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Associate's Articles

It has become axiomatic in our distrustful age that truth stands in tension with friendship. But the traps of identitarianism require that we rehabilitate our relation to truth – and understand it not as the opposite of friendship, but its very condition. Jewish-Palestinian friendship is the epitome of this radical universalist principle.

For many, Germany’s unconditional support for Israel since 7 October confirms that its memory culture has ‘gone haywire’. But particularly when it comes to German reservations about using terms associated with the Holocaust, postcolonial criticism is often markedly one-sided.

The case for de-escalation is obvious. But the obvious is the first casualty of the distorted politics of war. We are once again proving ourselves to be the dupes of violence

Our human responsibility

Reflections on the war between Israel and Hamas

Any humane, responsible reaction to the 7 October Hamas terror attacks on Israel and Israelis must be directed towards de-escalation. That means avoiding inflammatory rhetoric as much as respecting civilian lives.

Anthropocentrism causes political injustice and ecological destruction. But an inverted anthropocentrism, in which the nonhuman is granted rights, is not the solution. Only by redefining the human can democracy be about the conditions of shared life.

People power?

A reply to James Miller

A reductionist definition of democracy as ‘people power’ fails to grasp democracy’s political evolution as guarantee against tyranny. Giving a voice to the biosphere extends this principle and is not to negate democracy’s own conditions.

Bloodless democracy?

A response to John Keane

In his sweeping survey of ‘democides’, John Keane associates democracy with all that is deserving of respect, including nature itself. But ‘true democracy’, as Marx put it, is much less polite. Can we really invoke it to save the planet?

Sudden death stories of democracy do us a disservice. The truth is that democracy can be destroyed in multiple ways, at different tempos. The slowest of these – environmental degradation – is a consequence of the anthropocentric ideal underlying democracy itself.

Lives are being lost in a brutal government crackdown on protests for women’s rights after Mahsa Amini’s death in police custody. Can the long-standing control of Iran’s morality police on women be unsettled by a majority already resisting the dress code?

Giorgia Meloni could become Italy’s first female prime minister. Her political rise is no isolated case: ‘femonationalism’ is flourishing throughout Europe, disguising extremes as the next socially acceptable, mainstream choice.

The US Supreme Court has overturned two landmark cases that protected a woman’s rights over her own body for 50 years. How did ‘fetal politics’ — a political movement that has turned embryos and fetuses into ‘unborn children’ endowed with unique and inviolable civil rights – gain such momentum? And what will be the outcome of this new ruling?

It was only after the annexation of Crimea in 2014 that NATO broke off cooperation with Russia. Until then, Ukrainians themselves were largely against NATO membership. To frame NATO as a security threat to Russia caters to Kremlin propaganda.

A virus and its impact described in closed terms: when under pressure, socio-political narratives often become divisive; perceptions can become negatively transfixed. To understand what has gone wrong right now, we need look at how the problem is framed.