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Miloš Vec

I wanna hold your hand

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 Miloš Vec. [ more ]

Adam Zagajewski

A defence of ardour

Shalini Randeria, Anna Wójcik

Mobilizing law for solidarity

Ira Katznelson, Agnieszka Rosner

Solidarity after Machiavelli

Camille Leprince, Lynn SK

Portraits of three women...

Eurozine Review

Eurozine Review

The destruction of society

'Osteuropa' rages at the destruction of Russian society; 'Merkur' delves into the history of Eurasianism; 'Vikerkaar' is sanguine about the decline of universalism; 'New Eastern Europe' has divided opinions about borders; 'Ord&Bild' finds humanism at sea; 'Il Mulino' debates the difficulties of democracy in Italy and the West; 'Blätter' seeks responses to the whitelash; 'Mittelweg 36' historicizes pop and protest; 'Critique & Humanism' looks at Bulgarian youth cultures; 'Res Publica Nowa' considers labour; and 'Varlik' examines the origins of literary modernism in Turkey.

Eurozine Review

The ordinary state of emergency

Eurozine Review

The Lilliput syndrome

Eurozine Review

The violent closet?

Eurozine Review

Peak democracy?

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European histories
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Eurozine Editorial

European histories: Towards a grand narrative?


In order for there to be solidarity within the enlarged EU, it will be necessary to develop a broader historical consciousness that accommodates the experiences of the new members. And if Russia's relations with its neighbours are to be harmonious, the taboos surrounding the Great Victory will need to be addressed. Read on for analyses from both sides of a historical divide. [ more ]


Eurozine conference Vilnius 2009

European histories The 22nd European Meeting of Cultural Journals was a resounding success, with over eighty representatives of cultural journals from Iceland to Bosnia, Ireland to Belarus meeting in Vilnius to discuss the subject of "European Histories". Read a conference summary here. [more]

Valdas Adamkus

History based on falsification is no history

European histories Six decades after the end of World War II, it is evident that history based on falsification is no history, said Valdas Adamkus, President of the Republic of Lithuania, in his opening address to the 22nd European Meeting of Cultural Journals. [ more ]

Antonin J. Liehm

Culture and the importance of the daily grind

Opening address at the 22nd European Meeting of Cultural Journals

opening address Antonin J. Liehm, founder of "Lettre Internationale", discusses the role of a European cultural journal before and after 1989 and explains why – gruelling though the work might be – it is as important as ever to organize a concerted defence of culture. [ more ]

Timothy Snyder

Holocaust: The ignored reality

keynote speech Auschwitz and the Gulag are generally taken to be adequate or even final symbols of the evil of mass slaughter. But they are only the beginning of knowledge, a hint of the true reckoning with the past still to come, writes Timothy Snyder. [ more ]


Multimedia: See the film of the Snyder panel and subsequent discussion.

Martin M. Simecka

Still not free

Why post-'89 history must go beyond self-diagnosis

Dilemma '89 The dissident generation of the 1970s and 1980s produced a body of work unprecedented in Czech history, says Martin Simecka. Yet it is precisely the monumentality of this generation's legacy that prevents the interpretation of the communist past going beyond self-diagnosis. [ more ]

Mircea Vasilescu

European histories, Romanian fairytales

The Securitate archives and the public debate that never was

Dilemma '89 In Romania, the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives has been rendered toothless by political interference. Meanwhile, former communist functionaries, in new democratic guise, still purport to be protecting "national interest". [ more ]


Marci Shore

Legacies of "Judeo-Bolshevism"

Scenes from post-communist Poland

Jewish life and thought For young Polish Jews, many of whom reappropriated their Jewish identity after 1989, the historical injury of the Holocaust is often complicated by their grandparents' participation in the communist project. [ more ]

Zinovy Zinik

History thieves

Jewish life and thought Thirty years after leaving Russia for Israel, an "unheimliche" experience in Berlin led Zinovy Zinik to investigate the chequered past of his Russian-born grandfather. An autobiographical exploration of "assumed identity" in twentieth-century Jewish experience. [ more ]


Kornelijus Platelis

Local histories: From censorship to self-irony

Closing speech at the 22nd European Meeting of Cultural Journals

European histories During communism, metaphor was the only way to negotiate censorship, recalls poet and editor Kornelijus Platelis. Yet this experience left Lithuanians cut off from the common European culture of rationality, tolerance and self-irony. [ more ]


A common european history?

Timothy Snyder

Balancing the books

A Common European history? Sixty years and more since the end of WWII, eastern European experiences of subjugation are often glossed over. This creates misunderstandings that could be avoided by an awareness of a common European history. Then, solidarity rather than national prejudice would motivate public opinion on matters of European politics. [ more ]

Stefan Auer

Contesting the origins of European liberty

The EU narrative of Franco-German reconciliation and the eclipse of 1989

memory politics Despite western Europe's initially lukewarm response to the people's revolutions of '89, the EU now claims them as a cornerstone of "European identity". Yet historical gaffes have exposed the pitfalls in attempting to create an all too tidy narrative of Europe's twentieth century. [ more ]

Claus Leggewie

Battlefield Europe

Transnational commemoration and European identity

A common european history? A pan-European memory cannot be reduced to the Holocaust and the Gulag alone, no matter how central these are, and must be able to compare memories without offsetting each against the other. On the "concentric circles" of European memory. [ more ]

Krzysztof Pomian

European identity: Historical fact and political problem

European histories An historian can define European identity descriptively, as Krzysztof Pomian demonstrates in a tour of European culture since the first millennium BC. But the real controversy lies elsewhere, in the political question: what of the European past is worth preserving? [ more ]

Stefan Troebst

23 August 1939

A European lieu de mémoire?

European histories The Molotov-Ribbentrop pact was signed seventy years ago this month. Though of far-reaching siginificance for the post-war division of Europe, 23 August 1939 is remembered very differently across the continent. [ more ]


National images of the past

The twentieth century and the "war of memories". An appeal by the International Memorial Society

A common European history? If contradictions between national memories are recognized and understood, the historical awareness of each society is enriched. Eurozine republishes a call by the International Memorial Society for the creation of a platform upon which such a dialogue can be conducted. [ more ]


External links: On 3 December 2008, armed police seized Memorial's archive in St Petersburg. Orlando Figes, writing in Index on Censorship, reports. Also: An open letter to Dimitrii Medvedev and other high-ranking Russian politicians.


A new myth in the making?

Isolde Charim

Historical myths new and old

New myth in the making? Surrounding the sixtieth anniversary of WWII were arguments that the suffering of eastern Europe goes unacknowledged. By implication, the memory of the Holocaust is a hegemonic discourse within the EU, rather than its binding principle. Here, a new myth is in the making: victimhood divorced from political context. [ more ]

Karl Schlögel

Places and strata of memory

Approaches to eastern Europe

new myth in the making? The idea of 1989 as an annus mirabilis is too crude; rather, it was the result of a long incubation period that took a different course in each Eastern Bloc country. Karl Schlögel asks whether it is too soon to start talking of a "common European history". [ more ]

Jan-Werner Müller

European memory politics revisited

new myth in the making? European commemorative culture is an integral component of the post-national process. But how can a "European memory" be justified if we aren't to refer to a continental, quasi-national entity? [ more ]


The Holocaust

Timothy Snyder

Holocaust: The ignored reality

European histories Auschwitz and the Gulag are generally taken to be adequate or even final symbols of the evil of mass slaughter. But they are only the beginning of knowledge, a hint of the true reckoning with the past still to come, writes Timothy Snyder. [ more ]

Arne Ruth

Myths of neutrality

Ignoring the Holocaust in Sweden and Switzerland

European histories In Sweden and Switzerland, complicity in the Holocaust was for a long time ignored. It was only as a result of foreign publicity that national myths of neutrality gave way to admissions of responsibility, writes Arne Ruth. [ more ]

Éva Kovács

The mémoire croisée of the Shoah

Holocaust Adapting the histoire croisée method of history writing - the focus on crossovers of different cultures, social groups, and historical events - Éva Kovács examines the mémoire croisée of the Shoah in the different political systems of eastern and western Europe. [ more ]

Ronit Lentin

Post-memory, received history, and the return of the Auschwitz code

Holocaust The Holocaust has been transfixed into a "code" of instantly recognizable pictures and texts. These fixed memories make it almost impossible to go beyond their discursive reign, argues Ronit Lentin. [ more ]


Focal point: Dilemma 89

Dilemma 89

focal point Twenty years after 1989, most former communist states in central and eastern Europe are members of the EU. Yet the transition from closed to open societies is far from "complete". Fierce debates rage over lustration and information surfacing from secret police archives, over corruption inherited from communist power structures, and over dominant representations of the communist past. Clearly, 1989 is not only an historic moment of liberation, but also a political and social dilemma for the present day. [ more ]

Karl Schlögel

Places and strata of memory

Approaches to eastern Europe

Dilemma '89 The idea of 1989 as an annus mirabilis is too crude; rather, it was the result of a long incubation period that took a different course in each Eastern Bloc country. Karl Schlögel asks whether it is too soon to start talking of a "common European history". [ more ]



Martin M. Simecka

Still not free

Why post-'89 history must go beyond self-diagnosis

Czechoslovakia The dissident generation of the 1970s and 1980s produced a body of work unprecedented in Czech history, says Martin Simecka. Yet it is precisely the monumentality of this generation's legacy that prevents the interpretation of the communist past going beyond self-diagnosis. [ more ]

Konstanty Gebert, Irena Maryniak

Table talk

Poland "It is an unnatural but positive development when democracy trains people to believe that, overall, it is better to let the bastard speak." Former Solidarity actvist and journalist Konstanty Gebert on censorship post-'89 and anti-Semitism in Poland today. [ more ]

László Borhi

A reluctant and fearful West

1989 and its international context

Dilemma 89 Documents recently released from the Hungarian archives reveal how western leaders, without exception, deferred to the Soviet Union in 1989. The threat of regional chaos meant overwhelming support for preserving the status quo as events unfolded. [ more ]

Mircea Vasilescu

European histories, Romanian fairytales

The Securitate archives and the public debate that never was

Romania In Romania, the National Council for the Study of the Securitate Archives has been rendered toothless by political interference. Meanwhile, former communist functionaries, in new democratic guise, still purport to be protecting "national interest". [ more ]

Agnes Heller

Twenty years on

Hungary "In opposition, they do not comport themselves as the opposition to a democratically elected government. When they become the governing party, they pursue the same paternalistic, populist game." Agnes Heller's indictment of Hungarian politicians twenty years after 1989. [ more ]


Politics of memory: Approaches

Pierre Nora

Reasons for the current upsurge in memory

Politics of memory Over the past quarter century, social structures have undergone a sea change in their traditional relationship to the past. Pierre Nora examines the roots and causes of "memorialism". [Italian version added] [ more ]

Andreas Langenohl

State visits

Internationalized commemoration of WWII in Russia and Germany

Politics of memory European politicians attending the ceremonies in Moscow encountered a brand of patriotism unthinkable in western Europe. What does this say about the West's own traditions of commemoration? [ more ]

Tatiana Zhurzhenko

The geopolitics of memory

politics of memory 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] [ more ]

Vita Matiss, Tzvetan Todorov

Memory of evil, enticement to good

An interview with Tzvetan Todorov

Politics of memory In France, communism has positive associations with the Resistance movement. Not so for eastern Europeans, who must bring their own experiences to bear in the European discussion, says the Bulgarian philosopher. [ more ]

Adam Phillips

The forgetting museum

Politics of memory It seems self-evident that commemoration averts recurrence of that which is being commemorated. Yet an obsession with memory blinds us to the abuses of memory and to the uses of forgetting. [ more ]

Emil Brix

Europe revisited

Neighbourly conflict and the return of history

Politics of memory Europe has experienced not the end of history, but the end of the postwar pact not to talk about history. But the "return of history" has also brought the return of cultural differences. [ more ]

Patrick Garcia

Politics of memory

Politics of memory The commemoration of the Franco-Prussian War, the Second World War, and the Algerian War are examples of how the nationalist construal of the past has given way to an internationalized model known as "presentism". [ more ]

Les Back

Beaches and graveyards

Europe's haunted borders

Politics of memory "It is more arduous to honour the memory of the nameless than the renowned." The epigram on Walter Benjamin's memorial in Portbou, Catalonia, leads Les Back to reflect on the fate of the African migrants found dead on the coasts of Spain today. [ more ]

François Dosse

Historicizing the traces of memory

Politics of memory François Dosse warns of the dangers of exaggerated commemorative events, contrasting them with the patient "work of memory". The ideas of Paul Ricoeur serve as a reminder of the historian's duties in the wider context of practical human activity. [ more ]

Christoph Kleßmann

Dealing with the recent past

The tensions between memory and history

Politics of memory The variety of victims' personal memories does not warrant an "anything goes" approach in historical accounts of the more recent European dictatorships. [ more ]

Anna Loutfi

Feminism, biography and Cheshire Cat stories

A geopolitical journey through a biographical dictionary

Politics of memory In studying eastern central European feminist history of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Anna Loutfi detects "imperial ironies": feminists' identities shifting between international networking and national self-representation. [ more ]


Politics of memory: Russia

Lev Gudkov

The fetters of victory

How the war provides Russia with its identity

The commemoration of victory in the "Great Patriotic War" serves the centralist and repressive social order imposed in the post-totalitarian culture and society under Vladimir Putin. Lev Gudkov desribes the taboos in Russia surrounding the underside of victory. [ more ]

Arseni Roginski

Fragmented memory

Stalin and Stalinism in present-day Russia

Russia As contemporary witnesses disappear, collective memory in Russia is altering, writes the director of Memorial. The hardships of war and the Stalinist terror are being forgotten and Stalin is being remembered as the victor over the essence of evil. [ more ]

Dina Khapaeva

History without memory

Gothic morality in post-Soviet society

Russia The witches and werewolves of post-Soviet fantasy fiction embody the morality of a society in denial about its criminal past. Personal loyalty towards superiors and respect for hierarchy constitute gothic society's only uncontested law. [ more ]

Jochen Hellbeck

Everyday ideology: Life during Stalinism

totalitarianism Postmodernist historians of totalitarian societies underrate the role of ideology at the individual level, preferring a performative reading of subjectivity. This fails to explain why the Soviet and Nazi regimes generated absolute commitment, writes Jochen Hellbeck. [ more ]

Il'ya Kukulin

The regulation of pain

Coping with traumatic experiences in Soviet war literature

Russia Soviet writers' expression of existential insecurity caused by their experiences in World War II signalled a liberation from the censorship of the 1930s. But the Brezhnev regime put an end to that. Only since the 1990s have Russian writers been able to explore openly the subject of war. [ more ]

Michail Ryklin

Branded but not a slave

On the work of Varlam Shalamov

Russia Varlam Shalamov's Kolyma Tales is the stylistic counterpart to Solzhenitsyn's cosmetic account of the Gulag. Michail Ryklin defends the existential authenticity of what Solzhenitsyn criticized as a fiction "without the expression of authorial subjectivity". [ more ]


Politics of memory: Germany

Philipp Ther

The burden of history and the trap of memory

Germany The displacement of Germans at the end of WWII has re-entered the public debate with the TV drama "Die Flucht" [The escape]. Philipp Ther discusses the reasons for the shift in the way the German wartime past is being remembered. [ more ]

Klaus Naumann

Displacement as an issue of German self-understanding

Germany How the postwar West German state, in making the displacement of sections of the population integral to its self-definition, effectively tabooed the subject. [ more ]

Christian Semler

Is the tide of German memory turning?

Germany In Germany, it has now become possible to acknowledge the German victims of WWII. This is not historical revisionism, but a movement to subsume the memory of National Socialism under the general memory of crimes against humanity committed in the twentieth century. [ more ]

Dieter Deiseroth

Legend of legality

From the Reichstag fire to the Nazi regime

Germany After 75 years, the death sentence of the Dutch communist Marinus van der Lubbe has been officially lifted. The theory of a "single perpetrator" was central in legitimizing the Nazi takeover of the German state. [ more ]

Volker Hage

Buried feelings

German authors' handling of the Allied bombing in World War II

Germany W.G. Sebald claimed that the Allied bombing was hushed up in postwar German literature. Not entirely true, responds Volker Hage: there are a number of novels outside the canon in which the experience of the bombing comes to light. [ more ]


Politics of memory: Austria, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Poland, Spain, Turkey, Ukraine

Krzysztof Ruchniewicz

The memory of World War II in Poland

Poland Poland's relations with Germany, Russia, and Ukraine are determined by its perception of these countries' contrition – or lack thereof – for wartime damages. But Poles' wartime treatment of Jews is yet to be fully acknowledged. [ more ]

Eszter Babarczy, Gábor Csordás, Jody Jensen, János Salamon, Gábor Schein

Does a civil-war mentality exist in Hungary?

A roundtable interview

Hungary Political antagonism in Hungary, played out via historical symbols, has prompted commentators in Hungary to talk about a "civil war mentality". Eurozine asks Hungarian journalists, authors, and publishers how it has come to this. [ more ]

Thomas von Ahn

Democracy or the street?

On the stability of the Hungarian political system

Hungary The demonstrations in Budapest in September 2006 marked the culmination of a conflict between Conservatives and the liberal Left. The rift is exacerbated by politicized disputes about the past, argues Thomas von Ahn. [ more ]

Martin Ehala

The birth of the Russian-speaking minority in Estonia

Estonia The Bronze Soldier controversy in Tallinn in April 2007 was more a product of the fears of national conservative groups than an integration problem among Estonia's Russian-speaking minority, writes Martin Ehala. [ more ]

Eva-Clarita Onken

Latvian history in the process of democratization

Latvia The Latvian example shows that the existence of competing interpretations of the past and debates about how these should be institutionalized are core parts of a society's transformation to democracy. [ more ]

Tonis Saarts

The Bronze Nights

The failure of forced Europeanization and the birth of defensive nationalist democracy in Estonia

Estonia The EU accession process over, writes Tonis Saarts, Estonia's rightwing party politics has found a new rallying cry: the threat of Russia. [ more ]

Roman Szporluk

The western dimension of the making of modern Ukraine

ukraine The history of Ukrainian independence begins with the revolution in 1848, and thereafter is shaped by European and Russian interests. [ more ]

Siegfried Beer

The Soviet occupation of Austria, 1945-1955

Recent research and perspectives

Austria The opening up of the Russian state archives has afforded new perspectives on the postwar decade of Soviet occupation in Austria [ more ]

E. Efe Çakmak, Andreas Huyssen, Susan Neiman

The Armenian genocide: Issues of responsibility and democracy

An interview with Susan Neiman and Andreas Huyssen

Turkey Intellectuals in Turkey advocating a public debate about the "Armenian issue" have been marginalized, penalized, and in the case of Hrant Dink, assassinated. Yet in any politics of memory in Turkey must be guided by the public sphere, argue Susan Neiman and Andreas Huyssen. [ more ]

Jean Meyer

Memories and histories: The new Spanish Civil War

Spain The pact of silence that has existed in Spain over the Civil War and Franco era is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain. A boom in publications on the subject seems to bear out Manuel Azańa's comment that "burying the dead is a Spanish national pastime". [ more ]


Jewish life and thought in eastern Europe

Delphine Bechtel, Michael Brenner, Frank Golczewski, Francois Guesnet, Rachel Heuberger, Cilly Kugelmann, Anna Lipphardt

Remembrance as balancing act

The public and scholarly treatment of
eastern Europe’s Jewish heritage

Jewish life and thought How to communicate eastern European Jewish history and culture without turning it into commercialism and kitsch or treating Jewish life as a museum artefact and thus forgetting its renaissance? A roundtable discussion with historians, curators, and educators. [ more ]

Micha Brumlik

From obscurantism to holiness

"Eastern Jewish" thought in Buber, Heschel, and Levinas

Jewish life and thought The intellectuals Martin Buber, Joshua Heschel, and Emmanuel Levinas shared the eastern European Jewish experience and a universalistic ethic. Above all it is Levinas to whom we owe an appreciation of what one could call "eastern European Jewry", writes Micha Brumlik. [ more ]

Manfred Sapper

Overcoming war

Jan Bloch: entrepreneur, publicist, pacifist

Intellectual heritage As influencial entrepreneur, publicist, and pacifist, Jan Bloch deserves a prominent place in European collective memory: initiating the Hague Peace Conference, advocating arms control and an international court of justice, he was well ahead of his time, writes Manfred Sapper. [ more ]

Vytautas Toleikis

Repress, reassess, remember

Jewish heritage in Lithuania

Jewish life and thought In Lithuania today, the acceptance of shared responsibility for the Holocaust is met with political resistance. However, the heritage of Lithuanian Jews is slowly being integrated into the society's collective consciousness, writes Vytautas Toleikis. [ more ]

Katrin Steffen

Disputed memory

Jewish past, Polish remembrance

Jewish life and thought Nearly all of the three million Jews living in Poland before WWII were killed during the Shoah. Yet remembrance only began after 1990 and still polarizes Polish society. "Competition among victims" continues to dominate and a kind of "virtual Jewry" has emerged, reports Katrin Steffen. [ more ]

Anatolij Podol's'kyi

A reluctant look back

Jews and the Holocaust in Ukraine

Jewish life and thought Ukraine's official politics of remembrance omits the country's Jewish heritage, leaving it to private organisations to try to embed Jewish culture and history into national consciousness. This process demands the recognition of Ukrainians' share of responsibility for the Shoah. [ more ]


Hungary '56: The first time as tragedy...

Péter Nádas

A headless revolution

Hungary '56 "In the absence of the tradition of revolutionary change, we are left with the European tradition of conformity and opportunism, with court poetry and mannerism." Péter Nádas on the meaning of the Hungarian revolution then and now. [ more ]

Péter György

Fifty-six remix

Hungary '56 If the Right in Hungary has made it possible for all those disgruntled with the Gyurcsány government to cast themselves as heirs to the revolution, the Left is guilty of having failed to take '56 seriously enough. [ more ]

François Fejtö

Hungary, fifty years after the revolution

Hungary '56 The great Hungarian socialist chronicler of eastern European totalitarianism writes on the revolution in the context of Hungarian history and of the power relations of international communism. [ more ]

Stefan Auer

The lost treasure of the revolution

Hungary '56 Hannah Arendt wrote about the '56 revolution as if it had been successful. Nevertheless, her insights remain relevant to an understanding of '56 and the memory of it after 1989. [ more ]


Ferenc Fejtö 1908-2008: Ferenc Lázslo,, "A clear head"; Ágnes Széchenyi, "Among reactionaries"; Jacques Rupnik, "In touch with a vanished world"

'56 in fiction: Endre Kukorelly, "Ruin: A history of commonism"; Gabor Nemeth, "1956"


1968: Beyond soixante-huit

Jacques Rupnik

1968: The year of two springs

1968 Parallels between May '68 and the Prague Spring are largely the result of the simultaneity of the events; in important respects, the political goals of the two movements were antithetical. Nevertheless, central European dissent had a significant impact on the French Left after 1968, argues Jacques Rupnik. [ more ]

Jirí Dienstbier, Jirí Grusa, Lionel Jospin, Oskar Negt, Friedrich Schorlemmer

From '68 to '89

1968 What is the meaning of '68 almost twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall? In an East-West dialogue placing '68 in a European and global perspective, leading protagonists of events in eastern Europe converse with their western counterparts. [ more ]

Ivan Klíma

Seeds of spring

A rebellion against censorship

1968 When Ivan Klima and fellow writers spoke out against censorship in Czechoslovakia at the 1967 Writers' Congress, the literary weekly "Literární noviny" was taken out of the hands of the writers union and its editorial board dismissed. Yet the seed was sown for the Prague Spring of 1968. [ more ]

György Konrád

Urban asphalt gave flower to utopia

1968 "The eastern European '68ers formed the backbone of the democratic opposition, whereas we, the somewhat older '56ers, only joined in with certain reservations, because we had a closer acquaintance with defeat." György Konrád casts an ironic look at the '68ers. [ more ]

Chris Reynolds

May '68: a contested history

1968 Despite the tendency of decennial commemorations to cement the "official version" of May '68, important questions remain unanswered. Chris Reynolds points out some blind spots in the increasingly stereotyped interpretation of the events in France forty years ago. [ more ]

Christian Semler

From pacifism to violence and back again

1968 The failure of the German extra-parliamentary opposition to reflect upon its gradual slide towards violence led to the leftwing terrorism of the 1970s, argues Christian Semler. It was only with the ecological movement that pacifism returned to the agenda. [ more ]



Rudi Dutschke, Gábor Révai

Correspondence 1966-1971

Correspondence "The entire population will next year have to put up with much 'sacrifice', in other words greater exploitation. 'Unfortunately', it is unlikely that a 'revolution' in the 'vulgar materialist' sense will be the result, but rather a protracted process of crisis". Rudi Dutschke to Gábor Révai, 1966. [ more ]

János Mátyás Kovács, Gábor Révai

Dutschke's Hungarian friend

Gábor Révai in interview

Interview "I don't think that Dutschke would have become a politician. I can't imagine him as diplomat with a suit and tie, like Joschka Fischer". Gábor Révai, in the 1960s a young socialist in Hungary, on his former friend and father figure Rudi Dutschke. [ more ]


The Balkans: War crimes and memory

Slavenka Drakulic

Why I have not returned to Belgrade

The Balkans Is it to spare her emotions that Slavenka Drakulic has not returned to Belgrade since the wars? She doesn't think so. Instead, her reasons have to do with the silence and denial of so much of Serbian society, and with a youth that is failing to ask the right questions. [ more ]

Edin Hajdarpasic

The phantom of justice

The Balkans When dealing with Serbian war guilt, narratives focusing too much on individuals should be treated with caution. The international community is faced not only with the problem of holding state leaders accountable, but also with legitimating the way that new nation-states were created in Yugoslavia in the 1990s. [ more ]

Jens-Martin Eriksen, Vasilije Krestic, Mihajlo Markovic, Frederik Stjernfelt

The memorandum: Roots of Serbian nationalism

An interview with Mihajlo Markovic and Vasilije Krestic

The Balkans Left- and rightwing intellectuals collaborated on a document that formulated the ideology of Serbian nationalism in the 1980s and 1990s. Two of its authors talk about their involvement. [ more ]

Obrad Savic

Memory of war crimes: Can victims speak?

The Balkans The editor of the Belgrade Circle Journal writes that Milosevic was guilty not only because he led a collective criminal enterprise, but also because he demanded that ethnic justice nest in sovereign national law, which he turned against international law. [ more ]

Vesna Goldsworthy

Invention and in(ter)vention: The rhetoric of Balkanization

The Balkans Vesna Goldsworthy looks at how Western commentators romanticize the Balkans' history of alleged bloodshed, feudal hatreds and perpetual war. How can these myths be debunked? [ more ]

Goran Stefanovski

Tales from the Wild East

The Balkans Lack of comprehension for historical and present-day events on the Balkans has to do with the very different character of master narratives in East and West. If only the West would "try to adjust its horizon of expectation" to the Balkan writing, and not vice versa, urges Goran Stefanovski. [ more ]


Remembering Chernobyl

Guillaume Grandazzi

Commemorating the Chernobyl disaster: Remembering the future

Chernobyl Have the lessons of Chernobyl been heeded? According to Guillaume Grandazzi, the Chernobyl commemorations will attempt to salvage the fiction of risk-free atomic power. [ more ]

Alla Yaroshinskaya

The big lie

The secret Chernobyl documents

Chernobyl In 1990, journalist Alla Yaroshinskaya came across secret documents about the Chernobyl catastrophe that revealed a massive cover-up operation and a calculated policy of disinformation. It has taken twenty years for the truth of the Chernobyl disaster to come to light, and even now the full extent of the consequences remains uncertain. [ more ]


Read also: Christine Daum, Igor Kostin, "The vodka was supposed to clea our thyroid glands"; Anatol Klaschuk, , "Children of Chernobyl"


On the allegations against Milan Kundera

Miroslav Balastík

Two stories

Kundera and the conclusion of the Velvet Revolution

Kundera The reaction to the Kundera allegations in the Czech Republic has largely been one of doubt rather than blame. Miroslav Balastík wonders whether the incident signifies the end of a phase of post-communism in the Czech Republic. [ more ]

György Dalos

What does it mean, disclosure?

kundera While there are many differences between the Kundera case and those of other eastern European intellectuals revealed as having been informers, its disclosure has followed the usual pattern. Each case must be evaluated on an individual basis, cautions György Dalos. [ more ]

Samuel Abrahám

A trace of metaphysics?

On the allegations against Milan Kundera

kundera Whatever the outcome of the allegations against Milan Kundera, writes Samuel Abrahám, the manner in which they have been made represents a failure of journalistic decency. [ more ]


European histories in literature, art and film

Katharina Raabe

As the fog lifted

Literature in eastern central Europe since 1989

literary criticism After 1989, uncensored editions of many classics of contemporary eastern European literature became available, and numerous authors were discovered for the first time in the West. Meanwhile, a younger generation of writers, their imaginations liberated by events, were quick to respond to a new appetite for understanding the communist past. [Norwegian version added] [ more ]

Gábor Németh


fiction "A person comes in, protests just like you, then shouts and rants, and then, when finally shown the piece of paper that was signed when they were on military service, they crumple." [ more ]

Zsolt Csalog

What are the Czechs like?

fiction "I'm tellin' ya, if a Czechoslovak had been within reach, I'd've licked his ass clean!" A tough-talking Magyar remembers the stirrings of neighbourly affection in '89. [ more ]

Jaroslaw Kuisz

Between pigs and debt

Film It all began with the pleasing features of Gary Cooper... On two iconic Polish films that show the brutality, fear and loneliness that have accompanied the new political order: Wladislaw Pasikowski's "Pigs" (1992) and Krzysztof Krauze's "Debt" (1999). [ more ]

György Dalos

Going away and getting away

Richard Wagner's dilemma

literary criticism Romanian-German author Richard Wagner writes of exiles from the former Eastern Bloc who remain alien in their adopted countries yet cannot find their ways back home. György Dalos's laudatio to Wagner on his receipt of the Georg Dehio prize. [ more ]

Heiko Haumann

"Heroes" and "the people" in eastern Europe

A rapprochement

literary criticism "Heroes" are associated in national memory with freedom and hope. The aesthetic idolization of Polish rebel leader Tadeusz Kosciuszko (1746-1817) and Russian general Aleksandre Suvorov (1729-1800) demonstrates eastern Europe's predilection for longsuffering yet proud heroes. [ more ]

Regine Dehnel

Perpetrators, victims, and art

The National Socialists' campaign of pillage

Fine art The victims of Nazi pillaging included political opponents such as freemasons, priests, socialists, and union officials, but those most affected were the Jews. The results continue to hinder the search for mutual understanding within Europe. [ more ]




More focal points

Changing media – Media in change
Media-technological developments are causing a fundamental re-structuring of the newspaper and book publishing sectors, with traditional media locked in fierce competition with online newcomers for market superiority. Yet media change is about more than the "newspaper crisis" and the iPad: property law, privacy, free speech and the functioning of the public sphere are all affected. [ more ]

Changing media – Media in change
Media-technological developments are causing a fundamental re-structuring of the newspaper and book publishing sectors, with traditional media locked in fierce competition with online newcomers for market superiority. Yet media change is about more than the "newspaper crisis" and the iPad: property law, privacy, free speech and the functioning of the public sphere are all affected. [ more ]

The bonfire of the universities
The uni's burning! The slogan was everywhere in the German-speaking space last winter, as the protests at the University of Vienna set off a wave of similar strikes, first at Austrian universities, then beyond: in Frankfurt, Heidelberg, Marburg, Zürich... 2009/10 saw further protests at universities in Athens, Zagreb, Marseilles and London. The Bologna Process, one of the main points of contention, also marked its ten-year anniversary on 12 March this year by officially inaugurating the European Higher Education Area. Eurozine surveys a debate enflaming (not only) Europe. [ more ]

Climate of change? Debating the politics of global warming
Agreement about the necessity of radical ecological change may be unprecedented, yet rhetoric and reality go their separate ways; what looks good on paper fails to resonate in social and political practice. Will the Copenhagen Climate Summit be able to bring together word and deed? Or will business continue as usual in the global greenhouse? A Eurozine focal point debates the politics of global warming. [ more ]

Media landscapes: Central and eastern Europe
Those in central and eastern Europe who, after 1989, saw the media as the handmaiden of democracy and the conventional watchdog on power, today have become targets for new and subtler forms of censorship. How media autonomy in Europe's newer democracies is being inhibited by market forces and continuing political intervention. [ more ]

The malady of infinite aspiration?
Sound in principle or sick at heart? Articles on the financial crisis, compiled under Durkheim's memorable phrase. Including: Jacques Rupnik, Ralf Dahrendorf, Daniel Daianu, Mircea Vasilescu, Heiner Flassbeck, Olivier Mongin. [ more ]

Olympic indifference
The Beijing Olympics 2008 are unusual insofar as not one country has boycotted them. This, despite the fact that the political dimension of the Games has seldom been more controversial. Are we seeing a new kind of "Olympic indifference"? With this in mind, Eurozine compiles articles on sport, politics, and protest. [ more ]

Shared space, divided society
Migration is part of modern society, meaning more and more people of different ethnic, religious, and cultural backgrounds live together in Europe. The multitude of perspectives and experiences represents an enormous resource, but as cultural conflicts inherent in today's urban societies become visible, doubts are also raised about the value of diversity. [ more ]

1968: Beyond soixante-huite
Forty years on, the differences between the 1968 uprisings in western and eastern Europe move into ever sharper focus. "In retrospect, the great event of '68 in Europe was not Paris, but Prague. But we were unable to see this at the time." Including articles on '68 in Czechoslovakia, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, France and West Germany. [ more ]

Illiberal Europe?
Parliament or the soapbox? Populist politics are enjoying renewed success in Europe, above all in the former socialist countries. Ivan Krastev, G.M.Tamás, Ralf Dahrendorf, Jacques Rupnik and others investigate the rise of "democratic illiberalism". [ more ]

Cultural citizenship
The concept of cultural citizenship responds to the multicultural context of contemporary societies, in which the concern with equality is increasingly being complemented with a concern with difference. Contributors include Gerard Delanty, Axel Honneth, Rainer Bauböck, Ivaylo Ditchev, Charles Taylor, Rada Ivekovic, António Sousa Ribeiro. [ more ]

Decentring Europe
Any reinvention of the concept of Europe that takes into account the complexities inherent in Europe's place in a globalized world must contain a critique of Eurocentrism. Learning from the South, i.e. absorbing the full critical impact of alternative approaches may be a key element in the rethinking – and unthinking – of "Europe".[ more ]

The future of war
Are wars that are fought between nations a thing of the past, and are the future challenges more a case of ethnic strife, break-up of failed states, secession and civil wars? In a special focal point, Eurozine analyzes the changing face of warfare in the twenty-first century, in which terrorism and new security threats have profoundly transformed the way wars are conducted. [ more ]

The city as stage for social upheaval
From the western European city to the Third World megacity, one is able to observe how a single principle asserts itself in the social structure of the urban space. That principle – privatization – is geared towards the concentration of wealth and assets on an increasingly global scale, a manoeuvre its beneficiaries seek to naturalize. [ more ]

Big Brother goes global
Post 9/11, governments are increasingly tailoring "international standards" to ratify domestic policies that intrude on civil liberties. Welcome to the phenomenon of "policy laundering". [ more ]

Changing Europe
As political Europe turns 50, the questions about its future are as open as ever. A special focus featuring some of Eurozine's most outstanding contributions on the European project: From analyses of the current crisis to a hilarious parody of Brussels' literary ambitions. [ more ]

Post-secular Europe?
Is religion a public or a private matter? Can there be such a thing as a European Islam? If so, what characterizes it? What role can religion – or religions – play when it comes to the emergence of a European solidarity? [ more ]

Europe talks to Europe: Towards a European public sphere?
The European integration project has made the discussion about transnational spaces for cultural and political debate acute. Can there at all be a common Europe without a pan-European public sphere? [ more ]

Politics of border making and (cross-)border identities
Have borders become irrelevant with the project of a united Europe? No, just the opposite. On the dilemmas of border building and cross-border cooperation in the EU and its neighbourhood. [ more ]

Documenta 12 magazines
Eurozine is participating in the Documenta 12 magazines project, which links over 90 print and on-line periodicals worldwide. Read Eurozine's contributions to the documenta leitmotifs "Modernity" and "Bare Life" here.[ more ]

Freedom of speech and the Danish cartoon controversy
Free speech is a fundamental human right and a central tenet of democracy. Or is it? Reactions to the Danish cartoon controversy show that liberals are re-evaluating what the right to free speech entails. [ more ]

Politics of translation
Translation today is as much about the translation of cultural, political, and historical contexts and concepts as it is about language. [ more ]



European histories
The 22nd European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Vilnius, 8-11 May 2009

Under the heading "European Histories", the 22nd European Meeting of Cultural Journals explored the role of history and memory in forming new identities in a Europe in change. [ more ]

crosswords X mots croisés
21st European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Paris, 26-29 September 2008

The 21st European Meeting of Cultural Journals 2008 in Paris explored the theme of multilingualism in Europe in terms of language policies, migration, translation and the European public sphere. Read the conference texts here. [ more ]

Changing places (What's normal anyway?)
The 20th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Sibiu, 21-24 October 2007

Under the heading "Changing places (What's normal anyway?)", the Eurozine network conference 2007 in Sibiu, Romania, addressed the challenges facing societies, literature, and the media as the need for change meets the urge for normality. Read the conference texts here. [ more ]

Friend and foe. Shared space, divided society
The 19th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
London, 27-30 October 2006

Speakers at the 19th European Meeting of Cultural Journals opened up the discussion on cultural diversity in two directions: first, as it is experienced in the physical urban space, and second, as it is reflected in the mirror of the media. [ more ]

The 18th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Istanbul, 4-7 November 2005

Contributions on the notion of neighbourhood and the Turkey-Europe question from a range of intellectual and geographic perspectives. [ more ]


Focal points     click for more

Debating solidarity in Europe
In the aftermath of the 2008 financial crisis, questions of inequality and solidarity have become intertwined. Over the past year, however, questions of solidarity have also been central in connection to the treatment of refugees and migrants. [more]

Ukraine: Beyond conflict stories
Follow the critical, informed and nuanced voices that counter the dominant discourse of crisis concerning Ukraine. A media exchange project linking Ukrainian independent media with "alternative" media in Germany, France, Spain, Italy and Greece. [more]

Russia in global dialogue
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 European dialogue
Post-revolutionary Ukrainian society displays a unique mix of hope, enthusiasm, social creativity, collective trauma of war, radicalism and disillusionment. Two years after the country's uprising, the focal point "Ukraine in European dialogue" takes stock. [more]

Culture and the commons
Across Europe, citizens are engaging in new forms of cultural cooperation while developing alternative and participatory democratic practices. The commons is where cultural and social activists meet a broader public to create new ways of living together. [more]

2016 Jean Améry Prize collection
To coincide with the awarding of the 2016 Jean Améry Prize for European essay writing, Eurozine publishes essays by authors nominated for the prize, including by a representative selection of Eurozine partner journals. [more]

The politics of privacy
The Snowden leaks and the ensuing NSA scandal made the whole world debate privacy and data protection. Now the discussion has entered a new phase - and it's all about policy. A focal point on the politics of privacy: claiming a European value. [more]

Beyond Fortress Europe
The fate of migrants attempting to enter Fortress Europe has triggered a new European debate on laws, borders and human rights. A focal point featuring reportage alongside articles on policy and memory. With contributions by Fabrizio Gatti, Seyla Benhabib and Alessandro Leogrande. [more]

Vacancies at Eurozine     click for more

Eurozine is seeking an Online Editor and Social Media Manager for its office in Vienna.

Preferred starting date: February 2017.
Applications deadline: 31 January 2017.

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.
Mobilizing for the Commons
The 27th European Meeting of Cultural Journals
Gdańsk, 4-6 November 2016
The Eurozine conference 2016 in Gdańsk framed the general topic of solidarity with a focus on mobilizing for the commons. The event took place in the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk and thus linked contemporary debate to the history of a broad, non-violent, anti-communist social movement which has started in the city's shipyard in 1980. [more]

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.

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?
In memoriam: Ales Debeljak (1961-2016)
On 28 January 2016, Ales Debeljak died in a car crash in Slovenia. He will be much missed as an agile and compelling essayist, a formidable public speaker and a charming personality. [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.
Neda Deneva, Constantina Kouneva, Irina Nedeva and Yavor Siderov
Does migration intensify distrust in institutions?
How do migration and institutional mistrust relate to one another? As a new wave of populism feeds on and promotes fears of migration, aggrandising itself through the distrust it sows, The Red House hosts a timely debate with a view to untangling the key issues. [more]

Editor's choice     click for more

Jürgen Habermas, Michaël Foessel
Critique and communication: Philosophy's missions
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 dialogue. [more]

Literature     click for more

Karl Ove Knausgĺrd
Out to where storytelling does not reach
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 Knausgĺrd on creating literature. [more]

Jonathan Bousfield
Growing up in Kundera's Central Europe
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. [more]

Literary perspectives
The re-transnationalization of literary criticism
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
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]

Multimedia     click for more
Multimedia section including videos of past Eurozine conferences in Vilnius (2009) and Sibiu (2007). [more]

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