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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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Articles published in Eurozine

Jens Siegert

Russia's spiral of repression

The trial against Valentina Cerevatenko and the Women of the Don Union

When Russian NGOs resisted the law obliging them to declare themselves as foreign agents, the Ministry of Justice began to blacklist them itself. One such group is the Women of the Don Union, whose operations have been paralysed by a criminal investigation into its director Valentina Cerevatenko. [more]


Grigori Ochotin

Agent hunting

The campaign against NGOs in Russia

The so-called "agents law" passed in 2012 has been ramped up since the revolution in Ukraine, making it practically impossible for NGOs receiving financial support from abroad to function. Whether it remains possible to advocate for democratic values in Russia depends on political decision-making both in Russia and the West. [more]


Emil Aslan Souleimanov

A contested triangle

Russia, the West and "Islamic State"

Russia's intervention in the Syrian civil war toward the end of 2015 continued up until the partial ceasefire of February 2016. Emil Aslan Souleimanov interprets the move as an attempt to bring the West around to normalizing relations with Russia in the name of the struggle against IS. [more]


Andreas Heinemann-Grüder

Narrating the South Caucasus

A survey of recent literature

Literature on the South Caucasus tends to overindulge in diagnoses made from afar and the ritual repetition of conflict narratives. This causes Andreas Heinemann-Grüder to stress the need to conduct much more field research, not least when it comes to comparative politics. [more]


Xin Zhang

After neoliberalism

State capitalism in China and Russia

The state capitalist systems of China and Russia have brought "the triumph of neoliberalism" to an end, writes Xin Zhang. Now both countries are attempting to export their economic models with the aim of loosening the grip of so-called free market capitalism on the global economy. [more]


Martin Aust

Unlike in Monty Python's "Life of Brian"

A response to Anna Veronika Wendland's criticism

Martin Aust responds to Anna Veronika Wendland's criticism that German scholars of eastern European history have so far largely failed to deliver anything like watertight expertise in the public debate about conflict in eastern Ukraine. [more]


Mark N. Katz

Russia, Ukraine and the West

In the event that the West musters even a semblance of unity in response to the destruction of eastern Ukraine, Mark N. Katz has some suggestions as to possible courses of action. Not that any of these can be considered in isolation from Vladimir Putin's possible goals. [more]


Stefan Auer

The Holocaust as fiction

From Andrzej Wajda's "Korczak" to Quentin Tarantino's "Inglorious Basterds"

"Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent." However, what if remaining silent is unacceptable? Then Wittgenstein's famous dictum no longer helps, writes Stefan Auer. Then one narrates stories, even cinematic ones. [more]


Anna Veronika Wendland

Fumbling in the dark

"Experts" on the Ukraine crisis: A polemic

It's not acceptable to reduce the war in eastern Ukraine to geopolitical over-simplifications and superficial accounts of local specificities, writes Anna Veronika Wendland. Yet German intellectuals and certain politicians on the Left continue to do so. The experts remain silent. [more]


Andrei Melville

King of the hill

On the stability and fragility of post-Soviet regimes

Over half the world's population still live not in democratically governed states but under authoritarian or hybrid regimes. Among which, argues Andrei Melville, the post-Soviet ones are in a class of their own. So what are the chances of a new wave of democracy breaking over these? [more]


Boris Dubin

Underneath Putin's ratings

Vladimir Putin's rule now hinges on an obsession with ratings and suppressing the opposition, writes Boris Dubin. But, until his recent death, the Russian sociologist still combined keen insights into Russia's rotten political culture with a plea for a new, enlightened historical consciousness. [more]


Volodymyr Kulyk

Unity and identity

Language policy after the Maidan

The transnational market for Russian language products means that they always have a competitive edge over Ukrainian ones. Time to introduce quotas for Ukrainian language television and film productions, along with tax benefits for Ukrainian publications, argues Volodymyr Kulyk. [more]


Mykola Riabchuk

Decentralization and subsidiarity

In opposition to federalization à la russe

A spectre is haunting Ukraine, the spectre of federalism, observes Mykola Riabchuk in an article on Russian interference in Ukraine. So will the Ukrainian elite and people grasp what is likely the last chance to save the country and implement institutional reform? Or will Putinism win out? [more]


Jost Dülffer

Planned memory

The history boom surrounding WWI

The media preparations for the centenary of WWI seem unstoppable, comments Jost Düffler. Meanwhile, scholarly interpretations are in flux. And sales of new books on the subject are high, confirming that history sells; but also reflecting the sense of crisis concerning Europe's present. [more]


Andreas Kahrs, Eva Spanka

The movement on the march

Ruch Narodowy and Poland's extreme right

Poland's extreme right has long been ignored at home and abroad. Yet recent events reveal it is among the most dynamic of its kind in Europe, write Andreas Kahrs and Eva Spanka: the Warsaw "March of Independence" in November 2013, for example, attracted nearly 50,000 participants. [more]


Matthias Schwartz

Generation nothing

Portrayals of youth in eastern Europe's frustration prose

With reference to the novels of Irina Denezhkina (Russia), Serhiy Zhadan (Ukraine) and Miroslaw Nahacz (Poland), Matthias Schwartz assesses the cultural effects of commercial interests monopolizing the life world of young people in eastern Europe. [more]


Sebastian Kinder, Nikolaus Roos

The regional enthusiasts

Cultural projects on the German-Polish border

Despite structural social and economic problems, a range of regional cultural projects are taking place in and around Szczecin, along the German-Polish border. Sebastian Kinder and Nikolaus Roos introduce the pioneering work of regional enthusiasts. [more]


Lev Gudkov

Fatal continuities

From Soviet totalitarianism to Putin's authoritarianism

The central pillars of Soviet rule such as the secret services, the army and the judicial system, have remained largely intact long after the USSR ceased to exist. And Putin has been alarmingly successful in using them to maintain his own authoritarian regime, writes Lev Gudkov. [more]


Gábor Attila Tóth

Power instead of law

The deformation of Hungary's constitutional system

As the Fidesz government dismantles Hungary's political and constitutional system, Gábor Attila Tóth considers the influence of international institutions and the efficacy of domestic, democratic resources far from exhausted. On the contrary, the role played by both will likely be decisive. [more]


Anne-Sophie Mutter, Manfred Sapper

A new musical cosmos

Anne-Sophie Mutter on Witold Lutoslawski

On the eve of the hundredth anniversary of Polish composer Witold Lutoslawski's birth, "Osteuropa" editor Manfred Sapper speaks to world-famous violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter about first meeting Lutoslawski, and the effect that he had on her musical career thereafter. [more]


Anna Ananieva, Klaus Gestwa

The war of 1812

How Russia rescued Europe

As Napolean's army disintegrated upon retreating from Russia, the Russian Empire rose from the ashes of Moscow as the "saviour of Europe". Historians Anna Ananieva and Klaus Gestwa recall how a new European order materialized and became the object of reminiscence. [more]


Richard Sakwa

Russia: From stalemate to equilibrium?

The interaction between the legal-rational and neo-patrimonial state provides the key to interpreting developments in post-communist Russia. This precludes assigning Russia to the camp of authoritarian states, but it also means that Russia's democracy is flawed. [more]


Stefan Auer

Vaclav Havel's contested legacy

From pacifist to cheerleader for US foreign policy, from dissident thinker to purveyor of "political kitsch", Vaclav Havel was a figure that divided opinion. Nevertheless, right up to his death, Havel continued to pursue a consistent ideal, writes Stefan Auer. [more]


Gábor Halmai

Towards an illiberal democracy

Hungary's new constitution

Hungary's new constitution contradicts European standards on numerous counts: it sets in stone government policy; it is biased towards "ethnic" Hungarians; and it undermines the independence of regulatory institutions including the constitutional court and media. [more]


Mykola Riabchuk

Tymoshenko: Wake-up call for the EU

The EU shouldn't be surprised by the Tymoshenko verdict: its support of anything nominally reformist has been perceived as acceptance of a range of repressions. Tough measures are now needed to prevent another authoritarian state forming on the EU's borders. [more]


Dmitri Furman

Russia's retarded democracy

From empire to nation-state

Russia today, like during the Soviet period, is held together by a repressive vertical power. However this integration remains largely formal. An historical analysis of Russia's retarded democracy suggests that beneath the monolithic surface lies the potential for further national secession. [more]


Jörg Ganzenmüller

Memory's minor theatre of war

The Leningrad blockade in German memory

The siege of Leningrad claimed around 1 million lives, largely through starvation. Yet Leningrad has occupied a minor place in the German memory of WWII: well into the 1970s West German schoolbooks were reproducing versions of events established by the Nazi generation. [more]


Helmut König

Paradoxes of memory

Forgetting violence was long seen as a condition for long-term peace after war or civil war. But the amnesty clause is only realistic when certain rules of war were upheld, writes Helmut König. Wherever people cannot forget, only remembrance remains. [more]


Tomasz Zarycki

Imitation or substance

Poland in Europe and the Europeanization of Poland

The current Presidency of the Council of the European Union appears firmly anchored in Europe, yet Poland is also marginalized and insecure, writes Tomasz Zarycki. Even when the Poles try to be exemplary Europeans, it is a passive Europeanness, often merely its imitation. [more]


Vasilij Golovanov

Earth without gods

Abnegating worldly affairs, the Raskolniki found physical and spiritual refuge in the most inhospitable regions of the Russian Empire. Apart from some isolated burial sites, nothing remains of one particular group who settled on Kolguyev Island in the Barents Sea in 1767. [more]


Barbara Falk

Between past and future

Central European dissent in historical perspective

The Marxian severance of dissent and toleration has obscured the liberal roots of eastern European dissidence, argues Barbara Falk. Where Lockean liberalism emphasized toleration of religion and other dissenting practices, Marxism sees dissent solely in terms of class struggle. [more]


Barys Piatrovich

The Chernobyl that nobody wants

Twenty-five years after the Chernobyl disaster, Barys Piatrovich recalls the tension of unknowing during the days that followed. Today, barely any of the Chernobyl evacuees are still alive. Dispersed throughout Belarus, they died alone and unnoticed, statistically insignificant. [more]


Petr Fischer

America: Paradoxical icon of the new

Europeans need to stop blaming the American Way of Life for the ills of post-industrial consumer society and start asking what American individualism has to teach about social cohesion, argues Petr Fischer. [more]


David Marples, Manfred Sapper

"Europe's last dictatorship": A self-fulfilling prophecy

An interview with David Marples

Lukashenka's departure from the path of liberalization suggests Russian pressure, says David Marples. The Belarusian president may have been able to dispose of political opponents, but the country's economic weakness poses a more elusive threat to the stability of his regime. [more]


Karin Bachmann


Hungary: The dam break and its consequences

In wake of the "red sludge" catastrophe in western Hungary in October, the ruling Fidesz party was quick to lay the blame on corruption within the socialist government of the 1990s. Yet responsibility could still turn out to lie with Fidesz, reports Karin Bachmann. [more]


David Fanning

What counts is the music

Mieczyslaw Weinberg's life and work

A friend of Shostakovich and one of the great composers of his era, how did Mieczyslaw Weinberg get so lost? His biographer explains not only how Weinberg disappeared from view, but why we must listen to his work. [more]


Stefan Auer

Contesting the origins of European liberty

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

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]


Maya Razmadze

The depths of the Golden Age

The Soviet past in Georgia's textbooks

The memory of socialism in Georgia is a contradictory one. Some romanticize it as a golden age of stability, others construe it as foreign rule. The textbook has become the link between politics, pedagogy and history. How the past is construed is in flux. [more]


Laszlo Kornitzer

"Their programme is destructiveness"

About the Right and political culture in Hungary

"Home is the place one feels attached to culturally and that in a political sense does not repel one. For people like me, home is beginning to cease being home." Laszlo Kornitzer describes the political climate in Hungary after the elections. [more]


Irina Sherbakova

When the mute speak to the deaf

Generational dialogue and history policy in Russia

In Russia today, personal experience of WWII as a source of social memory has almost run dry. Instead, younger generations are exposed to a pseudo-patriotic and ideologized history policy, writes the director of Memorial Moscow's educational programme. [more]


Serhii Zhadan

A road atlas of Ukraine

"The air smells of dead metal, we drive on a bit, and all of a sudden the genuine Stalingrad district opens up in front of us, just what we need, even if this district is still living." Serhij Zhadan travels with photographer Christoph Lingg through eastern Ukraine's derelict industrial landscape. [more]


Olga Radetzkaja, Manfred Sapper, Volker Weichsel

Letters from prison

An introduction to the Khodorkovsky-Ulitskaya correspondence by the editors of "Osteuropa". [more]


Mikhail Khodorkovsky, Lyudmila Ulitskaya

"The most important thing here is self-discipline..."

The Khodorkovsky-Ulitskaya correspondence

"Looking for loopholes in the law and exploiting them - this was the most that we allowed ourselves. And we got our kicks from showing the government the mistakes it had made in legislation." Mikhail Khodorkovsky confides in novelist Lyudmila Ulitskaya. [more]


Boguslaw Bakula

The burden of freedom

Polish culture 1989-1999

For Poland, the challenge of '89 lay in combining the formerly separate cultural spheres of dissidence, exile and official policy. When censorship fell away, a cultural "autism" that had developed in Poland during communism encountered a new opponent: the West. [more]


Klaus Gestwa

Columbus of the cosmos

The Yuri Gagarin cult

After a short period spent in ideological weightlessness, Yuri Gagarin succeeded in re-entering the post-communist world, writes historian Klaus Gestwa. Today, the cosmonaut cult is used for the patriotic re-interpretation of Soviet history. [more]


Martin Konecny, Keti Medarova-Bergstrom

Green turnaround or businesss as usual?

EU climate policy in the new member-states

The economies of central eastern Europe have remained unchanged in at least one respect: their high level of energy wastage. Add to that the explosion of car-use in the region, and eastern central Europe becomes the EU's major obstacle to reaching its emissions targets for 2020. [more]


Daniel Hausknost

Going nowhere, fast

The simulated revolution of sustainability

The plea for sustainability and change is followed by insufficient action, and indicators such as the "ecological footprint" point in the wrong direction. Our political systems are not yet able to meet the greatest challenge of the present: the shift from fossil to post-fossil fuel. [more]


Katharina Raabe

As the fog lifted

Literature in eastern central Europe since 1989

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]


Stefan Troebst

23 August 1939

A European lieu de mémoire?

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]


Thomas Bremer, Jennifer Wasmuth

God and the world

Church and religion in eastern Europe

Are warnings about the "clericalization" of eastern European societies a Protestant reaction to cult-like displays, a latent scepticism towards the visual communication of religious content? [more]


Adam Michnik

Defending freedom

Reflections on 1989

The paradoxical effects of transition make it hard to see what was achieved in '89, writes Adam Michnik. "The workers, with whose help it was possible to win freedom, fell victim to that very freedom." In a "Europe without utopias", cynicism towards democratic values is the biggest danger. [more]


Arseni Roginski

Fragmented memory

Stalin and Stalinism in present-day 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]


Reinhold Vetter

Turbulence and consequence

Imported economic crisis in eastern Europe

For the first time since the introduction of the market economy 20 years ago, the EU member states in eastern Europe are experiencing how heavily the stability of their currencies depends on foreign speculation. [more]


Karl Schlögel

Places and strata of memory

Approaches to eastern Europe

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]



National images of the past

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

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]


Anatolij Podol's'kyi

A reluctant look back

Jews and the Holocaust in Ukraine

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]


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

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

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]


Anna Lipphardt, Manfred Sapper, Volker Weichsel

Impulses for Europe

Eighty per cent of Jewish people worldwide have eastern European roots, yet how far are the countries of eastern Europe ready to integrate Jewish life and influences into their national commemorative cultures and present day identities? Eurozine publishes a selection of articles from the issue of Osteuropa, "Impulses for Europe. Tradition and Modernity in East European Jewry". [more]


Katrin Steffen

Disputed memory

Jewish past, Polish remembrance

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]


Vytautas Toleikis

Repress, reassess, remember

Jewish heritage in Lithuania

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]


Manfred Sapper

Overcoming war

Jan Bloch: entrepreneur, publicist, pacifist

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]


Alexander Daniel

1968 in Moscow

A beginning

The Russian dissident movement was born when a protest against the trial of system critical writers was broadcasted on western radio on 11 January 1968, writes Aleksander Daniel. "To appeal to world public opinion, to the 'enemies', was equivalent to treason, to betrayal of the homeland." [more]


Helen Byron, Malgorzata Gorska

Head-on collision in the Rospuda Valley

Poland: transport versus nature

The planned construction of a four-lane section of the trans-European "Via Baltica" road corridor through a pristine wetland valley in north eastern Poland has brought intervention at a European level. The case serves as a precedent for the application of EU conservation law. [more]


Dmitri Furman

Russia at the crossroads

Logic and the end of "imitation democracy"

The Belavezha Accords in 1991, which dissolved the USSR without a democratic mandate, condemned subsequent presidents to rule by "imitated democracy". Putin's decision to step down after two terms has given Russia a chance to depart from that path of development, argues Dmitri Furman. [more]


Lev Gudkov

A state without society

On the technology of authoritarianism in Russia

Far from having "restored Russia's greatness", the Putin regime has ushered in a new stage of social decay. Elections in Russia have become an act of mass obedience on the part of a society unable to imagine anything better. [more]


Heiko Haumann

"Heroes" and "the people" in eastern Europe

A rapprochement

"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]


Mykola Riabchuk

Pluralism by default

Viktor Yushchenko's election victory in September 2007 opened up an opportunity for improvement of Ukraine's democratic institutions, writes Mykola Riabchuk. The current crisis, a symptom of "pluralism by default", represents a setback for those hopes. [more]


Marlène Laruelle

Renaissance by decree

Nation building in Central Asia

Unlike the European post-Soviet states, where popular movements struggled for national independence, nation building in Central Asia came from above. In order to glorify their own nation and to legitimize the regime's rule, those in power are neglecting the problems of the recent past. [more]


Karl Schlögel

Archipelago Europe

Instead of two homogeneous European regions -- "the East" and "the West" -- there are now fragments, enclaves, and islands. From Baden-Baden to Bucharest, Majorca to Moscow, Karl Schlögel experiences Europe as a series of spaces both distinct and connected. [more]


Dmitri Furman

Origins and elements of imitated democracies

On political development in the post-Soviet space

Throughout the territory of the former Soviet Union, regimes have established themselves behind a democratic facade while concentrating power in the hands of a president. Contrary to their purported stability, all contain the seeds of their own downfall. [more]


Georg Vobruba

Expansion without enlargement

Europe's dynamism and the EU's neighbourhood policy

In order to protect its core, the EU is creating a buffer zone at its periphery. But these states are perceived as a source of problems as much as a solution. [more]


Regine Dehnel

Perpetrators, victims, and art

The National Socialists' campaign of pillage

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]


Andrea Huterer

The fight for law and justice

On the political rhetoric of the Kaczynskis

The Kaczynski brothers style themselves as the protectors of the "common people" from an enemy both inside and outside Poland's borders. Ironically, their Manichaean rhetoric shares much with the communist tradition they reject. [more]


Lev Gudkov

Russia's systemic crisis

Negative mobilization and collective cynicism

Russia is degenerating into a police state, society has descended into poverty, and the country is becoming increasingly isolated, writes Lev Gudkov. Worse still: the Russian public is united only in the view that talk of common goals is the empty rhetoric of demagogues. [more]


Georg Vobruba

A critique of the criticism of Europe

The intellectual perspective on European integration

Although European integration determines everyday life in Europe, there is little intellectual criticism of it. The reason for this, writes sociologist Georg Vobruba, is that all the simple perspectives are already taken. [more]


Klaus Bachmann

Reason's cunning

Poland, populism, and involuntary modernization

Populism in Poland has the same paradoxical consequences as in other Europan countries: populists attack democracy, but make it more stable by expanding its ability to integrate; they make use of anti-modern rhetoric, but by polarizing, consolidate their opponents. [more]


Ulrich Schmid

Non-literature without morals

Why Varlam Shalamov is not read

Despite the moderate success of Varlam Shalamov's "Kolyma Tales", he was unable to follow in the slipstream of Solzhenitsyn's "Gulag Archipelago". The muted reception to Shalamov's writing about the gulag lies in its rejection of the slightest artificiality, says Ulrich Schmid. [more]


Birgit Menzel, Ulrich Schmid

The East within the West

Importing popular culture

From Irving Berlin's "White Christmas" to Tetris and t.A.T.u., eastern European imports to Western pop culture have been camouflaged, adapted, or exoticized. [more]


Lilia Shevtsova

Russia's will to world power

Autocracy, energy, ideology

Until now, Russia and the West have been imitating "strategic partnership". To create a genuinely stable partnership, however, the US must reverse its drive towards military hegemony. For its part, Russia must make the transition to fully democratic standards. [more]


Artur Klinau, Katharina Narbutovic

News from the partisan forests

Artur Klinau on subversive culture and the culture of subversives

"It probably won't be possible to make Minsk as popular as Venice. But if it can reach even 10 or 15 per cent of Venice's popularity, that would mean billions of dollars." Artist, author, and editor Artur Klinau has a dream. [more]


Thomas von Ahn

Democracy or the street?

On the stability of the Hungarian political system

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]


Ingo Petz

Awakening through music

The cultural anti-elite in Belarus

With the official opposition in Belarus increasingly divided, Europe must support the informal underground that will shape the Belarus of tomorrow. [more]


Jadwiga Staniszkis

Revolutionary elites, pragmatic masses

The Polish Populists' pyrrhic victory

The new Polish elite feels it has no control over the processes for which it bears political responsibility. Only now is it understanding that European integration and globalization have put limits on its power. [Danish version added] [more]


Stefan Auer

The lost treasure of the revolution

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]


Hans-Georg Wieck

Democracy promotion at a dead end

Europe is failing in Belarus

European charters for democratic reform have run aground in Belarus. Expressions of solidarity are not enough: Europe needs to adopt the US strategy of promoting the opposition directly. [more]


Leonid Gakkel

The law of complementarity

Shostakovich and Prokofiev

Like Goethe and Schiller, Shostakovich and Prokofiev belong together like the material and the spiritual. Instead of discussing who is more important, the fact that two such talents existed should be celebrated. [more]


Eliot Borenstein

A nation's closing sale

Prostitution and chauvinism in Russia

The figure of the prostitute serves Russian literature and the media as a metaphor for national identity and as a vehicle for criticism of Russia's "sell out" to Western capitalism. [more]


Margarete Wiest

Limited pluralism

Post-communist authoritarian systems

In the study of post-communist societies, the concept of authoritarianism is increasingly being used in connection with underdeveloped legal systems, the close alliance of politics and the economy, and lack of pluralism. [more]


Karin Sarsenov

Is it a sin to travel?

Itinerant women in post-Soviet narrative

Three contemporary Russian novels undermine the stigmatization of Russian women as prostitutes and destabilize the patriotic discourse that forbids women's travel. [more]


Julia O'Connell Davidson

Men, middlemen, and migrants

The demand side of "sex trafficking"

The debate about prostitution is conducted between abolitionists, who would like to see pimps and customers prosecuted, and liberals, who call for the official regulation of prostitution. Both positions are simplifications. [more]


Ulrich Schmid

Nasi: the Putin youth

Soviet tradition and political conceptual art

The pro-Putin youth movement Nasi (Ours) is a hierarchical organization that combines structures of the Komsomol with activities inspired by the dissident conceptual art of the 1970s and 1980s. [more]


Stefan Wellgraf

Gifts of millions

Oligarchs and football in Ukraine

By investing heavily in football clubs at home and abroad, Russian and Ukrainian oligarchs hope to accumulate social capital, thereby stabilizing their precarious legal positions. [more]


Lilia Shevtsova

Guaranteed without guarantees

Russia under Putin

Lilia Shevtsova on the paradox of Russia's political development: the ruling class can preserve the existing order only when it is in flux. [more]


Guillaume Grandazzi

Commemorating the Chernobyl disaster: Remembering the future

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

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]


Christine Daum, Igor Kostin

"The vodka was supposed to cleanse our thyroid glands"

Igor Kostin on his Chernobyl photos

Igor Kostin spent seventeen years photographing the visible and invisible consequences of the Chernobyl catastrophe. Here he talks about his life work. [more]


Otto Luchterhandt

Legal nihilism in action

The Yukos-Khodorkovsky trial in Moscow

The new trial of Mikhail Khodorkovsky will be an indicator of the seriousness of Dmitri Medvedev's stated intentions to clamp down on legal nihilism in Russia. Otto Luchterhandt provides a step-by-step account of the farce that led up to Khodorkovsky's conviction. [more]


Kristiane Janeke

(Co-)Operation rooms of art

A recommendation for a virtual museum of looted art

With no end in sight for the full restitution of art pillaged during wartime, art historian and curator Kristiane Janeke finds the Internet the perfect location for a museum of looted art. [more]


Ray Brandon

"Political views: Jew"

Wolfgang Johannes Leppmann (1902-1943)

After the Nazis seized power of the Weimar Republic, Slavicist and historian Wolfgang Leppmann found himself a target of Nazi racial policy. [more]


Sebastian Lentz, Stella Schmid

Blue giant

The view of eastern European space, 1951-1955

The Mercator projection of eastern Europe featured on the cover of Osteuropa from 1951 to 1955 had the drawback of faithfully reproducing surfaces only along the equator. On the cartographic and political distortion of eastern Europe. [more]


Karl Schlögel

The futility of one professor's life

Otto Hoetzsch and German Russian studies

Otto Hoetzsch, eastern Europe scholar and founder of the journal Osteuropa, was defamed during WWII as a "parlour Bolshevik". His pan-European perspective suffered its final defeat with the division of Europe. [more]


Peter Oliver Loew

Twins caught between Endecja and Sanacja

Poland's new centre-right government and its historical roots

The new Polish party of government, Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc, is sympathetic to heroes of the national independence struggle of the first half of the twentieth century. It is one indication that traditionalist thinking will dominate Polish politics in the coming years; whether it will be suitable for solving contemporary problems remains to be seen. [more]


Dagmar Burkhart

The phantasm of the overcoat

Gogol', Timm, Makanin

Nikolai Gogol's short story "The Overcoat" (1842), Vladimir Makanin's novel Underground, or A Hero of Our Times (1998), and Uwe Timm's short story "The Overcoat" (1999) have in common a psycho-poetic orientation towards the Other, based on the phantasm of the overcoat. [more]


Martin Lücke

Vilified, venerated, forbidden

Jazz during Stalinism: Between repression and freedom

The attitude of the Stalinist regime to jazz ranged from censorship to subsidization. Nevertheless, jazz remained a popular feature of cultural life throughout Stalinism. [more]


Michal Witkowski

The cultural divide

Unpolitical confessions

Poland's recently elected Law and Justice Party is attempting to impose its prudish values on the rest of the society. For Left-leaning writers and artists, says one author, this augurs bad times ahead. [more]


Boguslaw Bakula

At the tollgates of Europe and Asia

The poet Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz

The Polish poet wandered throughout his life between Kiev and St Petersburg. While for him Kiev was a portal to the East and place of poetic initiation, St Petersburg was a place of dark forces and fatalist history. Together, the cities symbolized the difficult unity of East and West. [more]


Jan Plamper

The school of life

On a German atonement project in St Petersburg

What the four elderly women from St Petersburg told the author about Stalinism and National Socialism while he worked as their carer in the early 1990s is today at the centre of the debate on national memory. [more]


Boris Dubin, Lev Gudkov

The oligarch as public enemy

How the Khodorkovsky case benefits the Putin regime

Cynicism, argue Gudkov and Dubin, is eroding the foundations of the Putin regime and destabilizing its system of controlled democracy. [more]


Eurozine News Item

The Yukos case

The Yukos case has been widely seen as another attempt by the Putin regime to intimidate its opponents; now the involvement of the European Court of Human Rights seems likely. Read articles dealing with the economic, legal, and societal implications of the case. [more]


Reinhold Vetter

Who are the true Europeans?

Central eastern Europe and the EU crisis

The current crisis of the EU represents a chance for the new member states. Central eastern Europe can start to act as a centre for reforms that will define the future form of the European Union. [more]


Volker Hage

Buried feelings

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

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]


Dorothea Redepenning

Russian content in a European form

The dialogue of cultures in music. [more]


Andreas Langenohl

State visits

Internationalized commemoration of WWII in Russia and Germany

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]


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]


Il'ya Kukulin

The regulation of pain

Coping with traumatic experiences in Soviet war literature

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]


Mykola Riabchuk

Ukraine at the crossroads

Can a state based on blackmail be reformed?

What will it take to really change the Ukrainian political system? [more]


Aleksandr Kyrlezhev

Liberal tendencies in the Russian Orthodox Church

An introduction

Kyrlezhev searches for the liberal tendencies in the Orthodox church. He also shows where they are mere projections from outside. [more]


Boris Groys

The reproducible city

Will mass tourism and the impacts of globalisation spin out cities that are increasingly similar? [more]


Boguslaw Bakula

A world of science and art

Lviv's pubs in the 1930's

The lost world of Lviv's political, scientific and aesthetic discourse. [more]


Stefan Auer

The revolutions of 1989 revisited

The European Union should pay more attention to the legacy of the 1989 revolutions in Central Europe. [more]


Georg Vobruba

Europe reaches its limits

From the dynamic of expansion to different degrees of integration

Squaring the circle between further enlargement and deeper integration. [more]



Articles published in the partner section

Bedingt denkfähig!

Vorwort zu Osteuropa 9-10/2014



The Hitler-Stalin pact

The war and European memory



Kai-Olaf Lang

On the road to the IV Republic?

The Polish parliamentary elections of 25 September 2005

The conservative forces of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) and the Citizens Platform (PO) emerged as the clear winners of the recent Polish elections. However, tensions between the statist and Eurosceptic PiS and the bourgeois liberal PO are already showing. As a result, the PiS will be able to implement its project for a IV Republic only in weakened form. [more]


Fritz Erich Anhelm

The need for differentiation

Political education and the restructuring of eastern Europe

Fifteen years after the fall of the Iron Curtain, political education lacks a strategy that accommodates a politically diverse eastern Europe. Organizations responsible for political education must forge links with partners in the economy and civil society. [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 Knausgård
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 Knausgård 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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