Jürgen Habermas recently argued that the pandemic measures of the German government hadn’t gone far enough. To weigh the state’s duty to protect life against other rights and freedoms was unconstitutional, he warned. In the ensuing controversy, critics accused him of authoritarianism. Were they right?
Peter J. Verovšek
Assistant Professor in politics and international relations at the University of Sheffield. He was previously lecturer in social studies at Harvard University, where he also served as co-founder and co-chair of the European Union Study Group at the Minda de Gunzburg Center for European Studies. Author of Memory and the Future of Europe: Rupture and Integration in the Wake of Total War (Manchester University Press, 2020) and co-editor with Seyla Benhabib and Roy T. Tsao of Politics in Dark Times: Encounters with Hannah Arendt (Cambridge University Press, 2010). In 2019-20 he was a British Academy Mid-Career Fellow and is currently working on an intellectual biography of Jürgen Habermas as a public intellectual.
Mapping the road to unfreedom
Timothy Snyder’s ‘The Road to Unfreedom’ critiqued and explored
In ‘The Road to Unfreedom’, historian Timothy Snyder traces the intellectual roots of modern authoritarianism in Russia and how its influence has spread, not least in the West. In the following exchange, three east-central European scholars, brought together by ‘Razpotja’, critique Snyder’s new book – and Snyder responds.
The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia closed at the end of 2017 after 24 years in operation. It made a major contribution to the rise of global justice, writes political theorist Peter Verovšek. But did the tribunal do anything to promote reconciliation in former Yugoslavia?
Writing in the 1940s and 50s, political theorist Hannah Arendt saw in the nascent European project an opportunity for political transformation in the aftermath of totalitarianism. But she also foresaw some of its potential weaknesses, writes Peter Verovšek.
Screening immigrants to identify radicals, as is now happening again in the US, may also filter out migrants with moderate world-views. The political influence of the hardline anti-communist diaspora during the Cold War shows how ideological vetting can exacerbate geopolitical tensions.