Simon Garnett

Senior editor at Eurozine.

Articles

Cover for: ‘The future was next to you’

‘The future was next to you’

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.

Cover for: A positive sign for climate politics

The moral and existential tenor of ecological politics today makes Günther Anders’s definition of the ‘third industrial revolution’ seem more contemporary than its much more recent sociological counterpart. This is a positive sign for climate politics and climate journalism.

Cover for: Paradoxes of ’89

Paradox is the predominant mode in recent articles on 1989. As historical distance brings greater perspicacity on the past thirty years, so received ideas clash with facts, sharpening the focus for real contradictions.

Cover for: Russian questions

Police violence, mass detentions, internet shutdown, arrest of opposition candidates: the reaction to the latest protests in Moscow has been an overreaction even by the standards of the Russian authorities. It seems that the government has good reason to be afraid of putting its popularity to the test. But is it advised to ask what next, given the sheer weight of resistance to democratization in Russia?

Cover for: The Rubicon has been crossed

The sight of the US president staring ahead impassively while around him the crowd chanted ‘Send her back’, felt like the crossing of the Rubicon. This was the point when Trump and his Republican supporters finally dropped the mask and revealed their contempt for the values underlying the liberal consensus.

Cover for: The new, unstable centre

The ‘containment’ argument fails to admit that, in order to reverse the Eurosceptic trend, Europe needs to confront its causes. Homilies about the rule of law will not do the trick. Addressing the rise of the right means reforming the European Union itself.

Cover for: Understanding Fukuyama

Understanding Fukuyama

Eurozine editorial

Few articles in the recent past can have been vilified so heavily by so many intelligent people than Francis Fukuyama’s ‘The end of history’. Now, thirty years on, the article is worth re-reading. Because, unless one is nostalgic for an orthodox version of dialectical materialism, it is hard to find anything to strongly disagree with. On the contrary.

Cover for: Complexity: Europe’s new common denominator?

How we mark historical anniversaries says as much, if not more about our perception of the present as it does about the past. This familiar axiom has interesting results when we apply it to how the revolutions of ’89 have been remembered in each decade since.

Cover for: Unsettling reading

Unsettling reading

Eurozine editorial

Every so often an article gets under your skin. Reading it, one is both exhilarated and unsettled. It is something that cannot be ‘unread’. Eurozine’s latest editorial introduces the highlights of the past two weeks.

Cover for: Internet technologies and democracy: Editorial

Internet technologies are being used in ways that raise far-reaching questions about the resilience and sustainability of democratic systems. And they have fundamentally impacted on understandings of the political, transforming democracies from within.

Cover for: Agonies of pluralism

Agonies of pluralism

Germany and the New Right

Germany’s altered party landscape is the culmination of the misfit between political centrism and the national-conservative groundswell catalysed by the refugee wave of 2015–16. Not only does the AfD pose major challenges to the other parties, it throws up uncomfortable questions about the role of the media in the dynamics of polarization.

Slave trade

Ghosts on the waterfront

An interview with Marcus Rediker

In an excerpt from his acclaimed book The Slave Ship: A Human History, historian Marcus Rediker describes the deep-sea sailing ship as linchpin of the emergent transatlantic economic order and instrument of terror for slaves brought from Africa to the Americas. In a subsequent interview, he discusses the role played by European harbour cities in the slave trade and their responsibilities in reckoning with its moral legacy.

Change must start from within

Roma integration: EU rhetoric and institutional reality

By the end of 2011, European member states are expected to have demonstrated their fulfilment of the requirements of the EU Framework Programme for the integration of Roma. But what are the chances of the programme succeeding if structural anti-Roma racism exists within European institutions themselves? Valeriu Nicolae is founder and president of the Policy Centre for Roma and Minorities in Bucharest, an NGO that works directly with young Roma. At a conference in Berlin in November, he talked about the discrepancy between European rhetoric and institutional reality.

Whose rapprochement?

The Belarusian media between Lukashenka and the EU

The continuing repression of the independent media exposes the Belarusian government’s concessions to “European standards” for what they are: window dressing on a regime that has no intention of releasing its stranglehold on society any time soon.

Citizen Victim

The migrant youth, the RAF terrorist, and the German feuilletons

The alarmist reaction from parts of the German media to a recent spate of violent assaults by migrant youths on “native” Germans – talk has been of a cultural clash – bore striking similarities to last year’s controversy over the release from prison of two former members of the Red Army Faction. In both cases, media sympathy for the “victims” of violence fed directly into political campaigns targeting the majority’s sense of embattlement.

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