It may seem utopian, but granting rights to inanimate beings could break the institutional deadlocks of environmental policy making. Not only that, ‘a parliament of things’ could eliminate the inequalities inherent in our anthropocentric approach to politics.
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On 17 December 2010, Tunisian fruit seller Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest against the arrogance of the political authorities. Bouazizi’s suicide marked the beginning of the uprisings across the Arab world. A decade later, the consequences of the Arab Spring are still unfolding.
The erosion of democracy wasn’t gradual; the writing was on the wall. It was the public understanding that lapsed. The recent Trumpist attempt to overturn an election now ends the fantasy that American democracy is distinct. Political junkie Claire Potter weighs in.
The pathogen and the politics of biodiversity
People are starting to notice nature’s invoices: forest fires burning koalas, plastic in the oceans, but the loss of biodiversity freefall has not yet fully broken through onto the political agenda. The pandemic now highlights the connection between human health and the mismanagement of nature and wildlife.
Industrial disasters from Baia Mare to Beirut
The explosion in Beirut’s port was so loud that it was heard 150 miles away in Cyprus; a neglected store of fertilizer was the unsuspected bomb. To avoid such mismanagement of hazardous chemicals, authorities need to ensure that the polluter pays, says Gergely Simon.
Beirut urgently needs a people-centred recovery
Urban redevelopment is a priority after the devastating warehouse explosion in Beirut’s port left many homes uninhabitable. However, it should not follow the city’s post-war property grab, says Mona Fawaz, whose reflection, written soon after the blast, argues for a people-first approach.
Genetics, race and the methodology of differentiation
Whilst twenty-first century research into molecular genetics seemed to promise an end to outmoded racial stereotypes and typologies, it actually managed to revive discussions about biological differences among a number of geneticists. On the DNA of these debates and their implications for the future.
Carving a way out of this gruesome year
Next year will be tough. Calendar cycles don’t solve anything. We need to tackle multiple crises and come to terms with our losses, both personal and social. Yet overcoming is always rooted in the firm belief that something else is possible. And not only that: it’s also ours to make.
Our favourites from 2020
Here are some of the Eurozine Team’s personal favourites from this year’s publishing: reflecting on racial conflicts and gender relations, digging into urban soil and organizing tenants, being tired of video conferences and, inevitably, reckoning with death.
The poor handling of the COVID-19 pandemic, long-standing economic stagnation and the violent suppression of protests against electoral fraud have sparked in Belarus an unprecedented popular uprising, the final outcome of which is still uncertain. Who has kept the protest culture alive among a population often accused of political apathy? What has been the role of women in the opposition to Lukashenka? And what game is Russia playing?
Hungarian values and how to misunderstand them
Post-Socialist baggage is sometimes still blamed for Hungarians’ support for an illiberal supermajority. But can a society be expected to democratize when its social institutions have been subjected to decades of attrition?
Living spaces and gender relations in Estonian homes
Whose rules determine how space is used or shared? Whose identity does a room express? The home is the place where power relations are established and contested. Ingrid Ruudi looks at how modern living space has shaped and been shaped by gender roles in Estonia.
Beware interpreting Ukraine’s current political landscape with traditional European values, says Volodymyr Yermolenko: Kremlin-backed zoopolitics, upholding the survival of the fittest, uses liberal discourse against the democratic world.
Abusing the COVID-19 crisis to close the 'wokest' university
It took a while for even the faculty to realize that the Istanbul Şehir University has effectively been closed down. It had stood its ground against Erdoğan’s interventions for years, but the pandemic served as the perfect opportunity for a swift and silent takeover. Now the same can happen to any of the other independent universities in Turkey.
The legacy of 1989 on contemporary politics
The events of 1989 unleashed a world of discovery. Economic determinism was replaced by imitation of the West. Was that process authentically spontaneous or were eastern Europeans staging a script they did not write? Either way, imitation created a crisis of identity, the consequences of which are still unfolding.
Uncovering the identity behind regional unrest
The city of Donetsk’s call for independence from Ukraine is a pivotal issue in war-torn Donbas. Its role as regional centre, at the core of the Donbas Coal Basin, upholds its weighty position. But environmental protests in Mariupol, says Yulia Abibok, show how local identity is split, perhaps irrevocably.