The fascination of a borderless world has rapidly worn off in an age of accelerating mobility, writes Ivaylo Ditchev. As forms of mobility become increasingly collective, the crisis of the liberal border-machine deepens and political decision-making is thrown into disarray.
The crisis of the euro indicates not only a threat to European integration, but also a crisis of European democracy characterized by a surge in “anti-politics”. Many analysts have identified the media as the single most important factor in this development, as the marketization of the media combines with digital technology to create a political order determined by public opinion. In political decision-making, the question whether this opinion is right or wrong becomes secondary to its value as a form of feedback. British journalist Judith Vidal-Hall met Bulgarian cultural anthropologist Ivaylo Ditchev in Sofia to discuss what this means for citizens’ trust in the political system and for democracy as such. Moderated by Carl Henrik Fredriksson, editor-in-chief of Eurozine.
The marketization of the media combines with digital media technology to create a political order determined by public opinion. For political decision-making, the question whether opinion is right or wrong becomes secondary to its legitimacy as a form of feedback.
Cultures of mobility
Mass migration is not merely the result of geopolitical and economic factors, but of cultural triggers too. Moreover, says Ivaylo Ditchev, borders themselves must be subject to a public debate about what kind of borders we want where, rather than arbitrary decisions made by the powers that be.
Territory, identity, transformation: A Baltic-Balkan comparison
Lithuania and Bulgaria: two nations on the peripheries of central Europe, both bearing strong traces of former Empires. Subjected to neoliberal forces of disintegration, historical identities re-pattern along new lines of conflict, the politics of ’89 now redundant in the regulated zone of market democracy that is new Europe. Ivaylo Ditchev and Tomas Kavaliauskas share Baltic-Balkan perspectives on the present.