Instead of looking at populists’ lies, it’s worth taking a look at the few truths they rely on: voters do recognize that liberal democracies have not worked in their favour. Can we ever shake off the demagogues and assimilate the genuine, if disruptive, energies of populism into a responsive democratic process? Relying on mere chance could be a way to renew representation.
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What can the history of the soil tell us about modernity and its ills? An experiment in urban gardening sets Kate Brown thinking about the consequences of the western world’s perennial misuse of the land – and how to return life to today’s extinct terrains.
1989 and its legacy
Three decades after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we are yet to come to terms with 1989’s historical significance, let alone the challenges of the present. What is the actual meaning of the ‘annus mirabilis’ and everything that followed? If this question is still unanswered, perhaps our approach is flawed, suggests Karl Schlögel.
From protest to social enterprise
Recently toppled colonial monuments have been used to evoke and connect global race-related injustices, past and present. Now anti-racism discourse on violence, worker’s rights, education and cultural heritage is encouraging greater accountability and social engagement. Black Lives Matter.
On 9 August, presidential elections will take place in Belarus. As on all previous occasions during the past two and a half decades, the regime has disabled the democratic opposition. This time, however, the protests are unprecedented in their size, confidence and breadth of appeal. Has there been a political awakening in the country?
Even to engage in debate over the existence of monuments in their current form is to acknowledge a connection between the colonial past and present-day inequality. For many, defence of heritage serves as a pretext for preservation of the memorial status quo.
Introducing Gagarin, the Eurozine podcast
What does the worship of big data have to do with positivism, and how does friction help create resistance? Philosopher Miriam Rasch talks about her essay in the inaugural episode of Gagarin, the new Eurozine podcast.
Black mental health in Britain
Trauma may be inheritable, even genetically, recent scholarship suggests. Could the devastating impact of slavery and oppression explain why Black people are overrepresented in the psychiatric system?
How Finland deals with homelessness
Instead of temporary solutions like shelters and hostels, Finland concentrates on providing permanent social housing to those in need. Although it requires significant investment, it’s always more cost-effective to end homelessness rather than trying to manage it. Also, it’s the right thing to do.
Roma scrap metal collectors toiling outside Paris
Scrap metal collectors, working on the periphery of society, sustain the ground level operation of a lucrative global market. Facing exploitation and illegitimacy, their conditions have worsened since COVID-19.
Roman Polanski's slow fall from grace
It took the film industry over four decades to oust Roman Polanski after he drugged and raped a child. The case, as well as other allegations, has long been known to the public, but a cultural shift was necessary for the director to face professional consequences.
Russia’s popular vote approving the ‘zeroing’ of Putin’s terms has been hailed by the regime as a triumphant demonstration of trust. Putin’s uncontested status as supreme authority has indeed been reinforced. But will the legitimacy bought by the vote be enough to stem growing uncertainty among elites and declining support among urban constituencies?
A divided society
Conflict over Israeli territory is a historically sensitive issue. But should past injustices and fear legitimize recent crimes against humanity? Avraham Burg’s home truths on current Israeli societal division assess critical ideological, economic and constitutional issues.
Global lockdowns expose dangers of LGBTQ dating apps
Contact-tracing, legitimized by COVID-19 security risks, is already a dating app reality. The privacy of LGBTQ communities is particularly open to abuse. Jemimah Steinfeld calls for better protection of sexual identities, citing a new Index on Censorship global report.
On the economy of human lives
In a rush to minimize the recession following COVID-19, some hold their economies dearer than the saving of lives. But prosperity isn’t the indefinite depletion of bodies and resources. It is through the satisfaction of basic needs that we will restore the dignity of all.
We speak about the differences between North and South as though they explain everything. In the process, age-old prejudices again penetrate the European consciousness and shape how we think about the world.