freedom”. Others suggest that compensation is impractical, politically unworkable, or divisive, focusing attention on the p
 October 17th 2016
6 - 0% / 0%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Colonialism Reparation L1
0.0
Colonialism Reparation is part of the movement for the condemnation, the reconciliation, the apologies and the compensation for colonialism.
2
Richard E. Sherwin L1
0.0
Retired University teacher.
3
Akhilesh Pillalamarri L1
0.0
4
Esther Stanford-Xosei L1
0.0
5
Garr Earl-Spurr L1
0.0
MIGRATION
How should Europe best assist Syria’s refugees?
L1
More than half a million people may have died in the Syrian Civil War, but no one knows for certain as the UN has stopped counting. What we do know is that over half the population has been displaced and many millions have fled abroad. The vast majority have been taken in by Turkey and Syria’s Arab neighbours, but many refugees are seeking the safety of Europe. Germany alone has taken in over 500,000 Syrians. Now a backlash against the influx of refugees is growing, and it is threatening governments such as that of Angela Merkel that have gone out of their way to safeguard refugees. EU President Donald Tusk says Europe is close to the limit of the number of refugees it can accept, but with no end in sight for the Syrian Civil War, people will keep coming. Should Europe do more to help some of Earth’s most desperate people? Has it shouldered too much of the responsibility already? And what practical measures should it take?
 September 5th 2016
6 - 100% / 0%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Ulrike Lunacek L1
8.0
Vice President and Green Member of the European Parliament from Austria.
2
Edward Jonkler L1
6.0
Photojournalist specialising in the middle east.
3
Hamish DBG L1
4.0
Former British Army officer and advisor to NGOs in Syria & Iraq
4
Luke Cooper L1
2.0
Luke Cooper is a lecturer in Politics at Anglia Ruskin University and the convenor of the Another Europe Is Possible campaign.
5
Zoe Gardner L1
2.0
Zoe is a refugee & migrants rights campaigner, Communications Officer at Asylum Aid, a UK charity providing legal representation to refugees
PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS
Should animal testing be banned?
L1
Humans have long experimented on animals to test new medications and cosmetic products. Given the level of suffering inflicted on animals in the process, there is little doubt that such experimentation is inhumane. As such, outlawing the testing of cosmetics on animals would seem to most an uncontroversial position. The EU has already done just that. But what about when it comes to life saving drugs? Is animal suffering the price that must be paid to ease human suffering? How reliable is the data that can be gathered from testing cures designed for people on other species? Are scientists doing enough to reduce the harm caused to animals? Are there more humane alternatives? And as with so many ethical questions, can it be reduced to the greatest good for the greatest many?
 December 6th 2016
5 - 100% / 0%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Jennifer White L1
2.0
2
Ärzte GegenTierversuche L1
2.0
3
Chris Magee L1
2.0
Following stints in think tanks, charities and the private sector, Chris now works for Understanding Animal Research.
4
Emma Martinez L1
1.0
Emma Martínez is the Policy and Communications Officer of the European Animal Research Association (EARA).
5
Dermot Healy L1
0.0
ECONOMICS
What does automation mean for the economy of tomorrow?
L1
Across the world, algorithms, mechanisation, and various forms of artificial intelligence (AI) are shaping the decisions of employers, and changing the daily realities of employees. Just as the Industrial Revolution saw chain production specialise - and limit - workers’ activity, so has the integration of computers in companies’ functioning debunked the old correlation between value and manpower. When Facebook bought Instagram for $1 billion, the company only had 13 souls working for it. This time last year, consultancy firm McKinsey announced it would conduct a study over several years investigating the effect automation might have on our jobs and production methods. It predicted that automation would foster a new creativity and meaning in the workplace, change the occupations classed as high-wage, and utterly redefine jobs and business processes. Moreover, the specialist consensus is that about half of today’s work activities could be automated thanks to demonstrated technologies. An extra 13% of US jobs could also be robotised once language-processing mechanisms achieve median levels of human performance. It comes as no surprise, then, that recent years have seen a profusion of discussions on how AI will impact our future. In 2014, Yuval Noah Harari, a University of Jerusalem lecturer, published a bestseller announcing the creation of a new, “useless” class, made up of people whose jobs would disappear. Since then, countless editorials have been written on the end of the job market as we know it, and many a utopian has proclaimed the age of comfortable inactivity to be around the corner. But will machines’ increasing independence challenge humans’ sense of purpose, and disrupt traditional roles? If we are to take science-fiction author William Gibson at his word - “the future is here; it’s just not evenly distributed yet” - we must decide what ‘evenness’ means.
 November 22nd 2016
3 - 100% / 0%  
LEAD CONTRIBUTORS
1
Steve Recabaren L1
2.0
2
Salman Shaheen L1
2.0
Editor-in-Chief of The World Weekly
3
Trevor Francis L1
0.0
POLITICS
April 21st 2016
Should Britain leave the EU?
Three years after promising a referendum, Prime Minister David Cameron announced in late February that Britain will go to the polls on June 23 to
more
13 - 78% / 22%  
LAW & CRIME
September 19th 2016
Should prostitution be legal?
Often described as the world’s oldest profession, there are few jobs that evoke such controversy. Today more than 40 million people around the
more
13 - 82% / 18%  
POLITICS
May 12th 2016
Is representative democracy the best political system?
13 - 90% / 10%  
POLITICS
September 12th 2016
Has the world reached peak democracy?
9 - 89% / 11%  
MIGRATION
September 5th 2016
How should Europe best assist Syria’s refugees?
6 - 100% / 0%  
PHILOSOPHY AND ETHICS
December 6th 2016
Should animal testing be banned?
5 - 100% / 0%  
ECONOMICS
November 22nd 2016
What does automation mean for the economy of tomorrow?
3 - 100% / 0%  
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Lead contributors of the week
1
Asra Nomani L1
17.8
Author: "Standing Alone: An American Woman's Struggle for the Soul of Islam." Former WSJ reporter. Former journalism professor, Georgetown U
2
Freddy bin Yusuf L1
12.0
3
Ulrike Lunacek L1
12.0
Vice President and Green Member of the European Parliament from Austria.
4
Laurie Shrage L1
10.0
Laurie Shrage is Professor of Philosophy at Florida International University
5
Salman Shaheen L1
9.8
Editor-in-Chief of The World Weekly
6
Jimmy K L1
9.0
7
Julia Bard L1
8.0
Julia Bard is a freelance journalist, a member of the Jewish Socialists' Group and on the editorial committee of Jewish Socialist magazine.
8
Dr. Craig Considine L1
8.0
Rice University, Lecturer in the Department of Sociology,
9
Nushin Arbabzadah L1
8.0
Writer. Raised in Afghanistan.
10
Josh Kurlantzick L1
6.0
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