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?
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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.
France after April 21st
Jacqueline Henard analyses the failings of the French political elite which have paved the way for Le Pen’s shock rise in the last presidential elections.
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.
Audrone Zukauskaite investigates the concept of sexual transgression in Almodovar’s Talk to her and All about my mother.
Thoughts on the current transatlantic relations
The conflict between Europe and America is a reality. At this point it consists mostly of differences of opinion, but the continents are drifting apart, and a larger break is not unthinkable any more. Impressions of travel and time travel by Michael Freund.
Two attempts to elect a new Serbian president have failed. How ripe is the democray in Serbia? Srdjan Bogosavljevic paints the background and analyses the results.
a scientific boundary culture?
The French presidential elections 2002
This was no regular presidential election, it was a referendum on basic commitment to democratic values and an open society. Jacques Rupnik takes a look at French politics and discovers a radical shift.
The rise of the NGOs in recent years has raised various new problems, most pressingly that of the “democratisation paradox”: Whilst the NGOs ultimate aim is to promote democratic structures in respective countries, their own structures remain relatively unaccountable and undemocratic. Other questions concern the sharing of power between NGOs and democratically elected chambers and the influence NGOs are able to exert over them. Claus Leggewie looks at the complex mechanisms involved and proposes ways out of the legitimation crisis.
The participation of the author in a symposium on literature and the media, organized by the Adam Mickiewicz Institute (Polish equivalent of the Cervantes Institute) has inspired this contribution to the eternal debate about criticism. In it, Mihály Dés reexamines the role of the critic and of literary criticism, a role, he argues, that remains as important as ever.
At the recent NATO summit, several countries – including Slovakia and the Czech Republic – were invited to join. Martin Simecka has observed the action behind the scenes of the official programme.
An attempt to speak about freedom and its relationship to legitimacy
The question of the legitimacy of the European institutions remains an unanswered problem. Frantisek Sebej argues from the viewpoint of the Slovak Republic that the EU – for its own good – should not gain in political strength before questions of devolvement of power between nation states and EU institutions have been adequately addressed.
Imagining the European Union as a nation-state
This text, first published in 2002, describes how in Bulgaria, the EU has replaced the nation state as a symbol of authority. Even local history and culture is being embedded and rewritten in the context of European cultural history. Nevertheless, regional identity won’t get lost, argues the author, since regions “are a configuration of different liminalities enveloping spatial zones of different sizes that overlap and accrue, providing different options.”
Yaroslav Shimov analyses the situation of the “Middle Europe” countries during the Habsburg monarchy and today, at the onset of their integration into the European Union. How can this future be envisaged and what can be learned from the past? Shimov argues that these countries must retain their unique identities in a united Europe.