Latest Articles


24.10.2014
Agri Ismail

The pioneers of global gentrification

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. [ more ]

23.10.2014
Martha Nussbaum

Liberalism needs love

23.10.2014
Alain Finkielkraut

Damn security!

22.10.2014
Fréderic Neyrat

Critique of geo-constructivism

New Issues


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


15.10.2014
Eurozine Review

This revolutionary moment

"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.

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?

23.07.2014
Eurozine Review

The world's echo system



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 |

Varicoloured stacks of indignation

Critique and Humanism watches the democracy of opinion in action; Esprit finds uses for the pessimism of Ivan Illich; Merkur administers a potent dose of liberalism; Blätter urges the Left to reclaim progress; Samtiden is cautiously optimistic about the European project; Reset finds Muslim social networking taking off; Ny Tid asks whether Wikileaks can trigger political change; and Lettera Internazionale journeys to a strange country.

Critique & Humanism 33 (2010)

The marketization of the media and its liberation from government control combines with digital technology to create what Ivaylo Ditchev calls "democracy of opinion". In Critique and Humanism, the Bulgarian cultural anthropologist writes that: "The techno-ideological imperative of immediate and permanent feedback has shrunk time and space and put the quick response to public passion at the centre of political contention. All the major players need to excel in these disciplines."

The opinion poll has become the defining form in this new political order, making use of each new communication technology as it appears. "Political elites cannot lift a finger without being monitored in real time by some kind of poll, translated into rating tables and varicoloured stacks of indignation or slices of approval, analysed and meta-analysed," writes Ditchev. "The main issue is not whether opinion is right or wrong, but rather that it is seen as a legitimate form of feedback that justifies policy decisions."

Education: Editor Vania Serafimova draws on John Dewey's writings on education to assess the effectiveness of schooling in Bulgaria today. If education is to be democratic, thought Dewey, it must educate individuals in critical forms of intelligence that allow them to question institutional norms. This aspect of Dewey's thought is crucial, claims Serafimova: people need to be educated to see democracy not as a formal procedure they passively elect, but as a developmental system whose institutional framework they have an active part in shaping.

Interviews with students and parents aim to trace the socialization of individuals. Teachers do not understand the social reality of their students, claim interviewees; they use old-fashioned teaching methods where more interactive methods would be desirable. For Dewey, such critique would prove schools are performing their task, writes Serafimova: as long as the educational institution is being questioned, it is facing the challenge of democracy.

The full table of contents of Critique & Humanism 33 (2010)


Esprit 8-9/2010

Throughout the 1970s, the polyglot philosopher and Catholic priest Ivan Illich produced a stream of commentary from the village in rural Mexico in which he lived. Esprit was one of the principal conduits for Illich's thought into the French-speaking world, publishing some of his earliest work in 1967 and continuing to do so until his death in 2002 and beyond. In its current issue, Esprit discusses the pertinence of Illich's ideas today, looking at ways in which they have been extended by his followers.

In his best-known works, published in the 1970s, Illich claimed that beyond a certain threshold, industrial production undermines human freedom and becomes "counterproductive": in industrialized society, it becomes difficult or impossible to act as a human being without technological assistance. Denis Clerc argues that developments of the past three decades have challenged some of Illich's pessimism: medical technology has raised the quality of life; markets have proved able to take account of environmental concerns. However, Illich's core idea of counterproductivity has become prominent in contemporary economic thought, writes Clerc: even mainstream economists now dispute a direct link between economic growth and human wellbeing.

The second Illich: From 1980, Illich's work moved in new directions. One preoccupation for this "second Illich" was physical awareness of the body, which he argued had declined since the Middle Ages. He also compared written with oral cultures and considered the ways in which service industries use the concept of the "professional" to exert control. Barbara Duden, one of the global circle of friends who were central to Illich's later life, explains that this varied writing was the output of a mind revolving around a fundamental concern with the diminished role of the human individual in technological society. He understood, she writes, "that progress disfigures and paralyses in its technological mania: the word becomes communication, free movement becomes transport, home becomes a garage, and death a decision to interrupt medical consumption".

Also: Patrick Mignon examines the network of institutions – financial, media and social – that enable the French passion for football.

The full table of contents of Esprit 8-9/2010


Merkur 9/2010

This year's themed issue of Merkur, entitled "The limits of state action. On freedom and paternalism", opens with commentaries on classic texts on freedom from Locke, Hume and Kant to Popper, Röpke and Hayek. The editors note that while the anti-socialist fervour of some of these thinkers strikes us today as odd, and in some cases comical, they remain eloquent confronted with a state that "no longer appears as an overbearing despot but as a caring pleaser of the people". A "social brainwashing" is at work, they continue: "A rich society like ours, one which ever more rapidly supports an increasing number of its members, is, at the moment its generosity is proven, accused of producing more and more poverty."

Contributors take up the challenge with some trenchant critiques of the welfare state and its corrosive effect on liberty. Wolfgang Kersting, for example: "Those that see in the Sozialstaat a cave in which morality can hibernate during the cold winter of capitalism are seriously mistaken," he writes. "Its system of incentives pander to the ego no less than the market." Or Norbert Bolz: "The inmates of our closed facility must be thought of as satisfied human beings. They are here of their own will, there is no need for locks and chains; they are interned by the fear of freedom and the longing for security. [...] Those few that resist are not forced, they are demoralized; they are not physically tyrannized, but rather ground down psychologically."

Real-existing liberalism: Supposed "lack of liberality" belongs to the German self-image today, counters Jörg Lau. Yet "self-realization as the highest good has already established itself, all the way into the heart of conservative milieus [...] The costs of freedom, on the other hand, are visible everywhere, for example in ruined marriages and in the struggles single parents must endure". The Freie Demokratische Partei (FDP), the embattled junior partner in the German coalition government, appears oblivious to that fact that for many, the market is no longer a source of freedom. "All that the FDP has to offer losers is the barren words that freedom comes before equality. The message: tough luck. We don't need you. We'll get our 15 per cent without you."

The full table of contents of Merkur 9/2010


Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 9/2010

The Left used to define itself as a "progressive force" and the conservatives were perceived as looking backwards. But this difference is no longer obvious – one can even claim that progress has changed sides, writes Austrian author and journalist Robert Misik in Blätter. Conservatives and neoliberals now represent the wind of change and advocate "reform", while the Left is on the defensive, protecting the remains of the welfare state against attacks from market fundamentalists.

This defensive position is a trap, argues Misik. "The Left must reclaim progress." It has a lot to offer in the form of both social and economic competence, he writes. "A dynamic society is not a zero-sum game. Egalitarian societies are not only more friendly but also more productive. The formula 'prosperity for all' is therefore not only the guiding principle for a more just distribution of wealth, but also leads to the production of more wealth."

A just and fair society, characterized by equality, also functions better economically, writes Misik. "The economic competence of the progressive Left consists in the fact that it realizes this. In the last decades, it has failed to make this crucial point clear. Much will depend on this being changed."

Criticizing the criticism of Islam: In current debates on integration, Islam is often described as incompatible with an enlightened, open-minded, democratic and constitutional society. Patrick Bahners, editor at the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, criticizes the self-declared critics of Islam and points to the "religious character of the radical critique of religion".

Just peace: As far as policies for promoting peace is concerned, the last decade was a lost one. Dieter Senghaas proposes a new debate on peacekeeping in the twenty-first century. His thesis: to overcome the idea of "just wars", concepts of "just peace" must be strengthened and promoted.

The full table of contents of Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik 9/2010


Samtiden 3/2010

Norway, which is not an EU member country, has been sceptical of the Union from the beginning, for financial as well as ideological reasons. With this scepticism as his starting point, Simen Ekern takes a long, hard look at the EU and expresses cautious optimism.

"At times, it is easy to get the impression that it's just the threat of a few hundred women in burqas that unite European countries. But at the same time there is a real will to discuss shared issues – it's all about checking the facts. [...] This existing public discourse is an ongoing project that can't be brushed aside as a mere exercise by the elite in whiling away time."

Ekern – Brussels correspondent for Dagbladet – emphasizes the joint issues: "It is not so that a European conversation has to take place in one language, or in a single common medium. What is decisive for Europe as a project is that one concerns oneself with the same projects, that overlapping topics are referred to in the various national media, that we are on the constant lookout for parallels and differences in order to find solutions to mutual problems."

That said, there is a distinct fatigue with the EU topic, not just in Norway; Ekern warns that "the horrors of the Second World War are not enough to ensure a wish for integration. That Germany no longer feels that its collective guilt obliges it to pull the entire weight is only one sign. Europe needs a new project to believe in. And it can't be about saving the leftovers of a common currency."

Ageism: "We're afraid of the elderly," writes Heidi Marie Kriznik. With the money and resources required to care for increasing numbers of elderly people running low, public institutions and the media are eager to point out what a burden older people represent. Even Facebook fears the elderly: "When you get a friends request from your grandma, that's when I think Facebook will lose a lot of its coolness," says Huw Griffiths, Global Director of Research and Analytics at the media agency Universal McCann, to the financial journal Dagens Næringsliv. But, concludes Kriznik, "it's a sign of quality in a society that the elderly are healthy and live longer. [...] Shouldn't this be a reason to rejoice?"

The full table of contents of Samtiden 3/2010


Reset 120 (2010)

In Reset, US digital media and public policy expert Joshua S. Fouts talks to Elisa Pierandrei about the role of the Internet in the Muslim world. Social networks such as Facebook and Twitter can no longer compete with more popular ones among the younger generation of Muslims keen to embrace the cultural and religious diversity of the modern world. These "virtual worlds [...] recreate a vibrant intellectual atmosphere" that is important for Islam with its rich traditions of debate.

The strike of journalists working for IslamOnline.net, one of the best-known sites of the kind, is a result of a certain tension between them and the new owners, according to Fouts. IslamOnline.net is becoming more than a mere media vehicle: novelties such as a "virtual Hajj" now make it similar to interactive networks such as Second Life and Muxlim Pal.

Financial crisis: "It is dangerous to assume that Italy is better than other countries at fighting [the latest] difficulties, that it possesses more resilience," writes lawyer Tiziano Treu. "So far, our resilience has manifested itself in an ability to float rather than in positive reactions to economic and social difficulties". The crisis has created problems that can be solved only by creating new economic categories: a post-crisis economy must be fine-tuned to address social requirements. "It is not just about changing the welfare state ," writes Treu. "There is a need to embark on the route towards community welfare".

Politics: Despite his luck in the past, Berlusconi is not going to escape lightly from "the second round of the world financial crisis", predicts Claudia Mancina. The crucial difference is the collapse of the former "cast-iron alliance" with Italy's rightwing Lega Nord. However the Italian opposition has so far failed to take advantage of the growing discontent in society and the errors made by the government. "It is still too early to give Silvio Berlusconi up for dead", Mancina concludes.

The full table fo contents of Reset 120 (2010)


Ny Tid 36/2010

In late August, Wikileaks founder Julian Assange was accused of rape and a warrant was issued for his arrest in Sweden, but it was quickly withdrawn. However, Swedish prosecutors recently reopened the investigation. The case sparked a flurry of conspiracy theories. In a contribution to the debate pages of Helsinki-based weekly Ny Tid, Mikael Böök sees "the attacks on the Wikileaks website and especially the recent assault on its spokesman Julian Assange" as evidence that we are living in "a global police state". He is convinced that the charges are part of a smear campaign orchestrated by "the enemies of Internet" in general and of Wikileaks in particular.

According to Böök, the Internet has become a parallel power outside the global political system, challenging traditional actors such as "states and empires". The Wikileaks case shows that time has come to strike back against "the enemies of freedom" that would do anything to preserve their power. A first step would be to "separate the Internet from the State just as the State is separated from the Church".

The leak as political method: On a double page in the editorial section of the magazine, Mikael Brunila portrays Wikileaks. He concludes: "Uncovered conspiracies and massive security leaks can't in and of themselves trigger political change. Whether such material can translate into actual change depends both on how the surplus of information is treated – in this respect Wikileaks gets a lot of praise – and on the structures that can channel the discontent that follow such disclosures. Concerned discussions within an enlightened public sphere will not be enough."

More about Ny Tid


Lettera internazionale 104 (2010)

In the current issue of Lettera Internazionale, dedicated to travelling in its various forms, novelist Alberto Manguel recalls a trip from Paris to London, back in the days before Eurostar and the border-free EU. Instead, there was a caramel-coloured express train from Gare du Nord to Calais, followed by a Channel ferry and the white cliffs of Dover. Unfortunately, that was as far as Manguel got. The sight of him dressed in the best of Sixties fashion aroused the suspicions of a British immigration officer and he was sent back to France, "the land of Liberty, Fraternity and Equality, although perhaps not in this order". This incident provoked the first spell of "moderate anarchy" in the young Argentinian.

Geometries of power: Franco Farinelli contrasts our blind faith in the reliability of maps with the significance they had for our ancestors. Once upon a time, "earthly Paradise was still a place marked on a map [...], and this presence assured you not only that any was journey possible, but also that your whole existence could be reduced to a journey". Farinelli proposes that, "without perspective, the modern European state would not exist or would have a completely different form; it is the linear syntax of perspective that guarantees that territory is transformed into space". Any method of travel, he claims, can be related to Borges' famous imperial map showing both terrestrial landmarks and those of the mind.

Wanderlust: "Everyone is aware of the connection between the words 'travel' and 'travail'," writes Pico Iyer. "I, for one, know that I travel mostly in search of difficulties – those I want to experience myself and those awaiting people I need to see". Iyer muses about "returning and finding yourself in love", a process linked to wanderlust: our desire to seek questions rather than answers. "If every genuine love story can be seen as a journey to a strange country," he concludes, "then every journey to a strange country can be a love story where you keep asking yourself who you are and who you are in love with".

The full table of contents of Lettera internazionale 104 (2010)



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


 



Published 2010-09-15


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