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The End of Illiberal Democracy in Slovakia?

An Analysis of the 1998 Election

As Slovakia is about to go to the polls in September, Samuel Abraham looks back at the pivotal elections of 1998. These elections, Abraham argues, signalled an end to the era of the “illiberal democracy” under Prime Minister Vladimir Meciar. But what has the current government learned from these elections and how well has it fulfilled its mandate?

The Russian sociologist Aleksei Levinson argues in this article, that the Russian society has learned to live with the Chechen war. Medical doctors, university professors and others benefit from it in indirect ways.

The authors of this essay question the statist response to the terrorist attacks of September 11 and offer some vision of how the United States and other global actors might have and can still conceive of their possibilities for action under a cosmopolitan vision of political responsibility. They argue that a different response to the attacks, based on the rule of law and international co-operation, could have been equally effective to combat terrorism in the long run, and could have also opened the way to a more just and stable world order.

Analysing the process of reconciliation with the Communist past in Russia during the decade from the fall of Communism to the turn of the century, Alexei Miller finds that many of the most painful problems have not been touched on and it would be optimistic to say that Russia has to a fair degree extricated itself from communism in this respect. However, one should not forget, that, viewed from the point of its beginning, it has been an extraordinary process.

Cleaning Up

"Sanitisation" in Chechnya

Under the banner of War on Terrorism, the russians have taken advantage of the license to kill, writes Anna Politkovskaia.

Over the last quarter century, every country, every social, ethnic or family group, has undergone a profound change in the relationship it traditionally enjoyed with the past. Pierre Nora looks at where this “memorialism” came from and why.

Volgens Slavoj Zizek kan in onze wereld – een universum van levenloze conventies vol dingen zonder wezen – de authentieke ervaring alleen maar een uiterst gewelddadige, schokkende belevenis zijn. Zoals 11 september. ‘Pas dan hebben we het gevoel dat we naar het echte leven zijn teruggekeerd.’

The Slovenian philosopher Slavoj Zizek has gained something of a cult following for his many writings – including The Ticklish Subject, a playful critique of the intellectual assault upon human subjectivity. At the Frankfurt Book Fair in October 2001, he talked to Sabine Reul and Thomas Deichmann about subjectivity, multiculturalism, sex and unfreedom after 11 September.

After September 11, the weight of public opinion kept different, not just dissenting, ideas at bay, privately as much as publicly. To remain credible, intellectuals had to espouse, more or less gracefully, a much narrower range of accepted orthodoxies and platitudes than usual. Kathy Laster and Heinz Steinert document here possible interpretations of what happened which, because of this specific constellation of culture-industry demands, never got a public hearing.

Where ist the West of Europe and where is its East? Moreover where is the border inbetween? At hand of the Polish example, Kochanowicz looks at an elusive border that remains difficult to draw on either side of a country.

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