In Depth

The War is Just a Click Away

By:
Kamal Al-Solaylee
,
Amarnath Amarasingam
,
Christopher Anzalone
,
Benedetta Berti
,
Stephanie Carvin
,
Andrés Delgado
,
Naheed Mustafa
,
Alexandra Siegel
,
Chris Tenove
,
Yannick Veilleux-Lepage
,
John Woodside
/
October 18, 2016

People who live far from war may remain connected to it continuously, intimately and sometimes dangerously, through their digital devices. For much of humanity, we can now say that war is just a click away.

These digital connections to conflict are double-edged. Activists can provide assistance and coordinate with people in the midst of conflict, but their communications may be intercepted and their colleagues captured, tortured or killed. Social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter can alert larger publics to ...

Finding Home: An exploration of inclusive societies

By:
Kamal Al-Solaylee
,
Geoffrey Cameron
,
Paul Heinbecker
,
Luis Horacio Nájera
,
Jeremy Kinsman
,
Luis Larrain
,
Mathieu Lefevre
,
Jacqueline Lopour
,
James Milner
,
Bessma Momani
,
Naheed Nenshi
,
Ratna Omidvar
,
Madeleine Redfern
,
Pete Sweetnam
,
Andrew Thompson
,
Catherine Tsalikis
,
Richard van der Laken
/
September 20, 2016

How can we promote more welcoming communities and better integration of newcomers? 

As the world faces the challenges of mass migration, inequality and xenophobia, an important conversation emerges around the models of pluralism that are working, and those that are in desperate need of innovation. 

With a new initiative launching in Canada called 6 Degrees — a three day event promoting debate on these very issues — OpenCanada has brought together a diverse group of voices to further the discussion. 

First, a ...

Afghanistan in Review: Looking back at Canada’s longest war

By:
John Duncan
,
Bill Graham
,
May Jeong
,
Bruce Mabley
,
Naheed Mustafa
,
Steve Saideman
,
Catherine Tsalikis
/
July 28, 2016

Canada’s war in Afghanistan cost Ottawa at least $18 billion, with more than 40,000 members of the Canadian Forces serving there from 2001-2014, helping to overthrow the Taliban and chase out al-Qaeda. Many other Canadians spent time in the country working in a government capacity, doing development work with NGOs, or bearing witness as journalists. Battles were fought and blood was spilled — 158 Canadian soldiers and thousands of Afghan civilians lost their lives — in an effort to stem ...

The Making of Kurdistan

By:
Emily Feldman
,
Marie Lamensch
,
John Mitton
,
Michael Petrou
,
Evon Sworesho
/
June 30, 2016

Who are the Kurds? Is a future Kurdish state possible? Despite being more than 25 million strong, this Middle Eastern ethnic group has never had a country of its own. In this new series, we explore state-building efforts across the region and the implications of new alliances between Kurds and other actors in light of the fight against ISIS. 

With a video explainer on the group's history, an in-depth feature from Michael Petrou on the state of affairs in ...

Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing: Highlights from this year's finalists

By:
Andrew Nikiforuk
,
Greg Greg Donaghy
,
Norman Hillmer
,
John Ibbitson
,
Sheila Watt-Cloutier
/
April 15, 2016

Each year, the Writers’ Trust of Canada awards $25,000 for a work of literary non-fiction that has the potential “to shape or influence thinking on Canadian political life.”   This year’s Shaughnessy Cohen Prize for Political Writing will be awarded on April 20 at the Politics and the Pen event in Ottawa.

In advance of the event, OpenCanada is running excerpts from all five finalists: Stephen Harper, by John Ibbitson; Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against ...

Books, not bombs: Exploring a crucial missing piece in counter extremism strategies

By:
Heiner Bielefeldt
,
Daniel Cere
,
Claudia Colvin
,
Ratna Ghosh
,
Jon Waind
/
February 10, 2016

This series explores religious education as a relatively untapped resource in governmental strategies for countering violent extremism.  Former British Prime Minister Tony Blair addressed the Counter-Terrorism Committee of the United Nations Security Council in November of 2013 with the claim that religious education is an issue of global security.  His speech underscores the need for an education approach “that opens young minds to ‘the other’, those who are culturally and religiously different,” and then demonstrates to these opened minds “how ...

The Politics of Inequality

By:
Jill Abramson
,
Vix Anderton
,
Miles Corak
,
Jordi Díez
,
Andrew Green
,
Chris Hedges
,
Nick Malkoutzis
,
Ijeoma Oluo
,
Jeffrey Sachs
,
Angela Sterritt
,
Joseph Stiglitz
,
Meera Subramanian
,
Anna Maria Tremonti
,
Catherine Tsalikis
/
November 5, 2015

The last three decades have seen the emergence of Gilded Age levels of inequality. The 2008 financial crisis, the Arab Spring and the Occupy Wall Street movements all sparked renewed focus on this widening of income inequality, amid fears that the ‘one percent’ could eventually hold more wealth than 99 percent of the population combined.

The inaugural 2015 UBC Lind Initiative, hosted by the Liu Institute for Global Issues, examines the far-reaching effects of inequality – not only when it comes ...

Inequality Explained: Six essays from University of British Columbia students

By:
Noal Amir
,
Cristina Blanco Iglesias
,
Rachel Bryce
,
Andrés Delgado
,
Aliya Dossa
,
Parmida Esmaeilpour
,
Terralynn Forsyth
,
Jill Guerra
,
Sarah Harper
,
Nicole Iaci
,
Milena Khalil
,
Shirin Kiamanesh
,
Jason Leslie
,
Benjamin Lim
,
Varoon Mathur
,
Scott McKenzie
,
Jonathan Nieman
,
Paige Olmsted
,
Mikael Omstedt
,
Ashley Pullman
,
Fernando Rodríguez
,
Anastasia Rogova
,
Max Rutherford
,
Saskia Vaisey
,
Claire Vivier
,
Sebastien Wen
,
Shahab Zareyan
/
November 4, 2015

The inaugural 2015 UBC Lind Initiative, hosted by the Liu Institute for Global Issues, examines the far-reaching effects of inequality. A speaker series led by economist Joseph Stiglitz and featuring Jill Abramson, Teju Cole, Jeffrey Sachs and Elizabeth May was held in the Fall Term of 2015, while a series of essays, analysis and feature stories ran concurrently on OpenCanada.org.

Along with the series, Taylor Owen led a seminar class exploring the topic of inequality through the work of ...

Mending a global giant: How to fix a 70-year-old United Nations

By:
Omer Aziz
,
A. Walter Dorn
,
Paul Meyer
,
Eva Salinas
,
Ramesh Thakur
,
Yazan al-Saadi
/
October 23, 2015

As the United Nations turns 70 on Oct. 24, we look at some of the more pressing areas in need of reform and increased support within the institution — from the refugee system and peacekeeping operations to how secretaries general and security council members are selected. 

Should the UN’s unpaid internships be abolished (yes!) and should Canada ramp up its involvement in peacekeeping missions (also yes!)? Reforms within the UN have long been identified. With contributions from Ramesh Thakur, Paul ...

Back to Nigeria: Stories from the battle against Boko Haram

By:
EJ Hogendoorn
,
Christoph Koettl
,
Marie Lamensch
,
Tolu Ogunlesi
,
Nicolai Pogadl
,
Wole Soyinka
,
Shelly Whitman
/
October 7, 2015

Founded more than 10 years ago, Boko Haram, the extremist group in northern Nigeria, jolted into global consciousness with the abduction of nearly 300 girls in April, 2014. Since, stories about the communities affected by its terrorizing tactics, about the regional effort to fight it, and about a new President who promised to put a final end to it, have ebbed and flowed in and out of international headlines.

In this series, a partnership between OpenCanada.org and the Montreal ...

Understanding ISIS: Myths and Realities

By:
Max Abrahms
,
François Audet
,
Alex Bellamy
,
Elizabeth Ferris
,
Marie Lamensch
,
OpenCanada Staff
,
Henry Tuck
/
April 20, 2015

The Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, has emerged out of the power vacuum created by the Syria civil war. In a very short period of time the group has captured and held territory in both Syria and Iraq, which consequently gave rise to an international military coalition to stop the group. Western countries and Arab states appear to be united and see the group as a threat to international peace and security.

But it is not just ...

Aligning the Americas

By:
Stephen Baranyi
,
Jean Daudelin
,
Yvon Grenier
,
Jennifer McCoy
/
April 17, 2015

The seventh Summit of the Americas ended this past week with host Panamanian President Juan Carlos Varela declaring the event “historic,” saying it create a “legitimate expectation” that age-old and recent regional tensions would be resolved — most notably those between Cuba and the U.S., and the government of Colombia and the FARC.

As the first in its history to include representatives from all 35 states in the region, the summit was indeed historic. But did the handshaking and official ...

On the Verge

By:
Tzeporah Berman
,
Madelaine Drohan
,
Scott Gilmore
,
John McArthur
,
Saskia Sassen
/
January 9, 2015
banneronthev

Only one week into 2015, and January has proven to be anything but a sleepy, slow month — one often hushed by the deep cold in some parts of the world and hot summer days elsewhere.

The end of 2014 came with all kinds of predictions, hopes and warnings for 2015, some of which are suddenly closer than ever: there are now indications that U.S. President Barack Obama will veto Keystone Pipeline legislation; the family of Canadian journalist Mohamed Fahmy ...

Border Check

By:
Jennifer L Jenkins
,
Jeremy Kinsman
,
Saeed Rahnema
,
Eva Salinas
,
Samira Sayed-Rahman
,
OpenCanada Staff
/
November 10, 2014

This week, the world marks 25 years since the fall of the Berlin Wall, one of the most significant borders of recent history. As OpenCanada contributor Jennifer Jenkins writes, looking back on the occasion, the wall was “three metres of ugly, pre-fabricated concrete that ran as far as the eye could see.” But it was not the same on both sides. “For East Germans, it was “untouchable, unapproachable.” On the western side, it was covered in graffiti, commentary and colour ...

A Drug Reform Revolution

By:
Jean Daudelin
,
Nathan Jones
,
Robert Muggah
,
Eva Salinas
/
September 8, 2014
drugsasdsa

The state of global drug reform is reaching a tipping point. Nowhere is debate, and change, happening as fast as in the Americas, where the past few years alone have seen a drastic shift in marijuana’s legal status in the United States, Uruguay and likely many more regions to come over the next few years. Debate is taking place at a very local level, from Mexico City to Jamaica, and also at the regional and international level, even this ...