Born in Hungary before becoming a communist in Germany, then a French Foreign Legionnaire, then a wartime propagandist for the British government – but, above all, a writer and thinker – Arthur Koestler was one of the most intriguing intellectuals of the twentieth century. Michael Scammell, the author of his official biography, ‘Koestler, The Indispensable Intellectual’, spoke to Eurozine partner journal Letras Libres about Koestler’s life.
Historian Timothy Snyder, in conversation with Simas Čelutka of the Vilnius Institute for Policy Analysis, discusses how to approach problematic works of political theory. In addition to Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Snyder has recently studied the works of Ivan Ilyin, a twentieth-century Russian writer whose ideas are influencing the Kremlin’s current world-view.
In ‘The End of History and the Last Man’, Francis Fukuyama famously argued that the global spread of liberal democracy signalled the conclusion of humanity’s sociocultural evolution. In view of populism, inequality, Islamism and mass migration, how has Fukuyama’s thought developed in the intervening twenty-five years?
Thor Halvorssen, founder of the Oslo Freedom Forum, has been described in the Norwegian media as a ‘suspect liberalist’. In a wide-ranging interview, Truls Lie, editor-in-chief of Eurozine network partner journal Ny Tid and Modern Times Review, asked him about dictatorships, his native Venezuela, anarchism and meritocracy.
Political scientist Michael Freeden talks to Slovene journal Razpotja about rightwing populism’s sub-ideological fantasies, anti-liberalism and political dogmatism, and why there can be no such thing as a democracy without deficits.
Anarchism, work and bureaucracy
‘On a deep, cultural level, people actually believe that if you don’t do something that at least mildly frustrates you, then your work is not valuable.’ Anthropologist, activist and bestselling anarchist David Graeber on the police state, bullshit jobs and why people need no telling that capitalism is bad.
It is life itself that forces change
The Polish intellectual and diplomat Adam Daniel Rotfeld played a key role in creating a new system of international security in the enlarged European Union. He contributed to settling the Transnistria conflict in the 1990s, helped resolve the political crisis in Ukraine during the Orange Revolution in 2004, and co-chaired the Polish-Russian Group on Difficult Matters. How does a professional crisis manager and architect of European security see the international conflict around Ukraine and the future of Ukrainian–Russian relations? Rotfeld spoke to Piotr Kubasiak at the Institute for Human Sciences (IWM, Vienna).
Poetry is a kind of dance
The American poet Rita Dove talks to Kosovar author and poet Ag Appoloni about her influences and artistic development, and about the importance of African American history in her work.
Mobilizing law for solidarity
The enfranchisement of migrants can overcome the democratic deficit, however ethno-nationalism’s xenophobic understanding of the political community requires a political, not a legal solution, argues social anthropologist Shalini Randeria.