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Cover for: The Arab Spring, ten years on

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.

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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.

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Roots in nature

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.

Cover for: Will polluters ever pay?

Will polluters ever pay?

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.

Cover for: Disaster capitalism

Disaster capitalism

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.

DNA left handed double helix

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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.

Cover for: Darkest moments

Darkest moments

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.

Cover for: By popular demand

By popular demand

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.

Cover for: Topical: Belarusian protests

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?

Cover for: A country of grumblers?

A country of grumblers?

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?

Cover for: Gendered design

Gendered design

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.

Cover for: Do European values still matter in Ukraine?

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.

Cover for: Tearing down the ivory tower

Tearing down the ivory tower

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.

Cover for: Imitation games

Imitation games

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.

Cover for: On the debris of the Donbas

On the debris of the Donbas

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.

Cover for: TikTok: A new digital Cold War?

Trump’s TikTok deal was a concession to Silicon Valley and a victory for cronyism. Security concerns about TikTok are well founded, but an escalation of digital-economic hostilities will not favour US tech companies and could spell the end of the open internet.

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