In honour of Adam Zagajewski receiving the Jean Améry Prize for European essay writing, we publish Zagajewski's defence of ardour. That is, true ardour, which doesn't divide but unifies; and leads neither to fanaticism nor to fundamentalism. [Lithuanian version added]
Controversies over Muslims refusing to shake hands with non-Muslims are typical of the conflicts affecting today's multi-religious societies. Appeals to the law are not the answer: processes of social self-regulation need to take their course beyond formal authority, argues Milo Vec.
Legal transnationalization takes place as different paces, setting human rights against trade and property protections, argues social anthropologist Shalini Randeria. The instrumentatilization of solidarity by nascent ethno-nationalism must be resisted at the political not the legal level.
Solidarity in liberal democracies is pluralistic, argues political scientist Ira Katznelson; it allows particularities of time and place while satisfying a widely held human interest. Democracy, too, takes a variety of forms and is best measured by historical standards.
Russian hackers were able to interfere in the US election not because of Internet technology as such, but because of public receptivity to anti-establishment messages. Journalists Andrei Soldatov and Irina Borogan argue that distrust in traditional media provides fertile ground for Russian disinformation.
When Russian NGOs resisted the law obliging them to declare themselves as foreign agents, the Ministry of Justice began to blacklist them itself. One such group is the Women of the Don Union, whose operations have been paralysed by a criminal investigation into its director Valentina Cerevatenko.
The migration crisis has triggered a shift in politics away from an ethics of ultimate ends to an ethic of responsibility, the question of the "we" to whom we owe solidarity reappearing in pre-political concepts like ethnicity and national culture. David Abraham, Claus Offe and Slawomir Sierakowski discuss the rise of rightwing populism in Europe and the US.
In a 'flat world' and with global interconnectedness, there is no longer a place for the sovereign right of national 'non-inteference', argues Ulrike Guérot. Europe must begin thinking about 'network democracy', in which social cohesion is organized beyond borders.
Loss of interest in what Russia can offer external markets threatens to turn a rich autocracy into a poor autocracy. In the "brave new world" of post-deficit and post-work, zones of low consumption threaten to become zones of violence.
Expressions of solidarity with refugees can conceal essentialism and condescension based on citizenship, class and religion. Governments' flagrant neglect of responsibilities entailed by use of the 'we' reveals the aporias of a solidarity founded in national belonging, argues Suzana Milevska.
Russia has been described as the second largest country of immigration after the US. Until recently, however, both host society and immigrants were part of the same political and cultural community. This process of "othering" affects different groups in different ways.
The so-called "agents law" passed in 2012 has been ramped up since the revolution in Ukraine, making it practically impossible for NGOs receiving financial support from abroad to function. Whether it remains possible to advocate for democratic values in Russia depends on political decision-making both in Russia and the West.
The new Cold War is a dead end in the labyrinth of world history, writes Achim Engelberg. It cannot resolve current contradictions in Russia, Ukraine or elsewhere. So what are the alternatives for upholding democracy, an independent Ukraine and peace in Europe?
The refugee crisis has re-opened the gap between East and West. What Europe is witnessing today is not what Brussels describes as a lack of solidarity, but a clash of solidarities: national, ethnic and religious solidarity, writes Ivan Krastev. [Russian version added]
Recent cuts in higher education spending fuels the commodification of knowledge, the precarization of academic work, and de-solidarization within the scienitific community. Slovenian ethnomusicologist Ana Hofman talks about neoliberalism and higher education.
Varlik discusses emergency and self-censorship; Blätter interviews Jürgen Habermas about the task of the Left; Vikerkaar shines the light on reactionary populism; Merkur considers citizenship still the best guarantee of freedom; Transit honours Charles Taylor; Multitudes enters the shared world of refugee camps; springerin examines the aporias of solidarity; Esprit addresses France's prison problem; Kulturos barai talks about neoliberal higher education policy in central Europe; Wespennest goes back to the USSR; and Glänta tours Retrotopia.
There is a no-man's-land between European post-democracy and national democracy that largely consists of grand coalitions of the political centre. It is here that European populism is flourishing and will continue to do so. Ulrike Guérot offers a corrective. [Estonian version added]
Russian society avoids taking legal responsibility for Soviet crimes through a quasi-religious sense of repentance. Society can only break the vicious cycle of depersonalized guilt when it accepts its own historical failure to resist totalitarianism. [German version added]
Trump's win was far from unpredictable: the Clinton campaign failed to take popular resentment seriously. Whether or not Trump follows up on all of his many election promises, more conflict can be expected.
Hawk or dove? Donald Trump's synthesis of populist isolationism and nationalist triumphalism produces an erratic and unpredictable stance on America's international role. The foreign policies of populist precedents provide clues as to how Trump thinks about the rest of the world.
The refugee crisis has re-opened the gap between East and West. What Europe is witnessing today is not what Brussels describes as a lack of solidarity, but a clash of solidarities: national, ethnic and religious solidarity, writes Ivan Krastev. [Bosnian version added]
Whatever happens on 8 November, one thing is certain: the large bloc of disaffected voters represented by Donald Trump will not go away. His popularity reveals the fragility and entrenchment of the American democratic system, writes George Blecher.
In the latest of his Battle Dispatches from the electoral front, George Blecher visits the heartlands of the Trump vote in the swing states of Pennsylvania and Ohio, and in an at times oddly moving piece, begins to get to the heart of The Donald's appeal.
Despite the historical presence of Muslims in Europe, a supposed dichotomy between Islam and Europe means that representations of European cultural heritage exclude Islam. Multiculturalist avowals notwithstanding, European museums reproduce the orientalism of the nineteenth century, argues curator Klas Grinell.
Environmental protests in Russia combine rule of law arguments with cultural and moral dimensions. Jane Costlow traces the hidden history of environmentalism in Russia and looks at one contemporary example: the Dubki park protests in Moscow.
The success of Germany's anti-immigrant party signals a mood-swing in public debate on the refugee crisis. The solidarity expressed by Angela Merkel's 'We can manage' has given way to something much less generous, writes Daniel Leisegang.
Deprived of its normative core and disappointed in its hopes for universal justice, contemporary liberalism is mute in the face of current conflicts and crises. Regina Kreide seeks reasons for liberal theory's loss of relevance in today's violent, chaotic and radically unequal world. [English version added]
Fidesz's constitutional counter-revolution has reversed the process of democratization begun in Hungary in 1989. Seeking reasons for Hungary's 'backsliding', Gábor Halmai argues that democratic culture is more crucial than formal legality to guaranteeing rule of law. Hungary challenges the EU's ability to prevent illiberal democracies emerging in its midst.
Duck and dodge, wheel and deal, lies, lies and precious few facts or statistics. In the second of his Battle Dispatches covering the US elections, George Blecher explains how lying or what he calls "evasive rhetoric " has become the campaign's central issue on both sides.
The assumption that self-loathing is the root of homophobia ignores the fact that heterosexuals are more than capable of anti-gay damage, and is a convenient absolution for straight people, writes Alex Macpherson.
How much in common must a community have? Quite a lot, says Eurozine's Carl Henrik Fredriksson. At the very least a common public sphere. Because without it, Europe's publics will be easy prey for those who know how to play the strings of history. [Swedish version added]
Public debate about sexual violence does not guarantee that society confronts what is done to those who experience it, writes Gaby Zipfel. In order to understand public debate about sexual violence, we need to analyse who speaks and what is and isnt spoken about.
In his recent book Black Earth, the historian Timothy Snyder explains the Holocaust in terms of the destruction of the state. This allows him to argue that the Nazi and Soviet regimes had a comparable role in causing the Holocaust, despite their different ideologies and intentions. In interview with the Slovenian journal Razpotja, Snyder explains this argument and its implications for contemporary conflicts in Europe and beyond.
One issue alone came to determine the result in the recent UK referendum: migration, not the economy, stupid - comments Judith Vidal-Hall in her account of a recent anthology exploring Britain's history as a place of refuge.
It is fair to say that what is called globalization used to be built on the unexamined premise that the whole planet will end up modernizing toward some convergent omega point called the Globe. This is no longer the case - observes Bruno Latour in a lecture given in May 2016 at Humboldt University, Berlin.
Decisions on large-scale infrastructure projects and sustainable energy development must draw on dialogue-based processes. "Future councils" can provide a basis for political identity and clarify the implications that large infrastructure projects have at a local level. [German version added]
The debate about migration in political and media discourse is dominated by issues of economics and culture, while only the ethical approach reveals the question of power, writes Phillip Cole. The left must on one hand understand anxieties people have about immigration, but on the other show courage in contesting beliefs based on untruths.
The recent US presidential primaries may have appeared to be a cross between a circus and a caricature of a reality show, but don't be misled, says George Blecher, the real show has yet to take place. The campaign between the two most unpopular candidates ever to stand for President will be brutal and the result will leave swathes of Americans disenchanted with the democracy of which they were once so proud.
Authors writing about the Anthropocene and the Chernobyl disaster alike tend to slip into millennial scales and metaphysics. Historian Kate Brown suggests getting down to the particulars: the dates, facts and fate of people most directly confronted with the new radioactive reality. [Estonian version added]
The Albanian-language cultural journal "Symbol" has joined the Eurozine network. Established in 2013, the magazine is intended as a bridge between cultures and a forum where different artists articulate their visions. "Symbol" features writings on literature, theatre, film, music, media and the arts.
To retain his grip on power, Vladimir Putin now depends on exporting instability and escalating international tensions. In the face of which, Garry Kasparov warns against complacency. At the same time, he insists it's only a question of time before dramatic change comes to Russia itself. [Slovenian version added]
German filmmaker Harun Farocki and Israeli artist Omer Fast have articulated the link between temporality, virtuality, trauma and today's militarized world. Anne Zeitz takes their works as points of departure for looking at how high-tech war is reshaping both temporality and subjectivity.
"Razpotja" considers the spectres of dictatorship haunting Europe; "Mittelweg 36" examines past and present commitments to democracy; "Blätter" asks if the post-Brexit era spells the beginning of the end for Europe; "Multitudes" anticipates a universal basic income for all; "Krytyka" sees a historical opportunity for Ukrainian politics; "RozRazil" investigates the plurality of meanings embodied in the nation; "Letras Libres" reflects on the rise of speciesism; "Kulturos barai" senses that under conditions of austerity, extremism becomes a norm; and "Vikerkaar" confronts the shock of the Anthropocene.
It's high time we rejected worn-out explanations that declare the PiS electoral victory of 2015 to be rooted in the undemocratic legacy of the communist regime, argues Pawel Marczewski. The source of scepticism concerning the EU, and the very idea of liberal democracy, is to be found elsewhere.
Authors writing about the Anthropocene and the Chernobyl disaster alike tend to slip into millennial scales and metaphysics. Historian Kate Brown suggests getting down to the particulars: the dates, facts and fate of people most directly confronted with the new radioactive reality.
During the early hours of 18 July 1936, Franco declared a state of war and his opposition to the Second Spanish Republic. In undermining the Republican government's ability to keep order, the ensuing coup d'état precipitated unprecedented open violence. Thus began the Spanish Civil War.
It was once described as "perhaps the most successful transition from dictatorship to democracy that the world has ever witnessed". Hyperbole aside, Birgit Aschmann takes issue with viewing Spain's transition as an isolated event, to the neglect of key transnational factors.
Today, Spain is as far from coming to terms with the events of the Spanish Civil War as with the ensuing dictatorship that only ended with Franco's death in 1975. Julia Macher outlines the resulting political divides and how they sustain the turbulence around post-Francoist democracy.
"Index" warns of increasing threats to reporters worldwide; "Polar" discusses the paradoxical appeal of truth in an age of post-truth politics; "Esprit" is up all night on the Place de la République; "Il Mulino" condemns the cruelty of contemporary European politics; "Soundings" assesses the prospects for European solidarity post-Brexit; "Czas kultury" goes cycling; "Revista Crítica" dances to a contemporary tune, whether digitally downloaded or live at a festival; and "Ord&Bild" talks to Nobel laureate Svetlana Alexievich.
The Place de la République in Paris has taken on a distinctive life of its own lately, driven not least by members of a generation with neither job nor housing security. Anthropologist Véronique Nahoum-Grappe presents her impressions of the Nuit debout movement.
Philosopher Roberto Escobar wonders at the extent of the indifference within Europe to the plight of people attempting to enter the continent in search of refuge. Could it be that we are letting politics become crueler, that we are closing our eyes, hiding behind our own indifference?
Public intellectuals are growing too comfortable in their predictable condemnation of contemporary postdemocracy: where's the will to revitalize democracy, not to mention political representation itself? Peter Siller, co-editor of "Polar" (Germany), calls for a sea change in political critique.
Europe has abandoned norms of equality and social solidarity in favour of market freedoms, writes Michael Rustin. A founding editor of "Soundings" (UK), Rustin considers the damage, disruption and antagonism caused by the neoliberal doctrines that dominate life in the European Union, and whether such trends are reversible following the outcome of the UK referendum.
Current usage of the word "populist" in the German and European media is beginning to obscure the alarming rise of xenophobia and authoritarian tendencies across the continent. In the face of which, Claus Leggewie argues that it's high time for rhetorical anti-fascism to take a practical turn. This means meeting an urgent need for democratic participation to be extended beyond (but never used against) political parties and parliaments.
Never have there been more refugees in the world as today: an estimated 45 million in total. So what's the current relationship between international law, emancipatory politics and the rights of the rightless? Seyla Benhabib on the urgent need to create new political vistas. [Swedish version added]
The Sochi winter Olympics are over but Russia's anti-gay laws remain. Tatiana Riabova and Oleg Riabov show how discourse in Russia brands "European sexual deviancy" a natural result of western democratic development; and Russia as the last bastion of "normalcy". [Swedish version added]
In an exchange dealing with critical issues of sustainable media strategy and privacy, Matthias Streitz, managing editor of "Spiegel Online" in Germany, argues that ad-blockers merely aggravate the current crisis in which the media finds itself; while Richard Tynan, technologist for Privacy International, insists that people have a right to protect themselves and their data.
"Arena" contemplates the day in history that most changed the world; "La Revue nouvelle" explores issues of disability and citizenship; "Varlik" remembers Turkish women's rights activist Duygu Asena; "Razpotja" seeks to kick corruption out of public life; "Belgrade Journal" considers 11 July, day of commemoration of the Srebrenica genocide; "Host" devotes an issue to leading Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk; and "Merkur" catches up with Ai Weiwei.
As confirmed by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, clearly, people with disabilities are entitled to the same rights as anyone else. Yet the stigmatizing social representation of disabled people remains the key barrier to exercising these rights.
Ever since Ai Weiwei's presence in Berlin became more permanent, he seems to have simultaneously lost his aura as a dissident Chinese artist and alienated the art world as a kind of arty, conformist Berliner. But conformism can cut both ways, writes Matthias Dell.
As plans for the future of Europe are drawn up in the wake of last Thursday's UK referendum, Eurozine asked editors at partner journals for their initial responses to the Brexit decision, and how it's being received in their home countries.
If the financial crisis divided the EU between creditors and debtors, opening a gap between North and South, the refugee crisis re-opened the gap between East and West. What we witness today, writes Ivan Krastev, is not what Brussels describes as a lack of solidarity, but a clash of solidarities: national, ethnic and religious solidarity chafing against our obligations as human beings.
Whatever the result of today's UK referendum, neither popular disaffection with mainstream political institutions, nor the sense among large sections of the electorate of being politically voiceless, is likely to subside. Nor will it, argues Kenan Malik, until the reasons for that disaffection are directly addressed.
Whether the UK remains an EU member or not after today's vote, there's no business as usual to return to for Britain, the EU or even the western world. So says the executive editor of POLITICO's European edition, Matthew Kaminski.
Ahead of Thursday's EU referendum, Ben Little of "Soundings" (UK) looks beyond the daily diet of questionable and competing facts circulated by party political factions, and considers the deep-seated tensions that currently shape the United Kingdom's fractured political landscape.
Both Remain and Leave campaigns are equally culpable for the toxic mixture of ill feeling and scare tactics that has defined the build up to Thursday's referendum, writes Benjamin Tallis. A British citizen who has spent most of his working life on the continent, Tallis bemoans how these dismal campaigns have obscured the fact that, for all its faults, the European Union remains the world's most successful liberal project.
There is a no-man's-land between European post-democracy and notional national democracy that largely consists of grand coalitions of the political centre. It is here that European populism is flourishing and will continue to do so. Ulrike Guérot offers a corrective.
Public debates in Sweden on EU migrants has become particularly divisive of late, reinforcing misleading notions of who is considered "deserving" of welfare and who "non-deserving". The authors appeal for a political community based on radically different principles.
In "Blätter", Ulrike Guérot offers a corrective to European postdemocracy; "openDemocracy" founder Anthony Barnett states the case for "Bremain"; "Esprit" considers how to eat well and save the planet; "New Humanist" isn't exactly sold on cryonics; "Dziejaslou" dips into the correspondence of a Belarusian prisoner of conscience; "Fronesis" challenges the dominant ideology of capitalist (welfare) societies; and "Syn og Segn" on why a Muslim is not always a Muslim.
It's not just Europe's far right parties; the radical Left too has both personal and political connections to the Kremlin, write analysts Péter Krekó and Lóránt Gyori. Moreover, the old "comrade networks" of Soviet times remain active.
Amid the inner turmoil of France's socialists, Steffen Vogel asks: could the Nuit debout movement signal the renaissance of the French Left; or even a broader cultural turn altogether? Since its emergence on Paris's Place de la République in early 2016, the movement was quick to go nationwide.
States such as Norway or Switzerland have tended to relinquish sovereignty to the European Union without any prospect of co-determining the course that the Union takes, write Erik O. Eriksen and John Erik Fossum. Moreover, such states experience new EU treaties or reforms as "shocks" for which they are poorly prepared in comparison to member states. But these are not the only lessons that voters in the UK's upcoming referendum on EU membership may wish to consider.
Once the preserve of eccentrics and cranks, cryonics is entering the mainstream. Is eternal life possible or even desirable? Traversing the interface between transhumanist subcultures and high-stakes investment in novel technologies, Cal Flyn investigates.
Even a democratically elected president of the European Commission, or the elimination of the circus that is a European Parliament based in two cities, will not make citizens fall in love with the Union. What's required, says Jan Zielonka, is a form of European integration able to meet the needs of societies put under pressure by current geopolitical tensions and the digital revolution.
In this excerpt from Anthony Barnett's latest book project, the founder of "openDemocracy" (UK) argues in favour of the United Kingdom remaining a European Union member state. In the process, Barnett reflects on the changing prospects for a genuinely democratic Europe, and on the role of digital and other new platforms in shaping European debate.
The globalized food industry has played havoc with ecological systems during the past 50 years. Christian Rémésy, Director of Research at France's National Institute for Agricultural Research, insists that a much-needed food transition is possible; all that is lacking is political will.
Russia's democratic movement needs to develop a cultural and political strategy based on the following premise, writes Sergey Lebedev: that a systemic failure to deal properly with Soviet-era crimes has engendered the present-day authoritarian Russian state. This is the only way to end the damaging series of half remedies that has so far sustained the illusion of justice being restored.
Once considered a force of stability after the Yeltsin years, Vladimir Putin now depends on exporting instability and escalating international tensions in order to retain his grip on power at home. In the face of which, Garry Kasparov warns against complacency at the same time as insisting that it is merely a question of time before Putin's apparent show of strength gives way to dramatic change in Russia itself.
This year's Prague European Summit takes place at the Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle. Topics up for discussion include the future of the Schengen Area; the implications of the UK referendum on EU membership, for both eurosceptic and mainstream pro-Europe political parties; and the likely impact of November's US presidential election on transatlantic relations.
"New Eastern Europe" is well equipped for today's stormy international relations; "Vikerkaar" explores crises of political belonging in France and Europe at large; "NLO" analyses the class war in Russian universities; "pARTisan" considers the public profile of Polish theatre; "Mittelweg 36" lets rip over liberalism's silence; "Res Publica Nowa" revisits the Siege of Kobani; "NAQD" observes Maghreb societies in the throes of transition; and "Multitudes" calls for a kind of people's quantitative easing.
Political theory has remained disturbingly silent in the face of multiple global crises, writes Regina Kreide. Can it be that the current extremity of political and economic circumstances is simply inexplicable? Or do political theorists tend to look down on social reality from too great a philosophical height?
Without the single currency, argues French economist Yann Moulier Boutang, Europe really would have plunged into a 1930s-style depression by now. The solution to the eurozone's current woes lies in a kind of "people's quantitative easing" used for social and public purposes, not just propping up financial institutions.
Once again, Turkey finds itself at the centre of a storm of conflicting international interests. As neither the deadly chaos in the Middle East nor the refugee crisis show any sign of letting up, the issue of Cyprus rumbles on. Meanwhile, the country's domestic politics remain something of a minefield.
Never have there been more refugees in the world as today: an estimated 45 million in total. So what's the current relationship between international law, emancipatory politics and the rights of the rightless? Seyla Benhabib on the urgent need to create new political vistas. [Estonian version added]
Despite cross-border conflict and domestic cuts in finance, the race to Rio is still on for Ukraine's Paralympians. Matteo Tacconi reports on the loss of the team's world class training centre in Yevpatoria, following Russia's annexation of Crimea, and on calls for the Ukrainian state to reconsider its budgetary decisions.
As privatization displaces a sense of civic responsibility on both sides of the Atlantic, care-workers become ever more isolated. Martha Albertson Fineman insists that, rather than the gender of the person doing the care work, it's the care work itself that simply isn't valued in today's society.
Author Robin Detje casts a sceptical eye on headline events during the past year in the sphere of fine art, ranging from biennales in Venice and Istanbul to a podium discussion between Alexander Garcia Düttmann and Juliane Rebentisch in Berlin.
Izolyatsia is a platform that promotes artistic and cultural initiatives. Its headquarters were in Donbas before war broke out, now they are in Kyiv. However, Izolyatsia's values remain the same: to guarantee freedom of expression. Matteo Tacconi reports.
"Kultura Liberalna" speaks to Anne Applebaum; "Osteuropa" analyses Poland's conservative revolution; "Wespennest" devotes an issue to the charismatic hormone, testosterone; "Esprit" wonders what's next after western Middle East fatigue; "Arena" asks if art is important; "Merkur" listens to echoes of Victor Hugo; and "RozRazil" goes to the pub.
The conflict over YUKOS, between Russia's two most powerful men at the time, became a turning point in post-Soviet Russian history, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko. The expropriation of YUKOS opened the way to the annexation of Crimea a decade later; meanwhile, a new Russian masculinity was born.
Author and publicist Jan Koneffke looks back on an era dominated by the testosterone-fuelled "buffone" figure of Silvio Berlusconi, tracing the myriad ways in which politics became entangled with porn, prostitutes and payments. But Matteo Renzi has scrapped all that now, hasn't he?
Amid its own economic and institutional crises, the strategically isolated West is simply unable or unwilling to understand Middle Eastern geopolitics, writes Hamit Bozarslan. But it remains an open question as to whether Russia's baleful intervention in Syria is a portent of things to come.
Following the election of the city's new mayor Ada Colau in June 2015, Barcelona has reinvented itself amid a hive of social, cultural and political activism. Ann Marie Utratel explains how the city's transformation resonates with inspired efforts to realign collaborative economies with the commons paradigm.
Recent urban development in Moldova's capital city Chisinau is in many ways typical of other post-Soviet cities where aggressive privatization and the de-industrialization of urban economies have prompted the rise of social inequality. Sociologist and urban activist Vitalie Sprinceana describes how Chisinau's citizens and activists are rehabilitating urban space by forging new urban networks and creative communities.
After 100 days in power, Poland's nationalist right-wing government expressed its desire to completely transform Polish culture. As the anticipated assault on the country's national culture gets underway, journalist and activist Igor Stokfiszewski of Krytyka Polityczna considers the threat that this blinkered approach poses to the vibrancy and diversity of grassroots cultural initiatives.
Silence the speaker; divide and rule the audience. If that seems extreme, attack not what is said but its potentially upsetting or offensive "tone". Thomas Docherty reports on the insidious attempts of governments to inhibit academic freedom in the UK and internationally. [Russian version added]
Just because something can't work or doesn't work, doesn't mean people aren't going to try it, says US journalist and author Anne Applebaum: just because it's a bad idea to break up Europe doesn't mean people won't want to try that too.
Carl Henrik Fredriksson considers the rather misguided notion that Russia under Vladimir Putin may have become a threat to security in Europe. In fact, Russia's contraventions of international treaties during the last decade render the very concept of European security null and void.
"La Revue nouvelle" observes states of emergency in France and China; "Blätter" goes postcapitalist with Paul Mason; "dérive" discovers true heterotopia in the latest Austrian housing syndicates; "Kulturos barai" ademands more public intellectuals who can write for and speak to a broader public; "L'Espill" discerns a sudden return of pragmatism to Catalan politics; "Poeteka" samples the textures of literary and Albanian history; and "Springerin" presents parallactic views of eastern European fine art.
The system currently known as the European Union is the embodiment of post-democracy, says Ulrike Guérot. The solution: to turn Europe on its head. For the Europe of tomorrow is a European Republic, the embodiment of a transnational community. [Polish version added]
In January 2016, the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich published a new critical edition of "Mein Kampf", containing around 3,500 annotations. Patrick Bahners reports on the highly controversial debate surrounding the publication of a work banned by the Allies in 1945. [Norwegian version added]
Throughout Europe, parliamentary politics has become increasingly intertwined with the politics of street protest, writes Mateusz Falkowski. And as recent events in Poland and Hungary show, a new dynamic of protest has emerged from the clash in central and eastern Europe between populist and liberal visions of democracy.
Drawing on affinities between Eurozine's publishing activities and the European Cultural Foundation's Connected Action for the Commons programme, we launch a new focal point exploring the prospects for a commons where cultural and social activists meet with a broader public to create new ways of living together.
Received notions of artistic and social practices belonging to separate spheres of society are fading away, writes Agnieszka Wiśniewska of Krytyka Polityczna (Poland). The commons is where cultural and social activists meet with the broader public and, together, create a genuinely participatory culture.
Commoning strategies are often improvised even in the liminal spaces that emerge in the cracks of Fortress Europe, says urban anthropologist Jayne O. Ifekwunigwe. In a text based on her September 2015 talk at the ECF's annual Idea Camp, Ifekwunigwe calls for a new commons that embraces both the mobile and the settled.
There are a raft of major challenges that complicate the creation of the commons today. The researcher and writer Charlie Tims considers some of the most pressing of these challenges -- in combination with landmark efforts to regain control over domestic and international modes of governance, as well as to reclaim resources, public space and housing.
Bottom-up cooperation between the independent cultural sector and domestic and European institutions can lead to both the decentralization of cultural production and the democratization of culture. So says Katarina Pavić of the Croatian cultural hub organization Culture 2 Commons.
Commons are a form of resistance against self-exploitation, isolation and the reduction of people to consumers, writes Brigitte Kratzwald. But this resistance isn't about destroying what already exists: it's about creative production geared to meeting people's real needs. [English version added]
Students of journalism and journalists alike are determined to build upon the plurality of voices that came out of Maidan and were propelled into the media. But this is not necessarily to suggest that Maidan was the cradle of the new Ukrainian journalism. A reportage from Kyiv.
Ahead of the 30th anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster, the celebrated Ukrainian director Myroslaw Slaboschpyzkyj talks about his past and forthcoming film projects relating to the Zone; as well as the clash of film-making cultures with which all of today's directors must currently contend.
Russia's intervention in the Syrian civil war toward the end of 2015 continued up until the partial ceasefire of February 2016. Emil Aslan Souleimanov interprets the move as an attempt to bring the West around to normalizing relations with Russia in the name of the struggle against IS.
In January 2016, the Institute for Contemporary History in Munich published a new critical edition of "Mein Kampf", containing around 3,500 annotations. Patrick Bahners reports on the highly controversial debate surrounding the publication of a work banned by the Allies in 1945.
When theatre makers in Kosovo and Serbia decided to put on an ambitious, dual-language production of "Romeo and Juliet" to tackle themes of feuding and reconciliation, Shakespeare scholar Preti Taneja travelled to see the top-secret rehearsals and premiere. A highlight from a special issue of "Index on Censorship", marking the 400th anniversary of William Shakespeare's death.
The unnatural power of human society and technology has grown so great that it has, ironically, come full circle to become natural again, writes Timothy J. LeCain. Responding to Dipesh Chakrabarty's "Four theses", LeCain considers the resulting breach in what once seemed like an impregnable wall of separation between natural history and human history.
In dialogue with Dipesh Chakrabarty, Kathleen McAfee considers the grounds on which a politics of broader solidarity can and must emerge in the face of an unprecedented ecological turning point; a turning point that is simultaneously a crisis of subsistence for billions of people, albeit to different degrees and in different ways.
The urgency of global challenges such as climate change and the need for collective action might be expected to reduce the importance of identity politics and questions of difference. Yet it remains the case that there is no neutral conception of humanity for us all to belong to. Roshi Naidoo considers the options for fashioning new languages of solidarity.
A majority of almost two-thirds opposed the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine in a referendum in the Netherlands on 6 April. As the public debate surrounding the referendum gained pace, the Ukrainian independent TV channel Hromadske became an important forum for associated discussion. Now that the results are in, Hromadske journalist Volodymyr Yermolenko assesses the implications for EU-Ukraine relations, and European politics in general.
It seems that, subsequent to the "hybrid war" between Ukraine and Russia, reconciliation efforts have ensued but only at first glance. In fact, what we witness is a continuation of war by other means, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko. Mapping the growing alienation between the two nations, Zhurzhenko asks: under what conditions is dialogue possible?
Today, the Maidan revolution lives on in a wealth of documentary films about the events of 2013-14 in Ukraine. Yustyna Kravchuk compares and contrasts the approaches of the films' creators, and the implications of these for the articulation of collective political desires.
Russia has adopted an open policy of dividing the European Union and undermining the security of its members, of which the Dutch referendum questioning the Association Agreement with Ukraine is but a small part. Timothy Snyder provides the background to today's referendum.
The audit culture resulting from neoliberal policies has had a deleterious effect on all sectors of society, and no less so on the universities, says higher education expert Jon Nixon. Clearly, the logic of austerity constitutes an existential threat to the great humanistic traditions of scholarship.
"Ord&Bild" digs up the pure gold hidden offshore; "openDemocracy" watches UK political system go into a nosedive amid EU referendum storm; "Kultura Liberalna" speaks to Dubravka Ugreic; "Mittelweg 36" immerses itself in global migration history; "Il Mulino" calls for more cultural entrepreneurship; "Kulturos barai" analyses higher education and its discontents; and "Glänta" offers a whole range of alternative currencies.
The so-called European refugee crisis is revealing a situation rather than provoking it, says anthropologist and physician Didier Fassin. Without minimizing the problem, Fassin argues that it is crucial to understand the degree to which it is constructed as such by politicians and the media.
History shows that a country may possess as much creativity and technological innovation as it is possible to have, but a restrictive state will kill off all potential resources, says Joel Mokyr. The economic historian and recipient of the 2015 Balzan Prize speaks to Emanuele Felice.
The Norwegian monthly "Ny Tid" has joined the Eurozine network. Through an international and critical lens, "Ny Tid" examines global conflicts, migration, surveillance and environmental issues. The publication's wide-ranging cultural section stands out for its sustained focus on documentary film.
Intervening in the UK referendum debate is fraught with difficulty for EU actors, writes Andrew Glencross. This is not least because they are largely deprived of their most common rhetorical device: appealing to a normative commitment to European unity for the sake of continental peace.
In a frank discussion with Kultura liberalna's editor-in-chief, the post-Yugoslav writer Dubravka Ugresic considers the state of European values a quarter of a century after the fall of the Berlin Wall. A lack of serious public forums, she says, has resulted in a lack of democratic thought.
A borderless Europe may seem like a distant prospect at the moment. But as struggles for universal access to the global commons beyond the nation-state intensify, it is bound to become a necessity, say Ulrike Guérot and Robert Menasse.
Ahead of the immanent referendum in the Netherlands on the Ukraine-European Union Association Agreement, publisher and translator Zaven Babloyan reflects on political misunderstandings, a lack of solidarity and literature as the last hope.
"Arena" takes stock of the Arab Spring five years on; "Belgrade Journal" critiques post-colonial tribalism in both Europe and Africa; "Free Speech Debate" considers how best to tackle dangerous speech; "Osteuropa" finds itself in Transcaucasia; "Esprit" analyses anger in contemporary Europe; "Res Publica Nowa" faces up to the threat of "demoncracy"; and "Letras Libres" celebrates Mario Vargas Llosa at 80.
The unholy alliance of bureaucracy and race, a pernicious legacy of imperialism, is very much alive today. So says Vlasta Jalusic, who urges reflection on the implications of this for a world system in which both Africa and Europe are marked by genocides of the none-too-distant past.
Historian of emotions Patrick Boucheron provides a brief political history of anger. In the Middle Ages, anger was the prerogative of the powerful and the notion of a righteous anger of the people far less pronounced than today; which helps explain the current premium put on empathy.
Literature on the South Caucasus tends to overindulge in diagnoses made from afar and the ritual repetition of conflict narratives. This causes Andreas Heinemann-Grüder to stress the need to conduct much more field research, not least when it comes to comparative politics.
Even the mainstreams of democratic societies are vulnerable to destructive and dangerous sentiments in the midst of crisis, writes Jonathan Leader Maynard. But with radicalising calls to extremism at the forefront of public debate, what impact might speech have on violent behaviour?
A critical analysis of nations and nationalism is as crucial now as it ever was, argues Bruno Schoch. But so long as it protects civil liberties and cultivates a constitutional patriotism, then a nation of free and equal citizens remains an ideal worth striving toward.
Oleksandra Matviychuk of Kyiv's Center for Civil Liberties received the Democracy Defender Award in Vienna on 23 February 2016. In this, the text of her acceptance speech, Matviychuk considers the so-called "Ukraine crisis" a direct reflection of a global crisis in the post-war world system, in which human rights are being eroded worldwide.
With president Petro Poroshenko and prime minister Arseniy Yatseniuk having lost their image as radical reformers of late, Iryna Solonenko says it is up to Ukraine's new reform-minded actors in both government and civil society to secure a new social contract. However, the challenges they face are formidable, as the legacies of previous regimes persist and resistance to change among the old guard remains fierce.
Firstly, you have to talk to your enemy even in the middle of a war, writes Senad Pecanin. Secondly, that dialogue will not be at all easy or pleasant; and thirdly, it is worth trying, since when it does take place, it is almost certain to yield useful results.
The Maidan protests have given Ukraine a chance to stop and look at its future, and plan it the way she wanted to, writes Kateryna Botanova. Now it's becoming apparent how to make the revolutionary shift from continual fighting, distrust and questioning of legitimacy to mutual support, collaboration and growth.
"New Eastern Europe" looks beyond post-Soviet space and hits the new Silk Road; "Blätter" condemns new digital colonialism; "New Humanist" considers the ethics of genome editing; "Syn og Segn" speaks to the director of Oslo's new counter-extremism research centre; "La Revue nouvelle" goes in search of solidarity in Brussels; "Vikerkaar" analyses the fear of power vacuums; and "Host" critiques the works of Nobel Literature Prize-winner Svetlana Alexievich.
If the European Union wants to remain relevant in global affairs, it must be active along the new Silk Road, writes Adam Balcer. It must look to a Eurasia that goes beyond Russia and the former Soviet republics, and formulate an eastern policy concerned primarily with China, Turkey and Iran.
In Facebook's recent efforts to corner the Indian market, Daniel Leisegang discerns a new digital colonialism. Where yesterday's colonizers offered glass beads in exchange for gold, today's offer free but radically restricted Internet access in return for the data of the (unwitting) masses.
The turnout to receive refugees in Parc Maximilien in Brussels last year far exceeded that at demonstrations in the Belgian capital calling for an end to violence in Syria during the preceding five years of civil war. Pierre Coopman traces the sometimes paradoxical contours of solidarity.
Perhaps the most serious problem with drones is not the state of mind they create in their operators, writes Arne Borge of "Vagant" (Norway); but that war has given way to never-ending police action, where the police force is no longer subject to common law.
New technologies like genome editing raise complex ethical questions that go the heart of debates over so-called "human nature" and evolution. Philosopher of science Tim Lewens considers how the latest innovations affect received notions of what is and what is not natural.
In honour of Adam Zagajewski receiving the Jean Améry Prize for European essay writing, we publish Zagajewski's defence of ardour. That is, true ardour, which doesn't divide but unifies; and leads neither to fanaticism nor to fundamentalism.
As the struggle between democracy and a dream of some kind of return to the past deepens in Europe, Adam Zagajewksi contemplates the passage between ideas and action in the real world, wherein lies the old European and not only European wound.
Adam Zagajewski is to receive the 2016 Jean Améry Prize for European essay writing. To coincide with the award ceremony, Eurozine publishes essays by authors nominated for the prize, including by a representative selection of Eurozine partner journals.
It was Voltaire's objective to make each individual conscious of their intellectual independence, writes Fernando Savater. Indeed, without Voltaire, it would be impossible to conceive of either modern intellectuals or their enlightened audiences.
Responding to the appalling violence that the machineries of war and economics unleashed during the twentieth century, Marcel Cohen concurs with Samuel Beckett's mid-century remark: "To find a form that accommodates the mess, that is the task of the artist now".
Like Yugoslavia, the European Union may well prove a failure in the long run, unless it can prevent the dominance of its most powerful member states. Hence the continuous need to find ways of embracing difference without giving up the cultural tradition in which one was born and raised.
In this excerpt from Andrzej Stasiuk's latest book, one of Poland's leading writers and critics explores what drove him to realize a lifelong dream, and strike out ever further eastwards, away from his childhood home. As Stasiuk remarks, he always was attracted to places "that lie at the end of the line, spaces from which you can only ever return".
Just weeks after Ukraine's parliament voted to remove Viktor Yanukovych from office, the country's eastern regions descended into a senseless war, marking a grave new low in relations with Russia. Historian Olena Stiazhkina reflects powerfully on how the conflict has compromised Ukraine's attempts to take its destiny into its own hands.
One almost wonders what Christianity has added to Roman writers' reflections on old age, writes Andrei Plesu. The answer: a much greater emphasis on transcendence. But how might the dimension of transcendence contribute to a better understanding and use of old age?
Norwegian literary critic Henning Hagerup grapples with the notion of the uncanny in European language and literature. He also considers how today Marxist thought poses an unheimlich threat to the glorified, ahistorical arrogance of the capitalistic-neoliberal establishment.
The exile's personal history can be compared to a shadow that he has lost and could never hope to recover, writes Olivier Remaud. Having acknowledged that life in exile tends to dehumanize, both inwardly and outwardly, Remaud explores a rich vein of literature dealing with the topic, from Ovid and Adelbert von Chamisso, to Hannah Arendt and Siegfried Kracauer.
Since becoming President of the European Council in December 2014, Donald Tusk has witnessed economic crisis in Greece, the conflict in Ukraine and the largest influx of migrants and refugees into Europe since World War II. He has also struggled to reach a compromise with the British government to avert a possible Brexit. About all of this and more, Tusk speaks to Michal Matlak.
Populist discourses are often described as distorting democratic procedures. But they should instead be interpreted as symptoms of the mediarchic nature of our political regimes, writes Yves Citton. His nine "hippotheses" consider populisms as fuelling the perversions they pretend to denounce.
From Shakespeare's "Midsummer Night's Dream" to Nora Ephron's "You've Got Mail", it's the gaps in characters' knowledge that are decisive in propelling the plot forward, writes Andreas Bernard. But now information is permanently available, narrative and imagination will never be the same again.
"Krytyka Polityczna" considers the chances of success for DiEM25; dérive pays a visit to departure city Pristina; in "Esprit", Olivier Roy revisits the secularization of the religious; "Multitudes" takes on the populist mediarchy; "Letras Libres" unpacks the translator's toolbox; "A2" explores artistic practices of the Anthropocene; "Ord&Bild" returns to the '80s; and "Merkur" appeals for a poetics of digital knowledge.
Can Yanis Varoufakis turn his bid to democratize the European Union into a mass social movement? And if so, will it be able to deliver a political turn similar to Roosevelt's New Deal of the 1930s? Political scientist Michal Sutowski assesses the chances of DiEM25 succeeding.
The focal point "Ukraine in European dialogue" aims to tackle Ukraine fatigue in the West and to offer deeper insight into post-revolutionary Ukrainian society, with its unique mix of hope, enthusiasm, social creativity, collective trauma of war, radicalism and disillusionment.
Ukraine's Revolution of Dignity was triggered by the government's decision to postpone signing the long-awaited Association Agreement with the European Union. Protesters on Kyiv's streets chanted "Ukraine is Europe!", and waved EU and Ukrainian flags side-by-side. Two years after the victory of the Maidan protests, what is left of this pro-European idealism?
It was not long ago that the countries of eastern and central Europe served as a model of successful democratic transition for Ukraine. But today, Poland's turn to the right has refocused attention on the roots of the region's illiberal democracies. Anton Shekhovtsov considers the implications of these developments for Europe as a whole.
The political discourse on LGBT rights has shifted in Ukraine after the Maidan and as a result of the conflict with Russia, which aggressively promotes "traditional values". However, writes Maria Teteriuk, the efficacy of recent legal reform concerning LGBT rights, introduced as part of the visa-free deal with the EU, remains to be seen.
Though Russia's annexation of Crimea in March 2014 moved at breakneck pace, it followed a long anti-Ukrainian propaganda campaign. Ekaterina Sergatskova, a former Russian journalist who lived in Crimea for some years before moving to Kyiv, describes the growing mutual alienation between the inhabitants of the peninsula and mainland Ukraine.
When Pope Francis and Patriarch Kirill met in Havana, for one part of the Catholic Church the past seemed to be repeating itself, writes Katherine Younger. In the nineteenth century, the Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church found itself in the middle of both diplomatic negotiations and ideological clashes between the Vatican and Russia and it is again today.
Today's mass-produced Russian science fiction is brimming with motifs of imperial revenge and a cult of military aggression. Moreover, writes Konstantin Skorkin, the imperial visions of science fiction authors have turned into a guide to action.
There is a genuinely European future for central Europe, insists Michal Koran. But it won't come to fruition without a frank look at the deficiencies that accompanied the transformation of central European societies during the last two decades.
The wave of migrants from the Middle East and North Africa is threatening to unravel the very foundations of European ideas of full citizenship, asylum and refuge, says Arjun Appadurai. But there must be a richer cultural road to legal and bureaucratic solutions currently being debated.
As in so many cities on the European periphery, Kosovo's capital Pristina is fundamentally shaped by emigration. Jonas König explores the departure city, where provisional structures become long-term solutions, and translocal spaces and networks are ever-present.
The fascination of a borderless world has rapidly worn off in an age of accelerating mobility, writes Ivaylo Ditchev. And as forms of mobility become increasingly collective, so the deeper the crisis of the liberal border-machine grows.
With temporary border controls threatening to become permanent in response to the refugee crisis and a spirit of separatism in the air, leading commentators from central Europe assemble in Budapest to discuss how to reverse the deepening divisions among EU member states.
"Revue Projet" says climate justice remains within reach; "Razpotja" studies the anthropology of local responses to global changes; "Blätter" insists that an open Europe can succeed if states are strong; "Free Speech Debate" says no one should feel the need to censor themselves; "Varlik" considers the fates of Can Dündar and Erdem Gül; "Mittelweg 36" keeps tabs on the avant-garde of digital capitalism; "Vagant" finds itself between a superabundance of data and a swarm of insects; and "Springerin" critiques the new materiality of today's hi-tech culture.
Mainstream literature on globalization tends not to take the uniqueness of each locality seriously enough, says Thomas Hylland Eriksen. He explains how the anthropology of climate change is responding to the need for an analysis of the global situation seen from below.
At a round-table discussion held by "Revue projet" shortly after December's UN climate conference in Paris, experts discuss the prospects for lasting climate justice. Can the new dynamic exhibited at the negotiations in Paris translate into real commitment to averting climate meltdown?
In the age of Google Earth and the Human Genome Project, tensions between information processed by machines and the human capacity to tell stories have intensified. Ragnild Lome traces the evolution of these tensions in literary and visual culture from the mid-20th century onward.
In a wide-ranging discussion of European identity and regional separatisms, scholar of European ethnology Ullrich Kockel considers how competing memories need not lead to conflict but can be turned into a creative force through cultural engagement based on mutual respect.
Self-censorship is even more harmful than censorship by the state, argues British writer and philosopher Roger Scruton, for it shuts down conversation completely. The damage done to public discussion of the most pressing issues of the day can be seen on both sides of the Atlantic.
First there was silence, then an explosion of rhetoric concerning events in central Cologne on New Year's Eve. Could this signal the failure of the liberal, tolerant state, as the anti-European Right insist? Ahead of the EU summit in mid-February, Albrecht von Lucke says it doesn't have to.
When Adorno and Horkheimer wrote "Dialectic of Enlightenment", interpersonal interactions were not yet directly part of the culture industry. But now that they are, it would be wrong to assume that the technologies of the big data revolution come with built-in ideologies, writes Lev Manovich.
As a handful of Internet giants consolidate their grip on both infrastructure and the forms of communication it supports, the world of work is being transformed as never before. Talk of a "fourth industrial revolution" no longer does justice to the systemic change that's now underway.
Central Europe no longer exists, only East and West, as it used to be. That is the condensed version of the combined wisdom of many western analysts and commentators these days, writes Erik Tabery, editor-in-chief of the Czech weekly "Respekt". From a Czech perspective, Tabery is certainly concerned for his country's neighbours. But he also wonders why the West is quite so alarmed at what is happening in the East.
"Dublin Review of Books" says contagion of nationalism and xenophobia not restricted to central Europe; "Kultura Liberalna" speaks to Wolfgang Streeck about the future of the European peace project; in "openDemocracy", Cas Mudde considers EU sanctions against both Poland and Hungary; "Esprit" looks at how violence spreads in a globalized world; "Res Publica Nowa" analyses banker's madness; "Kulturos barai" sees straight through the misleading trade-off between security and freedom; "L'Homme" revisits gendered images in Cold War visual culture; and "Genero" looks to playwrights Oliver Frljic and Dino Mustafic for an antidote to Yugonostalgia.
Whatever happened to the lively and apparently healthy democratic process in Central Europe, during the decade that followed the fall of the Berlin Wall? Answers are more likely to be found in economic circumstances, argues Enda O'Doherty, than supposedly innate tendencies to reaction.
As part of a focus in "Esprit" on how violence spreads in a globalized world, historian and sociologist Hamit Bozarslan delves into works by the medieval North African scholar Ibn Khaldun, with a view to better understanding events such as the fall of Mosul, Iraq, in June 2014.
The European integration project urgently needs reconstructing from the bottom up, argues Wolfgang Streeck. This means taking into account the crucial importance of nations and nation-states as the principal sites of democratic self-government.
A show of EU concern for recent developments in Poland can do no harm, writes Stefan Szwed, but ultimately the fate of the country's democracy is for Poles themselves to sort out. And, luckily, crises often come with opportunities; Poland's PiS challenge is stirring a new political awakening.
In terms of prompting domestic and foreign concern over the rise of illiberal democracy in the European Union, the new Polish government has almost outdone the Hungarian governments of the past six years. Cas Mudde considers the likelihood of EU sanctions against both Poland and Hungary.
Twenty-five years after the USSR's collapse, writes Maria Stepanova, history has turned into a kind of minefield, a realm of constant, traumatic revision. As a result, Russia is living in a schizoid present where the urgent need for a new language is far from being met.
The main issue surrounding the ugly events on New Year's Eve in Cologne soon turned out not to be the assault of women per se, but the fact that perpetrators were, in police parlance, of "Arab and north-African appearance". However, writes Slavenka Drakulic, it may well be that the tears of the women in Cologne that night bring bigger changes to Germany and Europe than anyone could have anticipated, least of all the women themselves.
The Slovak writer and artist Matus Ritomsky provides some insight into the mood in Slovakia, as the debate about events in Cologne and other cities in Germany on New Year's Eve continues across Europe.
"Index on Censorship" considers the virtues of breaking taboos; in "New Eastern Europe", Andrew Wilson warns of shift in the dramaturgia away from Ukraine; "A2" assesses the challenge that ISIS poses to Europe; "La Revue nouvelle" lines up the new faces of terrorism; "Il Mulino" calls for the gradual naturalization of migrants; "Letras Libres" notes the growing influence of today's media savvy intellectuals; "pARTisan" is determined to sustain the intellectual resistance.
Leading artists, curators and practitioners in the creative industries discuss the prospects for intellectual resistance in the most precarious of circumstances: where state institutions tend to strangle much-needed social critique and one must use every available resource to avoid submitting to one's own fatigue.
In this brief history of terrorism, Belgian sociologist Albert Bastenier observes that terrorism has manifested itself at some point in most regions, cultures and religions. What gives terrorism its new character today though is the rapid diffusion of news and images.
Europe has become steadily more introspective since the financial crisis broke out in 2008, writes Andrew Wilson. Moreover, with the refugee crisis and the Paris attacks grabbing the media's attention, and Russia suddenly joining the fight against ISIS, Ukraine has become a topic of the past.
Filmmakers who push back at social conventions take risks with their careers and, sometimes, frighten their audiences. Nikki Baughan speaks to leading directors Susanne Bier (Denmark) and Haifaa Al Mansour (Saudi Arabia) about using the big screen to challenge ways of life.
The Treaty of Rome was the Copernican revolution in the history of European democracy, the moment at which nationalism and the nation were consigned to history. Since the Lisbon Treaty, however, national self-interest has returned to Europe, so that today the question is: who will determine Europe's future -- the universal or the one-dimensional European?
Philippe Descola describes the trajectory of his thought, from Lévi-Strauss and post-structuralist philosophical anthropology via field-work with the Achuar of Amazonia through to his major 2005 work "Beyond Nature and Culture".
In a roundtable first published in "Esprit" on the eve of the Paris climate conference, leading Francophone thinkers and strategists consider how best to marry scientific expertise with democratic procedures in the face of accelerating climate change.
Pham Van Quang examines recent developments in Francophone Vietnamese literature. Life in exile and the resulting quest for identity tends to inform the semi-autobiographical novels published of late, which throw new light on issues of individual and collective memory.
Esprit appeals for a mixed response to terror; Merkur talks to Philippe Descola about anthropology; Czas Kultury wants radical democracy in the university; La Revue nouvelle looks at pre-election Spain; Vagant considers translation between Scandinavian languages; Kultura liberalna talks to Michael Walzer about Syria; Poeteka recalls life in communist Albania.
Overthrow a dictator in the Arab world today and you're far more likely to spark civil war than a liberal democracy. So the West shouldn't be militarily engaged at all, says Michael Walzer. For it cannot create democratic polities where there is no social or cultural basis for democracy.
In the 1970s and early 1980s, a movement of Russian nationalists attempted to reshape the USSR in a Russian-patriotic spirit. Alexander Mikhailovsky considers the reception of this movement among intellectual circles at the time and whether its legacy still plays a role in official Russian politics today.
There is a real need to debate the post-Soviet space less as a single region and more in terms of individual autonomous entities, writes Taciana Arcimovič. Recent discussions in Narva made a valuable contribution toward meeting this need. A report on the first of five conferences organized by the platform Neighbourhood in Europe: Prospects of a Common Future.
Polish journal "Czas Kultury" has joined the Eurozine network. The journal's title means "Time of culture" -- and in thirty years of publishing, the Poznan-based outlet has continuously moved with both the times and the dramatic cultural and social shifts that have shaped the public sphere.
The state capitalist systems of China and Russia will provide long-term challenges to "the triumph of neoliberalism", predicts Xin Zhang. This coincides with both countries attempting to export their model with the aim of loosening the grip of so-called free market capitalism on the global economy.
"Blätter" gives climate diplomacy one last chance; "Host" says suspending censorship is one thing, real ideas and creativity another; "openDemocracy" unravels the twisted logic of extremist ideologies; "L'Espill" champions the diversity of European debate in the face of adversity; "New Humanist" draws lessons from the mid-twentieth-century refugee crisis; "Osteuropa" sees Europe's East blend into the Far East; "Vikerkaar" warns of the perils of securitizing memory; "Mute" speaks to the art critic Hal Foster.
Worldwide renewable energy capacity is growing fast, as associated costs sink. But can this month's UN climate conference, which runs till 11 December, keep pace with developments in the real world? Benjamin von Brackel and Christian Mihatsch see Paris as the last chance for climate diplomacy to succeed.
The twentieth century unleashed the spectre of statelessness into the world. Lyndsey Stonebridge explores how the modern history of refugees has shaped not only the lives of the stateless but also the lives, rights and securities of those who think of themselves as happily at home.
In an article first published shortly after the 13 November Paris terrorist attacks, investigative journalist Nafeez Ahmed addresses the twisted logic of extremist ideologies; and how to break the continuum of violence that such ideologies seek to perpetuate.
Hannah Arendt once remarked that the rights of man proved to be unenforceable in postwar Europe. Currently, observes Valeria Korablyova, the refugee crisis looks like proving the idea of Europe itself to be unenforceable. So what will remain if equality and solidarity finally fail to become the principles of cooperation between EU member states now riven by common fears?
In 1983, Hal Foster edited a seminal collection of cultural criticism, "The Anti-Aesthetic". So how is it that Foster now sees real possibilities in the aesthetic? And could it be that, in lieu of a defining human marginality, a version of the human might yet be resurrected?
Without a proper understanding of the way the global (data) economy actually works, says Geert Lovink, we can't effectively reinvent our culture. So, while building independent infrastructures remains of primary importance, net criticism needs updating and upgrading, before it becomes subject to deletion.
Half a century after Richard Hofstadter described "the paranoid style in American politics", Marc-Olivier Padis of "Esprit" discerns a comparable phenomenon in the French media. In an article first published in early November, Padis objects to the weakening of the norms of democratic debate.
"Wespennest" refuses to let the machines takeover; "Letras Libres" sees citizen power as the key to a post-national European democracy; "Soundings" strikes out for a new political frontier in British politics; "Il Mulino" traces the shifting contours of the European debate on sovereignty; "Blätter" seeks ways out of the Catalan impasse; "New Eastern Europe" appeals to Europe's goodwill and openness amid refugee crisis; "Arena" reaffirms the Swedish people's overwhelming support for a humanitarian refugee policy; "Merkur" traverses the analogue-digital divide; and "Esprit" samples the paranoid style in the digital age.
On Friday 13 November, Paris suffered an unprecedented set of terrorist attacks less than a year after those targeting Charlie Hebdo and a Jewish supermarket. Once again, we review the responses of Eurozine partner journals, associates and authors.
The dream of independence has mobilized a growing proportion of Catalonia's population over the past five years. But when it comes to concrete details as to how to realize the dream, writes Julia Macher, ideological rifts in the amalgam of interests supportive of the project soon become apparent.
He and his family fled Iraq for Poland in the 1970s, never to return. Basil Kerski knows from firsthand experience that integration can be a long and difficult process, but it usually enriches receiving societies and new arrivals alike. As further migrations and intercultural encounters undoubtedly await Europe, Kerski argues in favour of European solidarity.
Today, bordering operates at all levels, writes Don Flynn: from the geopolitical bordering that expresses the changing balance of power between states; to the reconfiguration of state administrative procedures at the behest of economic and technological imperatives; to the experience of the border as it impacts on everyday lives.
"Human error" has become a standard cause of accidents involving technology. This may be the result of oversimplification. But it is also indicative of a particular way of thinking about technology, writes Martina Heßler, as something that throws human flaws into sharp relief.
In a response to Edit András's recent article on Hungary's contemporary art scene, artist Orshi Drozdik takes exception to the art historian who passes judgement on the artist without stopping to consider either the artist's oeuvre or the true circumstances of the artist's life.
Either digitalization is celebrated as capable of rescuing the world or damned as the beginning of the end, write Kathrin Passig and Aleks Scholz. But a more nuanced approach is both possible and desirable, including to the categories "digital" and "analogue" themselves.
"dérive" shares perspectives on collective urbanism; "Springerin" introduces the quantified selfie; "Rigas Laiks" talks to Russian sociologist Alexei Levinson; "Ord&Bild" critiques the American Dream; "Syn og Segn" says there's still some explaining to do about Libya in 2011; "Polar" analyses the latest literary developments in a time of new asymmetric wars; "Mittelweg 36" sees the reintegration of veterans as a window of opportunity; and "Sarajevo Notebook" demands an ethical audit of bioart.
The urban commons must be readdressed through the lens of the digital commons, writes Dubravka Sekulic. The experience of the free software community and its resistance to the enclosure of code will prove particularly valuable where participation and regulation are concerned.
The truth is, writes Slavenka Drakulic, that the victims of Communism now have serious competitors: war refugees arriving from the Middle East and Africa. These new victims, mostly Muslims arriving in frighteningly high numbers, make solidarity even more difficult. But the most important explanation lies in eastern Europeans' suffering under totalitarianism.
Belarus, Estonia, Russia and Ukraine: four countries whose destinies are tightly interwoven. Now the S. Fischer Foundation, the German Academy of Language and Literature, and Allianz Cultural Foundation have created a transnational platform for discussing the most pressing country-specific topics in a common European context. Eurozine is the platform's media partner.
It may well be that human emotions are more likely to influence cultural analysis than they are the analysis of atoms, says new media theorist Lev Manovich. There again, not only is it time to modernize the humanities but also to humanize technology.
The image of a single face pouting at the camera on a phone clumsily extended to the perfect angle: this is just the beginning of the story, writes Nishant Shah. Every selfie triggers an avalanche of data that is collated and consolidated beyond your imagination or control.
Veteran soldiers returning to civil society from the world's theatres of war may face any number of challenges, from the effects of trauma to the failure of reintegration. But there are also cases, writes Klaas Voß, where the reintegration of veterans offers civil society itself a window of opportunity.
Croatian web portal Kulturpunkt.hr has joined the Eurozine network. Over the last decade, the portal has become an indispensable source of information on Croatia's independent cultural scene, especially where contemporary art, cultural practices and civil society are concerned.
New asymmetric wars, non-governmental actors, humanitarian interventions, coalitions of the willing and preemptive actions: all these have erased notions that once helped distinguish war from peace. Associated developments in the German literary sphere have been no less radical.
Entering trans-human areas always requires a certain courage and decidedness, just like any serious ethical action, writes Esa Kirkkopelto. And a trans-human ethics may well provide an answer to the claim of transformation that planetary crises impose upon our lives today.
"Blätter" is adamant that integration will succeed; "A2" says the refugee crisis ought to help us work out what we really care about; "Glänta" enters uncharted, trans-human territory; "Samtiden" reveals why Americans view Scandinavia either as heaven or hell on earth; "Razpotja" reports from inside the captured state of Macedonia; "Multitudes" hatches a plot to exit the Anthropocene; "Merkur" gets personal about knowledge production; "Esprit" considers how democracies might best deal with hate speech; and "Kulturos barai" keeps a keen eye on Internet surveillance strategies.
How to restore legitimacy, once the state has been captured? Elena B. Stavrevska reports on developments in Macedonia during the past year, concluding that rather than looking westward for a sustainable solution, citizens should continue with their own efforts to determine the country's future.
Psychoanalysis is careful to distinguish animal need, which can be fulfilled, from human desire, which can never be satisfied. But in reconsidering just what exactly animates humans, Lilian Munk Rösing argues that the human/animal divide swiftly becomes blurred in the cultural sphere.
The digital revolution has brought neither economic growth nor job security. Only inequality, it seems, is on the increase. French economist Daniel Cohen discusses his latest book projects, "Le Monde est clos et le désir infini" and "Homo Economicus: The (Lost) Prophet of Modern Times".
The process of automation that begun with the Industrial Revolution has led to the impoverishment of human skills and knowledge, argues Bernard Stiegler. Never has the need to resuscitate human capabilities been greater than now.
For decades the West has denied Africa access to western markets, writes economic historian Andrea Franc. Meanwhile, subsidized western agricultural surpluses have destroyed African economies. The human cost of this can now be seen along the full length of Europe's southern shores.
Mass migration is not merely the result of geopolitical and economic factors, but of cultural triggers too. Moreover, says Ivaylo Ditchev, borders themselves must be subject to a public debate about what kind of borders we want where, rather than arbitrary decisions made by the powers that be.
Norbert Elias launched his career with a lecture in Marianne Weber's salon. Sandra Beaufays has shown how academics attach their name to a given subject area, then become its public face. But what exactly makes for a stellar performance in academia today? Thomas Etzemüller reports.
Young people are increasingly using tools of direct democracy in both eastern and western Europe. Take the anti-ACTA protests in Poland or university occupations in Sofia or Skopje; or Occupy London or the Spanish indignados movement. But how do these movements compare? And how do they fit into the bigger picture of European radical politics?
The current crisis is generating the myth of borders as controlled, says Seyla Benhabib. But this is only a myth. It is a fact that states are escaping their obligations under international and European law; while migrants themselves may help keep the social peace between classes.
Accommodate the current influx of refugees, or accept more suffering and tragedy, and risk a humanitarian disaster in the Balkans. The options couldn't be clearer, says Jakub Patocka. But without a strong independent media in central and eastern Europe, the public debate has gone awry.
"Index on Censorship" compares yesterday's spies with those in the new machines; "Krytyka Polityczna" speaks to Seyla Benhabib; "Kultura Liberalna" detects Soviet heritage in CEE responses to refugee crisis; "Krytyka" reassesses the Europe of rules and the Europe of values; "Fronesis" returns to the origins of the family; "Dziejaslou" tracks down an opposition presidential candidate in Belarus; "Varlik" considers September a troubled month in Turkish history; "Varlik" considers September a troubled month in Turkish history; and "Revista Crítica" critiques progress without development in the Amazon.
We're actually entering an era where censorship becomes harder and privacy easier, says Jamie Bartlett. At the same time, we need a strong, publicly supported intelligence architecture. But in a post-Snowden world, the intelligence agencies must become more rather than less open.
Together with German publishing house Klett-Cotta and the Allianz Cultural Foundation, Eurozine is a partner of the Jean Améry Prize for European essay writing. The Prize honours essayists of the highest calibre who have contributed to the intellectual discourse in Europe, across borders.
Dirty money from the East has become a resource for dozens of European structures and politicians. Sergii Leshchenko reports on some of those that are only too happy to open their doors to a Ukrainian oligarch willing to invest millions in cleaning up his image.
In "New Eastern Europe", Ivan Krastev reveals how to avoid European disintegration; "Esprit" speaks to Jürgen Habermas; "Transit" weighs in on the battle for the commons against commercial enclosure; in "Il Mulino", Wolfgang Streeck contemplates a common currency turned into a common nightmare; "L'Homme" critiques France's anti-gender movement; "Passage" probes the mechanisms of desire in Proust; "pARTisan" profiles a new generation of Belarusian artists; and "Merkur" discerns a clash between art and its mechanical reproduction.
Germany didn't intend to become Europe's current hegemon, writes Wolfgang Streeck. However, even now that it is, German chancellor Angela Merkel may yet go down in history as the person who liberated Europe from a common currency turned into a common nightmare.
Paradoxically, the global spread of democracy has proceeded hand-in-hand with the hollowing out of its substance, argues Shalini Randeria. The challenges that this poses to institutions, states and transnational civic society alike are unprecedented but by no means insurmountable.
This year marks the centenary of the birth of Tadeusz Kantor, the Polish painter, stage designer and theatre director. Kantor's daughter Dorota Krakowska talks about how Kantor sought to end the taboo code that supported the erasure and denial of history in postwar Poland.
Can sound be used to create space for critical distance or even resistance, as the pace of urban development outstrips the human? Maria Yashchanka reassesses the role of art and technology in a public sphere that remains inhospitable to independent artists.
It is not only new conceptual spaces that are opened up from the perspective of gender, argues Lorena Parini, but new political spaces too. It is precisely these political spaces that conservative forces are now trying to take over, as recent experience in France shows.
Decades after first encountering Anglo-Saxon perspectives on democracy in occupied postwar Germany, Jürgen Habermas still stands by his commitment to a critical social theory that advances the cause of human emancipation. This follows a lifetime of philosophical debate.
History is replete with examples of how the political logic of disintegration sets in. But is the European Union next in line? You can be sure that it is, writes Ivan Krastev, so long as the European project remains a haven for elites over which people have no control.
Following the success of Eurozine's 2014 conference, of which Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vagno was co-organizer and host, Eurozine and the foundation continue to cooperate closely. Eurozine is therefore delighted to announce one of Italy's most vibrant cultural organizations as a new associate.
Freedom of movement was one of the major achievements of the revolutions of 1989, argues Jacques Rupnik. Now, central and eastern European heads of state refuse to grant this freedom to non-Europeans. But how much longer can they expect to maintain their contrary stance?
"openDemocracy" discerns a crisis of liberal democracy, not migration, in central Europe; "Blätter" suspects Germany could easily have prepared better for the refugee crisis; "Ord&Bild" hangs out with Sweden's black diaspora; "Poeteka" traverses the literary landscape that World War I left in its wake; "Mute" traces gender relations back to the introduction of synthetic silk stockings; "Mittelweg 36" grasps what it means to mark the end of an era; "Kulturos barai" contemplates Facebook's Finlandization of human friendship; "NAQD" traces the fortunes of women's history in the Maghreb; and "New Humanist" analyses the devotion of the tennis fan.
The hostile response of central and eastern European heads of state to the prospect of accepting Syrian refugees is emblematic of the parlous state of liberal democracy in the region, say Michal Simecka and Benjamin Tallis. Europe must avert a deepening East-West divide.
British imperialists may have invented the modern idea of organized sport, associating valour on the field with virtues such as "fair play", being a "good loser" and, above all, nationalism. But, writes Elizabeth Wilson, the devotion of the tennis fan is of an altogether different quality.
The world's first synthetic fabric, rayon, was spun into artificial silk stockings and worn by the same women who mass produced it. Hannah Proctor uses this as a guiding metaphor for her analysis of interwar gender politics and their relation to today.
Germany has pledged an extra six billion euros to provide for the greatest influx of refugees into the country since World War II. For many critics, the pledge will have come not a moment too soon. German jurist Marei Pelzer suspects that the current state of emergency could have been avoided.
It would be hard to conceive of German historiography without the historical caesura that is 8 May 1945, writes Ulrike Jureit. However, it is important to remain wary of collapsing the variety of events and perspectives that surround such a moment into one singular occurrence.
The extent to which working women are now creating a new society is unprecedented in human history, says Alison Wolf. And yet, the uncomfortable truth remains that everyone tends to take care only of his or her own social group.
The eleventh Lectora in fabula festival takes place in Conversano, Italy, from 10 to 13 September. Leading European intellectuals, broadcasters, filmmakers, photographers and activists meet to discuss the future of politics, with a special emphasis on European cultural integration.
This year's Kyiv Biennial provides fora for an international cast of artists and intellectuals to address issues of burning importance for the citizens of Ukraine, Europe and beyond. Exhibitions and arenas for public reflection offer a basis for imagining egalitarian and alternative futures, as well as the counter-propositions of art.
Many of today's pirate libraries were born to address political, economic and social issues specific to Soviet and post-Soviet times, observes Bodó Balázs. They are now at the centre of a global debate on access to knowledge.
It is no longer possible to contrast a "secular" West with a "religious" East, writes Olivier Roy. Secularization and the de-culturation of religion are taking place in both East and West. The difference is the political forms that the de-culturated religions take.
Eurozine partner "Dilema Veche" (Romania) holds its annual celebration of European culture in the city of Alba Iulia from 21 to 23 August 2015. A lively and inspiring programme includes numerous live concerts and public readings, as well as film screenings and public debates.
"Kultura Liberalna" discusses the new industrial revolution; "Blätter" predicts that the European divide will keep growing; "Samtiden" says Europe should count itself lucky; "openDemocracy" says the Greek crisis is all about Germany and France; "Soundings" seeks European alternatives; "La Revue nouvelle" considers why the wealthy hate the Greens; "L'Espill" asks whether Podemos and Catalanism can hook up; "Osteuropa" sets the record straight on Russian gas; and "Dialogi" celebrates the power of the documentary.
It may well be that the Euro-Summit agreement of 12 July 2015 is forced through in a process at least as brutal, and even more divisive, than the extremities of the eurocrisis seen over the last five years. But even this does not necessarily preclude the renewal of European politics.
There are many words that neoliberalism has emptied of content democracy, social justice, citizenship, sovereignty that can be reclaimed, filled with progressive ideas and used to drive change. So says Sirio Canos Donnay, an archaeologist and member of Podemos.
In her contribution to the editorial in Soundings' summer issue, Syriza member Marina Prentoulis assesses the options for grassroots movements in a European Union that has lost sight of any notion of a "Social Europe"; a union determined to preserve a neoliberal agenda.
The severity of Germany's approach to July's Euro-Summit, writes Steffen Vogel, has intensified the conflict between northern and southern Europe. Given Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schäuble's chosen strategy, the centrifugal forces within the Union are only likely to grow stronger.
What exactly is depriving the Greens of political success? Luc Van Campenhoudt wonders if their moral condemnation of luxury lifestyles has something to do with it; after all, the wealthier middle classes are accustomed to striking compromises when dealing with other political players.
Today's revolution in knowledge and service economies is every bit as dramatic as the revolution in the industrial economy during the nineteenth century, says Adrian Wooldridge. And it is displacing or disorientating workers in the same way too, but probably at an even faster rate.
The hope of the Arab Spring, as pro-democracy revolutions swept the Middle East, is now a distant memory, as the region remains in the grip of chaos and conflict. But where did it all go so wrong? Samira Shackle speaks to Jean-Pierre Filiu about the Arab counter-revolution and its jihadi legacy.
Earlier this year, a hologram protest against Spain's new "gag law" was staged in Madrid. A proxy protest fit for the age of proxy politics? Boaz Levin and Vera Tollmann weigh up the options now that power increasingly enjoys a prerogative to obscurity, while political subjects are rendered increasingly transparent.
The Albanian quarterly "Poeteka" has joined the Eurozine Network. "Poeteka" entered Albania's cultural sphere in 2005. Ever since, a self-organizing group of writers, critics, translators, scholars, social activists and artists have published their works in its pages, which constitute a cultural movement just as much as a cultural journal.
Responding to Slavenka Drakulic's recent Eurozine article on the situation of women caught up in the post-'89 transition, Kristen Ghodsee and Adriana Zaharijevic reconsider notions of "emancipation from above" and the grassroots participation of women in both the East and the West.
As anti-gender movements gain momentum throughout Europe, using the concept of gender as a technical category may, in the long run, prove more self-destructive than useful. Andrea Peto argues for the re-enchantment of feminist politics.
Every authoritarian state must choose democratization or collapse at some point. But Ella Paneyakh says that the Russian system is seeking a third way. It has in its sights nothing less than the social fabric: human interrelations, mutual support mechanisms and the capacity for joint action.
In contrast to 1989, when the turning point in the revolutions that swept the Eastern Bloc may have seemed like a revolutionary moment to end all revolution, thinking revolution today is an altogether more futuristic affair, writes Christoph Menke. Within limits, that is.
Art is suffering in Hungary's oppressively nationalist climate, writes Edit András. Criticism of the state-supported cultural system is weakened by a gradual acceptance of the new configuration; and due to general exhaustion, the protest movement among artists has also lost its vigour.
The European Union's political equilibrium is, according to Joschka Fischer, suffering from Italy's decline in the aftermath of the Berlusconi era. The country can no longer play its former role as mediator between Germany and France. Could a "purifying storm" be the answer?
The shadow citizenry is a territorial reserve army of foot soldiers, who want in but are forced out; often defiant yet somehow disunited, disgruntled and raging in a global civil war of austerity and high frequency piracy.
The sooner we get used to a future without the nation-state, writes Robert Menasse, the better; and the faster we'll free ourselves from the current trap, between amnesia as to what the European project meant in the first place and absence of imagination about where it is heading.
"openDemocracy" demands transnational community, not post-democracy; "Intellectum" throws out literary convention as Greek crisis goes from bad to worse again; "Res Publica Nowa" considers the imperial roots of European politics; "Blätter" discerns a case of colonial amnesia in Berlin; "Kultura Liberalna" reimagines Poland in an age of trans-continental migration; "Revue Projet" asks whether France's social welfare system needs repairing or rebuilding; "Glänta" goes in search of the post-traumatic subject; and "Mittelweg 36" replays the Vietnam war in films by Jean-Luc Godard and Chris Marker.
In societies with colonial histories and that are traditionally open to the world, there is widespread tolerance of diversity at a fundamental level. So says Aleksander Smolar; who is afraid that, for Poland, the smallest step towards adaptation will be a dramatic struggle.
The reconstruction of Berlin Palace is due to complete in 2019 at a cost of around 600 million euros. A former residence of German Emperors, the Palace is to house anthropological collections. But, asks Jürgen Zimmerer, where's the project's sense of colonial history?
In the 1960s, the Vietnam War became the first televised conflict. At the same time, filmmakers like Chris Marker and Jean-Luc Godard opened a new era of political filmmaking. Burkhardt Wolf explains how these events unfolded, both on and off screen.
The system currently known as the European Union is the embodiment of post-democracy, says Ulrike Guérot. The solution: to turn Europe on its head. For the Europe of tomorrow is a European Republic, the embodiment of a transnational community.
In Europe all political thought is imperialist, says Bartlomiej Sienkiewicz. This means that politics as we know it today incorporates the experience of imperial politics from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century, when the foundations of what we call "the political" were forged.
The French journal "Revue Projet" has joined the Eurozine Network. The journal prides itself in offering a forum for debate about social and political themes that rarely receive the coverage they deserve elsewhere. Working in tandem with socially committed partners and researchers, its content is as accessible as it is insightful.
The works of Somalian-born activist and writer Ayaan Hirsi Ali show that the civilizational jump is incompatible with clan ethics, writes Oksana Forostyna of "Krytyka" (Ukraine). And given that Somalia is already a synonym for "failed state", time is of the essence in solving the Ukraine crisis.
We should distrust those uses of memory that suit us personally or collectively, says Tzvetan Todorov. Because in reality every people, like every individual, has both dark and glorious pages in their history, and one should not reduce the past to a single element.
How to create and sustain a flow of political movement? An open system of governance from below that, through continuous debate, holds together movement and government? It is possible, say Antonio Negri and Raúl Sánchez Cedillo. Moreover, it's the empowerment that is decisive.
Privacy and identity are two sides of the same coin, argues Luciano Floridi. And yet, paradoxically, western governments are now eroding privacy in the interests of their own self-preservation. However, collecting data first and asking questions later is not a policy, says Floridi; it's an affront to one of the foundations of liberal democracy.
Silence the speaker; divide and rule the audience. If that seems extreme, attack not what is said but its potentially upsetting or offensive "tone". Thomas Docherty reports on the insidious attempts of governments to inhibit academic freedom in the UK and internationally.
The first Res Publica Festival kicks off in Warsaw at 15:30 today, Thursday 25 June, and continues all day tomorrow, Friday 26 June. The festival showcases and explores innovation in central Europe, with a special focus on up-and-coming leaders in media, tech and urban spheres.
It is not only events in eastern Ukraine and the Greek crisis that will force the European Union to reinvent itself, argues Andriy Portnov, but also domestic political landscapes in Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The sum of all of these factors will force change.
Would it be pure fantasy to suppose that the forging of closer ties between Moscow and Beijing really offers Russia an alternative to growing international isolation? No, says Andreas Umland. There is however plenty of ground for scepticism about the venture's viability.
In the aftermath of World War II, Finland pursued a policy of remaining on good terms with the Soviet Union with a view to safeguarding Finnish sovereignty. This strategy became known as "Finlandization". Now, writes Sofi Oksanen, there are certain parties in Russia who say the whole of Europe should be Finlandized.
By 1950, Poland's postwar Stalinist regime was already near the height of its powers. Not that this stopped the emergence of a youth subculture during the ensuing decades. Tom Junes explains how associated movements evolved and even became useful to the Polish government.
Is there a chance for self-transformation, and above all, social transformation, in a crisis that is not suffered but co-created? Brian Holmes says there is. The key here is aesthetic experiences, where the breakdown of the dominant economic norm opens up a pathway toward some kind of autonomy.
George Orwell is often credited with elevating political writing to an art. However, argues Enda O'Doherty, it's probably worth separating out the terms "political" and "writing". For while Orwell's writing is undoubtedly of the highest order, the quality of his political judgment remains questionable.
"Blätter" braces itself for a Grexit; "Varlik" draws lessons from the Turkish general election; "Il Mulino" notes the channels that the Arab Spring has opened up for European Muslim women; "Frakcija" weighs up alternatives to the commodification of knowledge; "La Revue nouvelle" commemorates the bicentenary of the battle of Waterloo; "Vagant" confronts the visual culture relating to the Holocaust; "Springerin" examines the aesthetics of crisis; and "Dublin Review of Books" revisits the essays of George Orwell.
Even if a majority of German business leaders look upon a Grexit as a favourable option, writes Steffen Vogel, the political price of a Grexit cannot be underestimated. A Grexit would be nothing short of an act of desperation by political elites either unable, or unwilling, to find an alternative solution.
Today, knowledge, aesthetics and politics are produced and consumed in cultural shopping malls in as generic forms as possible, writes Swedish theatre director Anders Paulin. High time, therefore, to rethink and reclaim the institution as a necessary mediator between society and its citizens.
Siberian neo-regionalism has recently gained momentum, writes Stanislav Zakharkin; a development fuelled not least by concern about the uneven distribution of revenues from the region's oil and mineral resources. But can this diverse grassroots movement effect real change?
The situation for women in societies caught up in the post-'89 transition is complicated, notes Slavenka Drakulic. On the one hand, they now stand to lose rights that were, at least formally, established during the communist regime. On the other, women's position in society has been undermined everywhere in Europe in East and West alike. The financial crisis has struck hard, and as so often women have been struck harder.
In western societies, the intellectual focus in the museum world has shifted towards another kind of institution, writes Artur Klinau. Those old imperial monsters, once the basis for the model museum, have become a museum-disneyland for millions of tourists. High time that Minsk followed suit.
Admittedly, says Ekkehard Knörer, literary criticism's downfall has been predicted ever since the practice began. But today's heady mixture of precarity and diffuse mediascapes poses new challenges. Not that these can destroy the idealism that always saw the field through.
"New Humanist" notes that Arab atheists are becoming more visible; "Esprit" prints the new postface to Olivier Roy's "The Failure of Political Islam"; "pARTisan" explores Minsk's museum landscape; "Multitudes" tries to understand today's urban terrorism; "Rigas Laiks" explains that power is best represented when hidden; "A2" profiles prophet of the post-capitalist apocalypse Egon Bondy; "Merkur" asks whether the university is still good for intellectual life or just excellence; "Razpotja" appeals to the youth of today to build bridges; and "Arena" reads the latest precariat prose.
In the Middle East, the God question is far more than a matter for intellectual debate; apostasy is punishable by death in six Arab countries. And yet, writes Brian Whitaker, there is a perception that Arab atheists are becoming more numerous; and more visible too, thanks largely to social media.
Doubt has been cast over the right to criticize religious tenets held by a minority, following the "Charlie Hebdo" attack. Jens-Martin Eriksen and Frederik Stjernfelt object to the argument that free speech should be used against "those in power", not against minorities.
Anyone trespassing on any kind of sacred territory in Russia today must reckon with "millions of believers" taking offence and earnest calls to protect "traditional values". This, writes Dmitry Uzlaner, is the stuff of political fetishism. And the stronger the fetish, the weaker the responsible citizen.
The global debate on how to handle sovereign debt shows that predatory behaviour has become an issue for countries around the world. And in the acute situation in Argentina, writes Martin Schürz, there should be no illusions as to where economic power actually lies. [English version added]
The European Union plans to use costly military operations to suppress refugee mobility, write Mariagiulia Giuffré and Cathryn Costello. This means, in short, responding to those fleeing war, repression and human rights abuses with more of the same. So what are the alternatives?
Claiming free speech as a "Republican", "French" or "western" value by conjuring a mythical pantheon of canonical Enlightenment figures will not help us build more inclusive societies. So says Arthur Asseraf, in reconsidering France's track record as a beacon of press freedom.
The essay is a fantastic mode of expression in uncertain times, says Phillip Lopate. It's like planting a flag in the middle of all the chaos. But it has to have the power to carry the reader from one side to the other, adds Lopate, it cannot be merely a collection of free associations.
The case of an independent mayor requiring police protection, after he offered accommodation to refugees in his community, made national headlines in Germany. David Begrich condemns the discrepancy between numerous local initiatives to help refugees, and the dearth of wider public support.
"New Eastern Europe" has the lowdown on Leviathan's elimination of Boris Nemtsov; "openDemocracy" says talk of tragedy in the Mediterranean will end when taking responsibility begins; in "Blätter", Naomi Klein urges opponents of austerity to join forces with campaigners for climate justice; "Free Speech Debate" questions France's track record as a beacon of free speech; "Mittelweg 36" tries to keep the emotions in check, as the war on terror rages on; "Fronesis" sees a need for a movement of sameness rather than of difference; "La Revue nouvelle" contemplates the limits to autonomy; "Magyar Lettre" takes a trip through the Slovakian literary landscape; "Host" examines the Czech connection in the life and works of Philip Roth; and "Letras Libres" presents a late portrait of Tomas Tranströmer.
A postmodern media strategy has so far sustained an optimal level of intrigue and mystery around Boris Nemtsov's assassination, writes Luke Harding. But what one can say with certainty is this: in Putin's Russia, troublesome critics of the Kremlin have an uncanny habit of ending up dead.
The practice of targeted killings in the war on terror, writes Sven Opitz, makes a mockery of received notions of due process in liberal states. Welcome to the global battlespace, in which a creeping new military urbanism is becoming ever more tangible.
In the wake of the technological revolution that is the Internet, writes Ilija Trojanow, principles of self-organization and collaboration might be expected to replace established hierarchies and concentrations of power. Instead, the technologies of surveillance now available to states have never been more intrusive.
As Russia revives the tradition of wars of aggression on European territory, Vladimir Putin has chosen to rehabilitate the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact as good foreign policy. But why violate now what was for so long a Soviet taboo? Timothy Snyder explains.
Seventy years after the end of World War II, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko, the fight for hegemony in Europe continues -- disguised as a conflict of historical master narratives. The beginning of the current round of memory wars in the post-Soviet space can be dated back to 2005, when the sixtieth anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany turned into a loyalty test for the politicians of neighbouring countries.
Seventy years after the end of World War II, Dietmar Müller and Stefan Troebst consider the pact that started it. The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact has remained the subject of fierce controversy, right up until Russia's annexation of Crimea and destabilization of eastern Ukraine.
"Wespennest" discovers a wealth of high-end subject matter in junk; "Critique and Humanism" samples eastern European youth cultures; "dérive" has the latest on speculative urbanism from Belgrade Waterfront; "Osteuropa" discerns a torn country in Ukraine; "Dilema veche" recalls the discovery of civil society in Romania; "Akadeemia" reveals a productive affinity between the unnatural and cultural theory; "Free Speech Debate" asks, can a book be too dangerous for the public? and "Sodobnost" proves that literature cannot be contained, stopped or rationed.
In the event that the West musters even a semblance of unity in response to the destruction of eastern Ukraine, Mark N. Katz has some suggestions as to possible courses of action. Not that any of these can be considered in isolation from Vladimir Putin's possible goals.
Four activist scholars report on the multi-billion euro Belgrade Waterfront development in Serbia. As the government's deficit reaches an all-time high and radical cuts in public financing are being forced through, this is a project, they write, that looks like economic suicide.
In a world where the natural and the unnatural emerge as shifting configurations of matter and meaning, cultural theory can and should expand its frame of reference beyond what the "natural sciences" have left over, to embrace the spectrum of phenomena in which culture is cultivated.
To some, writes Sebastian Huempfer, a republication of Hitler's "Mein Kampf" symbolizes a triumph of liberty over hatred. To others, it demonstrates how much forbearance liberal democracies demand from their most vulnerable citizens and how much space they give to their own enemies.
The majority of Argentinians can only look on as the media make a long-running dispute among state and financial sector elites look like a poker game, writes Martin Schürz. They can only keep their fingers crossed, as in a football match, for their own nation.
Whether you frequent discount grocery stores or organic food shops, clothing discounters or designer boutiques, you can't help noticing that the fabric of society is becoming increasingly frayed, argues Dennis Eversberg. Meanwhile, the demand for casual labour on junk wages remains high.
Martin Aust responds to Anna Veronika Wendland's criticism that German scholars of eastern European history have so far largely failed to deliver anything like watertight expertise in the public debate about conflict in eastern Ukraine.
Siberia survives as a single name for a territory covering two-thirds of Russia. Yet it comprises well over a dozen regions, republics and territories. Look at how the borders of Siberia were defined, writes Mikhail Rozhanskiy, and you grasp the imperial nature of Russia's social space.
Who has the power to write Europe's narrative? At an event in the National Library of Latvia, Riga, that coincides with Latvia's presidency of the Council of the EU, leading scholars and writers discuss the role of authors in building and changing Europe.
"openDemocracy" condemns the European Union's inhumane treatment of migrants; "Kultura Liberalna" talks to Anne Applebaum; in "Blätter", Rolf Hosfeld marks the centenary of the Armenian genocide; "Esprit" re-reads Kostas Axelos on the destiny of modern Greece; "Varlik" remembers Yasar Kemal; "Letras Libres" contemplates a concept of tolerance turned upside down, after 10 years of cartoon controversy; "Spilne" rejects the pro-/anti-westernism surrounding the Maidan protests; "Samtiden" takes stock of last year's Norwegian novels; and "Polar" critiques a new DIY mentality in the search for alternative ways of life.
In an article first published prior to the 19 April capsizing of a wooden fishing boat and consequent drowning of around 800 migrants in the Mediterranean, Judith Sunderland and Bill Frelick warn about the EU's preference for border enforcement over the creation of safe, legal channels into the EU.
For many European countries to start thinking about Russia as a threat again, 20 years after the end of the Cold War, requires a paradigm shift. So says Anne Applebaum, as she sees political leaders who made their careers in conditions of European peace flounder in the current military crisis.
The Gesamtkunstwerk, or total work of art, expresses a desire for the reconciliation of art and life, language and image, the self and nature, body and soul, and, not least, the individual and society. In so doing, writes Anna-Catharina Gebbers, it urges one to seek new, inspiring ways of life.
Almost a decade after Flemming Rose, then culture editor of the Danish newspaper "Jyllands-Posten", published the first Muhammad cartoons, the "Charlie Hebdo" massacre provides a tragic backdrop to renewed debate about the very topics that Rose set out to explore in the first place.
Either European social democrats show solidarity for Syriza's bid to end austerity, writes Michael R. Krätke, or they stick with the pig-headed ideologues of austerity and drive the European project deeper and deeper into the mud; a scenario that won't get any prettier in the event of a Grexit.
When a group of claimants in the United Kingdom took on Google for invasion of privacy, they had little idea that the case would become a landmark in the fight to tame the Internet giant's intrusion into our lives on the Web, writes Judith Vidal-Hall.
Parading under the banner of a common front for freedom, governments worldwide have embarked on a security clampdown whose political fallout could be more damaging than the threat it seeks to banish, writes Simon Davies.
As Walter Benjamin once remarked, "every rise of Fascism bears witness to a failed revolution". A statement that events in Ukraine after the Orange revolution go some way toward confirming, writes Mykola Riabchuk; not that a sudden reversal of recent trends remains out of the question.
Russian responses to the Charlie Hebdo attack in Paris reveal the contradictions of political and social trends in today's Russia, writes Nikolay Mitrokhin; with the most dramatic response being the unprecedented political killing of leading opposition politician Boris Nemtsov.
"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." However, what if remaining silent is unacceptable? Then Wittgenstein's famous dictum no longer helps, writes Stefan Auer. Then one narrates stories, even cinematic ones.
A highly individualist identity politics is clearly one of the mainstays of the culture of the new capitalism. But, asks Jacob Mukherjee, could this also be precisely what constitutes a barrier to the formation of a collective political subject in the first place?
Why is it that, 25 years after independence, the attachment that Lithuanian citizens once felt to their country has weakened considerably? Because postmodernist self-consciousness prefers regional identity to state identity? Bronislovas Kuzmickas reports.
Today's monolithic devices have taken us a long way from the do-it-yourself and home computer culture at its height in the 1980s. But has the account that new media theory pioneer Friedrich Kittler gave of that culture withstood the test of time? Claus Pias takes stock.
On 1 May 2015, Wojciech Przybylski took up his new post as Editor-in-Chief of Eurozine, after a successful spell at the prestigious Polish journal "Res Publica Nowa". Commenting on what the future holds, Przybylski sets out his vision for Eurozine amid the challenges and controversies of our time.
Intensifying the exploitation of underground resources has been suggested as a solution for Europe's crisis-ridden regions. But who really owns these resources? And where do the proceeds from their exploitation go? Evie Papada reviews the situation in the villages of Chalkidiki, Greece.
Political and economic relations need to be established that provide Greek society with a future in Europe, argues Claus Leggewie. But if this is to happen, even more important than dealing with the past is future-oriented investment in areas such as renewable energy.
Between 14 and 16 April, DIONYS'HUM takes place at the Maison des Sciences de l'Homme in Paris. Incoming Eurozine editor-in-chief Wojciech Przybylski will be joined by Eurozine partner journal editors and regular Eurozine contributors for a roundtable on European networks.
German dominance of the European Union's upper echelons has never been greater, writes Eric Bonse. All EU actors are, for now, the pawns of a "German Europe" that is stronger, and yet more vulnerable, than ever before. [English version added]
In "Vagant", philosopher Alberto Toscano goes to the heart of today's fanaticisms; "Blätter" wonders where the rise and rise of a German Europe will lead; "Letras Libres" profiles Podemos; "Index" reveals how refugee stories are told; "La Revue nouvelle" slams the framing of the migrant as the ideal suspect; "A2" questions the scope of the Greek parliamentary revolt; in "Il Mulino", Nadia Urbinati sees right through the "Renzi sì, Renzi no" debate; and "Nova Istra" marks the long centenary of World War I.
The cynical tendency to view tragedies and atrocities in European capitals in isolation from those taking place daily across Syria, Nigeria or Eritrea has to end, writes journalist Pierre Coopman. Until this happens, there can be little hope of seeing an improvement in anyone's security.
The numbers of French Jews who have recently emigrated to Israel and North America, writes Andrea Goldstein, reflect a profound uneasiness on the part of Europe's biggest Jewish community. Anti-Semitism in France has deep roots, and is not about to go away any time soon.
Founded in 2014, Podemos already leads opinion polls across Spain. But accusations that it is treating the country as a gigantic piece of fieldwork and conjecture as to its rootedness in political theory tend to be wide of the mark, writes Manuel Arias Maldonado. [English version added]
Liberal democracies are haunted by figures of radicalism, says philosopher Alberto Toscano. Moreover, as the associated policing of people is shadowed by a policing of language, the notion that all "extremisms" converge poses its own significant dangers.
The award-winning Norwegian quarterly "Vagant" has joined the Eurozine network. Headquartered in Berlin, the literary journal's editorial network is spread across several Norwegian cities, as well as Copenhagen, Rome and Stockholm.
Much as the media like to call Barack Obama a "lame duck President", he's begun to look pretty agile of late. So says George Blecher. A portrait of Obama, the most consistent US president in decades, dispatched from inside the land of the free. [French version added]
On Wednesday, several of our colleagues were killed in an abominable attack on the editorial offices of the magazine "Charlie Hebdo" in Paris. The shooting of at least twelve people was also an attack on one of the basic principles of an open society: the freedom of speech and expression. In such a situation there can be no buts and no perspectives. And yet, now more than ever, we need "slow journalism", we need reflection rather that reflexes. We recommend articles from the Eurozine archives that can help see the bigger picture and note the first reactions from our partner magazines.
The US is exerting heavy pressure on the EU to waive legislation placing restrictions on data-sharing with third countries. To abandon localized data protection arrangements in the EU would be to surrender fundamental rights to economic interest, argues Ralf Bendrath.
The worldwide spying operation is about more than security and counter-terrorism; rather, it is a part of a broader strategy aimed at controlling global information, writes political scientist Elmar Altvater. Opposition needs to grasp the geological significance of the planetary data theft.
Big-data analysis creates meta-knowledge based on an asymmetry of informational power, writes media scientist Ramón Reichert. Prognosis of collective behaviour has growing political status, as the social web becomes the most valuable data-source for governance and control.
The convergence of online policing with customer profiling and traffic filtering means that privacy needs to be seen in connection with freedom of communication and information. The principle of net neutrality combines this set of digital rights, explains Joe McNamee.
We have entered a new phase of debate about privacy: about its sociological definition vis-à-vis contemporary communications technologies; about its definition as a civil and consumer right; and about how it should be protected by laws and how those laws should be enforced.
Over half the world's population still live not in democratically governed states but under authoritarian or hybrid regimes. Among which, argues Andrei Melville, the post-Soviet ones are in a class of their own. So what are the chances of a new wave of democracy breaking over these?
"openDemocracy" outlines how to end violence against women; "La Revue nouvelle" says Europe has let down its young big time; in "New Humanist", British author Philip Pullman slams cuts to arts education; "Dublin Review of Books" reviews the history of the book in 100 books; in "Merkur", Sebastian Conrad sees Eurocentrism replaced by the centrisms of the South; "Osteuropa" enters a brave new world of legitimate, authoritarian regimes; "Syn og Segn" struggles to comprehend the grave state of Russian art and politics; "Revista Crítica" revisits East Timor's failed postcolonial democracy; and "Kritika & Kontext" reveals how Solzhenitsyn made it in the West.
"The Old Turkey is behind us, and its doors are now closed", said Recep Tayyip Erdogan this summer, standing before a banner that read, "On the Road to the New Turkey". A month later he was president. And now? Kaya Genç wonders if two countries continue to live alongside one another.
Eurocentrism has necessarily given way to countless centrisms, the centrisms of the South being foremost among them, writes Sebastian Conrad. But while standpoint is everything, one must remain alert to the pitfalls posed by nativism and, equally, the commodification of difference.
Go out to your local bookshop, advises Enda O'Doherty, and get in close with those Books You Haven't Read, the Books To Read Next Summer and The Books To Fill Out Those Small Gaps That Are Still There On Your Shelves. Don't come away empty-handed. They may not be there forever.
Endemic male violence against women, and the militarization of the dominant form of masculinity in our culture: surely these things are not unrelated, writes London-based feminist writer and researcher Cynthia Cockburn. A plea for a culture of equality, co-operation and peace.
Nothing short of dramatic social transformation can eliminate the legal, economic and political basis for cults of gender difference and male privilege; and thus end the violence. So says Anne Marie Goetz, arguing that international solidarities are of crucial importance to the struggle.
Russia's anti-westernism and territorial revanchism have intensified. A case of deferred post-imperial syndrome linked to the collapse of the USSR? Maybe, says Kirill Rogov. But this alone hardly explains why associated policies are now apparently met with such widespread domestic popularity.
The Eurozine Gallery presents highlights from "Stories without borders", the exhibition series first displayed in Conversano, Italy to coincide with one of southern Italy's most important literary festivals, Lector in fabula, and Eurozine's 2014 conference, entitled "Law and Border: House search in Fortress Europe".
Over the past 14 years, about 17,000 immigrants have perished in the Mediterranean, trying to overcome the material and virtual walls that surround the European Union today. That's 60 times the number of people who lost their lives attempting to cross the Berlin Wall in 28 years.
A journey in which there is no stereotypical marginality but that is full of humanity, balanced between the existential difficulty and the joy of living: this is the journey that viewers of Emiliano Mancuso's work embark upon, writes Renata Ferri.
Tonight, Eurozine's sister site Time to Talk livestreams an English-language debate on the future of the State entitled "Work for all?", hosted by Eurozine partner and TTT member "Kultura Liberalna". Plus highlights from the 2014 Central European Forum.
In 2013, the seemingly hopeless task of bringing art to the provinces finally started to bear fruit in Luhansk, eastern Ukraine. One year on, the activists, artists, journalists and writers responsible are exiles in their own country, writes Konstantin Skorkin.
Recent controversy surrounding Budapest's proposed "Monument of Occupation" leads Hungarian philosopher J.A. Tillmann to reflect on perceptions of space and time in central Europe. And the sinister convergence in how public space and national media are currently managed in Hungary.
The region is bustling with brilliant young minds in the world of arts and ideas. Anna Wójcek reports on a new project that profiles the most innovative among them: the culture challengers who, in the way that the intelligentsia once did, pick up and run with the key transformational ideas of our times.
How much in common must a community have? Quite a lot, says Eurozine's Carl Henrik Fredriksson. At the very least a common public sphere. Because without it, Europe's publics will be easy prey for those who know how to play the strings of history.
"Dilema veche" says Romania's new president had better lead the country out of the swamp; "Krytyka" invests its hopes for Ukraine in a new generation; in "Vikerkaar", Rein Müllerson says increasing western pressure on Russia is a mistake; "New Eastern Europe" takes stock of the Maidan one year on, and celebrates literary Krakow; "Blätter" publishes Jaron Lanier's 2014 Peace Prize speech; "Polar" considers debt not a curse but a blessing; "Arena" notes how a feminist party has changed Swedish politics; "Dérive" inspects the "safe city"; in "Kulturos barai", Sajay Samuel warns of the perils of checking your smartphone; and "Multitudes" scopes out the anthropo-scene.
The dominant public discourse on security, and associated legislative measures, can't be allowed to jeopardize the free movement of people and ideas that contributes so much to the unique atmosphere of urban spaces. Johanna Rolshoven makes the case for the open city.
Reckless military interventions in other countries' affairs are becoming the norm globally. So what hope for international law? After all, argues Rein Müllerson, when it comes to bending and breaching international law, Russia has no lack of excellent examples to follow.
25 years on The democratic promise made on 9 November 1989, as the Berlin Wall fell, has never seemed further from being fulfilled than today. Albrecht von Lucke concludes that, tragically, it's as if the brutality of the Tiannanmen Square massacre on 4 June set the tone for what followed.
The nature of debt is often misunderstood, argues Mark Schieritz. Were the state to come to its senses and create the right kind of economic climate, there'd be less need for outrage á la Stéphane Hessel and more sensible opportunities to take on some healthy debt.
Why is it that those in power cannot think outside the categories of economics and techno-science when faced with the spectre of widespread joblessness and natural disasters caused by an excessive reliance on techno-science? Sajay Samuel says it's time to stop and reflect.
In interview, Krakow poet Ewa Lipska offers a rich portrait of her homeland's literary heritage: from fighting the communist regime, when books were everything and some poetry volumes had print runs of 10,000, to writing this year for the Polish rapper O.S.T.R.
Should anti-democratic populism continue to cast a shadow across the continent, Europe may well succumb to a creeping process of disintegration, warns Jan-Werner Müller. Now is the time for renewed political engagement, if Europe's democracies are not to start slowly corroding from within.
Memories of World War I are being recycled, restaged and transformed for the future. And a common historical frame allowing European nations to remember their stories collectively is within reach: an opportunity we cannot afford to squander, writes Aleida Assmann.
This evening, speakers at Time to Talk member deBuren in Brussels debate whether the outcome of May's European elections signalled short-term victories for domestic protest politics or deep-seated disillusionment with mainstream politics per se. Plus news of English-language debates streamed live this weekend from the Central European Forum in Bratislava.
The new European debate on laws, borders and human rights was the subject of this year's Eurozine conference, held in Conversano from 3 to 6 October, and co-organized by La Fondazione Giuseppe Di Vagno and Eurozine partner journal "Lettera internazionale". The conference gathered over 100 editors and intellectuals from all over Europe.
The Literatur im Herbst festival 2014 takes place in Vienna from 7 to 9 November. Over three days, 14 authors read from their works and talk about the heroes, ideals and illusions associated with some of Europe's northernmost territories, the borders of which seem to shift ceaselessly.
"Glänta" remaps migration; "Wespennest" heads north; "Mittelweg 36" engages in animal politics; in "Blätter" Marc Engelhardt slams the snail's pace of the Global North's response to Ebola; "Esprit" discerns the rehabilitation of the public sphere in Mediterranean youth uprisings; in "Letras Libres" Mark Lilla asks if there's a Plan B for non-democracies; "Res Publica Nowa" says that what Poland needs now is creativity; and "A2" finds the morphing of lit crit into advertising copy distasteful.
The Tornio River forms the border between Sweden and Finland, and flows into the Gulf of Bothnia in the Baltic Sea. Throughout the ages, writes Rosa Liksom, the world's travellers have navigated the river with a view to finding out about the mystical North.
It's not so much that animals must have certain qualities to be capable of being represented, writes Svenja Ahlhaus. It's rather that their representatives must have certain capabilities and insights at their disposal in order to be able to represent animals at all.
What unites recent uprisings on both sides of the Mediterranean is the profile of their actors: mostly young, educated middle class people. And perhaps for the first time in decades, they have been able to mobilize around the issues that matter to them, writes Hugues Lagrange.
Can the concept of degrowth really support the good life? Or will it remain a radical but politically inconsequential gesture of the ecolibertarian middle class? Political economist Ulrich Brand assesses whether or not the idea's time has come.
Does anyone feel genuinely at home in the age of global gentrification? Probably not, writes Agri Ismail, certainly not if the experience of the Kurdish diaspora is anything to go by. But so long as a Swedish song plays in an Irish pub in a chain hotel in Kurdistan, a sense of security remains.
On Wednesday, two debates organized by Eurozine partner journals will be livestreamed, including on Eurozine sister site Time to Talk. "Kultura Liberalna" debates Europe's youth unemployment and, to launch its autumn issue, "Index on Censorship" asks: will the future of journalism mean we are better informed?
Let's not confuse contemporary social atomization with freedom as a complex project that requires some degree of cooperation and mutual support, says César Rendueles. And reject, once and for all, the technological ideology that extols cooperation and community building only when these are mediated by digital technologies.
"Index" looks into the future of journalism; "Transit" keeps alive the memory of the Maidan; in "Syn og Segn", climate optimist Kristin Halvorsen calls for a global price tag on pollution; "Kulturos barai" talks to urban ecologist Warren Karlenzig; "Rigas Laiks" congratulates Reykjavik's first anarchist mayor; "Merkur" discusses photography and the definition of artistic value; "La Revue nouvelle" braces itself for more European political deadlock; "Kritiikki" profiles Russian émigré author Sergei Dovlatov; and "Nova Istra" remembers the Croatian émigré poet Viktor Vida.
Sonja Pyykkö speaks to György Dragomán about the inspiration for his highly successful novel "The White King", which has been translated into at least 28 languages and draws on the author's experience of growing up in a totalitarian state, near the border between Romania and Hungary.
All but invisible in his home country, Sergei Dovlatov was something of a mythical figure among the Russian diaspora of New York. Indeed, Vladimir Yermakov compares the conundrum of Dovlatov's life as a writer to Escher's composition of two hands simultaneously drawing one another.
From the rewilding of London's Upper Lea Valley to performance indicator software to manage 663 of China's largest cities, Warren Karlenzig knows more than most about urban sustainability projects. Yet he's never been as daunted as now by the unfathomable scale of today's cities.
The path of never-ending compromise has led traditional political parties into a cul-de-sac, writes political scientist Vincent de Coorebyter. They shall have to completely break with their old ways if the alienation that thrives in the ruins of representative democracy is to be overcome.
Art historians may profit from publications that simply reinforce decisions made in art markets and institutions as to the value of art. But their discipline, the public and works of art tend to lose out as a result. Jan von Brevern unveils the latest threat to photography.
The German copyright on "Mein Kampf" expires in 2015, renewing debate on whether it should be reprinted, or even read. Sascha Feuchert, expert in Holocaust literature and vice president of German PEN, believes an academic version is vital. Charlotte Knobloch, former vice president of the World Jewish Congress, is of a different opinion.
How can it be that, in contrast to the international community, virtually no one in Russia believed that Russian-backed separatists shot down the Malaysian Airlines plane in July? Beyond press censorship, Lev Gudkov looks to Russians themselves, who increasingly hear only what they want to.
Every system has its flaws and every flaw can be exploited any time. Hence the permanent need for updates. But as Russia takes its revenge in eastern Ukraine, what does the future hold? Oksana Forostyna remains optimistic about the chances of modest success, at the very least.
A journey that takes one beyond the limits of human imagination: this is how Fabrizio Gatti describes his experience of a week spent undercover among immigrant labourers in Puglia in order to report on the horrors that these modern slaves endure.
With Russia's annexation of Crimea and the military conflict in eastern Ukraine, the era of post-Soviet tolerance of blurred identities and multiple loyalties has ended. Borderlands, writes Tatiana Zhurzhenko, have once again turned into bloodlands.
"Soundings" is on tenterhooks about the outcome of the referendum in Scotland; "Krytyka" listens to the music and politics of the Maidan; "Osteuropa" debunks both Putin's ratings and western sanctions against Russia; "New Eastern Europe" looks to Moldova to buck the trend in Russian aggression; "Index" marks 25 years since the Wall came down; in "Belgrade Journal", Gil Anidjar asks if the floodings in the Balkans are a natural or political disaster; "Free Speech Debate" questions the West's supply of digital weaponry to repressive regimes; "Dilema veche" seeks to exit the direct route from 9/11 back into the Middle Ages; and "Letras Libres" speaks to Colombian novelist Juan Gabriel Vásquez.
The literary history of the Turk is long: from the Shakespearean Turk to Turkish humanist Ahmet Hamdi Tanpinar's "dervish without the mantle". But what exactly does it entail, to turn Turk? E. Khayyat traces an intellectual tradition that begins with the characters of Don Quixote.
Despite evidence that western companies sell surveillance software to repressive regimes like Egypt, there have been few attempts to restrict the export of such technologies. After all, the cyber surveillance industry is big business, writes Max Gallien.
The Gezi spirit continues to be seen as a remedy to the polarization of Turkish politics. But the question remains, writes Irem Inceoglu, as to how to avoid the newly blossoming politicization and the language of solidarity being squashed by party-managed politics.
At least 268 refugees drowned in the Lampedusa shipwreck on 11 October 2013. A month later, Fabrizio Gatti established that the tragedy could have been avoided, had the vessels in the vicinity with resources to support every victim been allowed to respond according to common sense.
As the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall rapidly approaches, Thomas Rothschild draws attention to the growing gap between rich and poor in eastern Europe, and discrimination against minorities. The renaissance of nationalism in Hungary and elsewhere also requires urgent attention.
No wonder Aleksandr Dugin, founder of Neo-Eurasianism, has caught the attention of western analysts of Russian foreign policy. Anton Shekhovtsov confirms that Dugin, among other far-right intellectuals, has made headway in his struggle for cultural hegemony in Russia.
An insidious obsession with ratings and the suppression of the opposition: this is all that Vladimir Putin's rule hinges on now, writes Boris Dubin. However, right up until his recent death, the Russian sociologist continued to combine keen insights into Russia's rotten political culture with a plea for a new, enlightened historical consciousness.
Two-thirds of Albanians had invested in the pyramid investment funds that collapsed in 1997, causing violent social unrest. Many fled to Italy and 83 perished en route in the sinking of the "Kateri I Rades". But the memory of all this has been suppressed, writes Alessandro Leogrande. [English version added]
International instability seems to increase with every passing day of the Ukrainian crisis, ushering in a new era of international relations. Slamming Russian studies scholar Stephen Cohen for misrepresenting the crisis, Nikolay Koposov urges the West to devise a completely new way of dealing with Russia.
Exhibitions showing parallel to Eurozine's 2014 conference are about to open in Conversano, Italy, and can already be viewed online. See how cartography encounters photography in conveying the migrations of the world's peoples, with a focus on Fortress Europe itself.
In a discussion that took place in May on events in Crimea, Jan Philipp Reemtsma and Reinhard Merkel may not see eye to eye on the finer points of international law. But they do agree that western double standards cannot excuse Russia's intervention in Ukraine.
It will soon be 500 years since the publication of Thomas More's "Utopia" and the birth of a concept that has retained its grip on the imagination ever since. Matic Majcen turns to the small village of Marinaleda in Andalusia, Spain in search of a contemporary utopian project.
A ban on the burqa in a country such as France, if applied consistently and without bias, would lead to bans on numerous practices in the majority culture, insists Martha Nussbaum. But while tolerance is essential, what liberalism really needs right now is love and compassion.
Stuart Hall's model of culture as a site of struggle makes more sense than ever in an age of growing inequalities and iniquities, writes Caspar Melville. And the stakes in this struggle couldn't be higher: nothing less than the conditions of possibility for human freedom.
Both parties in the debate surrounding France's ban on wearing a full-face veil in public appeal to European values. It is this, writes Ivan Krastev that makes the discussion between Martha Nussbaum and Alain Finkielkraut on the nature of tolerance so relevant.
There is no place for multiculturalism in France, says Alain Finkielkraut, let alone full-face veils; any concession that allows the Islamicization of Muslim-dominated neighbourhoods is a fatal mistake. What is required is a true and authentic, reflective and self-critical hospitality.
For Vladimir Putin, the West's tolerance is weakness and dialogue is failure to impose force. Because KGB-styled Russia believes that either you devour, or you are devoured. Europe's "silence of the lambs", writes Volodymyr Yermolenko, is not a proper response to Russia's war.
On 2 May, clashes between anti-Maidan and Euromaidan activists claimed 48 lives in Odessa. The city is still in shock. Tanya Richardson reports on how Russian intervention in Crimea has made such questions as "Who am I?" and, "In which state will I be secure?" more pressing than ever.
As Russia becomes more and more isolated, the Russian government will need to provide for all those who support it. Maxim Trudolyubov explains why those who can provide for themselves will be the first victims of western sanctions and Russian countermeasures.
Eurozine's sister site Time to Talk will stream the main public debates taking place at the Central Eastern European Meeting. "Doeas Central Eastern Europe exist?" is one of the questions addressed by, among others, Boris Buden, Slawomir Sierakowski and Nataliia Neshevets.
Sanctions on Russia may tip economic stagnation into recession and widen the country's gap with western nations still further. This time Putin seems to be plying an isolationist course without regard for the consequences, writes Maria Lipman.
The new wave of revolutionary politics, from the Arab Spring to the Turkish Summer, is an insurgence against representative democracy that offer no alternatives. But is protest really a better instrument than elections for keeping elites accountable?
Confronted with gruesome images of the brutality of ISIS, many people conclude that this violence is inherent to the faith itself, to Islam. But is there really something about Islam that makes its followers more prone to violence and intolerance than others?
In a narrative shaped by gender and racial inequalities, Suzanne Sinke maps the interplay between migration and marriage from the origins of the United States onward. A chronicle of shifts in women's rights, the story unfolds on the interface between the familial and the national.
After the loans for shares, mergers, litigation and an unhealthy dependency on natural resources, all that's likely to remain of any real worth is the yacht in the harbour. Thus concludes Wolfgang Kemp in this attempt to grasp the rise (and fall) of Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs.
The informal politics of distribution on the streets, of begging and of giving, makes visible the faults inherent in European welfare systems, writes Cecilia Parsberg. And the rules and statutes that aim to prevent poverty-stricken EU citizens from enjoying free movement add insult to injury.
In a deceivingly simple prose poem, Lina Ekdahl captures the characteristic mix of genuine curiosity and interrogative hostility with which newcomers have been met throughout history and which is no less pertinent in the era of Dublin regulations.
The transnational market for Russian language products means that they always have a competitive edge over Ukrainian ones. Time to introduce quotas for Ukrainian language television and film productions, along with tax benefits for Ukrainian publications, argues Volodymyr Kulyk.
Ukraine A spectre is haunting Ukraine, the spectre of federalism, observes Mykola Riabchuk in an article on Russian interference in Ukraine. So will the Ukrainian elite and people grasp what is likely the last chance to save the country and implement institutional reform? Or will Putinism win out?
Eurozine's sister site Time to Talk, a pan-European network of centres of debate, is running hot this summer. The current focus is "The crisis of trust in Europe: How to build new bonds of mutual confidence". So how does mistrust hinder collective action? And what can be done about it?
Treat economists like any religious minority, says Tomas Sedlacek. Grant them the right to say whatever they believe and the right to gather. But always be sceptical of the stories they tell. Just take the invisible hand of the market: it's plain wishful thinking, like a prayer.
Imagining and realizing novel ideas engages aspects of the mind, body and self that we barely control, says Edith Ackermann in interview. Learning, like the art of living itself, is about navigating uncertainties rather than controlling what we cannot predict.
The longest anti-government protest in Bulgarian history brought about the resignation of Plamen Oresharski's cabinet in July. But where does the political process go from here? Nikolay Nikolov remains optimistic about the outcome of the country's tormented transition to democracy.
In "ResetDOC", Seyla Benhabib critiques humanitarian reason; "Blätter" reports on Europe's new refugee movement; "openDemocracy" expresses alarm at the expulsions of a predatory capitalism; "Springerin" looks at the Arab Spring's legacy in contemporary art; "Dérive" sees through the technology-driven smart city hype; "Vikerkaar" visits the post-socialist bazaar; "Magyar Lettre" publishes an extract from Endre Kukorelly's memoir; in "Letras Libres", Margaret MacMillan sees parallels between 1914 and 2014; "L'Espill" looks at new forms of Spanish nationalism; "Fronesis" calls for a more radical discussion of crises; and "Schweizer Monat" talks to the lyricist Durs Grünbein.
Discourses on Islam and Islamism remain in flux after the Arab Spring. Farid Hafez focuses on the counterrevolution in Egypt and the military regime's instrumentalization of a radical Islamic discourse, ostensibly to stop the Muslim Brotherhood turning Egypt into "Iran 2.0".
The Arab Spring has done nothing to stop business continuing as usual in the art markets of the Gulf states, write Nat Muller and Ferry Biedermann. At the same time, the wrath of the Arab peninsula monarchies continues to rain down on anything that smacks of dissent.
No more radical manifestos and no private life either: artists must now commit every waking hour to their business plan. German poet Durs Grünbein on leading a creative life despite everything, plus influences ranging from a tradition of European reform to ancient Mediterranean cultures.
Recalling childhood trips abroad, Slavenka Drakulic suspects Yugoslavians were corrupted by the freedom to travel. "My generation confused democratic freedom with the freedom to shop in the West. The wars that followed were the almost medieval retribution for that."[Hungarian version added]
Afghan Jungle, Hazara Jungle and Palestine House. Such are the names of squats and camps in Calais that have existed in various incarnations for years: the result of two European nations fortifying themselves against crises of their own making, writes Timothy Cooper. History continues to repeat itself.
There's a new Europe-wide refugee movement taking shape. It has succeeded in making the problems refugees face a permanent topic of public debate, one that politicians can no longer ignore. And broad social solidarity with its demands is growing too, writes Martina Mauer.
Never have there been more refugees in the world as today: an estimated 45 million in total. So what's the current relationship between international law, emancipatory politics and the rights of the rightless? Seyla Benhabib on the urgent need to create new political vistas.
From the long tradition of slum tours to the more recent look of the poorgeoisie, the commodification and aestheticization of poverty seems to know no bounds. Derya Özkan reflects on when contemporary culture begins to empty social issues of any social content.
"New Eastern Europe" speaks to Lech Walesa; "Res Publica Nowa" recalls that crises have always mobilized the European spirit; "La Revue nouvelle" warns against the xenophobia at Europe's heart; "Frakcjia" asks whether the immunity of art is merely an illusion; "Dialogi" debates the failures of the Slovenian uprisings; "Intellectum" reads Greece's most discussed book; "A2" champions Czech writers' rights; and "Dilema veche" speaks to acclaimed Romanian writer in exile, Norman Manea.
From 1975 until 2002, the terrorist activities of the revolutionary organization 17 November, or "17N", preoccupied Greek public opinion and the secret services of several states. Victor Tsilonis critiques the first book offering a view "from within" 17N, by offender-author Dimitris Koufontinas.
The protests of 2012 and 2013 in Slovenia seem to have drawn a blank. People did realize the urgent need for a different kind of politics and more honest leadership of the country, writes Boris Vezjak. But they did not offer ideas for concrete improvements.
Without equality and fraternity, freedom brings enslavement, writes Krzysztof Czyzewski. And overcoming the ego-centric tendencies that shape contemporary culture remains the central challenge of our times: the search for a culture of solidarity continues.
"When I am trapped, I try to do what an artist would do", Antanas Mockus once said. And upon his election as mayor of Bogotá in 1993, his artistically driven actions met with considerable success. Joanna Warsza illuminates the lasting relevance of Mockus' novel approach to politics.
At the heart of every great democratic revolution there was a fiscal revolution, argues Thomas Piketty. And the same will be true of the future. Only a global register of financial assets and a progressive global tax on capital can keep global wealth concentration under control.
In these impressions of the Maidan protests in Ukraine, one hears the voices of those who witnessed history in the making. The experience of civil society, the individual existential decisions and the role of the Russian-speaking middle class also come to the fore.
"Mittelweg 36" squares the legacy of feminist Shulamith Firestone with modern social movements; "Nuori Voima" insists on celebrating film in an age of media convergence; in "Merkur", Edith Lynn Beer reassembles a transatlantic family history that began in Bukovina; "Letras Libres" discerns in Gabriel García Márquez a tragic victory of imagination over reality; "Vikerkaar" lists the elements of Estonian masculinities; "Lettera internazionale" celebrates its 30th; Esprit contemplates the end of days; "Ord&Bild" will never be a slave to fashion; "Syn og Segn" thinks the agrarian movement should face up to its Anti-Semitic past; and "Arena" paraphrases Horkheimer: if you don't want to talk about capitalism then you had better keep quiet about football!
Edith Lynn Beer's family history holds a mirror up to the short twentieth century: an era in which peoples, cultures, languages and place names came and went as one tried to survive the experience of war. Code-switching and culture shocks became permament features of everyday life.
Photography and film changed the way we experience the world by capturing traces that would otherwise have been forgotten, assuming they were even noticed in the first place. Kristian Blomberg asks, could film be a metaphor for a rare kind of truth?
The Czech cultural biweekly "A2" has provided a provocative alternative to the cultural mainstream since 2005 and combines rigorous critique with a punk approach to all the latest developments in both Czech and international spheres. "A2" is a new Eurozine partner.
Croatian performing arts journal "Frakcija" has joined the Eurozine network. A mainstay of Croatia's independent scene, the journal works in partnership with an impressive range of production units, performing arts centres and festivals throughout Europe.
When did the queer performance of identity markers begin to be seen as more subversive than marching through the institutions? And how did a politics of recognition, performance and identity trump the politics of class? John Borneman investigates.
"Dublin Review of Books" says the World Cup is no game-changer for Brazil; "Blätter" still believe in football's utopian potential; "Schweizer Monat" speaks to FIFA president Sepp Blatter; "Kulturos barai" bets the coming global energy crisis will wake everyone up again; "Varlik" marks the anniversary of the Gezi protests; "Springerin" stands up for the artist battling with censorship; "Revista Crítica" sees the Brazilian middle class claim its dignity; in "Samtiden", Dag Solstad expresses his dislike of much contemporary European literature; "Host" fears the Czech literary classic is going pop; and "Krytyka Polityczna" compares Indian and Polish democracies.
Steve Chu was the first working scientist to be appointed US energy secretary. A year after resigning from the Energy Department in 2013, the Nobel Prize winner remains optimistic about renewable energy, insisting that it's better to aim too high and fall short than aim too low and achieve one's goal.
Words are under siege in Turkey and journalism has been taken hostage, writes Süreyyya Evren. When this era ends, he doesn't know how long society will need to recover. But for now, it's all about virtual private networks, among other forms of resistance.
Brazil may be a favourite to win the 2014 FIFA World Cup. But the tournament failed to be the host country's promised game-changer, writes Tom Hennigan. As triumphs of the tropical modernist movement are swamped by new development, the dismal quality of urban life remains a sore point.
Following the massive bailouts, stimulus spending and quantitative easing of recent years, everyone breathed a sigh of relief and went back to sleep, says Richard Heinberg. But the coming global energy crisis will likely provide the jolt that wakes everyone up again.
Artist-run platforms are generating unique forms of solidarity, translocal networks and various types of transversal knowledge and alternative pedagogies. Pelin Tan makes the case for a language that remains faithful to the project of rebuilding a collective consciousness.
The Internet and the World Wide Web were designed with a combination of academic, public service and even countercultural values, says Astra Taylor. So why do we accept that corporate values should now take precedent? Introducing the "people's platform".
"openDemocracy" demands substantive democracy's total transformation after the EU elections; "Esprit" discovers in political bricolage the salvation of Europe; "Schweizer Monat" dives into the parallel world of data; "New Humanist" argues that WWI was just as much about British imperialism as German militarism; "Kultura Liberalna" tries to read Vladimir Putin's mind; "Letras Libres" looks forward to the premier of Mario Vargas Llosa's new play; "Critique and Humanism" observes the transformation of Sofia after a year of protest; "Multitudes" probes forms of collectivity old and new; "Akadeemia" assesses Estonia's ten years of EU membership; and "Dialogi" says a film critic without a film festival is no film critic.
Only a mixture of bottom-up and top-down measures can avoid a nationalist cycle of disintegration now, argues Mary Kaldor. This means opening up the public sphere, especially at local and transnational levels, at the same time as creating a framework for a civilizing globalization.
Welcome to the parallel world of data, where all data is credit data and the digital economy knows no limits. But add systemic mistrust and intercontinental economic warfare to the equation, and the question as to where all this is heading becomes critical.
A film critic without a film festival is no film critic at all, insists Matic Majcen, film editor for the Slovenian journal "Dialogi". To be completely alone with the film and one's opinion of it is a unique experience in a film world where advertising and promotion are becoming increasingly invasive.
Polish online journal "Kultura Liberalna" has joined the Eurozine network. The "liberalism" in the title is not just a declaration of commitment to core liberal values but also an indication of openness to the world and all of its diverse social, political and cultural life.
Do away with politics as a career option and consider it instead a civilian service lasting no more than two years. For only political bricolage, writes Paolo Flores d'Arcais, can rescue Europe from financial democratic dictatorship or totalitarian tendencies of an even more sinister nature.
Those who wish to pass off World War I as a just war against German militarism should remember that at the heart of the global imperialist network stood not Germany but Britain, writes Kenan Malik. And that behind imperialist expansion lay venomous racism.
The more advanced the process of European integration, the more pronounced the euroscepticism in the Balkan states, writes Roberto Belloni. However, should Europe fail to stand by the region, it would destroy the European Union's credibility.
The EU's response to the NSA scandal, a recent landmark European Court of Justice ruling and the European Parliament's rejection of ACTA: all developments, argue Amandine Scherrer and Jef Huysmans, that show the EU remains key to achieving an Internet commons.
In her firsthand account of events in Kyiv between 18 and 20 February, Oksana Forostyna conveys the intensity of the struggle that led to former president Viktor Yanukovych's exit. And how the Maidan became a space where protesters from all sorts of backgrounds worked and fought together.
It'll be a long haul, but it can be done. Having systematically charted the careers of the people who drove Ukraine to the brink of destruction, Sergii Leshchenko grapples with the question of how to shake Ukraine free of the oligarchs' grip.
Commons are a form of resistance against self-exploitation, isolation and the reduction of people to consumers, writes Brigitte Kratzwald. But this resistance isn't about destroying what already exists: it's about creative production geared to meeting people's real needs.
Will general disinterest in the European elections pave the way for the radical Right to the European Parliament? Albrecht von Lucke looks beyond received but misleading notions of an enlightened EU, to the reality of actually existing European democracy.
The media preparations for the centenary of WWI seem unstoppable, comments Jost Düffler. Meanwhile, scholarly interpretations are in flux. And sales of new books on the subject are high, confirming that history sells; but also reflecting the sense of crisis concerning Europe's present.
It's no longer about nature in the city but the urbanization of nature itself, write Erik Swyngedouw and Maria Kaika. Welcome to the cyborg city, in which human and non-human inhabitants are globally linked through the circulation of water, energy, fat, chemicals and viruses.
The pyramid investment funds that two-thirds of Albanians had invested in collapsed in 1997, causing violent social unrest. Many Albanians fled to Italy and 83 perished en route in the sinking of the "Kateri i Rades". But the memory of all this has been suppressed, writes Alessandro Leogrande.
Whether in its Asian forms, or under the Anglo-American model or Latin America's post-dictatorship democracies, capital may employ women but doesn't emancipate them, writes Beatrix Campbell. It will take nothing less than a gender revolution to change this.
The perils of European integration are well represented at the Danubian port of Calafat, southern Romania. Suzanne Röckel reports on how the completion of a road and rail bridge named "New Europe" in 2013, connecting the city to the Bulgarian bank, all but destroyed Calafat's social fabric.
"Il Mulino" asks, what hope for the European Union?; "Blätter" warns against paving the way to parliament for the radical Right; "Soundings" looks to a post-euro future, beyond austerity; "Dilema veche" remains ambivalent about Romania's place in the EU; "Ny Tid" calls for a European public sphere; "Merkur" paints a desolate picture of New Europe; in "Vikerkaar", Jaan Kaplinski throws a spanner in the EU's works; "Wespennest" remembers the Albanians who preceded today's victims of Fortress Europe; "pARTisan" looks at global discourse in Belarus; "dérive" states that austerity is no mistake; and "Osteuropa" remembers WWI.
If the patrolling of borders unites European peoples more solidly than European "universal values", what hope for the European Union? Nadia Urbinati argues that issues raised by the coming European elections go to the very heart of the pact that defined the post-war democratic rebirth.
A common currency should remain a central component of international co-operation and redistribution, argues Chris Hann. But European debates on the compatibility of capitalism and democracy must be radically reframed if the currency, and the structures underpinning it, are to succeed.
At an international conference in Kyiv, taking place between 16 and 19 May, European, American and Russian intellectuals will meet their Ukrainian counterparts to discuss the meaning of Ukrainian pluralism for the future of Europe, Russia and the world.
A re-designed city is a means to an end. And for Peter Marcuse, that end is the welfare and happiness of those whom the city should serve: all of us. He also asserts the realm of work could be shrunk without impacting negatively on a desirable realm of freedom. [Italian version added]
"Mittelweg 36" observes Edward Snowden following in the footsteps of Gandhi and Martin Luther King; "Esprit" discovers in nihilism a valuable resource; "Glänta" watches TV; "Belgrade Journal" confronts the ultimate European crisis; "Blätter" urges Europe to take the next exit on the road to post-democracy; "Polar" refuses to be got down by the visual politics of heaviness; "Lettera internazionale" stresses the encounter with, over the inclusion of, the other; "Arena" calls for racism to be kicked out of political life once and for all; "Akadeemia" celebrates its 25th; "Syn og Segn" wants to give Margit Sandemo a literature prize; "Dziejaslou" prefers Belarusian classics to the country's young unruly writers; and "Schweizer Monat" emphasizes the importance of an extremely rich cultural life.
We can dream of a cosmopolitan Europe. But to realize the dream, writes Obrad Savic, we must have the conviction to share the same history, the same past and the same future with "others", outside of Europe. An argument for transforming the people of Europe into a European world people.
It may well be that the social critique of new forms of exploitation and discrimination simply has to be drastic enough to cultivate responses such as indigination, shock, shame and rage. Responses without which, argues Martin Saar, no one at all would start to behave radically differently.
The European Union's authoritarian tendencies have reached the point where democracy seems to imply the governance of organizations, by organizations, for organizations. Karin Priester asks what is to be done under a European democracy in which the demos scarcely features at all.
During the 1960s, Jean-Luc Nancy explored in "Esprit" the pressures under which traditional categories of thought had come. He never lost his engagement amid the trials that deconstruction and religion, among others, posed. Now Nancy returns to the pages of "Esprit" in interview.
What exactly were the implications of World War I for the gender hierarchy of the western world? Gaby Zipfel argues for frank, not to mention long overdue, discussion of when and how women and men encounter one other in war.
In 1969, some 600 million viewers around the world watched the first manned moon landing on television. But game shows, talk shows and reality TV became the enduring TV forms. Judy Radul takes another look at domestic scenes bathed in television's lunar glow.
The emergence of new private, transnational Arab TV channels in the 1990s raised hopes that, having shrugged off state control, Arab media would provide the kind of coverage that critical issues in Arab nations deserved. Ouidyane Elouardaoui investigates what went wrong.
Earlier civil disobedients hinted at our increasingly global condition. Snowden takes it as a given. But, writes William E. Scheuerman, in lieu of an independent global legal system in which Snowden could defend his legal claims, the Obama administration should treat him with clemency.
"Belgrade Journal of Media and Communications" has joined the Eurozine network. The journal specializes in the political decoding of discursive formations concerning, among others, the end of history, post-secularism and the prospect of a cosmopolitan Europe.
The history of Ukraine has revealed the turning points in the history of Europe. On 25 May both Ukrainians and EU citizens can decide which way things will turn this time. Ukraine has no future without Europe, but Europe also has no future without Ukraine.
In an article first published shortly before Viktor Orbán won his second term in office and Jobbik support soared in the April elections, János Széky outlines the historical roots of Hungarian nationalism and how the cult of national unity came to be written into the 2011 constitution.
Even if a humane and just society is just a dream, it is not one that humanity can afford to give up on. Of this much Walter Famler, editor-in-chief of "Wespennest", remains convinced. A portrait in prose by former "Host" editor Marek Seckar.
Today's media, combined with the latest portable devices, have pushed serious public discourse into the background and hauled triviality to the fore, according to media theorist Arthur W Hunt. And the Jeffersonian notion of citizenship has given way to modern consumership.
"Krytyka" says the protests in Ukraine should make the EU realize it has a global mission; "Prostory" documents the Maidan; "Osteuropa" warns it's high time to focus on the Polish extreme Right; "New Eastern Europe" locates the last frontier of Kundera's Central Europe; "Free Speech Debate" says hate speech bans have no place in fully fledged democracies; "Spilne" anticipates a socialist moment in the western system; "Merkur" analyses the capitalist persona: from civilizing force to the root of all evil; "Kulturos barai" ponders how to survive technology; "Revolver Revue" refuses to forget the Jews lost to the Nazis but erased under Czech communism; and "Dilema veche" asks who's afraid of Romanians and Bulgarians?
Poland's extreme right has long been ignored at home and abroad. Yet recent events reveal it is among the most dynamic of its kind in Europe, write Andreas Kahrs and Eva Spanka: the Warsaw "March of Independence" in November 2013, for example, attracted nearly 50,000 participants.
Three months of Maidan have led to the victory of a spontaneous micro-economy over macro-corruption, writes Nataliya Tchermalykh. That is, the victory of an economy based on grassroots collaboration and policy, as a prerequisite for everyday life.
In an interview conducted before Euromaidan commenced, Don Kalb discusses the future of capitalism in eastern Europe. Given the rise of China and India, and economic stagnation in the West, Kalb emphasizes the importance of political mobilization in both Ukraine and Russia.
Francis Nenik relates the life of poet and anti-Apartheid activist Vincent Swart, who practised his politics in Cape Town and Johannesburg, published his poetry in Cambridge, drank brandy by the bottle and argued with his cousin, a future president of South Africa.
Rejecting the classical liberal defences of free speech, Eric Heinze insists that the strongest case for free speech is grounded on specifically democratic principles. And that hate speech bans can never claim a legitimate role in fully fledged democracies.
Jonathan Bousfield talks to three award-winning novelists who spent their formative years in a Central Europe that Milan Kundera once described as the kidnapped West. It transpires that small nations may still be the bearers of important truths.
In this article based on Fabiani's speech at the Eurozine conference in 2013, the sociologist situates the events of Zucotti Park and Tahrir Square in a continuum that points to how future innovation may enable a global public sphere to overcome democratic fatigue.
Steffen Kverneland describes how the medium of the comic book opens up new approaches to biographies of artists. And how, in his graphic biography of Edward Munch, he lets a little light and air and humour liven up the sad, slightly dull atmosphere that tends to surround the painter.
To write is to write one's way through the preconceived and into the world on the other side, to see the world as children can, as fantastic or terrifying, but always rich and wide-open. Karl Ove Knausgård on creating literature.
"pARTisan", the Minsk-based magazine of contemporary Belarusian culture and world art, has joined the Eurozine network. For over a decade, the magazine's editorial team headed up by Artur Klinau has published a unique blend of aesthetic and intellectual content.
As shallow as it is reductive, containing no attempt at scholarly or exegetic analysis: this is Piotr H. Kosicki's verdict on the pastoral letter published 29 December 2013 by Poland's Roman Catholic bishops, condemning "gender ideology". So just what were the bishops thinking?
An anti-gender campaign initiated by the Roman Catholic Church in Poland made gender a permanent fixture on the front pages of Polish newspapers as 2013 drew to a close. Karolina Wigura and Jaroslaw Kuisz introduce a new series of articles from Kultura Liberalna.
Film director Agnieszka Holland considers the anti-gender campaign of the Roman Catholic Church in Poland a political attempt to cover up the Church's own problems; and contends that being a white, heterosexual, conservative Catholic Pole cannot be the only respectable way of living.
The Roman Catholic Church in Poland is not merely scaremongering about gender: it wishes to seriously reflect upon the topic, insists Marcin Nowak. And despite the potential of every idea, including liberalism and Christianity, to become an ideology, serious dialogue will follow.
The West must start to put its long-term interests above the instant gratification of London bankers, German gas traders and real estate agents all over Europe, who are yearning for Russian money. Then the new Cold War can be won, writes Vladislav Inozemtsev.
The Maidan has provided a historic chance to build a modern political nation where Jews can be Ukrainians, writes Vitaliy Portnikov. The misleading stereotype that Ukrainian nationalism is by nature anti-Semitic can finally be laid to rest.
In interview with Jörg Scheller, philosopher Wolfgang Welsch reveals the rigours of an evolutionary approach to questions of human culture and society. In doing so, Welsch outlines how, during the twentieth century, art begins to break through the anthropic cocoon.
Ahead of local elections at the end of March and presidential elections in August, Tigrane Yegavian looks into the influence that the Gülen movement wields in Turkey and beyond; and why this puts it on a collision course with the ambitions of its former ally, prime minister Erdogan.
Corporatization is transforming what activists and NGOs conceive of as being realistic and possible in terms of desirable change. Genevieve LeBaron and Peter Dauvergne examine recent trends that raise crucial issues about the future of global citizen action.
Despite being well aware of the stakes involved in member states such as Hungary, writes Jan-Werner Müller, the European Commission still lacks fully convincing instruments to deal with constitutional capture: a government's systematic weakening of checks and balances.
Poet and essayist Olga Sedakova takes her fellow Russian writers and intellectuals to task for responding with silence to the light emanating from the Maidan: a light of hope, of solidarity and of rehabilitated humanity. A light that Russia would do well to see itself in.
Iceland's crowd-sourced constitution and the impact of Beppe Grillo's blog on Italian politics reveal how "Internet democracy" has opened a new phase of democratic innovation. The relationship between citizens and politicians may never be the same again. [English version added]
Alain Joxe deals with the logic of domination, as played out in the Middle East and North Africa right up until the era of financial globalization: in which states and subjects now find themselves caught between managed militarism and the immaterial mastery of credit.
Ahead of parliamentary elections in Hungary next month, András Bruck wonders whether the opposition can reverse the country's prospects. The point of no return, he writes, came on 2 January 2012, when the new constitution entered into force despite public protest.
The humanist impulse not only liberated the sense of transcendence from the shackles of the sacred, it also transformed the idea of transcendence itself. Kenan Malik on the humanization of the transcendent in art and literature, from Dante to Rothko.
"Res Publica Nowa" slams liberal pacifism; "NAQD" greets a resurgent pan-Africanism; "Merkur" anticipates a golden future for quality TV; "New Humanist" rises above it; Ny Tid gives Rotten Tomatoes a low rating; "Osteuropa" wonders what happened to eastern Europe's generation X; "Genero" assesses the impact of recession on women in Serbia; "Vikerkaar" addresses the question of evil; "La Revue nouvelle" examines social phobias; and "Blätter" publishes Habermas' latest reflections on the limits of the nation-state.
In a timely opinion piece written prior to Russia's intervention in Ukraine, "Res Publica Nowa" editor-in-chief Wojciech Przybylski contends that should Europe rule out the use of force, it will clear the way for others who won't hesitate in using military might to achieve their political ends.
Russia may have won Crimea but it has lost Ukraine, writes Vitaly Portnikov. At the same time, Ukraine has gained a whole world of sympathetic people who support the country in its fight for something that should in fact be just as much a necessity for Russia too: freedom.
Consensus among online communities may all too often prove fragile if not illusory. But, writes Kathrin Passig, as long as Internet users can adapt to groups over which unity concerning but a select few issues reigns, there is no need to lose faith in social media. [English version added]
The radical rightwing party Svoboda rose to prominence in Ukraine's 2012 parliamentary elections as an alternative to the political establishment, writes Anton Shekhovtsov: but its role in Euromaidan may well amount to Svoboda's swan song.
The main threat to the revolution comes not from Crimean separatism nor from far-right groups, writes Mykola Riabchuk. The biggest threat comes from within: from old habits and oldboy networks. New politicians are needed to avoid repeating the missed opportunities of 1991 and 2004.
As the culture and the institutions of the Gutenberg Galaxy wane, Felix Stalder looks to commons, assemblies, swarms and weak networks as a basis for remaking society in a more inclusive and diverse way, which expands autonomy and solidarity at the same time.
Corruption is omnipresent today, writes Antoine Garapon: it is the crime that characterizes our age. And only a political approach will lead to fighting it effectively because, currently, its practice is preferable to living at the mercy of the fluctuations of the market.
"openDemocracy" draws lessons from social movements in Bosnia and Italy; "Mute" embraces digital solidarity; "Schweizer Monat" holds a crisis session with David Runciman; "Esprit" confronts corruption's omnipresence; "Glänta" watches the reader turn the tables at the literary carnival; "Letras Libres" speaks to American poet Robert Hass; "Mittelweg 36" examines how media filters German memory; "Revolver Revue" uncovers unpublished poetic prose after Auschwitz; "Arena" anticipates continued growth on the Swedish far-right; and "La Revue nouvelle" surveys human rights in austerity Belgium.
In interview with Michael Wiederstein, the British political scientist David Runciman suggests how to remedy some of the myths that the eurocrisis has thrown into sharp relief: from genuine choice in politics or markets to the prospect of a purifying super-crisis.
Last year's German TV production Unsere Mütter, Unsere Väter -- rights to which have been sold in 82 countries under the title Generation War" -- portrays its protagonists as "people like us", controverting any notion of individual responsibility, writes Christoph Classen.
At the beginning of February, violent protests swept through Bosnia-Herzegovina: demonstrators clashed with police and government buildings were set ablaze. But then, independent citizens' assemblies began to be organized to formulate demands to be made to the government.
Solidarity, one of the European Union's driving concepts, has been abandoned in the wake of the eurocrisis, writes Dominika Kasprowicz: allowing the populist radical Right to bring to bear their own concept of solidarity, based on an anti-establishment stance and nativism.
The case of Islamized Armenian survivors of the 1915 genocide and the narratives of their "Muslim" grandchildren pose significant challenges to Turkish national self-understanding and the official politics of genocide denial, writes Ayse Gül Altinay.
"Springerin" is arrested by images of political events; "Dérive" discovers in the rhythms of everyday life new sources of resilience; "Merkur" raises fundamental questions about the machinery of Germany's government; "Blätter" acknowledges that no machine is infallible; "L'Homme" finds not a single true self in the auto/biographical; "Krytyka Polityczna" reflects on film, factories and capitalism; "Dilema veche" looks rationally at the rise of Hungary's extreme Right; "Ord&Bild" critiques neo-colonialist narratives; and "Reset" reviews Italy's post-political, bitter-sweet box office hit.
Shortly after Tunisia enshrined gender equality into its constitution in January 2014, Barbara Unmüßig surveys the situation of women in the countries where the Arab Spring began to play out three years ago. Self-organization, the role of Islam in society and sexual violence all remain key concerns.
The mishandling of the investigation into a series of murders carried out by the terrorist group "National Socialist Underground" raises fundamental questions about the machinery of Germany's government. Horst Meier argues for the abolition of the federal office responsible.
Following the war with Serbia in the late 1990s, a construction boom transformed Kosovo's capital city. This has in turn transformed the rhythms of everyday life, writes ethnographer Karin Norman, as has an influx of rural migrants, UN and EU personnel and relief workers.
Some images of political events can be conjured without being reproduced. At the same time as arresting the viewer, writes Sharon Hayes, they give pause as to how political affiliation, political community and collective political horizons are formed.
There are two Europes, writes Volodymyr Yermolenko: a Europe of rules and regulations, and a Europe founded upon faith in the European idea. And of course, as recent events in Ukraine show, the European idea extends well beyond the formal frontiers of the European Union.
As the winter Olympics open in Sochi amid controversy over Russia's anti-gay laws, Tatiana Riabova and Oleg Riabov show how discourse in Russia brands "European sexual deviancy" a natural result of western democratic development; and Russia as the last bastion of "normalcy".
A surge of state violence and the subsequent curtailment of citizens' right to protest, combined with an expansion of the authorities' right to use force: Kirill Rogov reveals how the "Putin doctrine" previously applied to protests in Russia brought Ukraine to the brink of civil war.
Aging is a common literary theme though overwhelmingly confined to male writing, writes Slavenka Drakulic. Does dementia provide a culturally acceptable, metaphorical replacement for women's accounts of aging, and if so why?
If only a genuinely open-minded European outlook could be cultivated among journalists and other media professionals, then the European project would flourish for the next 50 years. Stephan Ruß-Mohl contends that a culture of European journalism is essential for overcoming the eurocrisis.
As the EU's response to the Snowden leaks converges with European data protection reforms, new debates on privacy emerge at the European level: and the burning issue remains that of trust. Simon Garnett rounds up the latest developments to coincide with Data Protection Day 2014.
Of course radical nationalists do not share the original goal of the Euromaiden protests: bringing Ukraine closer to the EU. But neither do their slogans and attacks invalidate the protests' value as a manifestation of the democratic aspirations of the Ukrainian people, writes Volodymyr Kulyk.
In an appeal directed to foreign journalists, renowned Ukrainian writer Yuri Andrukhovych states that it is those in Ukraine's highest leadership that deserve to be labelled extremists, not the protestors on the streets. Yanukovych has brought the country to its limits.
The media organization TED sells itself as one of a new brand of arbiters and brokers of innovation. And yet, writes Jason Wilson, TED's preferred model of thinking is not the critical delineation of problems, or the formulation of better questions, but the closure of solutionism.
After the Ukranian government rubber-stamped a series of repressive laws last week and further violence, the Ukrainian Centre of the International PEN Club releases a statement calling for support for Ukrainian writers and journalists, and solidarity with the Ukrainian people.
There is one central similarity between Euromaidan and other recent movements across the world: protesters' self-reliance and distrust of politicians who pretend to represent them is what gives their movement its democratic credentials, but it is also a weakness.
A state apparatus that doesn't function on the level of dogs can't function on the level of people either, writes Slavenka Drakulic. This week, the Bosnian parliament votes on amendments to the law on animal protection. But what is in fact at stake is the continued dehumanization of society.
No wonder the Germans accepted the idea of Europe so readily after 1945, writes Rainer Hank: they did not need to change their habits of thought greatly. Moreover, widespread ignorance about this problematic continuity poses yet another threat to mutual trust in Europe.
Our language is our literary destiny, writes Olga Tokarczuk. And "minority" languages provide a special kind of sanctuary too, inaccessible to the rest of the world. But, there again, language is at its most powerful when it reaches beyond itself and starts to create an alternative world.
"New Eastern Europe" notes the coming of age of an interconnected generation; "La Revue nouvelle" disentangles the clash of interests behind the scenes of Euromaidan; "Soundings" contrasts yesterday's cultural bricolage with today's neoliberal culture; "Lettera internazionale" claims the decline of the West is on hold; "Magyar Lettre" imagines not a Fortress Europe but a continent open to other continents; "Multitudes" reviews attitudes towards African art and modern China; "Host" digests the last 50 years of literature and politics; "L'Espill" makes the case for Catalan literature as one among many European literatures; "Kulturos barai" takes a transatlantic perspective on big stories from small countries; "Nova Istra" remembers Mirko Kovac; "Sodobnost" talks about dance; and in "Syn og Segn" Jon Fosse says Catholic mass makes for better theatre.
Karl-Heinz Dellwo and Gabriele Rollnik spent decades in prison for their involvement in killings and kidnappings. Marek Seckar of Host meets the former members of the Red Army Faction and Bewegung 2. Juni respectively, to talk to the couple about their pasts and present.
What's different about a place is what's interesting, writes Canadian novelist Antanas Sileika. A proposition that raises all manner of difficulties, as well as presenting unique opportunities, when writing fiction based on Baltic history aimed at a North American audience.
As Russia and the EU jostle to gain the upper hand in relations with post-Soviet states, China looks to strengthen its position not only in central Asia but in the buffer zone between Russia and the EU as well. A case of back to the future for Eurasia, argues Adam Balcer.
Disentangling the clash of interests surrounding Euromaidan, Andriy Portnov observes that the European dream of Euromaidan simply doesn't coincide with the visions that Brussels and Berlin have for the region. And that relations between Russia and Ukraine are no less strained.
Today's slick electoral machines have debased the idea of seeking political power, contends Soundings co-editor Ben Little. Which marks a sea change since the first decades after WWII, when local parties were intensely engaged in candidate selection and struggles over party resources.
Leading academics signed an open letter supporting the Euromaidan protests and European values at the turn of 2014. One might have expected a more critical position of them, writes Volodymyr Ishchenko. For they ignore the role of the far right in Ukraine's public sphere at their peril.
Poland is the only post-socialist country with a women's movement worthy of the name, writes Teresa Kulawik. Should it succeed in establishing a transparent structure that can accommodate compromise, "Kongres Kobiet" could provide a model for the country's political system.
Culture work provides Sinti and Roma people with opportunities to develop personally, combat negative modes of representation and intervene politically. It can also counterbalance the obstacles that educational disadvantage and racism create, writes Hamze Bytyci.
One of the highlights of Hungary's EU presidency was the launching of the EU Framework for National Roma Integration Strategies. But a closer look at the situation of the Hungarian Roma provides an alarming picture, writes Yudit Kiss. And more than sufficient reason to head westwards.
It is wrong to make immigration responsible for Europe's social ills, writes Kenan Malik. Worse still is the way in which fortress Europe has created not only a physical barrier around the continent, but an emotional one, too, around Europe's sense of humanity.
In an interview conducted before Euromaidan commenced, Tatiana Zhurzhenko discusses the intricacies of regional tensions surrounding Ukraine, taking into consideration questions of memory, language and a putative civic, liberal Ukrainian nationalism.
"New Humanist" goes up against the emotional barrier around Europe's sense of humanity; "Kulturos barai" raises the crucial questions on Ukraine after Euromaidan; "Blätter" contemplates the world after Snowden; "Merkur" foresees a future of newspapers in both print and pixels; "Arena" questions the logic of the Nobel Committee; "Host" opens a literary can of worms concerning the state of contemporary Czech literature; "Osteuropa" surveys the history of homosexuality and homophobia in eastern Europe; "NZ" critiques the discourse on sexuality in post-glasnost Russia; "Varlik" shows how Deleuze was played out in Gezi Park; "Revista Crítica" takes on the ecological challenges that democracies face globally; "Fronesis" explores the meaning of home and homelessness; and "Esprit" takes stock of world history in a polycentric world.
Culturally-led urban strategies rely more on selective images of cities than reflecting a socially and ethnically diverse urbanism, writes Malcolm Miles. For, under the surface, it is not civic renewal but economic and commercial motives that drive the cultural city.
Digitalization is already part of the newspaper, both in terms of the production process and distribution. And the dual structure of print and digital media is likely to persist, write Thomas Steinfeld and Lothar Müller. The ultimate triumph of digital over print media is by nomeans imminent.
Euromaidan is not just about failing to sign the Association Agreement, it is about Ukraine's whole development as a country. For 22 years, it has been stuck in a grey zone between post-Soviet autocracies to the east and democratizing neighbours to the west, writes Mykola Riabchuk.
Almost overnight, Ukraine ceased to be a "kingdom in the middle". Now there are only three options left, writes Ivan Krastev: sign the agreement with the EU, as the majority of Ukrainians want; join Putin's Eurasia, as the endangered political elite desire; or go bankrupt.
Ukrainian civil society wants a truly independent Ukrainian and European nation. And Ukrainians understand that, in order to achieve this independence, they need to completely overhaul the political system. Anton Shekhovtsov on Euromaidan and the rebooting of Ukraine.
Social media extend the range of participatory acts open to citizens. The result can be unpredictable leaderless mobilizations involving massive numbers of small donations of time and effort. And although the vast majority fail absolutely, a few succeed dramatically.
Will democracy in east-central Europe survive the economic crisis? Are democratic institutions and the middle classes strong enough to counter the authoritarian Left and Right? The real test for east-central European democracies is yet to come, writes Szabolcs Pogonyi.
Paradoxically, at a time when the global pull of democracy has never been stronger, the crisis of democracy has become acute. A new Eurozine focal point asks what will be the result of the ongoing renegotiation of the basic principles of modern societies.
As civil protest in Ukraine intensified, the production of the public sphere was the subject of this year's Eurozine conference, held in Oslo from 29 November to 2 December, and co-organized by the Norwegian Association of Journals and Eurozine partner journal "Syn og Segn".
Representatives of Europe's leading cultural and opinion journals gathered in Oslo at the Eurozine conference, call on all democratic institutions to support the rights of Ukrainian protesters to assemble freely and express their opinion in the public sphere.
Cultural journals have long facilitated a level of intellectual exchange indispensable to societies that put stock in democratic and cosmopolitan spirit. And, as ongoing crisis overshadows the upcoming Europeanelections and the European integration project risks being reduced to the task of reaching formal economic goals, the contribution of cultural journals to a European public sphere is more important than ever.
Beyond do-it-yourself politics, short-lived mass protests in the metropolises and a further swelling of the ranks of the popular right, the democratization of democracy is still possible, contends Claus Offe. But not if political life remains locked within the "prison of the market".
"Dublin Review of Books" revisits the unlikely story of how Nabokov's "Lolita" was published; "Krytyka" ponders what awaits Ukraine after the Eastern Partnership summit; "Osteuropa" scrutinizes Russia's isolated take on the Syrian civil war; "Cogito" finds Erdogan's democracy package far from democratic; "Dialogi" has learned to distrust merchants of culture; "Esprit" marks the centenaries of Albert Camus and Paul Ricur; "Schweizer Monat" demands we stand up to the tyranny of the algorhythm; "Mittelweg 36" finds that the social role of violence has been neglected for too long; "Vikerkaar" declares Latin America healthy and ready for the future; and "Dziejaslou" objects to the excision of the avant-garde.
The array of professional skills, both military and civilian, and moral virtues expected of today's democratic soldier are hardly ever found in combination in real human beings, writes Sönke Neitzel: a clear sign that the armies of western European states have yet to regroup after the cold war.
The legacy of the European Capital of Culture project of 2012 in Maribor is characterized by the project's steady implosion, writes Boris Vezjak. After the hype and the corruption, and in the absence of any new infrastructure whatsoever, the city has learned its lesson.
Like Joyce's "Ulysses", Nabokov's "Lolita" was once smuggled through customs in suitcases. Tim Groenland tells the unlikely story of how Nabokov's classic ever came to be published in the first place and then go on to become a commercial success.
The periodical translation of news into words and the associated analysis that constitutes the print medium, writes Victor Tsilonis, is no longer enough. It cannot attract a wider audience. The answer: humorous, issue-specific poster, social media and video campaigns.
For the time being, it seems that nothing on Earth is capable of reducing the release of carbon emissions into the atmosphere. But if the global consensus among scientists as to the causes of climate change is not enough to effect change, what is?
It's never been more difficult to form new political movements that do justice to the connection between the local and the global, as well as the abstract and the concrete. Olav Fumarola Unsgaard on the rise and fall of the social forum movements of the past two decades.
What's the bigger picture regarding gender and cultural journals? Do journals have the resources to deal with it? And what role does gender play, if any, where commissioning patterns and content are concerned? Eurozine has conducted a European survey that examines the issues in greater depth.
For the fifth year, Eurozine partners up with the Central European Forum, an international conference open to the public that will take place in Bratislava from 15 to 17 November. Participants include Timothy Snyder, Slavenka Drakulic, Leonidas Donskis, Marci Shore, Ilija Trojanow, Ales Debeljak and Egon Gál.
Saskia Sassen compares the impact of two kinds of socio-technical formations on the public sphere: electronic capitalist elites based in global cities and globally networked, local social activist movements. Both have the power to transform existing political and economic systems.
In Belarus, the digital dissident generation born in 2006 came of age during the political and economic crisis of 2011, writes Iryna Vidanava. However, bridging the gap between virtual and real-life activism remains one of the most serious challenges facing Belarus' democratic movement.
We can only understand the Gezi Park resistance movement through the micropolitics of desire, argues Ali Akay. It drew not only the Turkish youth and elders but the whole world into a transversal resistance: from New York to Cologne, from Izmir to Adana and Antalya, and from Ankara to Bursa.
She was once the female icon of the Orange Revolution. Lately, the drama of repressed Ukrainian democracy has been staged upon the tortured body of the imprisoned opposition leader. But how much longer can this postmodern political spectacle go on? [German version added]
Questions of reproduction and productivity have never been so present as in the age of reproductive technologies and austerity; the pressures on family life and working life never more severe. Amidst growing complexity, Alice Béja sketches out a route to a gender-just society.
A European constitution that covers no more than a few sides of paper and clearly sets out the values that we share: concisely and for the people. This, writes "Res Publica Nowa" editor Wojciech Przybylski, is what is required if the EU's disintegration is to be averted.
"Wespennest" reads the signs and symbols of gender anew; "Transit" sees democracy becoming more of a question than an answer; "Krytyka Polityczna" notes that the EU is strongest where it's least democratic; "Res Publica Nowa" asks who owns my body?; "Blätter" suggests a way out of Fortress Europe; "Il Mulino" assesses the threat of the European North-South divide; "Akadeemia" searches for a solution to the crisis of legitimacy in higher education; "Springerin" examines the art of indebtedness; and in "Samtiden", Karl Ove Knausgård celebrates the writer's unknown partner: the editor.
Following the latest in a series of shipwrecks of vessels carrying refugees off the coast of Lampedusa, Gesa Heinbach slams the cynicism with which associated news stories and pictures are incorporated into the European migration regime and its targeted logic of deterrence.
The Literatur im Herbst festival 2013 takes place in Vienna from 15 to 17 November. Over three days, 23 authors will read from their works and talk about men and women, norms, love and power, under the title "Gender tun und lassen" ("Doing gender after Gender").
On Thursday 7 November, Albert Camus would have turned 100. The existential themes of his most famous book, "The Stranger", hide Camus' critique of French rule in Algeria. Yet Camus never entirely renounced the civilizing premise of colonialism. The reason lies in his relation to his mother, writes Michael Azar.
Until fairly recently, meat-eating wasn't an issue at all. You didn't think about meat, you just ingested it. Nowadays, writes Finnish critic Antti Nylén, it's hard to imagine a more extreme phenomenon than modern meat consumption. So how can meat-eating still be possible?
"Esprit" follows the new feminist movements; "openDemocracy" considers the role of women in journalism no trivial matter; "Vikerkaar" establishes just who's guiding guided democracy in Russia; "New Literary Observer" gets to grips with the anthropological turn; "Krytyka" imagines a Ukrainian Man Friday and his two Robinsons, Poland and Russia; "Merkur" lifts the lid on the illusion of consensus in the age of social media; "Reset" acknowledges Michael Walzer as publisher and left voice; "La Revue nouvelle" attends to a dance of death and of life; and in "Syn og Segn", Sofi Oksanen explains how literature can change the world.
For "abolitionist" feminists, pornography constitutes an attack against women's dignity. For "pro-sex" feminists, it may have an emancipatory effect regarding alternative forms of sexuality. Matthieu Lahure considers the influence of pornography on representation and behavior.
The debate in the United States over the place of women in the professional world has intensified lately, reopening the "mommy wars" of the 1980s that pitted housewives against working women. Time to question the focus on work and career, and reappraise the value of family life?
Any level of consensus among online communities may all too often prove to be fragile if not illusory. But, writes Kathrin Passig, as long as Internet users can adapt to groups over which unity concerning but a select few issues reigns, there is no need to lose faith in social media.
It is often said that every two weeks a language dies. But the statement belies a complex reality, in which languages are transformed, replaced or simply vanish along with their users. Giedrius Subacius on the fate of the Lithuanian language, among others.
Contemporary Islam in Europe, its modes of public expression and the visibility of associated religious signs and symbols are all much discussed in the European public sphere. But, writes Nilüfer Göle, religious agency itself remains a blind spot in the current debate. [English version added]
"Blätter" acquires a taste for realismo violento; "Osteuropa" gives Russian literary awards its full attention; "New Eastern Europe" wills Europe's integration with the East to succeed; "Dilema veche" follows the new social movement that has erupted around Rosia Montana; "dérive" wants the free society and the urban life NOW; "Revista Crítica" longs for the post-creative city; "Varlik" discovers a poetic politics in the spirit of Gezi; and "Host" still feels more or less at home in Brno's café culture.
As the use of the Internet in the post-Soviet space continues to evolve, Natalya Ryabinska shows how tools of control, surveillance and propaganda are more than up to the task of hindering online sources that promote democratization.
The Salon de la Revue is the leading annual event showcasing French cultural journals. On Sunday 13 October, Eurozine, in cooperation with "La Revue des Livres", will host a podium discussion on the future of the EU and the scope for radical democratic politics.
One of the most important and ominous aspects of the NSA scandal is the secretive essence of the system, writes Ilija Trojanow: transparency is clearly the biggest enemy of the alleged guardians of freedom. This much Trojanow now knows from personal experience.
Acclaimed novelist Ilija Trojanow was denied entry to the United States en route to the German Studies Association's annual conference on 30 September. Could this possibly have something to do with Trojanow's critical stance on NSA-led surveillance?
Should the printed book soon become a relic of a bygone era in publishing,uncertainty as to modes of sharing knowledge and experience will remain.Neither will we know, according to Manuel Arias Maldonado, whether tomourn the loss of the well known or of the valuable. [English version added]
In "openDemocracy", Romania's post-communist revolution begins with Rosia Montana; "Le Monde diplomatique" (Oslo) finds the dream of a two-state solution in shatters, 20 years after the Oslo Accords; "Free Speech Debate" agrees with Mark Zuckerberg: online connectivity is a basic human right; "Sens public" remains optimistic about the fate of the public sphere; in "New Humanist" incoming editor Daniel Trilling confronts Richard Dawkins; "Akadeemia" assumes that an ability to believe is inherent in the human intellect; "Letras Libres" celebrates Camus' 100th birthday; "Dialogi" invites vibrant polemics on culture, the sector of the future; and "Il Mulino" speaks to Vittorio Gregotti, one of the greatest personalities of Italian architecture.
A controversial tweet by Richard Dawkins prompts incoming "New Humanist" editor Daniel Trilling to set out some basic principles concerning the way we discuss religion. He argues that finding common ground between people of different religious beliefs and none is key to political progress.
The spectre of Islam has haunted European public debate for the last three decades. Moreover, Islam's visibility in the contemporary European public sphere raises crucial political questions that concern the very fabric of secular society, writes Nilüfer Göle.
Twenty years after Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and PLO leader Yasser Arafat shook hands over the Oslo Accords, Frida Skatvik reveals how Norway ended up a broker of peace in the Middle East and assesses the legacy of the ensuing peace process.
The prospect of Romania's parliament passing new legislation, allowing the expropriation of citizens' homes to make way for Europe's largest gold mine, has prompted some of the country's most significant protests since the fall of communism. Claudia Ciobanu reports.
Until 1991, Ukraine had largely failed to establish a narrative for itself in the world. Peter Pomerantsev shows how, thereafter, a new literature emerged that made contemporary Ukrainian writers Europe's grittier Latin Americans, mixing magical realism with domestic abuse, folklore and mafia.
From pre-war Bauhaus and its Cold War era successors to the latest media devices and corporate campuses: Christian Demand reveals how political and technological developments have kept alive the allure of sleek surfaces in architecture and industrial design.
Five political parties with five all but identical manifestos: ahead of the German election, Wolfram Weimer laments the pettiness of political culture in European social democracies. Could it be that the resulting European inferiority complex is about to take a fatal turn?
"Letras Libres" predicts the future of the book; "Arena" explains how Obama's weak political persona makes him a hawk; "Mittelweg 36" diffuses a megabyte bomb; "Lettera internazionale" wants to mobilize the people and (re-)make the world; "Esprit" asks what future for political parties?; in "Blätter", the debate between Habermas and Streeck over democracy and capitalism continues; "Schweizer Monat" calls upon European political culture to snap out of its inferiority complex; "Soundings" probes the roots of the Egyptian coup; "Varlik" soaks up the aftermath of the Gezi Park demonstrations; "Nova Istra" revisits the borderlands of Istria; "Revolver Revue" covers the remarkable reversal in the fortunes of socialist realism; and "Ny Tid" wants cultural journals' role in the public sphere to be acknowledged.
The German government's neoliberal route to a competitive Europe, togetherwith Brussels' authoritarian governance of the economy, seems to have wonacceptance: to Europe's detriment. Andreas Fisahn says it's high time torevise the Treaties of the European Union.
Widespread calls for the resignation of those responsible for the police brutality in Gezi Park prompted Erdogan to retort at the time: "Since when have the feet become the head?" Such rhetoric leaves Osman Deniztekin deeply concerned for the state of democracy in Turkey.
When people refuse to engage with the state, they present an opportunity for the state's worst autocratic tendencies to kick in, argues Paul Gerbaudo. Wherein lies the roots of the Egyptian army's removal of the country's first elected president after the massive 30 June protests.
Iceland's crowd-sourced constitution and the impact of Beppe Grillo's blog on Italian politics reveal how "Internet democracy" has opened a new phase of democratic innovation. The relationship between citizens and politicians may never be the same again.
For all the challenges facing social democracy, Christophe Sente remainsoptimistic about its survival. He outlines how decentralization, workerparticipation, euro-realism and the creation of a new progressive allianceought to see it through the current crisis.
Though homosexuality was decriminalized in Russia in 1993, an increasingly restrictive legal climate and widespread intolerance continue to hamper the lives of gay men and women. Nonetheless, LGBT networks continue to develop support systems of their own.
Media theorists have replaced theologists as the prophets of the twenty-first century. But, whereas doom-mongers once predicted that established rules and structures would dissolve with digitalization, is the promised land of the digital and creative self-organization not now near at hand?
When the achievement of a qualification is the sole aim, where students are considered as consumers, and where academics lack time to provide close supervision, it is scarcely surprising that pragmatism should prevail, writes Renaud Maes.
Doves are a symbol of peace and purity. They were once of practical use too: until science intervened, dove droppings were essential to the manufacture of fertiliser. So just how did they end up at the bottom of the urban symbolic order? [English version added]
Despite historiographical interest in modern sexual education, historians have paid less attention to the circulation and reception of emotional advice. Claire Langhamer studies relationships between agony aunts and their readers to map broader shifts in emotional authority.
Traditional libraries are increasingly putting their holdings online, if not in competition with Google Books then in partnership. Yet it isn't only the big institutional actors that are redefining the role and meaning of the library, writes Alessandro Ludovico.
Decisions on large-scale infrastructure projects and sustainable energy development must draw on dialogue-based processes. "Future councils" can provide a basis for political identity and clarify the implications that large infrastructure projects have at a local level.
If Gombrowicz would have written these notes just for himself, to refresh his memory, he would have asked his wife to destroy the manuscript. On the contrary: he always wanted her to save "Kronos" from the fire. It was meant to survive, writes Pawel Majewski.
We should not think of "Kronos" as a testimony similar to Gombrowicz's "Diary", says Jerzy Jarzebski to "Kultura Liberalna". While the "Diary" is his contribution to "European and world thought", "Kronos" is an attempt to record an objective, sometimes very candid, truth.
The recent publication of the private diary of Witold Gombrowicz provides unparalleled insight into the life of one of Poland's great twentieth-century novelists and dramatists. But this is not literature. Instead: here he is, completely naked.
Power rotation, listening to the people, tolerance of dissent, recruitment of elites and experimentation: the truth is that, in all of these respects, China is more democratic than Russia. And China's decision making is undoubtedly superior too, argues Ivan Krastev.
Comparing China and Russia in terms of their conformity to western liberal-democratic standards shows the inadequacy of such a general yardstick, writes Rein Müllerson in his response to Ivan Krastev. What really matters is rule of law and good governance.
The Beddington Zero Energy Development in London, has reduced its water requirements by 70 per cent and its energy consumption by 90 per cent. The resulting concept of "One Planet Living" has led to the creation of 100,000 OPL residences worldwide, reports Thanh Nghiem.
The thinkers of the Radical Enlightenment pursued ideas of equality and democracy to their logical conclusions, envisioning a systematic egalitarianism extending across all frontiers, class barriers and horizons. Jonathan Israel in conversation with Kenan Malik.
Leave identity-based politics behind and identity-based life aside and, instead, evolve towards pluralistic policies focused on the issues: this is the lesson that Nil Mutluer draws from an in-depth analysis of the role of laicité in Turkish society up to and around the Gezi Park protests.
In the midst of the Gezi Park protests, Ömer Faruk witnesses an unforeseen uprising without precedent under either Ottoman rule or the Turkish Republic. This, he argues, is the decentralized multitude rising up against multi-centred capital; and more comprehensive and effective revolts will likely follow.
Proponents of a post-growth society are mistaken: the planet's future does not rest on the question of if, but how the global economy will grow. Ralf Fücks on why the limits-to-growth discourse mustn't get in the way of a new, green industrial revolution founded on innovation.
A philosopher, an economist and a trader are urged to forget this world's economic woes and discuss their preferences for an ideal world. It's an enriching experience for all concerned, not least when the real world returns and repeatedly gets tangled up in the conversation.
When politics and the arts collide, "coded speech" invariably becomes the norm on stage and in books, newspapers and public discourse. Géza Kovács tries to unravel why it is that the arts in central and eastern Europe keep getting thrown into the whirlwind of historic change.
As democratic imaginaries linked to new protest movements circulate globally, Nilüfer Göle reassesses relations between the public sphere and democracy; and shows how the Gezi Park movement, among others, has used public space as a site for the rehearsal of new forms of citizenship.
The protests of a new generation in Turkey constitute a turning point in contemporary Turkish history and a great ray of hope, writes historian and journalist Dilek Zaptcioglu. At long last, a third way has opened between Islamic and Kemalist groupings, and it leads to liberal democratic values.
If the concept of global human rights is to endure, a new and morepolitical, transnational and adaptable movement must emerge, arguesStephen Hopgood. Only then might bottom-up democratic norms replacetop-down authoritative rules.
The Italian president is clearly one of the last remaining representativesof national unity in an otherwise apparently dysfunctional parliamentarysystem. But amid growing calls for constitutional reform, Enzo Cheliinsists that Italy's problems won't be solved without wider politicalreforms.
Jean Baudrillard once saw in graffiti on the streets of NewYork "the insurrection of signs". In the interim, street art arrived ingalleries, advertising agencies and universities. And yet, the strugglefor the public sphere and artistic freedom is far from over.
Exiting the EU and eurozone will not of itself solve Greece's long-term problems. For these the country's corrupt and unworthy political class is to blame, argues David Oderberg. He calls for a new Greek awakening to remove this cancer on the body politic.
The deep historical roots of European culture may not lie in the geographical and political entity of today's Europe. But it is precisely here that the feeling of belonging inspired by the best that has been thought and said (and sung and painted and danced) needs cultivating, argues Enda O'Doherty.
Fifty years after the Élysée Treaty, Germany is the focus of renewed attention in France. Wolfgang Matz is at pains to explain that, while healthy competition between the two countries is wholly unproblematic, anything more adversarial may well threaten European unity.
Jan-Werner Müller deals with critical issues raised by his proposals for a Copenhagen Commission: an independent institution specifically tasked with alerting Europe to threats to democracy, the liberal rule of law and individual rights such as those currently seen in Hungary.
Only when one considers the history of Black Codes and Jim Crow Laws, can one really honour the supreme effort of jazz musicians to maintain their propellant positivity. Howard Slater reflects on free jazz as a disalienating force that shaped a new collective culture.
The central pillars of Soviet totalitarian rule such as the secret services, the army and the judicial system, have remained largely in tact long after the USSR ceased to exist. And Putin has been alarmingly successful in using them to maintain his own authoritarian regime, writes Lev Gudkov.
The protests of a new generation in Turkey constitute a turning point in contemporary Turkish history and a great ray of hope, writes historian and journalist Dilek Zaptcioglu. At long last, a third way has opened between Islamic and Kemalist groupings, and it leads to liberal democratic values.
That Russia will never be a superpower as the USSR once was leaves it searching for a new international identity. Fyodor Lukyanov argues that Moscow's policy is a skilful imitation of striving for global status, intended to conceal the narrowing of the sphere of its immediate interests.
Having been both the subject and the object of colonization, Russia has a special relevance for postcolonial theory. Literary scholar Alexander Etkind unites two very different narratives of imperial Russia under the overarching principle of "internal colonization".
Ever since the outburst of protests around the December 2011 elections in Russia, the country has seemed to be on the verge of change. But what kind of change? Whether civic unrest brings about democratization, or induces Putin to tighten his grip on power, remains to be seen.
The "Stalinist order" continues to lurk in aesthetic forms and written documents; from an architectural perspective, it lives on as long as the buildings survive. And merges with the new order, in which the new "elite" buy up the same buildings and imitative newbuilds for artificially inflated prices.
Europe should prepare itself for long-term cooperation with the energy-rich kleptocracy on its eastern borders. Because, given that the personal enrichment of politicians is part of the very foundation of the regime, Russia's ruling political elite is not about to change any time soon.
She was once the female icon of the Orange Revolution. Lately, the drama of repressed Ukrainian democracy has been staged upon the immobilized and tortured body of the imprisoned opposition leader. But how much longer can this postmodern political spectacle go on?
Former communist countries, whether in the EU or on its threshold, should remind themselves more often of what life was like for them only twenty years ago. For Croatia, peace and security should be more important than expected economic gains from EU membership, writes Slavenka Drakulic.
"Free Speech Debate" hears the call from Istanbul loud and clear: "participatory democracy or bust!"; "Schweizer Monat" demands an end to quibbling over the future of Europe; "L'Espill" ponders the crisis of television; "Esprit" notes that Marseille Capital of Culture 2013 is struggling to shake off its shabby image; "Gegenworte" sees science get a bad press in the media's handling of prominent plagiarizers; "Glänta" celebrates twenty years of publishing, or not...; "Dilema veche" appeals for the kind of basic trust that allows society to advance; "Akadeemia" contemplates life with neither nation nor home; and "Revolver Revue" advises the Czech president to read something lighter than Karel Capek's "Apocryphal Tales".
The controversy around the statue of the Soviet soldier in Tallinn in April 2007 provided a striking demonstration that memory politics is less about the communist past than about future political and economic hegemony on the European continent. [Swedish version added]
International Art English, or IAE, is the language through which contemporary art is created, promoted, sold and understood. More than a technical vocabulary, IAE is the Esperanto of the fantastically mobile and glamorous art world. And yet, it is also in existential peril.
The disclosure that the NSA can access user data from Google, Facebook and other Internet companies shouldn't come as a surprise. In the US, privacy has been losing the battle against security for decades. In Europe, the situation is different: but for how long?
Peter Pomerantsev enters the matrix of managed democracy thatunderpins postmodern dictatorship in Russia. A society of pure spectacle,with fake parties, fake opposition, fake scandals and fake action: this isthe political technologists' project, in which (almost) everything becomesPR.
Ayse Kadioglu reads the protests in Istanbul as a sign that people demand more than representative democracy. Indeed, it is the citizens' search for participatory democracy that, for the first time in years, may mean Turkey really does become a model in its region.
Commemorative causality, the confusion between present resonance and past power, denies history its proper subject, writes Timothy Snyder. What is easiest to represent becomes what it is easiest to argue and, in lieu of serious explanations, only emotional reflexes remain.
Süreyyya Evren looks at how an understanding of form gained through the prism of "unrest" is transposed back into contemporary art and finds that one of the most quintessential features of political art is a never-ending process of searching.
"openDemocracy" focuses on the eruption of protest in Turkey; "New Humanist" slams multiculturalists for their complacency while "Soundings" sees multiculturalism flourish in Britain; "Blätter" suggests that the winners should be made to pay; "Osteuropa" discerns in Orbán and Putin the negation of 1989; "Springerin" shines a spotlight on the affinity of art and process; "Merkur" is amused by the rise and foreseeable fall of International Art English; "Dziejaslou" travels to Sweden; and "Letras Libres" talks to a fuming and culturally conservative Marc Fumaroli about money and culture.
As the Fidesz government continues to dismantle Hungary's political and constitutional system, Gábor Attila Tóth considers the influence of international institutions and the efficacy of domestic, democratic resources far from exhausted. On the contrary, the role played by both will likely be decisive.
Both the Left and the Right in Germany have so far failed to deal convincingly with the eurocrisis. But if only the rich citizens of reeling southern member states would bear their fair share of the burden, Albrecht von Lucke argues, the northern countries may well follow suit.
Kerem Oktem explains why the occupation of Gezi Park in Istanbuls Taksim Square quickly turned into an enormous eruption of protest; the key factors being an increasingly uninhibited neoliberal development process, the government's growing conservative zeal and a troubled foreign policy.
As the regional presence of international players diminishes two decades after the privatization of media markets, local business elites looking to win influence are buying into the media sector. Vaclav Stetka takes stock of the consequences for free and independent journalism.
The emergence of a culturally diverse citizenry, a vision for the nation or an ideology: multiculturalism may mean any of these and more. That it has received anything but a good press of late prompts Varun Uberoi and Tariq Modood to clarify why multiculturalism is in fact flourishing in Britain.
Eurozine partner "Osteuropa" is spearheading an appeal for solidarity with the Moscow-based Levada Centre, led by Lev Gudkov. Russian authorities accuse the independent research agency of being a "foreign agent". This is a blatant attack on academic freedom in Russia.
George Blecher pinpoints exactly what it is that confuses Americans about the actions of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who, prior to the bombing of the Boston Marathon, may not have been far off from becoming an ideal American. But then becoming completely American always was a fiction.
The ideological wars of the last century were all about the future of the state. But that's past. Can the state survive without an animating mission? On 10 June in Vienna, Timothy Snyder and Ivan Krastev discuss on the basis of Snyder's and Tony Judt's book "Thinking the twentieth century".
Professor of peace studies Paul Rogers insists that there is a connection between the shocking murder of a young soldier on a London street and "remote-control" attacks by western states. It's crucial to recognize this if we are to avoid such extreme violence in the future.
What if the attempt earlier this year on the life of a Danish Islam critic proves to be yet another instance of a concentrated assault on free expression by fundamentalist believers? Frederik Stjernfelt slams the critics of Enlightenment values for their complacency.
The destination of intellectual journeys, remarks John Gray, is unknown at any one time. Utopianism, on the other hand, usually ends in disaster. Thus the radical anti-communist of the 1970s finds Marx's analysis of capitalism prescient today and rates Keynes above Hayek.
"Wespennest" winces at a Europe poised between paralysis and renewal; "Mittelweg 36" applies the lessons of economic history; "Schweizer Monat" raises an eyebrow as John Gray ranks Keynes above Hayek; "Vikerkaar" homes in on the contribution of cultural journals to the European public sphere; "Akadeemia" scrutinizes the nature of (Kierkegaard's) writing and the writing of nature; "Lettera internazionale" mediates between history and memory; "Esprit" lists the perfect ingredients for an authoritarian drive á la Orbán; "Spilne" reveals the real reasons for the shortage of wives in the West; "Krytyka" brands Ukranian political science a pseudo-science; and "New Literary Observer" is bemused by Russian proposals to prohibit cats trampling.
"Vikerkaar" editor Märt Väljataga braves the cross currents that accompany ideas and their communication in transnational contexts, with a view to assessing the contribution of cultural journals to the public sphere. He discovers an ongoing process in which persistence pays off.
"Esprit" editor Marc-Olivier Padis outlines why a strong platform for European debate has yet to emerge and the role that cultural journals can play in establishing one. Among the most urgent issues for discussion: liquid modernity, cultural decentralization and the dilemmas of an open society.
Pier Virgilio Dastoli advocates a federal future for the European Union if the current imbalance of power is to be redressed. A federal approach will also help seal success in the areas of energy, criminal law, industry, social questions, international security and economic governance.
The recent proliferation of new taboos in Russia seems to know no limit, according to philosopher Oxana Timofeeva. She shows how proposals for new legislation to curb noise pollution may reveal more about the animal inside us all than the authorities could dream.
The presidents and prime ministers of Balkan countries have convinced Europe that they represent the only guarantee that the Balkans will not descend back into war. It is through this kind of counterfeit politics that Croatia has arrived at the threshold of the European Union.
Who will outsmart who, who will be kicked out first? This is the job market, and probably society at large, reduced to the level of reality TV, writes Bauman. However, though the spirit of solidarity is in exile, it would be premature to give up on the prospect of its return just yet.
Doves are a symbol of peace, purity and fertility. They were once of practical use too: until science intervened, dove droppings were essential to the manufacture of fertiliser. So just how did they end up at the bottom of the urban symbolic order? Fahim Amir investigates.
"Arena" and "Fronesis" show class is back with a vengeance; "New Eastern Europe" fleshes out a definition of solidarity; "Dublin Review of Books" discovers that the German language is not so bad after all; "dérive" writes of rats with wings and other urban species; "Index on Censorship" watches free speech take a beating as economic crisis kicks in; "Il Mulino" berates Italy's hybrid and infertile brand of capitalism; "Revolver Revue" is concerned at the post-communist order of things; "Host" announces the arrival of David Foster Wallace in the Czech Republic; and "Magyar Lettre" warns against using the Velvet Divorce as a model for dismantling Europe.
Reforms implemented without logic or consistency have cost Italy the economic dynamism it achieved in the 1980s. A hybrid and infertile capitalism is the outcome, writes Marco Simoni, leaving Italy with the highest number of young people in Europe who are neither studying nor employed.
He pointed a way for American fiction out of the doldrums of postmodernism, writes George Blecher. For a culture troubled by the corrosive commercial media and closed-end systems underpinned by modern technology, David Foster Wallace's influence remains a force to be reckoned with.
With German-bashing now firmly established as a European "Volkssport", "Dublin Review of Books" editor Enda O'Doherty turns to the semi-barbarous German language; and finds that in the right hands, or expressed through the right vocal cords, German is indeed a very beautiful language.
Brussels is not empowered to be a policeman for liberal democracy in Europe. Not yet. But should it be? Following recent developments in Hungary and Romania, Jan-Werner Müller argues that it is legitimate for Brussels to interfere in individual member states as a democracy watchdog.
Jasbir K. Puar reflects on the politics of posthumanism, especially as they relate to questions of health and disability in an age of neoliberalism. She argues for integrating intersectional analysis of race, gender, sexuality, nation and disability with assemblage theory.
As part of a special issue of "Springerin" on anti-humanism, Tim Druckery reflects on the role of apparatus in a system that incorporates and monetizes virtually every form of transaction via omnivorous detection algorithms that mine personal data.
Did Bob Dylan really do for popular music what Einstein did for physics? Should Dylan win the Nobel Prize for Literature? And what of his place in literary scholarship? The Einstein Forum reflects on five decades of Dylan's song writing and performing.
The suggestion that the division of the social product is as urgent a problem as its overall growth has led to political economy returning to both history and current politics, argues Charles S. Maier. High time, then, to analyse deprivation, wealth and inequality on a world scale.
Historian Patrick Iber argues that, while the age of liberalimperialism seems on the wane, a liberal order remains, as do the lessons of the last two centuries: exchange and contract between free nations works best when power between them is close to equal.
The trauma of Chernobyl is being transformed into a commodity, or even a brand, writes Stas Menzelevskyi. This follows the release of films such as "Chernobyl Diaries" and "Nuclear Waste", and, to a certain extent, the instrumentalization of the day of remembrance on 26 April.
As part of a special issue of "Host" on attitudes to murder in real-life and literary contexts, the American writer David Nemec reveals a sub-plot to a notorious unsolved murder case in which real life remains stubbornly resistant to fiction.
As French residents realize their aspirations to own a detached house, thanks in part to the tendency of successive governments to favour this form of social ascendancy, it is not only the landscape that is changing but political preferences too. Michel Lussault investigates.
"Prostory", the Ukrainian magazine for cultue and social critique, has joined the Eurozine network. Its young editors are dedicated to "rethinking the Ukranian public sphere" by connecting local analysis of current social issues with the cultural translation of foreign narratives.
Sociologist of religion David Martin calls proponents of an aggressive "new atheism" to task for collapsing arguments over the relation between religion and violence into ahistorical conjecture. This he considers a threat to both scholarly standards and public debate in general.
Class has not disappeared. Instead, a more fragmented global class structure has emerged alongside a more flexible open labour market. This prompts Guy Standing to forge a new vocabulary capable of describing class relations in the global market system of the twenty-first century.
Etgar Keret compares his role as an author of short stories and essays to that of a "court jester in the land of the convinced": a standpoint that opens up new and surprising angles on reality and, above all, generates great stories -- as this interview conducted in Riga, Latvia, proves.
John Lanchester, author of the 2012 London novel "Capital", describes how the whole of London has become a department store in which the streets are shelves and the houses goods for sale. It is here that his characters' lives play out, between the poles of homeliness and displacement.
Nicholas Bradbury made his literary debut this year with the novel "Market Farm", a reworking of George Orwell's "Animal Farm" for the free market era. He talks here about influences for his satirical take on the current financial crisis and potential grounds for hope for the future.
Social movements give validity to the rearguard, to the intellectual construction of a model that resists both attacks and criminalization, writes Juan Luis Sánchez. And as hundreds of people continue to be made homeless every day in Spain, the demonstrations can be expected to continue.
After Amazon coming under fire for the treatment of its pickers and packers in Germany, "Blätter" editor Daniel Leisegang finds that competitors are also suffering at the hands of the world's largest online retailer, whose aggressive high-growth strategy he compares to a fatal embrace.
Today, the same arguments once used against Jews, and then against South Asian and Caribbean immigrants, are now raised against Muslims and east Europeans. However, Kenan Malik finds some comfort in reviewing the facts of the matter. He then tackles the illusions.
Fouskas and Dimoulas look at the bigger picture surrounding the Greek Cypriot crisis, as economic contraction reaches levels not seen since the Turkish invasion. Meanwhile, external economic and geopolitical interests leave little prospect of European politics furthering the cause of integration.
The first printed newspaper appeared around 150 years after Gutenburg, as the postal service replaced the messenger in Germany and news began to spread faster. Yet the newspaper format developed slowly, as Müller shows in a history of print media that concludes with the internet age.
Osman Deniztekin introduces a survey of Turkish journals that "Varlik" conducted in autumn 2012. Like their European counterparts, Turkish journals need public support. However, they are far more wary of risking their independence by receiving government funding.
Amid international concern over government reforms that endanger democracy in Hungary, Hodonyi and Trüpel discover a political renaissance in Hungarian civil society. Ahead of elections in Spring 2014, this may well be an antidote to the EU's "political half-heartedness" on the matter.
As the Bulgarian post-communist transition faces its moment of crisis and the government resigns, the political class and the economic model it oversaw are the subject of deep dissatisfaction. Dimitar Bechev outlines what went wrong, and what can be expected of Bulgaria's spring of anger.
The first week of 2013 saw a standoff between editors of the Chinese newspaper "Southern Weekly" and state propaganda authorities over a drastically rewritten new year's editorial. Timothy Garton Ash introduces English translations of the original and published versions.
In this article based on Sassen's speech at the Eurozine conference in 2012, the sociologist explains why and how it is that, far more than in the past, urban space today registers the profitability of non-urban economies. The key is to be found in the rise of intermediate services for firms.
Manuel Assner conducted a tour of the Port of Hamburg at the Eurozine conference in 2012, providing a history of migration in the multi-ethnic harbour and surrounding districts. In this article based on the tour, he shows how colonial roots remain intertwined with colonial routes.
Dispatching with prejudices about the Mezzogiorno, Paolo Macry re-examines the history of the North-South divide, revealing the importance of the South for the country's political stability. However, settling the accounts between the regions will likely remain a distant prospect.
Gender divisions, deeply rooted in myth and in society, have spelled more violence and suffering for the Balkans than any concrete benefit. This is a state of affairs about which Capriqi is unequivocal. Whether it can be changed remains an open question.
Nancy Bauer talks about what attracted her to the field of philosophy and what made her remain there. Sjöstedt and Bauer also discuss Simone de Beauvoir, the role of scepticism in modern feminism and the thin line between world-changing philosophy and dogmatism.
William E Scheuerman explains why Obama's mediocre humanitarian record in the "war on terror" deserves our critical scrutiny. And how US presidential government's latent monarchist attributes have generated far-reaching policy and legal continuities between Bush and Obama.
There is much to celebrate in the history of Cold War dissidence, writes Helmut König. Which is why it is crucial to recall just how the Peaceful Revolution delivered its heritage of freedom, from the thinkers and the underground printing presses to the impromptu protests.
Although media activism has opened up new spaces of expression, it has not been able to prevent the dominant media to invade this freedom, writes Franco Berardi. Activists should therefore "reinvest the aesthetic dimension"; first as art, then as therapy.
Harold James advocates scaling up small country democracy, if the members of the European Union are ever to succeed in settling upon a working model of democracy. He explains why the Swiss model of "Konkordanzdemokratie" has much to offer.
"Lettera internazionale" visits Europe outside Europe; "New Eastern Europe" asks if Russia can really change; "Osteuropa" reassesses 1812; "Krytyka" says the coloured revolutions of the future will be different; "Schweizer Monat" proposes Switzerland as a model for the EU; "Dialogi" claims the people did not benefit from Slovenian independence; "Akadeemia" celebrates 95 years of Estonia; and "Multitudes" warns of the dangers of semiocapitalism.
The recent boom in Belarus-China relations is surprising; it's sudden, far reaching and, at first glance, inexplicable. But what are the true reasons and possible prospects for this cooperation? Independent television journalist Katerina Barushka explores.
In trying to escape the banality of everyday life, utopian projects are bound to fail in politics, writes Stefan Auer. As such, the Great Gatsby of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel and the EU have much in common: they always want more, despite being insanely rich; and still cannot pay their bills.
It is time for social science and political actors to acknowledge a paradigm shift from international to transnational relations, writes Claus Leggewie. Which is also to recognize that a new form of world politics is emerging: citizenship (and governance) beyond the nation-state.
As protests continue in Slovenia, Robert Titan Felix sees the need for a programme to protect the welfare state and citizens themselves from the greed of capital, which pushes the less successful to the margins of existence.
Citizens will risk entering into legally precarious situations if there is no change in the law on marriage and adoptions, writes Padis. But whatever the legal consequences of reconfiguring the family, they must not lead to the weakening of individual ties through normative tinkering.
Aryeh Neier has headed up Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union and George Soros' Open Society Foundations. While in Riga for the twentieth anniversary of Soros Foundation Latvia, he was interviewed by "Rigas Laiks" editor Ieva Lesinska.
Once walking was surpassed as the primary form of mobility, concepts of time, distance and urban development changed fast. Schopf and Emberger argue they need reevaluating once more, if urban mobility is to offer anything other than more highways and parking spaces.
Not all was lost during Bulgaria's postwar "epoch of total frustration", as Dmitri Dimov's "Tabak" and Dimitar Talev's novels show. Frahm finds in Vladimir Zarev an inspiring contemporary novelist and draws attention to emerging talents Kristin Dimitrova and Kalin Terziyski.
At some point, there is a tilt; there always is. Then we shall settle down into our new historical system. Wallerstein foresees one of two possibilities: more hierarchy, exploitation and polarization; or a system that has never yet existed, based on relative democracy and relative equality.
Claus Offe opts for democracy over "TINA" logic ("there is no alternative"), which leads to a politics that fails to provide the electorate with choices. And therein lies the trap. Only more solidarity and more democracy, he argues, can rescue the eurozone. [English version added]
Time to Talk, a network of European Houses of Debate dedicated to promoting in-depth discussion of issues of European relevance, has partnered up with Eurozine to launch a new online platform. Watch video highlights from all TTT events, anytime, anywhere.
Disillusionment with democracy founded on mistrust of business and political elites has prompted a popular obsession with transparency. But the management of mistrust cannot remedy voters' loss of power and may spell the end for democratic reform.
Dominique Mongin argues that security threats originating in cyberspace should now be treated with the same level of concern as those emanating from the nuclear arms race post-WWII. This means nothing less than the complete redefinition of defence strategies.
Alina Polyakova questions the assumption that the rise of the radical right in Central and Eastern Europe is rooted in economic conditions. Looking instead at the consequences of post-socialist civil society for liberal democracy is likely to render a more realistic picture, she writes.
Curator Mark Allen Svede finds that Henrihs Vorkals' recurring fascination with Andy Warhol is manifested not least in his violation of the aesthetics of a Warhol original. The layering of imagery and multiplicity of iconographic registers that ensues is at once enchanting and troubling.
Not only does Henrihs Vorkals play with your consciousness and sense of perception, writes art historian Laine Kristberga. He also makes you think about the formal values of art and the illusory nature of a painting.
As state sovereignty unravels, citizens lose trust in political institutions and the insidious hollowing out of democracy ensues, Rainer Hank rails against the "repressive power that the pressure of solidarity exercises on the parliaments of donor states".
In cooperation with "Studija", the Eurozine Gallery presents Latvian artist Henrihs Vorkals. Critic Laine Kristberga describes Vorkals as "a conceptually thinking perfectionist", who has always had a contemporary view on art, even during the Soviet era.
Lloyd Newson tackles issues of free speech, Islam and multiculturalism in his recent verbatim theatre production, which combines text drawn from interviews with movement. This is the point of departure for an interview with Maryam Omidi.
Of the 200,000 Hungarian refugees who fled Hungary following the Soviet invasion in 1956, close to 20,000 were "unaccompanied minors". Shortly after the fifty-sixth anniversary of the Hungarian Revolution, historian and former dissident Béla Nóvé traces their life stories.
Lutz Raphael shows how imperial violence and national mobilization shaped the interwar era. The result: "The polarization of competing models of order that made Europe a sphere of experimentation with alternative models of society and social engineering."
"Blätter" foresees the avoidable yet certain end to the crises; "Il Mulino" can't see the nation state making an exit any time soon; "Index on Censorship" surveys the world's digital frontiers; "Dialogi" comes face to face with direct democracy; "New Humanist" takes on the miracle mongers; "Gegenworte" pleads for a universal science; "Mittelweg 36" revisits the interwar period; "Lettera internazionale" dwells upon the threshold between nature and culture; "Revolver Revue" realizes that fame might be more easily won at home than abroad; and "Studija" visits the ruins of postwar avant-garde art.
Claus Offe opts for democracy over "TINA" logic ("there is no alternative") -- for it is precisely this logic that leads to the failure of politics in providing the electorate with choices. And therein lies the trap. So for all the flaws of the monetary union, only more solidarity and more democracy can rescue the Eurozone from the brink of collapse.
"It's hardly worth having a word to describe not believing in God. I don't believe in witches, but I don't call myself an ahexist". At a Rationalist Association event in London, Laurie Taylor gets up close and personal with Britain's leading public intellectual.
Underlying the debate on intellectual property is an ideological faultline between capitalist models and alternatives, writes Sabine Nuss. Although a property approach to intellectual goods has major disadvantages it remains the lesser of many evils. [English version added]
Protests at the end of 2012 in Slovenia caught the attention of international newspapers. Boris Vezjak asks what the goal of this "uprising" - suddenly a universally popular concept - is, and whether it might represent more than merely an isolated incident.
"Spilne", the Ukrainian journal for social critique, has joined the Eurozine network. The editors don't claim to report from a "neutral" position on social reality in Ukraine and the rest of the world but stress that "society needs not only to be studied, but also changed".
Intellectuals have been accused of failing to restore a European confidence undermined by crisis. Yet calls for legitimating European narratives reflect the logic of nineteenth-century nation building, argues intellectual historian Jan-Werner Müller. [Greek version added]
"Varlik" surveys the Turkish journals landscape; "Arena" prepares for the worst; "Glänta" revisits the ethnographic museum; "Polar" explores revolutions before and after; "Esprit" calls for a renaissance of the humanities; "openDemocracy" reacts to the Leveson Report; "La Revue Nouvelle" faults republican feminism; "Host" talks to Karol Sidon, playwright and Rabbi; and "Sodobonost" celebrates political cartoonist Hinko Smrekar.
Diedrich Diederichsen analyses how the imperative of authenticity has impacted on social life from the 1950s, critiquing the command that pop music possesses over the archdemocratic virtue of realizing and reinventing opportunities in life.
The troubled relationship between modernity and its colonial past haunts the ethnographic museum. But do new museums of world culture provide a plausible alternative? Or do they achieve little more than securing their own survival?
The threat that the EU faces today is as deadly as the one that confronted the Habsburg Monarchy a hundred years ago, writes British diplomat Robert Cooper, one of the intellectual architects of EU foreign policy. But getting it right does not need a miracle.
"Soundings" says liberal feminism isn't up to the job; "Merkur" publishes an all-women issue without women's issues; "Blätter" surveys the intellectual property battlefield; "L'Espill" does the sums for Spain and Catalonia; "Letras Libres" sees no more "independentistas" than before; "Dialogi" reads purloined letters and leaked emails; "Kulturos barai" asks what is to be done on a full planet; "La Revue Nouvelle" finds Flemish separatism at the centre of Belgian politics; Vikerkaar considers Latvian integration policy academic; "dérive" claims the right to the city; and "Le Monde diplomatique" (Oslo) can't believe that the EU will get the Nobel Peace Prize.
The renewed debate over the rural roots of most Poles -- or their denial thereof -- fascinates ethnologist Stefanie Peter. A new study of "the cultural history of Polish ambition" confirms her impression of Polish scepticism towards their idealized self-image as a nation of nobles.
Underlying the debate on intellectual property is an ideological faultline between capitalist models and their alternative, writes Sabine Nuss. Although a property approach to intellectual goods has major disadvantages it remains the lesser of many evils.
Opening the 24th European Meeting of Cultural Journals in Hamburg in September, Jan Philipp Reemtsma recited a text by Arno Schmidt recalling "Europe's first great collaborative intellectual achievement": the observation of the transit of Venus in 1769.
"Arche" magazine faces closure by the Belarusian authorities as editor Valery Bulhakau faces charges of extremism and illegal business activities that could land him a prison sentence of up to 7 years, following an innocuous book signing in September.
Leaked communications are revealing how power works like never before; revelations of political deal-making beyond the public view make assumptions about democratization look like wishful thinking, writes Ciril Oberstar.
Given the relation between economic production and ecological degradation, Joshua Farley is convinced that economic growth must stop. It is just a question of when. And whether cooperation will displace competition as the dominant concept in the economic paradigm.
We express our understanding in concepts, but each of our concepts is an extreme simplification consisting of unrelated entities. The fact that we include them in one concept does not clarify our view of the world, but rather obscures it. This also applies to the concept of "art".
Moral progress depends upon hearing voices that say things never heard before, including claims about injustices that may not be perceived as such. Christopher Voparil explains the reasons for Richard Rorty's definition of the novel as "characteristic genre of democracy".
"Kritika & Kontext" asks why we bother with art; "Sodobnost" names the deadly sins of Slovene politics; "Blätter" finds democracy in bad shape everywhere; "Il Mulino" sides with Draghi; "Schweizer Monat" gets tax advice from Peter Sloterdijk; "Dilema veche" finds Mircea Cartarescu in a good mood; "Res Publica Nowa" says urban politics must step up to the next level; "Ord&Bild" experiments with animals and humans; and "Dziejaslou" remembers the many names of Minsk's Savieckaia.
Structural problems in conventional democracies are alienating citizens worldwide, writes Stephen Holmes. Electoral marketing, cross-party compromise and elite withdrawal threaten to rob democracy of its original role as instrument of justice.
Intellectuals have been accused of failing to restore a European confidence undermined by crisis. Yet calls for legitimating European narratives reflect the logic of nineteenth-century nation building, argues intellectual historian Jan-Werner Müller. [Slovenian version added]
For the fourth year, Eurozine partners up with the Central European Forum, an international conference open to the public that will take place in Bratislava from 15 to 18 November. Participants include Zygmunt Bauman, Oksana Zabuzhko, Leonidas Donskis, György Konrád, Ilija Trojanow, Adam Michnik and Robert Menasse.
In conversation with sociologist Gilles Lipovetsky, novelist and Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa discusses the relative merits of "high" and "mass" culture in the contemporary world and defends the ideas explored in his recent book "La civilización del espectáculo".
Roma activist Valeriu Nicolae departs for Euro-Narnia, a parallel world ruled over by the mighty Baroslan whose inhabitants discuss in strange and wonderful terms remedies for the Roma problem. But what is the role of the Queen in all of this?
A more exacting and cosmopolitan public debate has emerged in Norway since the terror attacks of 2011, writes the cultural editor of "Aftenposten". Yet, despite assurances, the renaissance of critical journalism not translated into greater political transparency.
On 9 November 1918, the first German Republic was declared; exactly four years later, Hitler staged a putsch. The Reichskristallnacht on 9 November 1938 was linked to both; on 9 November 1989 the division of Germany came to an end. How should Germany commemorate this ambiguous day?
"Wespennest" fathoms Europe's Mare nostrum; "New Humanist" takes the bigger picture on blasphemy; "Kulturos barai" talks to Norman Lillegard about the vices of others; "Merkur" can't see Germany in the role of European hegemon; "Mittelweg 36" reads Monopoly as cultural script; "La Revue Nouvelle" says no thanks to think-tanks; "New Literary Observer" charts gender politics in twentieth-century Russia; "NZ" asks what happened to Russia's liberalization; and "Esprit" takes a recce of urban public space.
The Occupy movement resembles nineteenth-century American populism in its anger at the avarice of bankers and financiers and notions of majoritarian democracy. Where it differs from the old Populists of is in its attitude to the state, writes Charles Postel.
In a wide-ranging discussion, Almantas Samalavicius and the philsopher Norman Lillegard consider the dangers of relativism, the crisis of education, pleonexia and the economic crisis, and whether literature should provide moral instruction.
Controversy around the film "Innocence of Muslims" has prompted a return to a hard line from the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation on the question of blasphemy legislation. Paul Sims reviews the debate in Britain, arguing for criticism of the motives of offenders and avoidance of the trap of censorship.
The mythical Mediterranean of the tourist imagination masks a reality of debt, stagnation and social decline. Yet the region colludes in its own downfall, writes Jurica Pavicic, trading in former glories while acquiescing to political and economic exploitation.
Europe's view of the revolutions in the Arab world is bedevilled by archaic, post-colonial attitudes. If we cannot shed these, argues Franco Rizzi, we shall remain on the sidelines and watch the Arab awakening turn into a twilight of renewed discontent. [German version added]
"il Mulino", the Italian bi-monthly review for culture and politics, has joined the Eurozine network. Founded in 1951 in Bologna it is one of Italy's most renowned journals and has been the starting point for numerous other initiatives, including the publishing house Il Mulino.
In post-Soviet societies, narratives of suffering have overtaken heroic triumphalism. Tatiana Zhurzhenko examines reasons for this shift, asking whether new victim narratives reconcile former enemies or provide additional opportunities to articulate hostilities.
What constitutes economic expertise? Looking at how European politics has answered this question over the last four centuries, Werner Plumpe argues that, at any particular time, economic expertise is judged according to its coincidence with the conjuncture.
Europe's view of the revolutions in the Arab world is bedevilled by archaic, post-colonial attitudes. If we cannot shed these and continue to think only of material gain, argues Franco Rizzi, we shall remain on the sidelines and watch the Arab awakening turn into a twilight of renewed discontent.
Tea Party activism combines participatory engagement and political experience with severe misinformation and intolerance of opponents. How can well-educated and intelligent grassroots activists have developed such wildly inaccurate visions of American public policy?
As voters go to the polls in Ukraine, Tatiana Zhurzhenko considers the future prospects of a weak and embattled leadership. Do parliamentary elections still matter? Can the cultural and political divide between western and eastern regions of the country ever be overcome?
"Osteuropa" positions Russia bewteen upheaval and regression; "Blätter" takes the threat of a Greek Weimar seriously; "Revolver Revue" gives the word to two rebels of Czech letters; "Nova Istra" slams political escapism in Croatia; "Fronesisv revisits Marx and the coloniality of labour; "Studija" gets nostalgic about Lithuanian flower power; and "Vikerkaar" reads Russian-Baltic writing from nowhere.
Are we seeing a repeat of Weimar Republic-type politics in Greece? Given the rise of politically motivated attacks on immigrants, Antonis Samaras' recent warning isn't to be dismissed, argues Michael Oswald.
The interaction between the legal-rational and neo-patrimonial state provides the key to interpreting developments in post-communist Russia. This precludes assigning Russia to the camp of authoritarian states, but it also means that Russia's democracy is flawed.
Too big to fail? Too crisis-hardened to go under? The collapse of the Soviet Union has something to teach Europe's politicians if another leap from the unthinkable to the inevitable is to be avoided in the case of the EU, argues Ivan Krastev. [Estonian version added]
From Ottoman rule through the colonial period, Algiers' function as military and economic power has been interwoven with processes of migration. Saïb Musette surveys this "histoire croisée" and asks where Algeria's international metropolis is heading in the future.
From economic powerhouse to cultural destination: like harbour cites throughout the north, Bremerhaven's former docks have been reinvented as a centre for scientific research and a symbolic universe dedicated to the local maritime tradition, writes Helmuth Berking.
From the 18th century until the 1960s, Gothenburg served as an industrial centre for the region and point of arrival and departure for migrants of all nationalities. This social-economic history is all but absent in the "harbour identity" promoted today, writes Britta Söderqvist.
Ulrich Beck explains why Germany's new leading role in Europe is a mixed blessing not only for Europe but for for Germany too, and makes the case for a grassroots, cosmopolitan European Union based not on national identity but a new sense of civil participation.
Higher education cuts in the UK are hijacking the pursuit of knowledge. The perception has become entrenched that the role of academics is to serve business and do whatever the government decides is necessary for the economy, writes Thomas Docherty.
"Dialogi" faces an uncertain future in the Cultural Capital of Maribor; "Index on Censorship" awaits Lord Leveson's verdict; "Ord&Bild" checks the facts behind shock doctrine theory; "Schweizer Monat" clashes with Ulrich Beck over Europe; Kulturos barai endorses good-old fashioned bookkeeping; "Esprit" proposes ways out of the new poverty; "Magyar Lettre Internationale" reviews two books on the Armenian cult of the dead; "Dilema veche" attacks Romania's "socialist" attitude to the EU; "Host" reminds Czech readers that Slovak literature exists.
The global debt crisis is encouraging economists and others to explore alternative ways of measuring national wealth. In conversation with Almantas Samalavicius, Mark Anielski discusses the possibility of an economic system based on wellbeing rather than unlimited growth.
As authoritarianism casts its shadow over modern liberal democracies, Rastko Mocnik identifies two forms of neo-fascism in Slovenia: one cultural, the other technocratic. Why have these emerged? What kind of social dynamic underpins them?
Geopolitics is not quite as simple as it is often made to appear. Karl Palmås and Jonas Lindberg explore the concealed relationships between global capital and bio-engineering, the ambiguous dependencies of rich and poor nations, and the nature of society itself in the modern world.
As the new Polish middle class seeks to establish its own identity, it may find a model for integration with the broader international community through the experience of merchants once based in the Polish sector of the Russian empire.
Critics love to rage at architectural "abominations". But on what criteria is their damnation based? The case of Paul Schultze-Naumburg, architect, art-theorist and Nazi, cautions against claims to represent the "collective taste".
Harbour cities as places of movement, immigration and emigration, of inclusion and exclusion: this was the starting point for three days of debate at this year's Eurozine conference, co-organized and hosted by the journal "Mittelweg 36" and the Hamburg Institute for Social Research.
Choreography replaces vision in a leaden US election campaign, writes George Blecher. No amount of media hype can disguise voters' sense that neither Obama nor Romney is offering a significant variation on the status quo.
Like other types of cultural organization reliant on public funds, cultural journals throughout Europe have felt the impact of recession. Yet, in addition to funding cuts, journals are also having to negotiate the upheavals taking place in the print sector. As a network of European cultural journals, Eurozine must collectively take stock of the situation it finds itself in and to communicate its experiences both internally and to others who hold a stake in European cultural policy today.
The globalization of the harbour workforce challenges the democratic political culture typical of traditional port cities. As prime examples of the convergence of economics and multi-culture, European harbour cities can lead the way in revitalizing forms of urban citizenship.
Is it chance or social class that determines where one gets on and off the bus? "Right to the City" activist Nicole Vrenegor takes the number 3 from Hamburg's outskirts to the new HafenCity development, stopping along the way to talk to people who oppose the sell out of the city.
Thousands of Europeans die annually waiting for a new kidney, heart or liver. At the same time, the black-market trade in organs is thriving. So should organ trading be legalized? Slavenka Drakulic, herself a two-time kidney transplant patient, argues the pros and cons.
Though it had the potential to turn violent, Iran's Green Movement was determined to seek dialogue with the state. In doing so, it put back in the bottle the genie of violence released by the Khomeini revolution thirty years earlier, writes Ramin Jahanbegloo.
The global expansion of higher education allows work traditionally reserved for the West to be done more cheaply and just as well in emerging nations. The result is that the wages and working conditions of western employees no longer set the benchmark.
The controversy around the German circumcision ruling exemplifies conflicting perceptions of the position of religion in secular society. Toby Lichtig asks whether male circumcision is a harmless ethnic signifier or the infliction of genuine harm.
Understanding the need to combine economics and ethics amounts to a "Copernican revolution", says the co-founder of the New Economics Foundation. The survival of our species depends on our making the money system work in ways that will "enable and conserve".
The presidential referendum controversy represents an all-time low for post-communist Romanian politics, writes Valeriu Nicolae. Corruption isn't likely to disappear any time soon, since an honest political elite working to reform society would lead to a collapse of the entire system.
Intellectual currents in post-war West Germany can be divided along generation lines between hermeneutics and ideology-critique. Helmut König illustrates these strands through two almost forgotten scholars, illuminating the broader intellectual public sphere and the role of university politics.
The revival of neo-Kantian theories of universal peace has led to intellectual justification of foreign "interventions" whose results have nothing to do with democracy. Evidence suggests that democracy does not precede peace but vice versa, writes Rein Müllerson.
Memory laws are the wrong way for Europeans to remember and debate their difficultpasts, argues Claus Leggewie and Horst Meier. Europe needs a pluralism of memorypolicies. That is why 23 August is a good candidate for a truly pan-European day ofremembrance.
Cultural globalization is not the transplantation of western ideas and technologies across the planet, but the adaptation of these according to local requirements, writes Ales Debeljak. Hybridity, the product of a longue durée, is at the heart of the western paradigm. [Albanian version added]
Marina Akhmedova spent four days in the company of drug users in Yekaterinburg, central Russia, and was met with a picture of desperation, punctured by love, humanity and misplaced hope. Shortly after it was published, this harrowing piece of reportage journalism was banned in Russia.
The "new mobility" implies new freedoms as well as new privations. The biographies of Bulgarian migrants reveal how the horizon of departure has become a basic dimension of the world. Mobility, writes Ivaylo Ditchev, will need to be taken more seriously in the anthropology of citizenship. [Albanian version added]
"The difference between the success of Islam and the failure of Marxism is that [...] Islam never claimed that work is sacred." Ernest Gellner, speaking in 1995, draws surprising comparisons between Marxism and Islam. [Albanian version added]
"Schweizer Monat", the Swiss monthly for politics, economics and culture, has joined the Eurozine network. Founded in 1921, the journal draws on a long history as a liberal voice, in its current form acting as an independent contributor to the Swiss and European public debate.
"Letras Libres" talks to Mario Vargas Llosa about cultural decline; "Rigas Laiks" talks to Michael Ignatieff about Isaiah Berlin; "Kulturos barai" talks to John Cobb about homo economicus; "Gegenworte" talks to Abbas Khider about borders; "Blätter" wants Utopia and it wants it now; "Syn og Segn" isn't happy about the Lex Breivik; "Dilema veche" rallies against a political attack on culture; and "Revolver Revue" unleashes a righteous philatelic fury.
Writing in a foreign language allows Abbas Khider to communicate free from "concealed prohibitions" and describe conditions in his home country without "suffering linguistically". An interview on cultural, geographical and linguistic frontiers.
"It's not justice, it's not equality, it's not a warm bath." In Riga to deliver the annual Isaiah Berlin lecture, Michael Ignatieff talks to Ieva Lesinska, editor of Rigas Laiks, about Berlin's definition of freedom, politics and the freedom not to be political.
John B. Cobb, Methodist theologian and longstanding critic of the of the political-economic establishment, talks about his communitarian and ecology-based critique of neoliberalism and the potential for world religions to inform an alternative.
Historian Marcus Rediker describes the deep-sea sailing ship as linchpin of the transatlantic economic order and place of terror for its human cargo, going on to discuss European harbour cities' role in the slave trade and their continuing responsibilities in reckoning with its moral legacy.
The container is the universal unit of the global commodity society, facilitating the swift exchange of all kinds of product. Precarity, likewise, connotes a basic form of labour that submissively and flexibly adjusts to any form of employment and system of production.
Ports as points of juncture in the globalized transport network, operating mechanisms of access and arrest; the oceans remapped by containerization, cargo-shipping setting the pace of world commerce; harbours as decontextualized zones, nautical memories recycled for heritage.
Too big to fail? Too crisis-hardened to go under? The collapse of the Soviet Union has something to teach Europe's politicians if another leap from the unthinkable to the inevitable is to be avoided in the case of the EU, argues Ivan Krastev.
Its identity located somewhere between nostalgia and commerce, the dilapidated and the gentrified, the Central European city mixes languages, words and signs to form a style best described as radical eclecticism, writes Levente Polyák. [German version added]
The impact of open access publishing models on the developing world is uncertain, writes Jorge L. Contreras. Until "information philanthropy" is supplanted by self-sufficient, south-focused open-access journals, the potential of developing world scientists will not be fully realised.
"Sarajevo Notebook" remembers the siege obliquely; "Merkur" plumbs the depths of tedium; "Dublin Review of Books" re-assesses the right to know; "Free Speech Debate" defends the losers of Olympic IP law; "Roots" returns to a perennial question; "Polar" syllogizes cities; "Osteuropa" asks what Russkiy Mir is up to; "Blätter" rises to the global-social challenge; "Krytyka Polityczna" talks to artists with some crazy ideas that might just work.
Legislation allowing the Olympic organizers to control the "association" of the games with approved products above all disadvantages the small and local businesses who are among its social stakeholders, argues Teresa Scassa.
German politics is defined by a very specific -- and specifically conservative -- tedium in which all influential actors strive to maintain consensus between the economy and politics. Angela Merkel is the apotheosis of this political culture, explains Thomas E. Schmidt.
At the moment of the Macedonian nation's greatest victory -- independence, which it achieved non-violently -- "the name issue became the new symbol of our defeat", writes Denko Maleski. Predictably enough, the ones in Macedonia to benefit were the nationalist Right, thus confirming Greek fears.
Why should private sorrow seem paradoxical, even improper, amidst greater, public suffering? Framing an account of personal tragedy within recollections of the siege of Sarajevo, Alma Lazarevska implicitly critiques the siege's politicization.
Cities are defined not by numbers of inhabitants, square footage or population density, but by tensions, possibilities and controversies. Ludger Schwarte on the massive influence exerted by city architecture on how politics is played out.
The re-launch of an 18th-century merchant ship was supposed to promote Sweden's image as reliable trading partner. But the failure to acknowledge the colonial involvements of the ship's former owner tells a less complimentary story, writes Mikela Lundahl.
Gothenburg's Franska tomten neighbourhood takes its name from a French warehouse established in the eighteenth-century through an exchange of colonial favours between the French and Swedish crowns. Today, the name's origins are largely forgotten, writes Klas Rönnbäck
Recent historiography emphasizing the egalitarian-democratic character of eighteenth-century piracy undermines Carl Schmitt's quasi-legal distinction between partisan and pirate and reinstates the pirate as political actor within the emergent maritime state order, argues Dominique Weber.
Walter Benjamin's description of Naples as a "porous city" absorbent of heterogeneity applies equally to other harbour cities, write Jude Bloomfield and Franco Bianchini. On cultural hybridity, economies of informality and strategies of creativity in four European ports.
The Leveson Enquiry into the UK hacking scandal is drawing to a close, yet the future of a new press regulatory body remains controversial. Enda O'Doherty asks what the enquiry's findings mean for a definition of journalistic standards and the proper relation between politics and media.
Nowhere is the politics of history more vexed than in the conflict over the name "Macedonia". Valentina Mironska-Hristovska presents the Macedonian position, arguing that the Greek claim to the historical-cultural legacy of Macedonia is, at heart, paradoxical.
Is FEMEN the precursor of a bold new protest pattern, or has it been reduced to an organization of exhibitionists? As long as gender injustices multiply in Ukraine, the strength of FEMEN's message remains undiminished, argues Marian Rubchak.
When Roosevelt insisted that photographers and writers document the Great Depression, they produced iconic work that allowed America to doubt its myths but also to get back on track. So where are today's Dorothea Langes and John Steinbecks? [English version added]
Sports journalist and historian Mihir Bose contrasts the lip service paid to civil rights by sport officials over the last 150 years to actions taken. Of all sporting associations, it is the rhetoric of the IOC that bears least relation to reality, he writes.
Margaret Thatcher's creation of her own "spectacle of perfection" has not gone unchallenged in biographies. Anneke Ribberink looks at the varying degrees of sympathy with which historians and journalists have portrayed aspects of Thatcher's persona.
Because Evangelicals still treat Mormons with deep suspicion, Mitt Romney has been deploying the language of "common ground", writes Abby Ohlheiser. Alongside opposition to same-sex marriage, common ground includes a sense of religious persecution.
"Krytyka" tracks the rise and rise of FEMEN; "Index on Censorship" puts sport on trial; "L'Homme" gazes at spectacular women; "New Humanist" asks whether Mormonism will matter in November; "Mehr Licht" burlesques meditations on Albanian national identity; "L'Espill" pays tribute to Joan Fuster, the critical Catalanist; "Dilema veche" detects waning Francophone influence; and "Dialogi" jogs folk memories of Maribor's ancient heritage.
Paralysed by predictable stand-offs between developing nations and the West, the Rio+20 summit failed to produce anything but vague commitments. Instead, governments and coporations opted for a go-it-alone approach. Reporting from Rio, Claudia Ciobanu nevertheless discerns opportunities.
Polish journal "Krytyka Polityczna" has joined the Eurozine network. First published in 2002, the journal has become a major voice on the Polish Left, also running a publishing house, political think-tank and network of clubs throughout Poland.
In order to obtain public funding, cultural organizations in the UK must comply with indicators such as impact, effectiveness and financial viability. The publisher of "Mute" magazine, whose grant ran out this year, discusses the implications of this purely instrumental view of culture in policy making.
The revolt against austerity has begun, writes Michael Krätke. To explain the global financial crisis as a "crisis of national debt" is to confuse cause and effect: by now even IMF economists make fun of this quirk of the German mainstream, he writes.
"Not only simplistic, but also extremely dangerous." Rein Müllerson critiques the progressivist faith of both classical Marxism and free-market capitalism, at the same time asking how far universal claims for social justice are reconcilable with the multipolar global system.
Acting upon Roosevelt's insistance that they "give suffering a face", photographers and writers produced iconic images of the Great Depression that allowed America to doubt its myths, writes Alice Béja. But where are the Dorothea Langes and John Steinbecks of today?
The revival of the parliamentary Left in France, Italy and Greece brings hope for an egalitarian turn in European crisis management. Yet many citizens also fear that the zig zag course will nullify their previous sacrifices in the name of austerity, warns Roland Benedikter.
The Greek media "failed completely" to predict the consequences of debt-fuelled reality loss, says journalist Stelios Kouloglou in interview. The very sector whose job it was to burst the bubble played a major role in creating and preserving it, he argues.
From Scandinavian democracy to target of British anti-terror laws: the whole world knows about the Icelandic crash, but how did the country get itself into such a mess? Andri Snær Magnason tells a saga of privatizations, overreaching and astronomical pay checks.
"Magyar Lettre" says the moral of the Icelandic economic saga is...; "Free Speech Debate" thinks less data protection is good for privacy; "Res Publica Nowa" calls football culture a symptom of festive post-tribalism; "Ny Tid" wants Finland to talk about its concentration camps; "Merkur" warns against physiognomic literalism; "Sodobnost" speculates on art's role beyond Hegelian finality; "Multitudes" conceptualizes the transmigrant; "Arena" sticks up for relativism; "Dziejaslou" has no time for conceptual art and all that nonsense; "La Revue Nouvelle" finds the seeds of change in the regions.
Even Ukrainian cultural journals have become the target of "raiders" -- shady groups working on behalf of powerful interests who use bogus property claims to close down businesses. The biggest raider of all is the Yanukovych government itself, says Mykola Riabchuk.
The recession has returned a generation of Spaniards to a cruel reality: that they may have to live with less than their parents did. Whether they alter their expectations or try to stop the clock will be decisive, writes "Letras Libres" editor Ramón González Férriz.
Earlier this year, Eurozine partner "Dilema Veche" was almost dragged down with the rest of a failing Romanian press. But thanks to original journalism, inventive strategy and an independent attitude, the magazine looks like pulling through all the stronger, says its editor.
Feuds, schisms and excommunications have littered Situationism's journey from its Parisian origins into Anglo-Saxon culture. Stewart Home recalls the history and politics of Situationism and its British pendant, psychogeography.
Why does Europe find it so difficult to remember the facts of migration, both voluntary and forced? Reluctance to address the more noxious aspects of collective European identity impedes an engagement with migration history, argues Claus Leggewie.
A newly-erected memorial to Germany's dead soldiers prompts Thomas Hettche to ask why society today knows no appropriate way to deal with war and violence. The answer requires a return to Carl Schmitt's theory of enmity and Ernst Jünger's WW1 memoire "In Stahlgewittern".
Literary and cultural magazines carry far fewer essays by women than by men. This has to do with the essay form itself as well as engrained male dominance in editorial processes, argues Lena Brandauer. Quotas for women in literary and cultural publishing are a feasible solution.
Thrift represented an underlying drive shaping cultural priorities in Britain from 1600 onwards, writes Beverly Lemire. In the nineteenth century, profound economic changes gave rise to institutional innovations that intersected with long established strategies of housewifery.
Differences between the Czech and Slovak national cultures begin with language and range from newspaper circulation to attitudes to corruption. Yet they don't justify seeing the Czecho-Slovak split as blueprint for dismantling the EU, writes Martin Simecka.
A new EU data regulation directive fails to relax unduly tight restrictions on collecting and distributing data, writes David Erdos. Despite exemptions for use of private data in journalistic, artistic and research contexts, freedom of expression is still downgraded in European legislation.
Surveying the cyclical relationship between crisis and innovation, sociologist Benoît Lévesque says the current situation is unique in precluding a return to old ways. Transformation must instead come through local, community based experiments and devolution of economic activity.
Since when has individual achievement been considered a social virtue? Nina Verheyen sees its roots in the rejection of the traditional social code at the end of the nineteenth century and disagrees that achievement is a genuinely "bourgeois" virtue.
Researching Yugoslav Roma music, Philip Knox and Nat Morris tour the Balkans in search of the real thing. They find it in Skopje, in the person of Esma Redzepova -- the self-styled Queen of Gypsy music, who claims never to have produced "anything but Roma music of the utmost purity".
Jean Améry, writing in 1965, famously called torture "the essence of the Third Reich". Why did Améry, the Holocaust survivor, emphasize torture over the annihilation of the Jews? His choice can be understood in the context of debate on the Algerian war, argues Dan Diner.
In May, Zagreb will become a centre of critical thought as the Subversive Forum brings together leading political thinkers including Slavoj Zizek, Samir Amin, Stéphane Hessel, David Van Reybrouck and Saskia Sassen. Eurozine is a partner of the conference.
Although migration has a long and varied history in Europe, it tends to be treated solely as a present-day issue. Why the reluctance to historicize the subject? Particularly since migration history offers a way to replace narrow, national narratives with one that is properly European.
Free speech advocates opposed to the prohibition of hate speech tend to underrate the harm hate speech causes, argues Jeremy Waldron. Where it exists, such legislation upholds a public good by protecting the basic dignitary order of society.
To argue for hate speech legislation on the basis that it protects the dignity of individuals is to confuse an interest with a fundamental right, argues Ivan Hare. Not only is legislation ineffective, it helps disseminate the very thing it intends to suppress.
Free Speech Debate is a multilingual and participatory website for the discussion of freedom of expression. Its aim, writes director Timothy Garton-Ash, is to discover free speech norms that, in an increasingly post-western world, are genuinely universal.
Denunciation of Günter Grass' poem "What must be said" typifies a fundamentalist understanding of antisemitism operates outside the realm of fact and even jeopardises democratic norms, argues Antony Lerman.
Serbia's neo-fascist political establishment is the target of Svetislav Basara's satirical novel "Mein Kampf", from which not even the country's modernizing figures emerge unscathed. Not surprisingly, the reaction has been one of irritation, writes Ivan Telebar.
"Soundings" is disenchanted by the London Olympics; "Ny Tid" seeks its way out of the European labyrinth; "Blätter" says Europe is democratic, just that no one knows it; "GAM" predicts that the urban future will be dense; "Multitudes" explores political counter-fictions; "Cogito" explains why queer friendship upsets the state; "Critique & Humanism" gets sentimental about politics; "Revista Crítica" joins up social vulnerability and natural risk; and "Host" pays its respects to Josef Skvorecky.
The monumental apartment buildings of nineteenth century residential districts are today considered worthy of emulation. Ida Pirstinger explores a model of "vertical densification" that preserves their courtyard spaces while retaining the uniform facades of the founders' designs.
The opening ceremony of the London Olympics, themed "The Isle of Wonders", will offer a pastiche of national identity in which the darker sides of the British psyche are lost in a multiculturalist high-kitsch spectacular, anticipates Phil Cohen.
Far from being an inherent fault in its constitional definition, Europe's democratic deficit results from the chasm that has opened up between national politics and a de-nationalized economic system administered by a technocratic elite.
The suicide of a pensioner outside the Greek parliament, an act as desperate as it was insane, sums up the mood of a population confronted with the steady erosion of its rights. Victor Tsilonis wonders whether tomorrow will be just another day in Greece's "predestined" future.
Lack of political decision-making and the demise of philosophical objectivism have landed Europe in the situation it is in today, argues Marcin Król. A lesson could be learned from Poland, where a tradition of economic liberalism and rural mentality has enabled the country to weather the crisis.
Intellectuals have been accused of failing to restore a European confidence undermined by crisis. Yet calls for legitimating European narratives reflect the logic of nineteenth-century nation building, argues Jan-Werner Müller. What, then, should Europe's intellectuals be doing?
Poised on the verge of Union membership, Croatia has replaced the historical revisionism of the 1990s by a memory politics avowedly based on "European standards". Yet is the Europeanization of memory synonymous with a critical approach to the national past?
Flemming Rose, cultural editor of "Jyllands-Posten", argues that the erroneous presumption that anti-Semitic propaganda was directly responsible for the Holocaust resulted in a post-war consensus on banning hate speech that ended up its own worst enemy.
"Index" looks back on forty years of free-speech campaigning; "Esprit" asks "Où en sont les philosophes?"; "Visegrad Insight" unites central Europe's disparate parts; "Kulturos barai" talks to Gerard Delanty about citizenship and heritage; "Samtiden" attempts to shake Norwegians out of euro-complacancy; "Lettera internazionale" pinpoints the new in the new protest wave; "Syn og Segn" shifts the focus from climate back to the environment; and "Merkur" historicizes the concept of real-time.
Company mergers often fail for reasons comparable to the problems currently facing Europe, writes lawyer Benno Heussen. Cautiously optimistic about unionization, he argues that Europe's success will depend on the establishment of "flexible interfaces".
Sociologist Gerard Delanty revisits his 1995 book "Inventing Europe", talking about the possibilities of post-national citizenship, Europe's complex Christian identity, and why accounts of Europe today must include the heritage of the peripheries.
French philosophy is in danger of splitting apart along the lines of its three main areas of practice: university research, school teaching and public debate. While the differentiation of these areas is as fundamental as the Socratic dialogue, compartmentalization is "leading to disconnection and confusion".
To celebrate its fortieth anniversary, Index on Censorship has made all of its back issues freely available online. "A literary treasure trove and also an historic document of the extremes of human behaviour -- from man at his most inhumane to man at his corageous."
Central European responses to the euro crisis have been marked by a total absence of regional solidarity, writes Jacques Rupnik. Differing national situations explain varying perceptions of the crisis' risks and remedies and can be seen in terms of political lessons learned.
Blatantly rigged elections are the easiest way for the Putin regime to mimic the authoritarian power it does not possess. December's protests destroyed Putin's reputation of being in control; even genuinely competitive elections would be unable to restore his legitimacy. [Estonian version added]
Ever since Tom Wolfe in a 1970 essay coined the term "radical chic", upper-class flirtation with radical causes has been ridiculed. But by separating aesthetics from politics Wolfe was actually more reactionary than the people he criticized, writes Johan Frederik Hartle.
"openDemocracy" says "big lunch" won't stop white flight; the "Dublin Review of Books" brings good tidings from recent atrocitology; "Glänta" rehabilitates radical chic; "A Prior" accompanies Picasso to Palestine; "Krytyka" finds Ukrainian intellectuals fighting a losing battle on two fronts; "Multitudes" observes NGOs cosying up to power; "l'Espill" calls the captains to account as Valencia sinks into recession; and "RozRazil" relishes the rain.
Conventional wisdom has it that violence is as prevalent today as it has ever been. Yet a vast body of evidence about the past shows that the chances of an inhabitant of this planet dying violently have never been lower, writes Dan O'Brien, reviewing two new books on the history of violence.
The British Conservative Party's alternative to "state-sponsored multiculturalism" encourages community activities promoting "mainstream British values". Ali Rattansi see the initiative as the latest in a series of ill-founded attempts accross Europe to blame multiculturalist policies for social fracture.
Venice versus Lampedusa: travelling around Italy, Slavenka Drakulic observes one kind of Europe being replaced by another. Instead of attempting to conserve the cultural past, we should accept that migration will adapt much of what we consider "European" to its own image.
Kleist's play "Die Herrmannsschlacht" has generally been read as a national call to arms against the Napoleonic forces. Jan Süselbeck looks instead at the role of women in this "Germanic Jihad", re-reading Kleist's drama in the light of analyses of the "asymmetric wars" of recent decades.
Europe's leaders need to take a hard look across the Atlantic before they start dismantling the Union, writes George Blecher. Emulating the US would risk forfeiting all the things that make Europe the best of all worlds.
Unless countries reduce income disparities the next financial collapse is inevitable, argues economist Michael Kumhof. Perhaps a surprising conclusion from a senior researcher at the IMF. In interview he argues that equality is the best recipe against crisis.
"Osteuropa" asks Alexy Navalny how he intends to restore Russia's greatness; "Blätter" warns that Fukushima has only just begun; "Mute" lends protest political articulacy; "Dilema veche" welcomes Romanian dissent, as far as it goes; "Dziejaslou" publishes Uladzimier Niaklajeu's prison poetry; "La Revue nouvelle" untangles Belgium's university reforms; "Vikerkaar" reads Agamben on friendship; and "Merkur" says there's no alternative to filtering.
Pastel-shaded hillside villas alongside Socialist prefab buildings, the busts of Soviet poets and women clad in black... Exploring Tblisi, Stephan Wakcwitz is reminded of the Italy of Berlinguer, Fellini and cheap holidays.
With demands over the wage and welfare in austerity Greece deemed illegitimate because unaffordable, what shape can struggle take? The all-out attack on living standards produces a de facto opposition that can't be cohered by ideologies of class.
Criticized from the Right for his "politics of kitsch" and from the Left for his closeness to the US, Vaclav Havel was a figure that divided opinion. Nevertheless, right up to his death, Havel continued to pursue a consistent ideal, writes Stefan Auer.
Angelina Jolie's new film about a love affair between a Serb and Muslim, set during the Bosnian war, taps into a familiar dramatic trope but fails to explore the subversive potential contained in the victim-perpetrator relationship, argues Srecko Horvat.
Political repression of pro-democratic journalists throughout the Middle East; serial murder of reporters caught up in Latin America's drug wars; constitutional attacks on the media in Europe: free speech faces adversaries worldwide, warns the director of the International Press Institute. [Greek version added]
Gleb Pavlovsky, erstwhile political advisor to Vladimir Putin, whose election campaigns he masterminded in 2000 and 2004, talks to "Transit" about the workings of power in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet Russia. [German version added]
What are the factors that could end Russia's democratic inertia? While pressure from below is likely to provoke consolidation of the elites, writes Samuel A. Greene, long-term economic decline might encourage greater European integration and reform of the country's institutions. [German version added]
Social segregation, cultural appropriation: the six-hundred-year history of the European Roma, as recorded in literature and art, represents the underside of the European subject's self-invention as agent of civilizing progress in the world, writes Klaus-Michael Bogdal.
Plans to modernize Russia's economy are resisted by bureaucracies benefiting from the country's role as natural resource appendage of the developed world. That dependency on energy exports hinders political and economic progress is certain: but is high-tech the solution?
Profound lack of political accountability towards Roma constituencies plays into the hands of populist Roma politicians. Real inclusion will happen only when majorities stop expecting Roma leaders to solve what is a majority problem: European anti-Gypsyism.
The existential themes of "The Stranger" hide Camus' critique of French rule in Algeria. Yet Camus never entirely renounced the civilizing premise of colonialism. The reason lies in his relation to his mother, writes Michael Azar on the fiftieth anniversary of Camus' death. [French version added]
"Intellectum" seeks culprits for the Greek disaster; "Transit", "Esprit" and "Ny Tid" follow presidential campaign trails in Russia, France and Finland; "New Humanist" says culture, not genes, is what got humans by; "Kulturos barai" raises the tone of the Lithuanian-Jewish debate; "Mittelweg 36" reads Kleist as prototypical propagandist of asymmetric war; and "Ord&Bild" portrays the artist as researcher.
The narrowly national agendas of the French presidential candidates, combined with a fixation on individuals over issues, damages the democratic process and weakens French interests internationally, argues Daniel Cohn-Bendit.
The fact that cultural allegiance is most vividly expressed not in ethical behaviour but aggressive parochialism suggests it has been instrumental in protecting human beings throughout their evolution, argues Mark Pagel.
Plans to modernize Russia's economy are resisted by bureaucracies benefiting from the country's status as natural resource appendage of the developed world. That dependency on energy exports hinders political and economic progress is certain: but is high-tech the solution?
The Czech magazine "RozRazil" has joined the Eurozine network. Its roots closely connected with the theatre "Husa na provázku" in Brno, each issue is dedicated to a single theme approached through literary, artistic, professional and scholarly angles.
Blatantly rigged elections are the easiest way for the Putin regime to mimic the authoritarian power it does not possess. December's protests destroyed Putin's reputation of being in control; even genuinely competitive elections would be unable to restore his legitimacy.
With her finely tuned stories of romantic searching and social anomie, Maja Hrgovic offers a female perspective on the otherwise male literary terrains of wartime trauma, transition and urban bohemianism, writes Leda Sutlovic.
New Eurozine associate Booksa.hr creates a public space for the discussion on literature, criticism and politics. This week, Booksa organizes a "Criticize this!" event in Zagreb, questioning the use of art and literature to promote stereotyped identities.
The objectively perceived mass with its collective "face", formless and thus formable? Or the mass as a subjective entity, endowed with a perceptual apparatus of its own? The drama of the Weimar Republic unfolded between these two poles, writes Stefan Jonsson.
In a "New Year's appeal", thirteen intellectuals and public figures who opposed Hungary's communist regime in the 1970s outline their concerns about Hungary's new constitution and call on Europe to help halt a slide towards a new dictatorship.
Abortion is still illegal in a number of EU countries and LGBT people are publicly harassed. The conservatives of Europe favour policies that limit sexual and reproductive freedom. What are progressives doing about this? asks Anna Hellgren.
Ireland, like other small EU member-states, must be especially smart in responding to the euro crisis, since it does not command the resources that better enable larger states to protect their interests. How coherent has the Irish approach been so far and are the alternatives more convincing?
Salman Rushdie had to back out of attending the 2012 Jaipur Literature Festival because of an assassination threat against him. The lack of support for Rushdie shows that the defence of free speech is no longer seen as an irrevocable duty, writes Kenan Malik.
Democracy, humanism and diversity have little to do with a "European inheritance". Yet EU cultural policy instrumentalizes cultural heritage to promote common identity. This narrative bias needs to be challenged, says Erik Hammar.
"Osteuropa" analyses Hungarian politics in upheaval; the "Dublin Review of Books" says together, small EU-states are strong; "Reset" asks Napolitano what Einaudi would have done; "Le Monde diplomatique" (Oslo) goes deep into debt; "dérive" inspects the foundations of Red Vienna; "Esprit" says home-owning is not the solution to the French housing crisis; and "Studija" urges western art critics to get past Cold War clichés.
Hungary's new constitution contradicts European standards on numerous counts: it sets in stone government policy; it is biased towards "ethnic" Hungarians; and it undermines the independence of regulatory institutions including the constitutional court and media.
Franz Josef Strauss and other once controversial political figures of the old Federal Republic of Germany no longer arouse much emotion in erstwhile colleagues and observers. But Helmut Kohl is a very different story, writes Berthold Franke.
The current financial crisis is not confined to economies, writes former Romanian finance minister Daniel Daianu. The erosion of the middle class, the spread of extremism and the threat to democracy are some of the more obvious social effects demanding attention. [Danish version added]
The dark warnings of the Polish finance minister about the prospect of war in Europe if the crisis deepens were met with scepticism. But there is no call for complacency about where current, nationalist tendencies might lead, writes the editor of "Adevarul Europa". [Danish version added]
There urgently needs to be an increase on the 0.05 per cent available in the current EU budget for funding cultural experimentation around common European concerns. The "We are more!" campaign wants to see this deficit corrected in the next EU budget from 2014 to 2020.
Is the return of Serbian nationalism to be dismissed as domestic political point-scoring in an election year, or does it pose a deeper threat to the region? And will Russia step in as the rift with the EU over Kosovo deepens? Slavenka Drakulic considers the possibilities.
A new type of political ecology may lend the Left a broad political platform. But we must first acknowledge wills that are not human. Jonathan Metzger explains why "more-than-humanism" calls for a complete rethink in policy, planning and the law.
If the democratic revolutions are to succeed in the Maghreb and Middle East, these nations must find a way of copying East Asia's economic success. The central element is access to the economic fundamentals that will allow citizens to become true democrats.
"Ny Tid" says that only diplomacy can defuse the Iranian bomb; "NAQD" warns that the Arab revolutions are not as feminist as the West thinks; "Blätter" wants an enquiry into institutional racism in Germany; "Letras Libres" pays its respects to a rare revolutionary; "Arena" asks the bane of the Norwegian far-Right to explain Breivik; "Res Publica Nowa" struggles for objectivity amidst the tyranny of opinion; "Merkur" is still angry with Kohl; Springerin observes how artists lead the market when it comes to precarity; "L'Homme" finds that international development begins in the home; and "Vikerkaar" reads 150 years of Estonian thanatography.
In the twenty years since the fall of communism, literature has been lifting the fog that had settled over the expanses of eastern central Europe. A survey of the post-'89 wave of eastern European literature by Suhrkamp editor Katharina Raabe. [Norwegian version added]
Irland og Polen, motstandskamp og psykiatri. I den nye utgåva er det temasider om Polen, samtale med psykolog Arnhild Lauveng, tekstar om motstandskamp og fuglesperm, kyrkjekunst og kollektivt minne. Og noko til.
Fra redaktøren: Det er ingen grunn til at helsejournalistikk skal være mindre kritisk enn annen journalistikk. Les om kirurgi ved pylorusstenose hos spedbarn, aurikkellukking ved atrieflimmer og at hepatitt C kan utryddes.
Intervju med Tony Kushner, forfatter av Angels in America. Intervju med Romeo Castellucci om hans iscenesettelse Democracy in America, basert på Alexis de Tocqueville. Essay om Gertrude Steins Four Sanits in Three Acts, NY 1936.Krystian Lupas iscenesettelse av Kafkas Prosessen. Warszawa.
I mars kom NNM 1-18 ut, som alltid med stor bredde i innholdet. Lesereisa går fra Pyramiden på Svalbard, via skulpturkunst i Porsanger, sagnet om Raftsundet, etnisk identitet, utgravinga av Lovund-båten, sommerens fugler i fjæra på Senja, og til de gamle statuene av nordnorske folk i Nordmandsdalen i Helsingør i Danmark.
Tema: Skole. Hva slags skole er nødvendig for at elevene skal få utvikle sitt fulle potensial? Dette er et viktig spørsmål, ikke minst fordi det henger sammen med et enda større spørsmål. Hva slags samfunn er nødvendig for at alle mennesker skal få utvikle sitt fulle potensial – og hvordan kommer vi dit?