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When Andrea Zlatar investigates the contemporary and recent history of Croatian culture and cultural policy she finds out that the most horrifying consequence of the transition and war is not the material impoverishment of Croatian society, but the utter destruction of value systems that used to apply to specific fields of human activity.

As the world becomes smaller in many senses, international dependencies grow. Such developments also bring new responsibilities with them. Thomas Schramme looks at the moral grounds for so called humanitarian interventions; an intervention to protect one person’s human rights may often endanger another person’s human rights ­ the practice thus confronts us with a moral dilemma.

(Hi)Story, Truth and Nation

Building a "new" South Africa

South Africa is facing the process of developing a new identity for itself and its people, and to deal with its past. Jyoti Mistry looks at the meaning of nations and the nation state in examining this process of creation of a national identity. Story-telling, history and memory play vital parts, particularly in South Africa, in building this “whole”. In a story that has no end in sight, she looks at how a country is dealing with its past and stepping into its future.

What connects the familiar divine self-revelation, a passionate debate at a congress of European cultural periodicals and the silent demonstration against the latest assassination by ETA? Mihaly Des writes on personal identities and projections thereof.

Who's afraid of Europe?

Opening address at the 14th European Meeting of Cultural Journals

Slavenka Drakulic, a committed European, expresses doubts in the continuing momentum of European integration amidst rising anxieties about a loss of national identity. Mirrored in the success of right-wing and populist parties across Europe and concerns being voiced in the post-communist countries queuing for “entry” as well, this anxiety, however, focuses on a cultural construct, the author argues. To make the project Europe work, a new kind of imagined community will need to be created – is Europe ready for that?

Publicities - domestic and foreign

Podium Statement at the 14th European Meeting of Cultural Journals in Vienna and Bratislava; Saturday November 11, 2000

The Hungarian writer György Dalos reports that the dictum of old remains: It is one thing to fight a verbal war on home ground, and quite another to play such complaints and information to the outside, abroad. However, he argues, there is no longer such a thing as a divided national and international publicity as information can flow freely from country to country, so should the discussion about it.

Did the left realise the real significance of the fall of the Berlin Wall, or was it even willing to do so? In a decade of change, what has Europe achieved, or maybe more importantly, which achievements and challenges of the past decade have been recognised at all?

Amid the questions for a European identity and whose Europe it is after all emerge reflections, doubts and some hopes for the future of the project of our continent � can there be a united Europe? How? And last, not least, what have the last ten years meant for Europe, have they contributed to its unification or its division?

Although Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic have already joined NATO, a decade has passed and still no Eastern or Central European country has “achieved” membership to the European Union. A serious debate has emerged in the countries awaiting membership as to whether it is so desirable while the EU is still holding back. Jacques Rupnik sees in this reticence the proof that, indeed, “Europe is afraid of itself” and says that Europe’s true challenge is to move beyond integration out of fear.

Most Czechs feel dissatisfied with the current state of democracy in their country, Martin Jan Stransky says. For the answer to the question what the true state of affairs is in the Czech Republic, he appeals to exploring ten popular assumptions used as a base for many Czech’s opinions on their country.

The Racist Albatross

Social Science, Jörg Haider and Widerstand

Racism is an inescapable part of our history, of our present and of ourselves. Only when we realise this can we also understand the role of racism in the world-system, and only then will we be able to interpret the successes of the populists and the extreme right ­ as well as the resistance, the Widerstand, that these successes have triggered. The social sciences have so far not contributed to this interpretational effort. Immanuel Wallerstein urges us to use the fact that we are living in an age of transition to create a social science that is capable of analysing the phenomena of racism. This is a moral and intellectual responsibility.

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