A combination of institutional arrogance and neoliberal policy has broken the link between EU and its citizens. And yet, as the mass demonstrations in support of EU membership in Britain since the Brexit vote show, Europe can still inspire affection. To continue to be worthy of such sentiments, the EU must develop forms of integration beyond rules and markets.
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Transformation and revision in European politics of history
European memory culture is being undermined from two very different directions: first by resurgent far-right revisionism, second by the new subjectivism in historical methodology. Rather than relying on new technologies to preserve memory, we need to return to the event, to physical place, and to direct communication, argues Claus Leggewie.
Sweden, Romania and Spain before the EP elections
For many countries, the EP elections in May come amidst political upheavals at home. Views from Gothenburg, Bucharest and Barcelona present an image of Europe poised between widespread pro-European sentiment and domestic instability.
Hopes of a smooth transition from ‘goulash communism’ to market economies have long since been dashed by the ‘post-Soviet mafia-state’ in Hungary. But to what extent are liberal intellectuals themselves responsible, through their elitist disdain for the rest of the population, for the decline of democracy in Hungary?
Inequality, consumption and recognition
In a system in which inequality, consumption and the desire for recognition correlate, giving plays a central role: gifts express our sense of our own value as much as that of others. Only by legitimizing areas of acknowledgement beyond economic success can we move towards a more inclusive form of giving, argues sociologist Alain Caillé.
The number of deaths caused globally by antibiotic resistance is increasing at alarming speed. The problem is well known, but governments and pharma appear not to take it seriously. Progress in bacteriophage research gives cause for optimism, however: using CRISPR gene editing technologies, these organisms can be deployed as an alternative to antibiotics.
Slovenia, Lithuania and France before the EP elections
Eurozine’s series of reports on national debates in Europe in the run-up to the EP elections continues. Views from Maribor, Vilnius and Paris suggest that, amidst the European ennui, the green shoots of grass roots democracy may be showing.
An end to myths about the West and the East
Both materially and politically, eastern Europe has never been closer to the West. At the same time, the post-communist myth of western superiority has lost its power. As imitation gives way to defiance, a new set of political challenges emerges, writes Jarosław Kuisz.
Poland, Cyprus and Ireland before the EP election
In the run up to the European Parliamentary elections in May, editors from the Eurozine network will be reporting on national debates from across the EU. First up in the series are views from Kraków, Nicosia and Dublin.
The unfinished adventure of European unification
As neo-nationalists capitalize on citizens’ loss of trust in European elites, even the most powerful of Europe’s member states seem incapable of dealing with run-away globalization on their own. So where next for European unification, 30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain?
The lack of ideological distinctions between Ukraine’s presidential candidates may allow them to be responsive to citizens’ needs, however it has also led to populist short-termism. With liberal, modernizing platforms unable to break onto the political stage, the elections are likely to be a missed opportunity for continuing post-Maidan reforms.
Puzzled by the simultaneity of new authoritarians welling up across the globe, we seek common historical causes. But figures like Orbán and Kaczyński may be better explained by convergences in political strategy. One such is their abandoning of ’89 as a historical touchstone, argues Holly Case.
How we mark historical anniversaries says as much, if not more about our perception of the present as it does about the past. This familiar axiom has interesting results when we apply it to how the revolutions of ’89 have been remembered in each decade since.
The perpetual transition in eastern Europe has led to the spread of an angst-ridden politics. While the derailing of imported western institutions calls into question the project of Europeanization, transnational solidarity remains possible and necessary.
Clear ideological differences between East and West may be long gone. But recently solidarity itself seems to have become a thing of the past too. Public debate in Europe is now riven by a new volatile set of polemics about the European Union, the memory of the Holocaust and of communist crimes, nationalism and multiculturalism.
Soundings, the New Left and the boundaries of politics and culture
Rejection of rigid Marxist orthodoxies and a strong focus on the cultural forces shaping politics and society were central to New Left thought after 1956. The British journal Soundings, co-founded by the influential New Left thinker Stuart Hall, emerged from this tradition.