Samuel Abrahám

Rector of the Bratislava International School of Liberal Arts (BISLA), executive director of the European Consortium of Liberal Arts and Sciences (ECOLAS) and the publisher and editor of the journal Kritika & Kontext. Member of the Eurozine Advisory Board.

Articles

Cover for: The sole chance of a higher turnout

The sole chance of a higher turnout

Finland, Slovakia and the Netherlands before the EP elections

High drama has characterized political life in all three countries during the run up to the European elections in May. The Left is to form a government for the first time in 20 years in Finland but nationalist populism is no less a force there than in Slovakia or the Netherlands.

Cover for: Intellectual paths in central Europe

Intellectual paths in central Europe

An idealistic Havel, a cynical Orbán, and a compassionate Walter

How can intellectuals of central Europe maintain their moral principles and independence, yet support democracy, in an age when the region is again traversing a rocky road paved with nationalism and populism?

Cover for: Thirty days that shook Slovakia

Over a month since the murder of journalist Ján Kuciak and his partner Martina Kušnírová in Slovakia, the investigation remains inconclusive. But the outpouring of grief and anger that the killings provoked has led to mass street protests, and contributed to the resignation of the prime minister and interior minister. Samuel Abrahám looks back on a month of tumult.

Cover for: The sorrow and opportunity of 2018 in Slovakia

On 25 February 2018, the bodies of investigative journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancée Martina Kušnírová were discovered in their village house in western Slovakia. Each of them had been shot dead. Kuciak’s murder is the first of a journalist in modern Slovak history. Samuel Abrahám, editor of Eurozine partner journal ‘Kritika & Kontext’, penned this response.

Cover for: Kundera in Slovak, almost

Samuel Abrahám, editor-in-chief of Eurozine partner journal Kritika & Kontext, relates his attempts to translate a text by Czech author Milan Kundera into Slovak, and ponders Kundera’s prophetic words on the value of privacy.

Cover for: No alternative to liberal democracy?

In Central and Eastern Europe, a myriad of nationalists and populists are able to exploit what Richard Rorty called ‘the fear that there will be not enough to go around’. Yet liberal democracies are more resilient than they appear at the present moment, argues Samuel Abrahám.

European stability is threatened less from outside than from within, argues Samuel Abrahám. Does the EU possess a strategy for dealing with the type of illiberal politician gaining ground in the Visegrád Four nations?

A trace of metaphysics?

On the allegations against Milan Kundera

On 13 October, the Czech weekly “Respekt” released details of former police records appearing to prove that in 1950 Milan Kundera denounced a man suspected of spying. Since then, more details of the case have come to light that cast doubt upon Kundera’s involvement. Whatever the outcome, writes Samuel Abrahám, the manner in which the allegations have been made represents a failure of journalistic decency.

Contact and friendship with the publishers of European cultural journals has helped Samuel Abrahám, founding editor of “Kritika&Kontext”, realize his goal of publishing a liberal journal in post-socialist Slovakia.

Cover for: The end of illusions?

The end of illusions?

Czechoslovakia 1968 and after

The Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in August 1968 caused the Soviet empire to lose its internal logic even for the communist faithful, writes Samuel Abrahám, who bore witness to the events. Yet today, the naivety of the reform communists of the 1960s serves as a pretext for the cynical dismissal of any vision of a better political system.

The Bush-Putin summit in Bratislava could make one think that Slovakia is a country without spirit and influence. But Samuel Abrahám turns the attention to another meeting at the eve of the summit. There Slovakia is a shining example. Not because of the Velvet Revolution of 1989 or the peaceful break-up of Czechoslovakia of 1993, and not because it hosted Bush and Putin. It is because of 1998, when Slovakia voted out its own autocrat.

Samuel Abraham comments on the prevailing mood of scepticism in the accession countries and argues for a reinvigoration of the activities of the Visegrad group.

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