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The democracies of today can remain democracies only if they are able to negotiate pluralism and communality, conflict and justice, rationality and identity. What must we do to meet this challenge, asks Göran Rosenberg and presents a possible answer: federation. But where are the political thinkers and leaders who could formulate and win popular support for a power-sharing treaty in Europe?

In his analysis of the Ukrainian media landscape and its preconditions, Mykola Ryabchuk maintains that “a situation, when people have plenty of rights on paper but cannot employ them in reality has largely persisted in the post-Soviet space. The only substantial difference between the post-Soviet states and the Soviet Union is that the latter had had a compulsory ideology”. Rather than painting a negative or positive future in conclusion, he reminds that there is a future yet to be shaped.

Re-Inventing Skenderbeg

Albanian Nationalism and NATO Neo-colonialism

Skenderbeg as a national hero of Albania is just one sign of “history-making” in Albania and Serbia. Fatos Lubonja writes on how the creation of national myths and memories over the centuries has provided the seedbed for the conflicts in the Balkans, but that such memories can also show the way to an open society and provide hope for the future.

Georg Stauth,

Islamische Kultur und moderne Gesellschaft. Gesammelte Aufsätze zur Soziologie des Islams

transcript , Bielefeld 2000

292 Seiten, 58 Mark.

Inside Story

Austrian Politics and Media

International and domestic perceptions of Jörg Haider and his Freedom Party differ sharply. A leading Austrian journalist urges a closer look at the record of previous governments and points to the unique degree of media concentration as a problem that has a history.

Elusive Common Dreams

The perils and hopes of a European identity

Western Europe lives like an isolated family without any feelings for the post-communist states on the same continent, says the Slovene poet and essayist Ales Debeljak. He tries to formulate a defence for a broader conception of Europe and seeks a European “master narrative” that makes the creation of a real European identity possible.

In 2000, the Serbian journal Rec together with radio B92 published a booklet under the title “Truths, Responsibilties, Reconciliations: The Example of Serbia”. The issues cited in the title emerge as keypoints towards building democracy in a society ravaged by long years of war. Nenad Dimitrijevic in his contribution looks at the concept of responsibility of a nation: Who is “responsible”, and what does that “responsibilitiy mean? How does one deal with this responsibility and look at one’s past through those eyes, and finally – what does it mean for one’s steps into the future?

In 2000, the Serbian journal Rec together with radio B92 published a booklet under the title “Truths, Responsibilties, Reconciliations: The Example of Serbia”. The issues cited in the title emerge as keypoints towards building democracy in a society ravaged by long years of war. Drinka Gojkovic writes about the meaning of an answer to the call for a collective public apology by the Serb nation, and what is needed before the recognition of “collective guilt” can be achieved.

From Tel Aviv to Ulcinj

Can we learn from each other about reconciliation and peace-building?

In 2000, the Serbian journal Rec together with radio B92 published a booklet under the title “Truths, Responsibilties, Reconciliations: The Example of Serbia”. The issues cited in the title emerge as keypoints towards building democracy in a society ravaged by long years of war. The Israeli sociologist Arie Nadler draws parallels between the fromer Yugoslavia and the Middle East and sees that responsibility, reconciliation and the search for truth are not such different issues when applied to different regions and peoples.

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.

(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.

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.

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