Latest Articles


29.10.2014
Rosa Liksom

Finland, Lapland, Russia and me

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. [ more ]

29.10.2014
Eurozine Review

A centre receding

29.10.2014
Svenja Ahlhaus

Animals in parliament?

29.10.2014
Hugues Lagrange

Mediterranean youth uprisings

29.10.2014
Ulrich Brand

Degrowth: Birth of a movement?

New Issues


28.10.2014

A2 | 20 (2014)

Soumrak literární kritiky [Twiligth of literary criticism]
24.10.2014

Wespennest | 167 (2014)

Norden
23.10.2014

Glänta | 2/2014

Migration #2
23.10.2014

Mittelweg 36 | 5/2014

Politische Tiere [Political animals]

Eurozine Review


29.10.2014
Eurozine Review

A centre receding

"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.

15.10.2014
Eurozine Review

This revolutionary moment

17.09.2014
Eurozine Review

Independence in an age of interdependence

03.09.2014
Eurozine Review

Was Crimea a preliminary exercise?

06.08.2014
Eurozine Review

What are you doing here?



http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2011-05-02-newsitem-en.html
http://mitpress.mit.edu/0262025248
http://www.eurozine.com/about/who-we-are/contact.html
http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2009-12-02-newsitem-en.html

My Eurozine


If you want to be kept up to date, you can subscribe to Eurozine's rss-newsfeed or our Newsletter.

Articles
Share |

The election campaign that wasn't

Blätter despairs of an election campaign devoid of content; Varlik hears opinions on the AKP's "Kurdish move"; Arena warns Sweden against the Danish trap of xenophobia; Osteuropa draws lessons from the Czech EU debacle; Critique & Humanism revisits the Batak controversy; Passage reads Derrida after Derrida; Akadeemia argues medical ethics is not just about morals; and Mittelweg 36 says heroes are not as selfless as we like to think.

Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 9/2009

In Blätter, Albrecht von Lucke calls the run-up to this month's federal elections in Germany (27 September) the "election campaign that wasn't". "Whether the Christian Democrats and the Liberals are indeed able to form a coalition, or whether (in the absence of other workable constellations) it ends up in a repeat of the grand coalition, it's hardly likely there will be any real surprises. What's already certain is that fundamental and necessary changes in social and economic policy won't take place."

Has the economic crisis prompted a rethink of the free-market policies of the past decade? Not in the least, writes von Lucke: camouflaged behind the surface of "politainment", the CDU and liberal FDP are promising the same neoliberal tax cuts that were among the causes of the financial crisis in the first place. Tax cuts will require VAT increases, but the last time the CDU announced burdens in an election manifesto (2005) it cost them votes. This time around – in the spirit of Adenauer's successful election campaign slogan of 1957 "no experiments" – they are avoiding any mention of concrete policy.

"And for good reasons", says von Lucke. "If it became known what effects the tax policy of the CDU and FDP will have, they would probably lose the elections again. Because what would the consequences be for the mass public and in particular for the unemployed and socially vulnerable, whose number will increase next year as a result of the crisis? Radical cuts in tax rates lead to lower tax revenues and thus to a state that is even more indebted and hand-tied. This is something only the wealthy can afford, those able to do without social benefits entirely."

Democratic deficit: Jens G. Reich, co-founder of the Neues Forum, the grass roots movement that emerged as the voice of the 1989 revolution in the GDR, regrets the failure after reunification to take advantage of the constitutionally guaranteed right to direct democracy: "We grumble but don't do anything about the fact that democracy has become a party-political democracy, that parties are able to gain far greater power than is required to carry out their constitutional mandate: the representation of political will."

The full table of contents of Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 9/2009


Varlik 9/2009

Following the launch of Turkey's first state-run Kurdish language TV station at the beginning of the year, Turkey's TV watchdog paved the way in September for private broadcasting of Kurdish television programmes. This comes amidst the AKP government's much-debated "Kurdish move", involving meetings with NGOs on both sides of the political divide in an attempt to reach a solution to the Kurdish conflict. The Republican CHP approves the move as long as it does not threaten the unitary structure of Turkey, while the Nationalist MHP is refusing to take part, calling it a separatist project.

Things are no different among the public at large: there are some who support the administration in the belief that the issue will be resolved quickly, and others who argue that the move is nothing short of treason. In its current issue, Varlik asks: "Is the Kurdish move necessary, or will it divide the country?"

"We must make sure that we are attempting to reach a resolution through our own initiative", says Inci Aral cautiously. "Terrorism has been receiving outside support until very recently, and we don't know why there is an attempt to resolve it hastily without building a sound structure first." Ahmet Telli doubts the efficacy of the move as it stands: "There is one piece of international law that is hardly being mentioned, and that is the right of nations to determine their own fate. If this principle is overlooked, the move will remain on paper."

Süreyyya Evren calls into doubt the dominant perception: "While the 'Kurdish move' may look like a resolution adopted by the state, in reality it is the result of the Kurds obtaining the right to represent themselves." Sükrü Erbas, on the other hand, argues that, "regardless of the overt and covert intentions, it is extremely important that the state has decided to tackle this issue. The resolution of the issue on a universally common platform will be an historical move that will relieve not only the Kurds, but the Turks and all other peoples that live in this country."

Also: Süha Oguzertem on Turkish literature from a "comparative" perspective; Hilal Kaya on postmodernism in Oguz Atay's Tehlikeli Oyunlar and Samuel Beckett's Trilogy; and Hülya Bulut on themes of "road" and "journey" in Thomas Mann and Nedim Gürsel.

The full table of contents of Varlik 9/2009


Arena 4/2009

In recent decades, Sweden has been spared an explicitly xenophobic political party of any significance. Until now. In the European elections in June, the Sweden Democrats (SD) achieved their best result ever. With 3.2 per cent of the vote, the SD failed to get into the European parliament; nevertheless there are indications that they will exceed the 4 per cent hurdle in next year's national elections and thus be represented in the Swedish parliament.

In Arena, editor-in-chief Devrim Mavi criticizes the established parties, especially those on the left, for not responding adequately to this development.

"For strategic reasons, the Left has chosen to keep quiet. At most they mumble something about the importance of sticking to a generous asylum policy and diversity. [...] Now things have to be made concrete; what's needed are politicians and pundits that dare to have visions."

Mavi gets support from the other side of the political divide. Bengt Westerberg, deputy prime minister in the centre-right government from 1991 to 1994, notes that "at core, the political programme of the Sweden Democrats defends 'Swedishness' and blames everything that is not working well in society on immigrants". In order to avoid the trap that several Danish parties have fallen into – adapting to or even taking over the xenophobic party's politics – established parties have to show that multiculturalism is "no threat to democracy and the right to self-determination".

Eco-politics: The EU is making life too easy for itself when it decides to opt for environmental measures in the South rather than tending its own garden, writes Fredrik Lundberg. "Cost efficiency is important", he says, "but must be subordinated to the aim of reducing emissions where this can be done as surely and quickly as possible. And that is here, in the rich countries."

Also: In a themed section on radicalism, Olav Fumarola Unsgaard discusses radicalism as a political position; Daniel Strand looks at the Facebook radicals and how they present leftist politics as lifestyle; and Karolina Ramqvist criticizes radical feminism's obsession with the body.

The full table of contents of Arena 4/2009


Osteuropa 9/2009

Even before the Czech Republic took over the presidency of the EU at the beginning of 2009, its government was being written off as too insignificant, too eurosceptic and too unstable for the job, writes Reinhold Vetter in Osteuropa. Those fears were borne out when, halfway into the presidential term, the Czech parliament returned a vote of no confidence to the governing coalition around Mirek Topolanek's liberal conservative ODS. From that moment on, the Czech presidency was a lame duck.

The liberal economic policy of the ODS, with its slogan a "Europe without barriers" – meaning the free exchange of goods, services, capital and labour – appeared out of tune as the financial crisis deepened, observes Vetter. Topolanek's campaign for moderate state interference in markets failed to persuade other nations from running up massive public debt to revive their economies. Only the Czech prime minister's sharp criticism of state protectionism seemed, except among the French, to find an echo.

Yet despite all this, the Czech presidency had some positive effects, says Vetter. In politics, there has been a shift to the left of centre and Czech politicians have learned how to represent their country's interests "beyond the national four walls". There is also evidence of a "Europeanization" among the Czech public: 64 per cent of Czechs think EU membership has brought benefits. Compare that to the figures for Germans, French and Italians – 56, 54 and 43 per cent respectively – and the stereotype of the eurosceptic Czech no longer corresponds to the facts.

Lastly, writes Vetter, the debacle serves as a warning for future EU presidencies, like Poland (2011): "It showed that being well prepared is only half as important as having a more or less durable domestic consensus. [...] Those responsible in Warsaw must make sure that the next parliamentary elections do not, as planned, fall during the Polish EU presidency."

Crime and punishment: Klaus Bachmann writes that in Poland, support for draconian law and order has increased since the 1960s, and many Poles would today like to see the re-introduction of the death penalty. Contrary to assumptions, this repressive tendency is unrelated to actual crime rates, but a symptom of deeper uncertainties.

The full table of contents of Osteuropa 9/2009


Critique & Humanism 29 (2009)

When the Bulgarian village of Batak rebelled against Ottoman rule in 1876, troops massacred thousands of its inhabitants. Nevertheless, the April Uprising of which the rebellion was part ultimately led to liberation from the "Ottoman yoke" after the Russo-Turkish War of 1877-78. When, in 2007, a German-Bulgarian exhibition attempted to explore the role of the Batak massacre in the creation of the Bulgarian national myth, its curators were accused of denying the "Bulgarian Holocaust". Despite explaining that they were not denying that the massacre took place, but exploring how romanticized painterly representations of it came to replace facts, the curators were forced to abandon the project. The nationalists won out: one of the leaders of the campaign against the exhibition, the historian Bozhidar Dimitrov, is now a cabinet minister in the new Bulgarian government – despite revelations that he worked for the communist secret police.

Writing in Critique & Humanism, Petya Kabakchieva argues that the 2007 controversy was a symptom of crises in three fields: the Bulgarian nation state, the media and the social sciences. In each, a substitution has occurred. Since nobody believes in the Bulgarian state, but everybody wants to be proud of their national identity, the nation is glorified. In the media, critical publicity has been replaced by the apologetics of national causes. And in the social sciences, low prestige has ushered in "the attitudes of mass consciousness". Given the ongoing crisis of state institutions, writes Kabakchieva, there is a danger that the civic identity of the nation will be replaced by a mono-ethnic one, which could in turn undermine key democratic values.

Spectres of communism: Alexander Kiossev discusses the role of Marxist professor and "incarnation of totalitarian cultural power" Todor Pavlov in the formation of the modern Bulgarian literary canon. In the early 1940s, Pavlov rehabilitated – by means of a "dialectical Aufhebung" – previously repudiated bourgeois authors. After WWII, as the communists gradually seized the state institutions, Pavlov managed, through a combination of organizational, "terrorist" and rhetorical means, to institutionalize a notion of the Bulgarian classics still valid today.

The full table of contents of Critique & Humanism 29 (2009)


Passage 61 (2009)

Very few people have been as influential in the human sciences as Jacques Derrida, who died five years ago. An intellectual superstar – with his own pop song (Scritti Politti's "Jacques Derrida" from 1982, in which one of the lines goes "I'm in love with Jacques Derrida") and a film (Derrida: the Movie) – Derrida was read worldwide. Denmark was no exception, note the editors of Passage in their introduction to an issue dedicated to the French philosopher. However, what is truly modern at one point can later go out of fashion. While Derrida was unavoidable and, in many cases, pivotal reading at Danish universities up until the mid-1990s, many today associate his name with something long gone, an ahistorical, apolitical stance of the past.

In view of this supposed absence from the contemporary agenda, Passage asks if it makes sense to disregard Derrida's thinking in today's discussions about art and literature. The question is of course rhetorical, and the focus quickly changes from if to how Derrida has influenced contemporary art.

Alongside a translation of Derrida's "A certain impossible possibility of saying the event", several Danish writers and intellectuals show why theory is also relevant after theory. With the help of Derrida's Spectres de Marx (2003), and a detour via the paternal ghost in Shakespeare's Hamlet, Lillian Munk Rösing poses a highly relevant question about one of the most prominent – and certainly ghost-like – artists on the contemporary Danish art scene: does Claus Beck-Nielsen exist?

In 2001, Claus Beck-Nielsen declared himself dead. He later came back to life as the anonymous director of the art factory Das Beckwerk, whose aim was to pursue the life of Claus Beck-Nielsen. Earlier this year, Das Beckwerk was involved in a court case in which one of the fictitious characters in the novel The Sovereign sued his author, namely Das Beckwerk, for disclosing sensitive and private information about his life...

So, does Claus Beck-Nielsen exist? Well, that is the question.

The full table of contents of Passage 61 (2009)


Akadeemia 8/2009

Writing on medical ethics, Aive Pevkur points out that although western society has a de facto pluralist approach, universal solutions are often sought to medical dilemmas such as the right to abortion or euthanasia. "Contemporary medical ethics cannot be treated solely from the viewpoint of arguments relevant to ethics. A much wider range of factors should be taken into account, such as the development of medical technology, and cultural and religious principles."

Social attitudes develop alongside medicine and solutions to medical ethical dilemmas should take these into consideration. If options are in keeping with tradition, there is no need to change earlier value systems; but if tradition restricts the realization of primary values, traditions must be broken, concludes Pevkur.

Intellectual awakening: The first Estonian intellectuals emerged in the nineteenth century, ahead of the period of national awakening. People were desperate for education, and farmers worked hard to send their sons to universities, writes Maido Sikk. Among the first Estonian intellectual nation-builders there were a remarkable number of physicians, who in addition to their regular professions were members of the government, sat in the parliament and worked as diplomats.

The full table of contents of Akadeemia 8/2009


Mittelweg 36 4/2009

With recourse to Greek tragedy, hospital TV dramas and John Lennon, Jan Philipp Reemtsma argues that heroes – and hero-worship – may not be as selfless as we like to think. "We call people heroes because we admire them, because we would like to be like them. That's not to say that we long to be heroes, but that something about them, something that we believe is in them, strikes a chord in us. Which chord?"

Narcissism. "Heroes are people who live out their narcissism to an extent not normally permitted in everyday life. Nevertheless, they receive acknowledgement, admiration, love, are even glorified as superhuman. Not despite, but because of their narcissism [...]. Were that not the case, we would value the results of the act and not the act itself or the person who acted. The results are what constitutes the social good, heroes a form of acting that transcends the social."

"I sometimes feel I'm laying my body down as a bridge over the chasm that Bush and Bin Laden are trying to open", says Sarah Chayes, a peaceworker in Afghanistan (cited in Susan Neiman's new book Moral Clarity). "Not that I suppose my efforts are large enough to make a difference." "If the second sentence did not exist," writes Reemtsma, "the first would be the expression of pure delusion. But if the first sentence did not exist, the second would be pure resignation. In order to achieve something – and to gain our admiration – you need the realism of the second sentence combined with the narcissistic fantasy of the first."

A new Germany? A translation of Perry Anderson's New Left Review article, in which the British historian surveys the political, economic and social shifts that have taken place in Europe's "still centre" since reunification. Anderson ends with an encomium for Merkur magazine and the editorial brilliance of Karl Heinz Bohrer:

"Although [Bohrer] would respect the goal of authority, his own higher value has always been idiosyncrasy – that is, originality, of which the strange cocktail of themes and positions he developed out of Romantic and Surrealist materials in his own texts, effervescent and potent enough by any measure, was the presiding example. Editorially, even in its late neo-liberal moods, Merkur always comprised contrary opinions. [...] To Bohrer's credit, conventional authority was forfeited with it."

The full table of contents of Mittelweg 36 4/2009



The Eurozine review is published with the support of the Culture Programme of the European Union and Allianz Kulturstiftung.


 



Published 2009-09-09


Original in English
© Eurozine
 

Support Eurozine     click for more

If you appreciate Eurozine's work and would like to support our contribution to the establishment of a European public sphere, see information about making a donation.

Focal points     click for more

Russia in global dialogue

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
In the two decades after the end of the Cold War, intellectual interaction between Russia and Europe has intensified. It has not, however, prompted a common conversation. The focal point "Russia in global dialogue" seeks to fuel debate on democracy, society and the legacy of empire. [more]

Ukraine in focus

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/publicsphere.html
Ten years after the Orange Revolution, Ukraine is in the throes of yet another major struggle. Eurozine provides commentary on events as they unfold and further articles from the archive providing background to the situation in today's Ukraine. [more]

The ends of democracy

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/democracy.html
At a time when the global pull of democracy has never been stronger, the crisis of democracy has become acute. Eurozine has collected articles that make the problems of democracy so tangible that one starts to wonder if it has a future at all, as well as those that return to the very basis of the principle of democracy. [more]

The EU: Broken or just broke?

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/focalpoints/eurocrisis.html
Brought on by the global economic recession, the eurocrisis has been exacerbated by serious faults built into the monetary union. Contributors discuss whether the EU is not only broke, but also broken -- and if so, whether Europe's leaders are up to the task of fixing it. [more]

Time to Talk     click for more

Time to Talk, a network of European Houses of Debate, has partnered up with Eurozine to launch an online platform. Here you can watch video highlights from all TTT events, anytime, anywhere.
Dessislava Gavrilova, Jo Glanville et al.
The role of literature houses in protecting the space for free expression

http://www.eurozine.com/timetotalk/european-literature-houses-meeting-2014/
This summer, Time to Talk partner Free Word, London hosted a debate on the role that literature houses play in preserving freedom of expression both in Europe and globally. Should everyone get a place on the podium? Also those representing the political extremes? [more]

Eurozine BLOG

On the Eurozine BLOG, editors and Eurozine contributors comment on current affairs and events. What's behind the headlines in the world of European intellectual journals?
Ben Tendler
Cultures of the Anthropocene

http://www.eurozine.com/blog/
Though the Anthropocene has yet to be officially ratified as a new geological epoch, reflections on cultures of the Anthropocene can hardly be considered premature, writes Ben Tendler. A roundup of recent contributions to the public debate that seek to overcome departmental thinking. [more]

Vacancies at Eurozine     click for more

There are currently no positions available.

Editor's choice     click for more

William E Scheuerman
Civil disobedience for an age of total surveillance
The case of Edward Snowden

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-04-18-scheuerman-en.html
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. [more]

Literature     click for more

Olga Tokarczuk
A finger pointing at the moon

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2014-01-16-tokarczuk-en.html
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. [more]

Piotr Kiezun, Jaroslaw Kuisz
Literary perspectives special: Witold Gombrowicz

http://www.eurozine.com/articles/2013-08-16-kuisz-en.html
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. [more]

Literary perspectives
The re-transnationalization of literary criticism

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/literaryperspectives.html
Eurozine's series of essays aims to provide an overview of diverse literary landscapes in Europe. Covered so far: Croatia, Sweden, Austria, Estonia, Ukraine, Northern Ireland, Slovenia, the Netherlands and Hungary. [more]

Debate series     click for more

Europe talks to Europe

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/europetalkstoeurope.html
Nationalism in Belgium might be different from nationalism in Ukraine, but if we want to understand the current European crisis and how to overcome it we need to take both into account. The debate series "Europe talks to Europe" is an attempt to turn European intellectual debate into a two-way street. [more]

Conferences     click for more

Eurozine emerged from an informal network dating back to 1983. Since then, European cultural magazines have met annually in European cities to exchange ideas and experiences. Around 100 journals from almost every European country are now regularly involved in these meetings.
Law and Border. House Search in Fortress Europe
The 26th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Conversano, 3-6 October 2014

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/conversano2014.html
Eurozine's 2014 conference in southern Italy, not far from Lampedusa, addressed both EU refugee and immigration policies and intellectual partnerships across the Mediterranean. Speakers included Italian investigative journalist Fabrizio Gatti and Moroccan feminist and Nobel Peace Prize nominee Rita El Khayat. [more]

Multimedia     click for more

http://www.eurozine.com/comp/multimedia.html
Multimedia section including videos of past Eurozine conferences in Vilnius (2009) and Sibiu (2007). [more]


powered by publick.net