Summary Blätter 11/2011
The long life of neo-liberalism
The global financial crisis has been keeping the world in suspense since 2008. Even though neo-liberal ideas and institutions played an important role in causing this crisis they were able to expand their influence since then. Colin Crouch, Professor of Governance and Public Management at the University of Warwick and author of Post-Democracy, analyses how things got to this point. He concludes that we are not primarily experiencing a conflict between market and state, rather it is the persistent dominance of banks and major corporations that impedes the necessary paradigmatic change.
No movement without roots. What the American left is missing
Up to now there has been no serious Left movement against neoliberal politics in the US; Even the recent Occupy Wall Street-demonstrations cannot hide this fact. On the contrary: the right-wing populist Tea Party keeps the pressure the government. Michael Kazin, professor of history at Georgetown University, looks at what lead to the weakness of the Left and concludes that the success of a movement in the present is based on institutional and organizational work in the past.
The apathy of TINA's children. Why my generation needs to finally grow up
While in Rome, Jerusalem and New York hundreds of thousands of mostly young people are taking to the streets, their contemporaries in Germany stay surprisingly calm. The journalist Meredith Haaf analyses the political apathy of her generation: having grown up in times of the there-is-no-alternative-thinking, this generation is helpless and overwhelmed vis-à-vis the major issues of the time; being trapped in a dependency culture.
Arms race on the Internet. How the "cyber war" threatens to turn into a real war
Recently, experts have been pointing towards a new danger on the Internet: A cyber war could hit the so-called critical infrastructures of a country – allegedly with dramatic consequences. Political scientist and editor of Blätter, Daniel Leisegang, analyses this threat scenario and pleads for both rhetorical and military disarmament. The cyber arms-race could turn into a real war.
The controversy over a speech
A pope in accordance with constitutional law
Enlightenment in the parliament?
The pope's speech in the Bundestag was the centre of attention during his visit in Germany. Opinions differ on his speech: in the opinion of politic scientist Otto Kallscheuer the pope delivered a modern speech in which he emphasized the importance of human dignity as a basic foundation for human communication valid across confessional differences. The literature scientist Kerstin Porzner, however, criticizes the speech as antidemocratic and claims that by referring to divine natural law, the pope ignores the majority principle.
Islam and democracy. The history of an appropriation
Six months after its outbreak, the "Arabellion" enters the next stage with the upcoming elections in Tunisia and Egypt. With these elections the relation between Islam and democracy in these countries will be determined. Taking the recent history of Iran as an example, Islamic scientist and co-editor of Blätter, Katajan Amirpur, discovers a progressing appropriation of democracy by Islam and its intellectuals.
The struggle for the republic. The democratic thinking of Carl von Ossietzky
On 23 November 1936, Carl von Ossietzky, the editor of Weltbühne who was imprisoned and later murdered by the Nazi regime, was retroactively awarded the Nobel Peace Prize of 1935. However, the political thinking of this important Left democrat has not been adopted. Werner Boldt, Professor emeritus of History at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg, reconstructs the hopes and disappointments of "the republican without a republic", tracing his development from his great expectations towards the coalition of Weimar between liberal-bourgeois and social democrats to his advocacy for the communist party KPD.
Original in German
Contributed by Blätter