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Cover for: A time of debt

Two years after global economy crashed in 2008, austerity politics swung into action. Using Greece as its example, a transatlantic alliance of right-wing fearmongers, conservative political entrepreneurs and centrist fiscal hawks abandoned stimulus and instead turned the screw.

Cover for: Mind the language

The tales of Austrian greatness and ethnic purity conflict with current-day Vienna’s diversity. Enda O’Doherty confronts touristic narratives with the controversies of Austrian history.

Cover for: Economy of (mis)trust: The case of bitcoin

Advocates of bitcoin typically claim two things: that by introducing certainty into the monetary system, it overcomes the problem of trust and its failure; and that by removing hierarchies between users, the system becomes democratic. Both claims are problematic, argues Lea Kuhar.

Cover for: The sound of my own voice

The internet is, as a medium, fundamentally changing our conception of the political. By removing speech from its social context, it has blurred our sense of the unsayable; by uncoupling us from our real-life community, it has made us shameless; and by fetishizing fact, it has undermined the legitimacy of shared reason. All help explain the extraordinary success of Donald Trump.

Cover for: Engineering trust: Why tech needs privacy by design

Nowhere is aversion towards transparency deeper than in the tech industry. The result of this corporate culture has been a massive breakdown of public trust. What management cannot fix, engineering must, argues leading privacy campaigner Simon Davies.

Cover for: Why Adamowicz?

The mayor of Gdańsk has long been target of a smear campaign in national media. Yet the harsh reaction of state propaganda after his death surprised even some supporters of the government.

Cover for: Intellectual paths in central Europe

Intellectual paths in central Europe

An idealistic Havel, a cynical Orbán, and a compassionate Walter

How can intellectuals of central Europe maintain their moral principles and independence, yet support democracy, in an age when the region is again traversing a rocky road paved with nationalism and populism?

Cover for: Brexit, dark money and big data

An investigation by openDemocracy into the financing of the Brexit campaign in 2016 has raised far-reaching questions about connections between neoliberal elites, the tech industry and the private intelligence sector. Adam Ramsay, one of the journalists involved, summarises a story vital to understanding how Britain has ended up where it is today.

Cover for: The politics of pre-emption

Security forces increasingly use data-driven crowd control techniques to pre-empt unpredictable situations. Unlike traditional prevention methods, pre-emptive policing actively engenders crowd behaviour – and in doing so interferes with the basic conditions for political agency, argues Krystian Woznicki.

Cover for: A kind of revolution

A kind of revolution

Some thoughts on solidarity

The word ‘solidarity’ combines the double sense of independence and mutuality, writes Polish literary scholar Leonard Neuger. The Solidarity movement in Poland was the political manifestation of this paradoxical semantic.

Cover for: Sad by design

While classical melancholy was defined by isolation and introspection, today’s tristesse plays out amidst busy social media interactions. Geert Lovink on ‘technological sadness’ – the default mental state of the online billions.

Cover for: More than independence

More than independence

Poland and 1918

Poland regained its independence after the First World War. Despite developing multiple ambitious visions, it failed to recreate its former state, the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and to reconstruct the map of western Eurasia.

Cover for: The world turned on its head

The world turned on its head

Was WWI really the beginning of the end of empires?

The Great War brought the end of some empires, while others expanded on the ruins of those that lost. Viewing WWI as the end of imperialism is too Europe-centric a concept and needs to be amended.

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