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Knowing the city

Interview with Rob Shields

The “city” has become a favourite object of research in academia as well as the cultural mainstream and has spawned the areas of history, geography, sociology, literature and architecture. Rob Shields argues that the discipline has suffered however from its inability to clearly define the focus of its field and sketches out three important research areas for the field of urban studies: The social and economic sustainability of cities, future governance and administrative norms of cities, and finally virtual forms of urban life supported by new information and communication technologies.

"Ach Europa"

Questions about a European public space and ambiguities of the European project

Speech held at the 17th European Meeting of Cultural journalsThe Republic of Letters? Cultural journals in a European public space
Tallinn, Estonia 14-17 May 2004

European transnational exchange is far from blossoming, argues Bernard Peters: The national public sphere has proved remarkably resilient against attempts to create a European space. In addition, transatlantic communication flows between North America and individual European countries continue to dominate the cultural and media landscape. What does this mean for the future of the much debated European public space?

The Democratic integration of Europe

Interests, identity, and the public sphere

Craig Calhoun argues that the self-constitution of Europe through public communication is an underestimated and neglected aspect of European integration. A functioning public discourse would not only be vital to the building of democratic European institutions, but in its ideal form the public sphere would shape and define the European integration project. Until now, the political and economic elites of Europe have failed to foster this public sphere.

South Africa’s foremost satirical performance artist takes a look at the South African government’s treatment of AIDS.

The Bush administration’s record spending promises on combating Aids in Africa have pleased liberals and conservatives alike. But a closer look reveals that these programmes have less to do with a new era in US foreign aid but rather a strategic interest in diversifying its oil resources.

Aids in russia

Ignorance, exclusion and denial

Along with India and China, Russia has the fastest growing HIV infection rate in the world. Yet there is no sex education in schools, no HIV/AIDS awareness programme and a profound reluctance to admit to the problem at official levels.

Triumph of evil

Portrait of a war criminal

Radislav Krstic, General of the Republika Srpska army and Deputy Commander of Drina Corps, was the first war criminal sentenced for genocide by the ICTY. He was sentenced to 46 years of prison for ordering the deaths of over seven thousand Muslim men were executed, in the UN safe area of Srebrenica, between 13 and 19 July 1995, while 30,000 people were forcibly deported. Slavenka Drakulic witnessed the trial and traces Krstic’s biography.

The reason of borders or a border reason?

Translation as a metaphor for our times

The field of translation studies has come a long way in the past two decades from the margins of the linguistics department to today’s central position in the field of cultural studies and critical theory. António Sousa Ribeiro traces how translation has become a fundamental and dominant metaphor for our time and how the act of translation has wider repercussions on our notions of multiculturalism, identity, and cultural practices. On the basis of this, Ribeiro sketches out how translation can provide for “mutual intelligibility without sacrificing difference in the interest of blind assimilation”.

Most democracies today apply double standards concerning democratic principles – such as the rule of law and the respect for human rights – in domestic and in foreign politics; US being the prime example of such double standards. Daniele Archibugi looks at the case of the Iraq war and asks if the world’s democracies have a mission to “democratize” other countries.

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