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Cover for: A European elephant in the room

A European elephant in the room

On public space, ecology and the lands of Europe: a conversation with Tim Flannery

Europe has never been a place for racial or environmental purity. Situated at a crossroads of the world, it has always been characterized by change and hybridisation. Palaeontologist Tim Flannery calls for reinventing the commons and bringing elephants back to Europe.

Cover for: Rome and Beijing: Divorce Italian style?

Italy’s enthusiasm for Chinese investment has recently cooled, as transatlanticism, security risks and domestic resentment become decisive factors. The Italian change of heart is shared by the EU, which is finally developing a coordinated and values-based response to Chinese economic activity in the bloc.

Cover for: Adult enterprise

Whether to protect women or to enforce public morality, criminalization of sex work won’t make it go away. Online platforms for advertising sexual services are indeed exploitative, but they also offer sex workers safety and independence.

Cover for: Supply, demand or prayer

Istanbul’s water reserves are drying up: increasingly severe droughts, intense urban development and the growing population all have their impact. With no miracle cure in sight, environmental science looks for proven ways to reduce water loss in times of scarcity.

Cover for: Mutualism, massive and the city to come

Mutualism, massive and the city to come

Jungle pirate radio in 1990s London

In the 1990s Britain was under Thatcherite continuity rule. But radio waves were appearing that carried fragments of the future: weekend broadcasts of a new kind of music – Jungle – were being illegally beamed across the city from improvised studios in empty flats, via aerials on tower block rooftops.

Cover for: Arbitrary lines

Arbitrary lines

The idea of Europe – and its consequences

The myth of European exceptionalism no longer holds: the continent’s boundaries are arbitrary, its heritage mixed and controversial, and unfit for a unified identity to hold it together. If we give up the commonplaces that have proven insufficient, what can then define and unify this peninsula of peninsulas? True democratic dissent, Ferenc Laczó argues.

Cover for: Losing ground and doubling down

Losing ground and doubling down

Police violence on increase in Turkey

The covid crisis has hit Turkey hard and made its mark on the government’s approval ratings. The country already has the highest number of police officers per capita in Europe and the regime is clamping down on dissent with increasing force – be it Pride marches or women’s protests for the Istanbul Convention.

Cover for: Conditional solidarity

Conditional solidarity

Ambiguities of the European recovery strategy

After lengthy COVID-19 restrictions, economic recovery is at the top of many political agendas. The EU’s comeback strategy – a €750 billion grant and loan repayment scheme – heralds an anti-austerity, environmentally friendly vision. But how realistic is reform when employment legislation still tows a market-driven line? And what lasting ecological provisions can be made from such a rapid, goal-focused turnaround?

Cover for: The Holocaust as civilizational rupture?

The polemic intention of the ‘German catechism’ argument – that Holocaust memory serves a quasi-theological function and is therefore policed – has distracted from the empirical claims on which it rests. So how strong is the evidence of continuity between the colonial and the Nazi genocides? And does a direct connection need to be established in order to justify reconsideration of the ‘singularity theory’?

Cover for: In the aftermath of war

In the aftermath of war

An interview with Amanda Demmer

Comparisons to the evacuation of Saigon fail to account for the speed and scale of the Afghanistan collapse and the shock it has caused the US public. However, the post-war history of the Vietnam war may point to how the Afghan refugee issue offers the US a chance to redeem itself, and how, despite persistent hostilities, diplomatic relations could normalize.

Cover for: The right word

Read me: words can change the relationship between lived reality and idealistic dreams, as writers from Gorgias and Plato to Cervantes and Flaubert – whether they embraced or feared literary seduction – testify.

Cover for: My personal history of independence

Under Soviet rule, Ukrainian national consciousness remained dormant and independence an unspeakable taboo. When the desire for freedom erupted, it expanded far beyond the marked route of perestroika. On the 30th anniversary of Ukrainian sovereignty, Mykola Riabchuk recounts a personal history of how independence was conceived, formed and defended.

Cover for: ‘I see a similarity between myself and potatoes’

‘I see a similarity between myself and potatoes’

Reproductive labour in Scandinavian poetry

The poetic writings of Inger Christensen, Kirsten Thorup, Vita Andersen and Sonja Åkesson shed light on the sensibilities of homemakers and carers in invisible reproductive workplaces, demanding the social and political acknowledgement of their labour merits.

Cover for: The silent colonization of Crimea

The silent colonization of Crimea

How Russia exerts control in the annexed territories

With every step taken by the Russian authorities, the reintegration of Crimea into Ukraine becomes ever more difficult. How can Ukraine claim back rights to a territory that citizens of another country de facto own?

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