Essays | Eurozine

Informal construction in Yugoslavia started as a response to housing shortages but after 1990 turned into a way to make money. To see Belgrade’s semi-legal architecture as proof that urbanization can be democratized is to overlook market forces, writes Dubravka Sekulić.

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Ukrainian officials are trying to attract European investors to their country by stressing its low cost base and well-qualified workers. But as Artem Gergun notes, millions of Ukrainian citizens have grasped that these advantages are portable – and, rather than waiting for Europe to come them, are heading there for themselves.

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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.

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Native Americans have long been beloved in Hungary, where ‘Indians’ stand for what is real, endangered and exceptional. Viktor Orbán has used the trope to channel demographic anxiety and bolster his anti-migrant rhetoric, but it could also spell trouble for his politics of fear.

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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.

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Disillusion with social media only stimulates the search for ever more refined techniques of manipulation. Detoxing won’t help, writes Geert Lovink: it is collective action, not will power, that can free us from the permanent state of distraction.

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