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Cover for: Divergent narratives

Divergent narratives

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?

Cover for: Who can make Ukraine great again?

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.

Cover for: The Great Substitution

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.

Cover for: Anxious Europe

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.

Cover for: Our European self-deception

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.

Cover for: ‘An outrageous expansion’

‘An outrageous expansion’

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.

Cover for: The East in you never leaves

There is a certain type of post-Soviet anxiety that manifests itself in fear of state authorities, border controls or even doormen. The memory of 1989 may have largely faded, but the feeling of being ‘eastern’ has stayed with many – not least those who have built up lives and careers in the West, writes Júlia Sonnevend.

Cover for: Poland’s rebel women

The Polish government’s attempt to abolish abortion rights in 2016 was one battle in a historical civil war, in a country where modernization has always been at the expense of sexual equality. After the Black Monday protests, rebellion has gone underground in art created by women.

Cover for: Why I don’t want to remember 1989

Born in the ’80s in eastern Europe, I grew up among unkept promises which everybody refused to be accountable for. We were told we were going to be free, and later this alleged freedom was used as an argument to shut us up when criticizing political misrepresentation.

Cover for: The legacy of division: Editorial

The legacy of division: Editorial

East and West after 1989

When the Cold War came to a sudden end thirty years ago, the two halves of Europe declared in unison their intention to overcome the legacy of the division. Today, the hopes and ambitions of those heady days can be viewed as unrealistic at best. But is talk of a new East–West divide justified?

Cover for: Just because the map says so, doesn’t mean it’s true

Just because the map says so, doesn’t mean it’s true

Thirty years after 1989, from an island perspective

The workings of western capitalism were almost as unknown in the Eastern Bloc as the everyday realities of ‘real socialism’ were among western Trotskyists. Then, after ’89, eastern Europe disappeared off the political map of the left. Nowhere was this more so than in Britain, writes Owen Hatherley.

Cover for: The mythology of the East-West divide

With the fall of the Berlin Wall, the unification of Germany, and the EU’s enlargement, the East-West divide has lost its meaning. Moreover, post-communist countries have been more vigilant in keeping their accounts in order than many of their western European partners. So why not put the ghosts of communism to rest and build a united Europe?

Cover for: Beyond anti-democratic temptation

The comeback of ethnocentric populism is disquieting, but does not necessarily mean the end of the liberal engagement the revolutions of 1989 inaugurated. It may as well be a short-lived return of repressed emotions and phobias, an effect of the disenchantment that follows almost every revolution.

Cover for: Thirty years on: Germany's unfinished unity

As of this year, Germany has been united for a longer time than the Wall and its barbed wire stood. Yet despite 30 years of the Solidarpakt, social differences have not been evened out as hoped, and the division is tangible in political leanings as well.

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