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Cover for: Landfills on sale

How can the consumer enjoy an ethically sourced piece of fashion, when most garments are produced in sweatshops and soon end up in landfills anyway? A designer from India, a Romanian investigative journalist, and an Austrian ecotoxicologist discuss this on the new episode of Standard Time.

Cover for: The shameful legacy of the Bolloré empire

The description of contemporary far-right media outlets in France as ‘pluralist’ is a euphemism that denies the continuity of a nationalist and xenophobic journalistic tradition that began in the Belle Epoque and flourished until the end of the Second World War.

Cover for: Asylum seekers are not criminals

In a bid to implement its Rwanda legislation, the UK government is rushing to inhumanely detain refugees, instilling panic, impacting its politically sensitive border with Ireland. The EU, meanwhile, is planning off-shore processing facilities. And surveillance technology is proving just as invasive as past obsessions with the ‘born criminal’.

Cover for: The right policy for the wrong reasons

Pronatalism has become a populist vote winner for right-wing parties in Central and East European countries. Demographic imbalances, involving youth migration, ageing populations and immigration resistance, have sparked a series of baby-making policies. But are financial incentives in Hungary, Poland and Serbia enough to reverse the trend of decreasing birth rates?

Cover for: Universalism in dark times

It has become axiomatic in our distrustful age that truth stands in tension with friendship. But the traps of identitarianism require that we rehabilitate our relation to truth – and understand it not as the opposite of friendship, but its very condition. Jewish-Palestinian friendship is the epitome of this radical universalist principle.

Cover for: Europe poops in its own nest

From the English Channel to the Sea of Marmara, Europe’s seas are soaked in sewage. It might not be the best topic for polite conversation, but managing human waste is the single most important urban necessity – and that’s why we’re talking all about it on the Earth Day episode of Standard Time, premiering at 7 PM CET.

Cover for: Measuring the mobile body

New border and surveillance technologies are being lauded for their accuracy and fairness. But how ethical can forced identification be? Late nineteenth-century enthusiasts of pinning down the ‘born criminal’ enlisted scientific advances to sinister ends. Might biometric data processing that registers migrants entering the EU risk a similar transgression of human rights today?

Cover for: Vertical occupation

Perceiving war as a series of strategic manoeuvres delineated on a map renders a horizontal view of conflict. And projecting an end to fighting is fundamentally restorative. But deep pollution, as is occurring in Ukraine from Russia’s radioactive colonialism, warns of a more persistent dimension with long-term environmental impact.

Cover for: The Moscow connection

Even after the disgracing of Gerhard Schröder and Scholz’s trumpeted Zeitenwende, German Social Democracy has been unable to dispel suspicions that it continues to sympathise with Russia. The authors of a recent book discuss this ignominious history, in which Schröder was the main but by no means only actor.

Thubnail for the Kindergarten episode on Standard Time, 4 speakers at a table

From free school meals to the privatization of family policy, early childhood education can be heaven on earth when it works well, or a hellscape when it is dysfunctional. Kindergartens are on this week’s episode of Standard Time, premiering today at 7 PM CET.

Cover for: Four-day workweek: Dream or reality?

Pilot schemes show that the four-day week can increase productivity while significantly improving personal wellbeing. So what is holding back this long mooted reform? Comparison shows that some models are more popular than others among employers and employees alike.

Cover for: Back to square one

Vladimir Putin insists that Russia is a unique civilisation state. But behind this assertion of ‘Sonderweg’ or a ‘special path’ lies a complex series of social constructs. Questioning the geopolitical metaphor dividing ‘West’ and ‘East’, ‘Europe’ and ‘Russia’, points to a recurring battle with transformation.

Cover for: No longer a footnote

Western Europe’s historical denial of Ukraine’s Europeanness stemmed from the same imperialist root as Russia’s denial of Ukraine’s national existence. Against this background, the EU’s recent change of heart is momentous.

A_line_of_Syrian_refugees_crossing_the_border_of_Hungary_and_Austria_on_their_way_to_Germany._Hungary_Central_Europe_6_September_2015

Safeguarding the dubious concept of a ‘European way of life’ has serious implications for migrants. Though indispensable for economic growth, new arrivals, who endure militarized border systems, face a future of privatized detention centres and offshore processing facilities. Could a new focus on common goals provide the necessary end to dehumanizing practices?

Cover for: Forerunners of the free market

Private enterprises founded by diaspora Poles with seed capital from the West produced a range of consumer goods for the domestic market in the late Polish People’s Republic, blowing a ‘wind of change’ into the planned economy over a decade before the transformation.

Cover for: Too busy surviving

At one point in his 1984 essay ‘Permission to narrate’, Edward Said described urging family and friends in Beirut to record what was happening during the Israeli siege, in order to tell the world ‘what it was like to be at the receiving end of Israeli “anti-terrorism”’.

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