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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.

A New Europe

Romano Prodi talks to Truls Øra

Romano Prodi speaks his mind in a candid interview on the great topics that affect the European Union, its political and economical future, its current member states and internal politics today.

The consolidation of the European project and the enlargement are one of the most important projects for the years to come, he argues, but Europe must also ensure strict borders and decide on its future relations with Russia, Turkey and the Balkans. How will Europe co-ordinate the new member states and how will it consolidate its emigration and agricultural policies?
Prodi also comments on the split between Europe and the USA and the widespread opposition against the Iraq war amongst the European public as well as outlining the military, economic and political challenges ahead for the transatlantic partnership.

Culture and gender in neo-conservative America

Richard Goldstein talks to Knut Olav Åmås

How far has America really come when it comes to gay rights and gender equality? Richard Goldstein, editor of the influential Village Voice believes that a social backlash in neo-Conservative America is forcing women back into traditional notions of feminity and is provoking new forms of accepted homophobia.

On freedom *

A discussion between Svetlana Boym and Boris Groys

Boym and Groys discuss philosophical concepts on freedom to assess how the term is used in its various dimensions – on the state level, in people’s private lives and relating to economic aspects.
Is there such a thing as societal freedom where the state governs and rules most aspects of people’s lives? Are humans, as Sartre proclaimed “doomed to be free”? Does freedom entail an escape from the economic determinism that rules Western civilisations or is it economic activity that sets us free in the first place? Svetlana Boym and Boris Groys discuss.

Media Policy in Slovenia in the 1990s

Regulation, privatization, concentration and commercialization of the media

During the 1990s the Slovene media were significantly affected by political changes. The events that most influenced the media world of the nineties were the introduction of the new media law (arguments and discussions about the media law in Slovenia have again become topical ten years later), the privatization of the media, liberalization of the print media market and superficial regulation of the broadcasting market, media monopolization and commercialization. These events are the subject of the analysis in this essay.

An invisible wall

The hidden factor of Belarusian reality

Contrary to other former socialist Central and Eastern European countries, Belarus has hardly undergone any cultural and economic changes and remains cut off from the international arena. At the core of this problem, argues Nelly Bekus-Goncharova, is the Belarusian media landscape which proves incapable of creating an integrated informational space. State media and independent mass media remain locked in self-absorbed and separate discourses, neither of which provide a projection of what is really happening in Belarus. Can this deadlock be overcome?

Krysztof Pomian examines European attitudes towards Poland and Poland’s attitudes towards the European Union. He uncovers startling similarities in the rhetoric used by the European Left and the Polish Right in their arguments against the enlargement.

A round-table discussion which debates the interplay between media, government and civil society. How big is the media’s influence on the perception of politics and politicians? Does Slovakia possess a functioning civil society that keeps the balance of power in check? And finally, what are the lessons to be learned from other post-communist countries?

Poland as the sick man of Europe?

Jedwabne, "post-memory" and historians

Joanna Tokarska-Bakir investigates the defence mechanisms triggered by the European past: on the one hand the Holocaust guilt-complex and on the other the language historians use to talk about it.

Media reports on the Balkan wars brought for the first time news of widespread rape-practices to the public’s attention. By disentangling the heady mix of nationalism, chauvinism, ethnicity and gender construction, Vesna Kesic asks however, how far we really have advanced in our attitudes towards rape and institutionalised violence against women.

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