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Eurozine Review

The Lilliput syndrome

'Transit' responds to Russia's politics of fear; 'New Eastern Europe' condemns human rights pragmatism; 'Index on Censorship' defends the right to anonymity; 'Vikerkaar' talks trees; 'Czas Kultury' considers conspiracy theories; 'Ord&Bild' reports on heritage wars; 'dérive' confronts the new housing question; 'Letras Libres' declines populisms; and 'Vagant' has no fun with industrial. [ more ]

Katja Garmasch

A new start that's full of contradictions

Andrei Sannikov

Existence without life

Klas Grinell

Carpets and ceramics

Jane Costlow

The dissident history of trees

Eurozine Review

Eurozine Review

The Lilliput syndrome

'Transit' responds to Russia's politics of fear; 'New Eastern Europe' condemns human rights pragmatism; 'Index on Censorship' defends the right to anonymity; 'Vikerkaar' talks trees; 'Czas Kultury' considers conspiracy theories; 'Ord&Bild' reports on heritage wars; 'dérive' confronts the new housing question; 'Letras Libres' declines populisms; and 'Vagant' has no fun with industrial.

Eurozine Review

The violent closet?

Eurozine Review

Peak democracy?

Eurozine Review

Critical junctures

Eurozine Review

The narrowest of margins

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Articles published in Eurozine

Jane Costlow

The dissident history of trees

Russians defend their woodlands

Environmental protests in Russia combine rule of law arguments with cultural and moral dimensions. Jane Costlow traces the hidden history of environmentalism in Russia and looks at one contemporary example: the Dubki park protests in Moscow. [more]


Kate Brown

Dear Comrades! Chernobyl's mark on the Anthropocene

Authors writing about the Anthropocene and the Chernobyl disaster alike tend to slip into millennial scales and metaphysics. Historian Kate Brown suggests getting down to the particulars: the dates, facts and fate of people most directly confronted with the new radioactive reality. [Estonian version added] [more]


Seyla Benhabib

Critique of humanitarian reason

Never have there been more refugees in the world as today: an estimated 45 million in total. So what's the current relationship between international law, emancipatory politics and the rights of the rightless? Seyla Benhabib on the urgent need to create new political vistas. [Swedish version added] [more]


Camille Robcis, Aro Velmet

Universalist politics and its crises

A conversation with Camille Robcis

Human emancipation was always a more complex issue than it might at first seem, and never more so than in today's France. Camille Robcis discusses the evolution of French Republicanism since the 1980s in relation to controversies over same-sex marriage, integration and racism. [more]


Ann Väljataga

Digital optimism prevails

In Estonia, digital optimism combines with free market scepticism about the regulation of the Internet. As a result, privacy concerns have been sidelined, while the activities of the security services remain obscure, writes Ann Väljataga of "Vikerkaar". [more]


Rein Müllerson

Geopolitics dressed in the language of law and morals

The case of Ukraine

Reckless military interventions in other countries' affairs are becoming the norm globally. So what hope for international law? After all, argues Rein Müllerson, when it comes to bending and breaching international law, Russia has no lack of excellent examples to follow. [more]


Alice Béja, Marc-Olivier Padis, Thomas Piketty

Dynamics of inequality

A conversation with Thomas Piketty

At the heart of every great democratic revolution there was a fiscal revolution, argues Thomas Piketty. And the same will be true of the future. Only a global register of financial assets and a progressive global tax on capital can keep global wealth concentration in check. [Catalan version added] [more]


Peter Pomerantsev

Cracks in the Kremlin matrix

Peter Pomerantsev enters the matrix of managed democracy that underpins postmodern dictatorship in Russia. He discovers a society of pure spectacle where, amid fake parties, fake opposition, fake scandals and fake action, political technologists turn (almost) everything into PR. [German and Ukrainian versions added] [more]


Ivan Krastev

Is China more democratic than Russia?

Power rotation, listening to the people, tolerance of dissent, recruitment of elites and experimentation: the truth is that, in all of these respects, China is more democratic than Russia. And China's decision making is undoubtedly superior too, argues Ivan Krastev. [more]


Rein Müllerson

There's more than one road to the promised land

Russia might be more democratic but China is better governed

Comparing China and Russia in terms of their conformity to western liberal-democratic standards shows the inadequacy of such a general yardstick, writes Rein Müllerson in his response to Ivan Krastev. What really matters is rule of law and good governance. [more]


David Graeber

Debt: The first five thousand years

Throughout history, institutions have existed to control the potentially catastrophic social consequences of debt. It is only in the current era that we have begun to see the creation of the first planetary administrative system to protect the interests of creditors. [Estonian version added] [more]


Charles S. Maier

The return of political economy

The suggestion that the division of the social product is as urgent a problem as its overall growth has led to political economy returning to both history and current politics, argues Charles S. Maier. High time, then, to analyse deprivation, wealth and inequality on a world scale. [Estonian version added] [more]


Märt Väljataga

Circulating ideas

"Vikerkaar" editor Märt Väljataga braves the cross currents that accompany ideas and their communication in transnational contexts, with a view to assessing the contribution of cultural journals to the public sphere. He discovers an ongoing process in which persistence pays off. [more]


Marc-Olivier Padis

Relocating the European debate

"Esprit" editor Marc-Olivier Padis outlines why a strong platform for European debate has yet to emerge and the role that cultural journals can play in establishing one. Among the most urgent issues for discussion: liquid modernity, cultural decentralization and the dilemmas of an open society. [more]


Ivan Krastev

The European dis-Union

Lessons from the Soviet collapse

Too big to fail? Too crisis-hardened to go under? The collapse of the Soviet Union has something to teach Europe's politicians if another leap from the unthinkable to the inevitable is to be avoided in the case of the EU, argues Ivan Krastev. [Polish version added] [more]


Märt Väljataga

"The impact of new media remains unclear"

Vikerkaar, Estonia

Generous funding for Estonian journals, rooted in the politics of national identity, has shielded them from the effects of the crisis. Yet past continuity is no guarantee for the future, as "Vikerkaar" and others negotiate the transition from print to digital formats. [more]


Rein Müllerson

From democratic peace theory to forcible regime change

The revival of neo-Kantian theories of universal peace has led to intellectual justification of foreign "interventions" whose results have nothing to do with democracy. Evidence suggests that democracy does not precede peace but vice versa, writes Rein Müllerson. [more]


Geert Lovink, Patrice Riemens

Twelve theses on WikiLeaks

Vindictive, politicized, conspiratorial, reckless: one need not agree with WikiLeaks' modus operandi to acknowledge its service to democracy. Geert Lovink and Patrice Riemens see indications of a new culture of exposure beyond the traditional politics of openness and transparency. [more]


Mikhaïl Xifaras

Copyleft and the theory of property

A battle is underway between the supporters of intellectual property and the defenders of "the commons". Mikhail Xifaras traces the history of the concept of "exclusive rights" and evaluates the emancipatory claims of the copyleft movement today. [more]


Cornelia Klinger

Tricolour – three colours of justice

The modern notion of justice linked to ideas of human rights and democracy is highly complex, pulling in different directions. Cornelia Klinger explains how "justice" as we understand it today can be inferred from the conceptual trinity of the French Revolution. [more]


Ivan Krastev, Gleb Pavlovsky, Tatiana Zhurzhenko

The politics of no alternatives

An interview with Gleb Pavlovsky

Gleb Pavlovsky, erstwhile political advisor to Vladimir Putin, whose election campaigns he masterminded in 2000 and 2004, talks to "Transit" about the workings of power in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet Russia. [more]


Jacques Rupnik

The crisis and the end of liberalism in central Europe

Even as the state took over large portions of the private banking sector in the US and UK, politicians in central Europe were singing the praises of Anglo-Saxon market liberalism. They are the last orphans of Bush and Cheney, writes Jacques Rupnik. [more]


Rein Müllerson

Liberté, égalité and fraternité in a post-communist and globalized world

Utopian designs for the ideal society are both impractical and dangerous. Only by finding the right balance between the "holy trinity" of the French Revolution may the world steer its way through the challenges of libertarianism and laissez faire, writes Rein Müllerson. [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]


Athena Farrokhzad, Tova Gerge

Manual for postmodern childrearing

How would you bring up a child if you took the lessons from postmodernism literally? [more]


Margot Dijkgraaf

Literary perspectives: The Netherlands

"Profound Holland" and the new Dutch

While the work of novelists Jan Siebelink and Arnon Grunberg reflect the new need for security in the Netherlands, a parallel strand of contemporary Dutch literature sidesteps such concerns: writers with migrant backgrounds are introducing new styles into the Dutch literary repertoire. [more]


Daniela Strigl

Literary perspectives: Austria

Anything but a "German appendix"

Austrian novelists are still referred to as Germans despite recent critical and commercial success. From the new narrative "miracle" to the darkly humorous "writer's novel", Daniela Strigl finds a contemporary Austrian scene at the top of its game. [more]


Tymofiy Havryliv

Literary perspectives: Ukraine

Longing for the novel

In Ukraine, the demand for engagement with the recent past has produced a series of novels that are better described as autobiographies. But, asks Timofiy Havryliv, is autobiography equal to the task? [more]


Carl Henrik Fredriksson

The re-transnationalization of literary criticism

Critical discussion of foreign literature serves as a source of information not only for readers but also for the "trade". When that discussion disappears or becomes one-sided, this has consequences for the literary institution as a whole. [more]


Ida Börjel

European waistlines

Swedish poet Ida Börjel confronts us with our favourite and most insulting national prejudices about ourselves and our European neighbours. But does she confirm them? [more]


Jonas Thente

Literary perspectives: Sweden

Beyond crime fiction, handbags and designer suits

Recent literary debates in Sweden have dwelled, among things, on authors' love lives and penchant for designer handbags. Yet there is more out there if one looks: Hans Koppel's satire of suburban manners, for example, or Magnus Hedlund's explorations of human perception. [more]


Andrzej Tichy

The scream of geometry

(modified excerpts)

"How can these cities, villages, and their people exist? How can they stand there selling tomatoes and speaking their language and drying their laundry without considering the infinite number of other places where someone else is standing, selling tomatoes or potatoes and speaking their language and drying laundry?" [more]


Almantas Samalavicius

Literary perspectives: Lithuania

Almost normal

The literary field in Lithuania has established itself since independence, despite vastly smaller print runs. Today, a range of literary approaches can be made out, from the social criticism of the middle generation to the more private narratives of the post-Soviet writers. [more]


Andreas Harbsmeier

Literary perspectives: Denmark

The contemporary literary reservation

Committed, critical writing in Denmark is emerging from its sheltered existence in a literary reservation, in doing so collapsing the boundaries between the literary field and the broader public sphere, writes Andreas Harbsmeier. [more]


Rein Müllerson

Crouching tiger hidden dragon: Which will it be?

As China's star rises, attitudes to the new global superpower range from fearful to hopeful. Are we looking at the end of the world as we have known it, or will the Middle Kingdom redefine the market economy and democracy in its own image? Rein Müllerson argues the toss. [more]


Tõnu Õnnepalu

Three histories

The narratives of the Estonian peasantry, the Baltic German gentry, the Swedish nobility or the Soviet functionaries, although running parallel, do not have a common addressee. The solution is a synoptic approach, says Tonu Onnepalu. [more]


Adam Phillips

The forgetting museum

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]


Tiit Hennoste

From spring to autumn

The Estonian media post-independence

The Estonian media has disappointed hopes that it would be a model of its kind in the post-Soviet space. Estonia's size means personal sympathies override political views, while a tiny market makes advertising sales paramount. [more]


Timothy Snyder

Holocaust: The ignored reality

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]


Karin Priester

Right of Berlusconi

Italy's fascists, hooligans and radical Catholics

The extra-parliamentary far-Right is once again in a position to influence Italian politics. Karin Priester surveys the ideological background of the far-right spectrum in Italy and the careers of its leading figures. [more]


Tonis Saarts

The Bronze Nights

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


Martin Ehala

The birth of the Russian-speaking minority in 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]


G.M. Tamás

Counter-revolution against a counter-revolution

Eastern Europe today

In order to defend social relations before 1989 without losing face, the middle classes in former socialist countries portray the neoliberal destruction of the welfare state as the work of communists, writes G.M. Tamás. [more]


Tatiana Zhurzhenko

The geopolitics 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]


Maurice Bloch, Maarja Kaaristo

The reluctant anthropologist

An interview with Maurice Bloch

"Anti-anthropologist" Maurice Bloch talks in interview about the abuse of anthropological expertise by developmental ecologists; about the contradictions of "collective memory"; and about whether anthropologists can address "life's big questions". [more]


Märt Väljataga

Literary perspectives: Estonia

Waiting for the Great Estonian Novel

While the Great Estonian Novel has yet to be written, the range of fiction in Estonia is wide enough to serve as an indicator of the post-communist country's hopes and fears, anxieties and obsessions. writes the editor of "Vikerkaar". [more]


Zinovy Zinik

Anyone at home?

In pursuit of one's own shadow

Zinovy Zinik traces the history of the shadow as metaphor for exile through Evgeni Shwartz's play "The Shadow" back to earlier fables by Hans Christian Andersen and Adelbert von Chamisso. The sum effect: a web of émigré biographies and fictions spanning two centuries. [more]


Jean-Pierre Minaudier

Incompatible memories?

The commemoration of WWII in France and Estonia

It is Estonia's commmunist past that distinguishes its commemoration of the Second World War from the French. Reconciliation of conflicting outlooks is possible among historians but remains wishful thinking in wider public opinion. [more]


François Dosse

Historicizing the traces 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]


Patrick Garcia

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]


Eva-Clarita Onken

Latvian history in the process of democratization

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]


Piret Peiker

Post-communist literatures: A postcolonial perspective

Post-Soviet narratives share the theme of arrested development found in postcolonial rewritings of the western European Bildungsroman, says Estonian literary critic Piret Peiker. [more]


György Schöpflin

Nationhood, modernity, democracy

Manifestations of national identity in modern Europe

The authority of states is increasingly eroded by the decline of party politics and effects of globalization. In this context, articulations of ethnic identity will find ever stronger expression. [more]


Märt Väljataga

Why study literature?

Literary studies in Estonia has taken a crash course in twentieth-century theory. With mixed results, says the editor of cultural journal Vikerkaar. Now literary critics should stop baffling one another with jargon and aim at a wider readership. [more]


Bernhard Peters

"Ach Europa"

Questions about a European public space and ambiguities of the European project

National media prove remarkably resilient to attempts to create a European public sphere, while transatlantic communication flows continue to dominate. What does this mean for the future of the much talked-about European public sphere? [more]


Carl Henrik Fredriksson

Energizing the European public space

There is only one path open to meeting the challenge posed by a heterogeneous collective of nationally oriented viewers, listeners, and readers: a European public space spearheaded by already established national media. [more]


Thierry Chervel

Europe loses ground

Cultural media from the perspective of the Internet

European newspapers must finally pay attention to the power of the Internet. [more]


Jean-Pierre Minaudier

What composes a people's memory?

Estonia is in bad need of thinking about its national identity, says Jean-Pierre Minaudier. It draws solely upon its rural, "purely" Estonian roots and tends to blend out its German, Swedish, and communist past -- in contrast to the French memory, which integrates all its historic periods. [more]


Andres Kurg, Rob Shields

Knowing the city

Interview with Rob Shields

Urban studies will help to shape the cities of tomorrow. [more]


Robert Darnton, Marek Tamm

Interview with Robert Darnton

From the 18th century enlightenment to the current revolution in Internet publishing. [more]


Karsten Brüggemann

Estonian places of memory

The climax of Estonian national history: June 1919 and the battle of Wenden. [more]


Nelly Bekus-Goncharova

An invisible wall

The hidden factor of Belarusian reality

Who is to blame for the political stagnation in Belarus? [more]


Jaan Kaplinski

Globalization: for nature or against nature?

Jaan Kaplinski on advantages and disadvantages of globalization and his passionate commitment to rural life. [more]


Donald Philip Verene, Tõnu Viik

Myth and philosophy

An Interview with Donald Phillip Verene

Donald Verene on the necessity of philosophy as a means to self-understanding. [more]



Focal points     click for 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]

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]

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]

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]

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 will frame the general topic of solidarity with a focus on mobilizing for the commons. The conference will take place in the European Solidarity Centre in Gdańsk thus linking contemporary debates to the history of a broad, non-violent, anti-communist social movement which has started in the city's shipyard in 1980. [more]

Vacancies at Eurozine     click for more

There are currently no positions available.

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.

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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