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Not an island

Europe and the Middle East

An arms race in the Middle East would affect European security to an unimaginable degree, says Joschka Fischer. By drawing on its positive experience in conflict resolution, Europe can play a major role in averting such a development. But does it have the instruments and institutions to do so? Given the urgency of the situation in Middle East, can Europeans afford the luxury of being against Europe?

Today’s generation of middle class Indians are discarding the secular-humanist version of Hinduism that appealed to an earlier generation of elites and opting for a more overt religiosity. Meera Nanda asks what lies behind the Hinduisation of the Indian public sphere.

Ray Lawrence’s film “Jindabyne”, an adaptation of a short story by Raymond Carver, addresses sexual politics and latent racism embedded in contemporary Australian culture, writes Will Brady.

Ronald Reagan’s ability to get working men to vote for policies that were clearly not in their interests casts a long shadow over US politics post 9/11. The crisis of American masculinity is targeted not only by advertising but also by politics. In the US presidential race, winning the masculinity battle will be crucial, writes Katrine Kielos.

The reluctant anthropologist

An interview with Maurice Bloch

“It may well be that anthropology departments disappear, and that wouldn’t bother me very much”. “Anti-anthropologist” Maurice Bloch talks in interview about the abuse of anthropological expertise by developmental ecologists; about the contradictions of “collective memory”; and about whether anthropology can address life’s “big questions”.

"Canonizing" and "talking" magazines

Alternative publishing in the Turkish context

There are magazines that mirror the cultural environment and those that open up new channels of expression – “canonizing” and “talking” magazines respectively. In the Turkish context, journals emerging from a leftist tradition and located outside academia create connections between the intelligentsia and the public, writes Süreyyya Evren. The development of the young anarchist journal “Siyahi” demonstrates how “talking magazines” can move beyond their niche audience to reach a broad readerships.

The extent of a person’s freedom is determined by the status of their passport. For people who live outside the EU’s charmed circle, travelling not only earns them the distrust of the country they wish to leave, but also of the country they wish to enter, writes Nelly Bekus-Goncharova.

The position of printmaking within the contemporary visual arts has shifted a long way. Once grouped with what was known as “the applied arts”, a category which includes ceramics, craft-based woodwork, and jewellery, the hegemony of painting and sculpture as the sole claimants to the term “fine art” is at last being broken.

Cover for: Shopping town USA

Shopping town USA

Victor Gruen, the Cold War, and the shopping mall

In the course of his life, Victor Gruen completed major urban interventions in the US and western Europe that fundamentally altered the course of western urban development. Anette Baldauf describes how Gruen’s fame rests mostly on the insertion of commercial machines into the decentred US suburbs. These so-called “shopping towns” were supposed to strengthen civic life and structure the amorphous, mono-functional agglomerations of suburban sprawl. Yet within a decade, Gruen’s designs had become the architectural extension of the policies of racial and gender segregation underlying the US postwar consumer utopia.

Violence is a relationship, not a “thing”; nor does it submit to typologies. Nevertheless, that does not mean that violence cannot be studied and its present-day occurrences located. According to Gérard Wormser, the violence of the contemporary global system is constituted by the fact that one-third of the world’s population may be considered useless in terms of the collective existence of the rest.

What role should Norway play on the world stage? Le Monde diplomatique (Oslo) met the Norwegian foreign minister at the beginning of the new year to discuss his vision for Norway’s foreign policy. “I want to seize the opportunities where Norway can really make a difference,” says Gahr Støre. He emphasises that he has no desire to politicise Norway’s position as an “energy nation”, but points out that parts of Norway’s foreign policy are nonetheless based on “taking care of traditional interests” and that the interests of Norwegian industry provide opportunities to influence authoritarian regimes. He stresses that Norway cannot use its oil wealth to create a better world, but that the international political development and the climate changes pose major dilemmas. “The international economic system needs to be changed,” says Støre.

“It is almost as though freedom and flexibility is being designed out of the Internet, where previously they were essential.” Gus Hosein of Privacy International on how the Internet is turning into a data goldmine for governments that want to keep track of their citizens.

The Turkish government’s move to lift the ban on headscarves in universities is part of an ongoing discussion on a new constitution that has the potential to decide the country’s future and would potentially introduce democratic change. With a view to EU membership, too, the constitution must find a post-Kemalist form.

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