British prime minister David Cameron and Taoiseach Enda Kenny at Stormont House with Northern Ireland Secretary Theresa Villiers, Tánaiste Joan Burton and Minister of State Seán Sherlock. Photograph: Cathal McNaughton/Reuters

The East-West dynamic was clearly visible in the just-concluded Northern negotiations

‘Water becomes a symbol of more general disenchantment with the political system and how it works.’ Above, an anti water charges protest march, in O’Connell Street, Dublin, earlier this year. Photograph: Eric Luke / The Irish Times

‘Compared to the scale and intensity of protest movements in Greece, Iceland, Spain, Italy or France the Irish ones have undoubted(...)

‘Vladimir Putin’s authoritarian profile has been sharply ratcheted up this year, pursuing critics and opponents into an expanding gulag of political prisons.’  Above, Putin addresses the Federal Assembly, at the Kremlin in Moscow, this week. Photograph: Sergei Karpukhin/Reuters

World View: It seems better to preserve an analytical detachment, rather than plumping for either camp on the assumption that a ne(...)

Welsh First Minister Carwyn Jones

Opinion: Welsh first minister Carwyn Jones proposed a constitutional convention on the UK’s future

‘Led by Pablo Iglesias,  Podemus draws substantial support from the young unemployed, precariat graduates, participants in the associated Indignados social movement and from a much wider constituency disgusted with the corruption scandals afflicting the two main parties.’   Photograph: REUTERS/Andrea Comas

Opinion: ‘According to economist Guy Standing, this precariat is recruited from working class, migrants, ethnic minorities and th(...)

A convoy of East German cars queue up at Unter den Linden avenue in East Berlin before crossing the border line under the Brandenburg Gate into West Berlin as a result of the opening of the Berlin Wall on November 11th, 1989. Photograph: Derrick Ceyrac/AFP/ Getty Images

What have been the consequences of German unification for Europe and the world?

 ‘The Scottish referendum campaign on independence hardened public support for all powers of taxation and spending to be held there, with only foreign affairs and defence exercised through Westminster.’ Photograph: Mike Wilkinson/Bloomberg News

Opinion: Government and peoples must choose how to deliver on promise of deeper devolution to Scotland and whether to withdraw (...)

‘Most of the two to four million irregular migrants in Europe have lost their documented status because of exploitation, administrative delays or misinformation rather than because they have broken any law.’ Above, migrants arriving at Porto Empedocle in Sicily after being rescued approximately  40km off the Libyian coast by a Dutch freighter the Dinteldijk. Photograph: Frank Miller / The Irish Times

Opinion: ‘Recent moves in some EU member-states to criminalise those who help refugees make matters worse’

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