Decades of cuts to public health are now exposed as the spread of the coronavirus overwhelms the system. Europe has been lucky to observe hurricanes, floods and plagues of the past decades from afar, but geography or wealth doesn’t safeguard us from epidemics. How we treat our least powerful now will be telling about what we can hope for.
Réka Kinga Papp
is editor-in chief at Eurozine since November 2018.
Papp is a journalist specializing in environmental, social and human rights issues, anchoring a Hungarian speaking social science infotainment radio programme Professzor Paprika and author of a book on sex work and prostitution in Hungary, Aki kurvának áll: szexmunka sztorik (‘Once You Enrol As a Whore: Sex Work Stories’ Kossuth 2017).
Speculation may not be the best approach in a trial, but it can be useful for making sense of seemingly nonsensical events happened the way they did. Our authors try their luck in explaining new authoritarianism, the loneliness of online socializing, and women’s advancement in politics.
The joker, the trickster and the prankster
A vaudeville figure has been reinstated to lead Britain through Brexit, while in the US a reality-tv star is being impeached for trying to blackmail a comedian in Ukraine. Comedy seems to have taken over the wheel in political leadership. But the quality of this entertainment varies greatly.
The share economy, although originally built on the logic of mutual help, has been weaponized by monopolistic enterprises to foster precarity, gentrification and political deception. But this doesn’t mean that trading in goodwill was a bad idea in the first place. Eurozine is the proof itself.
An interview with Ivan Krastev on ’89 and the end of liberal hegemony
Ivan Krastev and Stephen Holmes argue that illiberalism in central eastern Europe today is part of a global contestation of western liberal hegemony. In an interview with Eurozine, Krastev elaborates on this thesis, discussing what happened to the hopes of ’89, why dissidence cannot be equated with anti-capitalism or even liberalism, and why explaining the new authoritarianism as a backlash against the ‘imitation imperative’ is not to trivialize its ideological substance.
Five years ago, Malala Yousafzai was listed among the most influential teenagers in the world. Her position is now contested by climate activist Greta Thunberg. Thankfully, they don’t compete with each other for fame. They do, however, challenge assumptions about what can and cannot be done in politics. Especially by girls.
Media professionals often engage in a collective hysteria. They complain about their loss of authority, signalling a deep unwillingness to take responsibility for our trade’s failures and, often, complicity. And yet, the ‘post-truth era’ is not a death toll of journalism, but the signal of a necessary change.
Although on the rise, popular engagement with EU politics is still a poor reflection on European democracy. International coverage maintains a narrow focus, despite important and uneven developments in national politics throughout the Union. Eurozine’s series on the EP elections addresses this deficit.
‘The Russians are in the pantry already!’ The European Union is finally starting to address the Kremlin’s political interference, but yet doesn’t address domestic disinformation.
Central and eastern Europe is boiling right now. Climate change is here to stay and dealing with it demands a new form of morality. It’s time to get those handheld fans out of grandma’s cupboard.
A clash of the titans is emerging in Eurozine, as the anniversary discourse starts to recount the cultural heritage and the political failures of 1989. Aleida Assmann heavily criticizes Stephen Holmes and Ivan Krastev; Holly Case and Ulrike Liebert offer resolutions.
Regional differences seem to be the common denominator between the players of Project Europe. In an attempt to understand how the European vote is formed, we put some of the underlying issues on the map.
‘A battle of generosity’ has broken out as the world watched the Notre Dame of Paris burn.The devastation was narrated live in the style of a disaster movie. Self-appointed champions are now rushing to take lead roles: that of the main donor, or the politician from afar who knew better what should have been done.
Born in the ’80s in eastern Europe, I grew up among unkept promises which everybody refused to be accountable for. We were told we were going to be free, and later this alleged freedom was used as an argument to shut us up when criticizing political misrepresentation.
Viktor Orbán has won a third successive landslide victory in Hungary. A refashioned electoral system helped him return to power, but a fragmented and incompetent opposition has paved his way for over eight years now, argues Réka Kinga Papp.
A vicious cycle of destitution locks large numbers of Hungarian women into sex work. Moving to western Europe to avoid prosecution, their vulnerability and isolation only increases. Réka Kinga Papp on systemic exploitation in the European sex trade.