Newsletter

03/2013


Article of the month: The end of the European Dream

In trying to escape the banality of everyday life, utopian projects are bound to fail in politics, writes Stefan Auer. As such, the Great Gatsby of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel and the EU have much in common: they always want more, despite being insanely rich, and still cannot pay their bills:

"Like Gatsby in the American 'Jazz Age' of the 1920s, Europeans grew accustomed to living in a fantasy world, in which everything must be possible. The European dream was to combine the supreme efficiency of capitalist, market-based economies with social justice; it was meant to bring about endless increases in material wealth while stringently upholding environmental protection; and it was to deliver these goods via an apolitical, technocratic rule, which would also be democratically legitimate. Like Gatsby's enduring love at the end of the novel, the European dream is now in tatters."

According to Auer the eurozone has failed both politically, by reviving "old hostilities between European nations", and economically, by entrenching disadvantage and "making an increasing number of nations on Europe's periphery less competitive". Young Europeans have to deal with unemployment levels of below 10 per cent in Austria, Germany and the Netherlands; and above 50 per cent in Greece and Spain.

As other commentators have pointed out in Eurozine, Auer believes that questions surrounding the "locus of sovereignty" will remain most pressing as Europe proceeds into a now inevitable phase of fragmentation. For the current "dire (and deteriorating) material circumstances mean that European elites have as much chance of rekindling popular support for their federalist project of a United States of Europe as Gatsby had for reliving his first love: none."

Stefan Auer
The end of the European Dream

This article is available in English


New online platform: Time to Talk

Time to Talk, a network of European houses of debate dedicated to promoting in-depth discussion of issues of European relevance, has partnered up with Eurozine to launch a new online platform.

In its first phase, TTT investigated the nature of Europe in its hour of crisis and extrapolated upon the common European experience in relation to two questions: "What's wrong with Europe?" and "What's the future for Europe?" With members in nine nation states -- Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, the Netherlands, Poland, Slovakia, Spain and the UK -- the project covers the length and breadth of the continent and with the launch of the TTT website the discussion can continue with an expanded audience.

TTT debates will now be accessible any time, anywhere. On the new site visitors will be able to view photographs, video highlights and textual summaries from all the TTT events.

More on the Time to Talk project


The Eurozine network at a glance

Did you now that you can get a geographical overview of all Eurozine partner journals?

You might read Eurozine articles on your computer, tablet or phone, but what seems to be a digital or even virtual endeavour actually has very material basis: more than 75 printed partner journals published in 32 languages and with editorial offices in 34 European countries.

Discover the network map


New articles

Sabine Nuss
Contested copyright
Underlying the debate on intellectual property is an ideological faultline between capitalist models and alternatives, writes Sabine Nuss. Although a property approach to intellectual goods has major disadvantages it remains the lesser of many evils.
04.03.2013

This article is now available in English, German and Ukrainian

David Graeber
Debt: The first five thousand years
Throughout history, institutions have existed to control the potentially catastrophic social consequences of debt. It is only in the current era that we have begun to see the creation of the first planetary administrative system to protect the interests of creditors.
04.03.2013

This article is now available in English and Ukrainian

Franco Berardi
Media activism revisited
Although media activism has opened up new spaces of expression, it has not been able to prevent the dominant media to invade this freedom, writes Franco Berardi. Activists should therefore "reinvest the aesthetic dimension"; first as art, then as therapy.
27.02.2013

This article is available in French
    
Tanja Petrovic
Thinking Europe without thinking
Neo-colonial discourse on and in the western Balkans
EU member states draw upon a reservoir of colonial discourse to assert superiority over the extra-European Other; western Balkan states compensate by turning the same discourse against neighbours lower down the ladder of EU accession, writes Tanja Petrovic.
27.02.2013

This article is now available in Catalonian, English and Italian

Jurica Pavicic
The Mediterranean: Room without a view
The mythical Mediterranean of the tourist imagination masks a reality of debt, stagnation and social decline. Yet the region colludes in its own downfall, writes Jurica Pavicic, trading in former glories while acquiescing to political and economic exploitation.
27.02.2013

This article is now available in English, German and Italian

Slavenka Drakulic
A few "easy" steps towards reconciliation
Laissez faire reconciliation in the Balkans will never work, writes Slavenka Drakulic. Symbolic gestures by politicians are well and good, but a substantial change in social attitudes can only be achieved through the institutional promotion of tolerance and collaboration.
27.02.2013

This article is now available in English, German and Italian

Harold James
The Swiss model
Harold James advocates scaling up small country democracy, if the members of the European Union are ever to succeed in settling upon a working model of democracy. He explains why the Swiss model of "Konkordanzdemokratie" has much to offer.
26.02.2013

This article is available in English and German

Katerina Barushka
Potatoes and fortune cookies
The recent boom in Belarus-China relations is surprising; it's sudden, far reaching and, at first glance, inexplicable. But what are the true reasons and possible prospects for this cooperation? Independent television journalist Katerina Barushka explores.
25.02.2013

This article is available in English

Stefan Auer
The end of the European Dream
What future for Europe's constrained democracy?
In trying to escape the banality of everyday life, utopian projects are bound to fail in politics, writes Stefan Auer. As such, the Great Gatsby of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel and the EU have much in common: they always want more, despite being insanely rich; and still cannot pay their bills.
22.02.2013

This article is available in English

Anna Ananieva, Klaus Gestwa
The war of 1812
How Russia rescued Europe
As Napolean's army disintegrated upon retreating from Russia, the Russian Empire rose from the ashes of Moscow as the "saviour of Europe". Historians Anna Ananieva and Klaus Gestwa recall how a new European order materialized and became the object of reminiscence.
21.02.2013

This article is available in German

Slavenka Drakulic
The tune of the future
Italy: old Europe, new Europe, changing Europe
Venice versus Lampedusa: travelling around Italy, Slavenka Drakulic observes one kind of Europe being replaced by another. Instead of attempting to conserve the cultural past, we should accept that migration will adapt much of what we consider "European" to its own image.
20.02.2013

This article is now available in Croatian, English, German, Hungarian and Italian

Norman Lillegard, Almantas Samalavicius
Ideology or truth?
A conversation with Norman Lillegard
In a wide-ranging discussion, Almantas Samalavicius and the philsopher Norman Lillegard consider the dangers of relativism, the crisis of education, pleonexia and the economic crisis, and whether literature should provide moral instruction.
20.02.2013

This article is now available in English and Lithuanian
 
Claus Leggewie
Transnational citizenship
Ideals and European realities
It is time for social science and political actors to acknowledge a paradigm shift from international to transnational relations, writes Claus Leggewie. Which is also to recognize that a new form of world politics is emerging: citizenship (and governance) beyond the nation-state.
19.02.2013

This article is available in English

Joshua Farley, Almantas Samalavicius
Against growth
A conversation with economist Joshua Farley
Given the relation between economic production and ecological degradation, Joshua Farley is convinced that economic growth must stop. It is just a question of when. And whether cooperation will displace competition as the dominant concept in the economic paradigm.
19.02.2013

This article is now available in English and Lithuanian

Phil Cohen
A beautifying lie?
Culture and kitsch @ London2012
The opening ceremony of the London Olympics, themed "The Isle of Wonders", will offer a pastiche of national identity in which the darker sides of the British psyche are lost in a multiculturalist high-kitsch spectacular, anticipates Phil Cohen.
19.02.2013

This article is now available in English and Hungarian

Robert Titan Felix
Reclaiming our rights
As protests continue in Slovenia, Robert Titan Felix sees the need for a programme to protect the welfare state and citizens themselves from the greed of capital, which pushes the less successful to the margins of existence.
15.02.2013

This article is available in English and Slovenian

Daniel Chirot, Almantas Samalavicius
Ideology never ends
An interview with sociologist Daniel Chirot
While some eastern European countries have shaken off the "post-communist" tag, in others it remains apt, says Daniel Chirot. Meanwhile, new disparities are generating a leftwing revival in the region that show pronouncements of the end of ideology to have been rash.
14.02.2013

This article is now available in English, Hungarian and Lithuanian

Andriy Shevchenko, David Van Reybrouck
Splitting up?
The re-nationalization of Europe
Perceived loss of sovereignty and rising hostility towards migrants are behind the nationalist revival in many EU member states. Yet in the countries of the former USSR, nationalism is associated with democratization. Can one talk in the same terms about contemporary nationalism in East and West?
14.02.2013

This article is now available in English and Hungarian

Boyan Znepolski
Down with democracy! Long live the people!
Boyan Znepolski remains far from convinced by recent attempts by contemporary philosophers to get to grips with the relation between democracy as a political regime and "the people". He discerns a deficit of creativity in the thought of Zizek, Badiou and Laclau.
12.02.2013

This article is available in Bulgarian and English
   
Ieva Lesinska, Aryeh Neier
Restraining the powers that be
Aryeh Neier has headed up Human Rights Watch, the American Civil Liberties Union and George Soros' Open Society Foundations. While in Riga for the twentieth anniversary of Soros Foundation Latvia, he was interviewed by "Rigas Laiks" editor Ieva Lesinska.
13.02.2013

This article is available in English and Latvian

Marc-Olivier Padis
The legal ramifications of marriage
Citizens will risk entering into legally precarious situations if there is no change in the law on marriage and adoptions, writes Padis. But whatever the legal consequences of reconfiguring the family, they must not lead to the weakening of individual ties through normative tinkering.
13.02.2013

This article is available in French

Günter Emberger, Josef Schopf
Street life
Once walking was surpassed as the primary form of mobility, concepts of time, distance and urban development changed fast. Schopf and Emberger argue they need reevaluating once more, if urban mobility is to offer anything other than more highways and parking spaces.
13.02.2013

This article is available in German

Thomas Frahm
Bulgaria returns
Expanding literary horizons
Not all was lost during Bulgaria's postwar "epoch of total frustration", as Dmitri Dimov's "Tabak" and Dimitar Talev's novels show. Frahm finds in Vladimir Zarev an inspiring contemporary novelist and draws attention to emerging talents Kristin Dimitrova and Kalin Terziyski.
11.02.2013

This article is available in German

Georges Prévélakis
Greece: The history behind the collapse
Greece's economic crisis has its roots in a political pact dating back to the foundation of the modern state, writes Georges Prévélakis. The threat posed to Europe by the Greek breakdown is less contagion than a wave of anti-western feeling that could exacerbate geopolitical instabilities.
11.02.2013

This article is now available in English, French and Hungarian

Ivan Krastev, Gleb Pavlovsky, Tatiana Zhurzhenko
The politics of no alternatives
An interview with Gleb Pavlovsky
Gleb Pavlovsky, erstwhile political advisor to Vladimir Putin, whose election campaigns he masterminded in 2000 and 2004, talks to "Transit" about the workings of power in the Soviet Union and in post-Soviet Russia.
11.02.2013

This article is now available in English, Estonian, German, Hungarian, Polish and Romanian

Paul Gillespie
Get smart
Ireland and the euro crisis
Ireland, like other small EU member-states, must be especially smart in responding to the euro crisis, since it does not command the resources that better enable larger states to protect their interests. How coherent has the Irish approach been so far and are the alternatives more convincing?
11.02.2013

This article is now available in English and Hungarian

Francesca Spinelli, David Van Reybrouck
Is Belgium the test-bench for democracy 2.0?
Surreal rearguard state or foretaste of problems yet to come? David Van Reybrouck predicts that the underlying causes of Belgium's political crisis will repeat themselves throughout Europe as the new media call into question established democratic practices.
08.02.2013

This article is now available in English, French and Hungarian

Ivan Krastev
Democratic, can travel
The Russian regime's abandonment of the ideology of public interest prevents it being measured against its own standards, while its policy of open borders diffuses protest from a dissatisfied middle class. Ivan Krastev on reasons for authoritarianism's tenacity.
08.02.2013

This article is now available in English, Hungarian and Romanian

Ramón González Férriz
Talking about my generation
The recession has returned a generation of Spaniards to a cruel reality: that they may have to live with less than their parents did. Whether they alter their expectations or try to stop the clock will be decisive, writes "Letras Libres" editor Ramón González Férriz.
08.02.2013

This article is now available in English and Hungarian

Almantas Samalavicius, Immanuel Wallerstein
New world-system?
A conversation with Immanuel Wallerstein
At some point, there is a tilt; there always is. Then we shall settle down into our new historical system. Wallerstein foresees one of two possibilities: more hierarchy, exploitation and polarization; or a system that has never yet existed, based on relative democracy and relative equality.
08.02.2013

This article is available in English and Lithuanian

Claus Offe
Europe in the trap
Claus Offe opts for democracy over the logic of no alternative and a politics that fails to provide the electorate with choices. For therein lies the trap. Only more solidarity and more democracy, he argues, can rescue the eurozone from the brink of collapse.
06.02.2013

This article is now available in English and German

This work programme has been funded with support from the European Commission. This publication reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.


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Eurozine Newsletter: 03/2013
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