Heft 36: Klimapolitik und Solidarität

Transit

Transit 36

Winter 2008 / 2009

Editorial

Anthony Giddens
Klimapolitik
Nationale Antworten auf die Herausforderung der globalen Erwärmung
Claus Leggewie und Harald Welzer
Können Demokratien den Klimawandel bewältigen?
Ingolfur Blühdorn
Klimadebatte und Postdemokratie
Zur gesellschaftlichen Bewältigung der Nicht-Nachhaltigkeit
Chris Niedenthal
Greetings from Hel. Photographien
Wolfgang Sachs
Wem gehört, was übrig bleibt?
Ressourcenkonflikte und Menschenrechte
Lukas Meyer
Klimawandel und Gerechtigkeit
Dirk Messner
Klimawandel, globale Entwicklung und internationale Sicherheit
Nadine Pratt
Ich kaufe, also bin ich gut?
Nachhaltiger Konsum – eine Kontextbestimmung
Oliver Geden
Strategischer Konsum statt nachhaltiger Politik?
Ohnmacht und Selbstüberschätzung des »klimabewussten« Verbrauchers
Bronislaw Geremek
Sozialgeschichte – Ausgrenzungen und Solidarität
(Collège de France, Leçon inaugurale 1993)
Stefan Troebst
Vom Bevölkerungstransfer zum Vertreibungsverbot –
eine europäische Erfolgsgeschichte?

Ein Teil der genannten Beiträge ist hervorgegangen aus der Vortragsreihe “Umweltpolitik
und Solidarität – eine Herausforderung für Europa”, die das Institut für die Wissenschaften vom Menschen (IWM) in Zusammenarbeit mit der Grünen Bildungswerkstatt veranstaltet. Wir danken für die Unterstützung.

Transit Issues

  • Donald Trump and the Bieber Doctrine

    Following the initial shock of Donald J. Trump’s victory, both friends and foes will downgrade the significance of what has transpired. The same people who portrayed a Trump victory as apocalyptic will come to see it as business as usual. The risk is that, this time, we’re not returning to business as usual.
    Read more

  • Trump, Contemporary Fascisms and the Acquiescence of the Left

    To whatever extent we may be tempted to call the current threat fascism, it must be acknowledged that we no longer live in the world of 1930s Europe. This, instead, would be a fascism born of a bourgeois fantasy of enduring domination, given shape, for example, as the American dream - white, Christian, heteronormative, masculine.
    Read more

  • Autocracy: Rules for Survival

    Despite losing the popular vote, Trump has secured as much power as any American leader in recent history. The Republican Party controls both houses of Congress. There is a vacancy on the Supreme Court. The country is at war abroad and has been in a state of mobilization for fifteen years. This means not only that Trump will be able to move fast but also that he will become accustomed to an unusually high level of political support. He will want to maintain and increase it—his ideal is the totalitarian-level popularity numbers of Vladimir Putin—and the way to achieve that is through mobilization. There will be more wars, abroad and at home.
    Read more

  • Der Eurozentrismus und seine Widersacher: Kritische Bemerkungen zu einer unfruchtbaren Kontroverse

    Die dezentrierte und offene Einstellung gegenüber anderen Kulturen ist keine Errungenschaft der Moderne: Sie geht auf vormoderne europäische Wurzeln zurück.
    Read more

  • Heft 49: Grenzen der Toleranz / Charles Taylors Landkarte

    Unter dem Titel »Charles Taylors Landkarte« versammelt die 49. Ausgabe Gastbeiträge renommierter Wegbegleiter des Philosophen, die sein umfangreiche Werk würdigen und in einen größeren Kontext stellen. Der zweite große Themenblock des Hefts – Grenzen der Toleranz – wurde ebenfalls von Charles Taylor und seinem gemeinsam mit Alfred Stepan herausgegeben Werk "Boundaries of Toleration" (2014) inspiriert. Das Buch enthält Beispiele aus verschiedenen Ländern und Epochen, wie ein friedliches Zusammenleben in multireligiösen und multikulturellen Kontexten gelingen kann. Gleichzeitig lädt der Sammelband dazu ein, über den Begriff der Toleranz, der als Grundpfeiler eines liberalen Demokratieverständnisses gilt, kritisch nachzudenken.
    Read more

  • Aleppo as a Path to Invincibility

    As soon as the U.S.-Russia-brokered cease-fire agreement collapsed about two weeks ago, Assad’s army, supported by the Russian air force, intensified its bombing campaign and artillery shelling of the besieged areas. The Syrian government prevents humanitarian aid from getting to Aleppo, saying that this is how the rebels get arms and ammunition. The result is a bloody stalemate in which neither side is prepared to compromise and no force on the ground is overwhelming enough to claim victory and thus end the carnage. Eastern Aleppo is facing defeat by slow attrition if no political agreement is reached.
    Read more

  • Invalid Anti-Migrant Referendum in Hungary

    Despite all the immoral and unlawful efforts of the government to influence the Hungarian voters, the majority of them did not cast votes, and made the referendum invalid. Disregarding this result, at the night of the referendum, Prime Minister Orbán announced the amendment of the constitution “in order to give a form to the will of the people.”
    Read more

  • Die Idee des Intermariums: Ein mittelosteuropäischer Pakt gegen russischen Neoimperialismus

    Die Sicherheitsinteressen Zwischeneuropas und vor allem der Ukraine verlangen nach einem Intermarium-Block – einer Koalition der Staaten zwischen Ostsee und Schwarzem Meer.
    Read more

  • Knowns and Unknowns behind Turkey’s Failed Coup

    Although Turkey has meager democratic credentials, a military intervention is not a solution for re-establishing or consolidating democracy in Turkey. Surprisingly, the deeply divided Turkish political scene was unified in condemning the coup attempt and Gulen’s movement.
    Read more

  • American Politics Caught in a “Russian Trap”

    I don’t know whether the Kremlin even has a favorite in the U.S. elections, but I do know what Russia’s ruling politicians love to watch. They love seeing others get caught in what one might call a “Russian trap”: when others are caught doing the very thing they accuse Moscow of doing. They enjoy watching those who accuse Moscow of calling its opponents “foreign agents” do the same to their own political opponents.
    Read more

  • Heft 48: Rückkehr der illiberalen Demokratie?

    Der Begriff der „illiberalen Demokratie“ – einst zur Beschreibung der Umbrüche nach 1989 verwendet – erlebt heute ein Comeback. Illiberale Regime, wie sie in Ungarn oder Polen an die Macht gekommen sind, arbeiten daran, Möglichkeiten für einen offenen und fairen politischen Wettbewerb einzuschränken, indem sie öffentlich-rechtliche Medien unter ihre Kontrolle bringen und Verfassungsänderungen anstreben. Im Blickpunkt der nunmehr 48. Ausgabe von Transit stehen somit Regierungen, die von sich behaupten, den Willen der Bevölkerung losgelöst von den Fesseln des Rechtsstaats zu vollziehen. Neben historischen Bezugspunkten beinhaltet das Heft Fallsstudien zu unterschiedlichen Ländern wie der Türkei, Ungarn, Russland oder der Ukraine.
    Read more

  • The Trump-Putin Fallacy

    Imagine that your teenage child has built a bomb and has just set it off in your house. The house is falling down all around you—and you are blaming the neighbor’s kid, who threw a pebble at your window. That’s what the recent Putin fixation is like—a way to evade the fact that Trump is a thoroughly American creation that poses an existential threat to American democracy.
    Read more

  • Austria: The Lesson of the Far Right

    The presidential election situation that arose in Austria in May and will be repeated in October—a run-off between the Greens and the far right—has never occurred in Europe before. But it starkly reveals a fundamental political conflict that can be found in many Western democracies today. This conflict is not meaningfully described as one of “ordinary people versus the establishment.” In Austria, both the Freedom Party and the Green Party have been “established” since the mid-1980s; in Britain, Boris Johnson, one of the main faces of the Brexit campaign, is about as establishment as one can get in the UK; and Donald Trump is hardly the authentic representative of Main Street. Rather, on one side of the new conflict are those who advocate more openness: toward minorities at home and toward engagement with the world on the outside.
    Read more

  • The Warsaw NATO Summit and beyond

    Obama’s criticism and the embarrassing act of censorship of his speech notwithstanding, the NATO Warsaw Summit proved on balance to be successful for Poland’s foreign policy goals, as well as those of NATO’s other Eastern Allies, as they have managed to secure NATO’s increased presence on the Eastern flanks as part of a defence against, and a deterrent to, Putin’s Russia. Nevertheless, with the UK gradually losing its influence following the Brexit referendum and most likely leaving the EU within a few years, Poland and NATO’s Eastern Allies are losing an important ally that provided significant political support for these countries in the EU and NATO. Law and Justice may also face growing isolation on the European level, especially if it does not find an acceptable solution for the constitutional crisis and continues questionable practices in the media sphere.
    Read more

  • Partitions and the Sisyphean Making of Peoples

    Far from solving identity dilemmas, partitions represent another episode in the endless process of their reconfiguration and adaption. Rather than engaging in the separation of homogenous peoples, partitions are a modality of their making, however fraught and incomplete, indeed impossible. For while nationalists imagine that partition led to the territorialization of their people and its return to “history”, the last sixty years has revealed the Sisyphean nature of realizing this national fantasy in practice
    Read more

  • Vienna’s War on Drugs: Refugee Crises and the Recriminalization of Narcotics

    The recent refugee crisis in Europe has resurrected many specters the continent thought it had banished. Calls for increased national sovereignty and a limitation on or dismantling of the EU, for an abandonment of multicultural policies and for strict immigration controls, have grown louder and more insistent. It may also revitalize the global drug control regime. Vienna’s efforts to stamp out the drug trade in the 1920s-30s helped birth the global war on drugs. The city’s efforts today may help save it.
    Read more

  • Eastern Europe Is Both Dreading Brexit and Ready for It

    What seemed impossible even a year ago now seems fated. The European Union will probably be better run with Britain out, but it is unlikely to survive if the British next week decide to leave. “The Radetzky March” is particularly apt here because, though the focus after a Leave victory will be on Britain, the real disaster will befall Roth’s literary stamping grounds of Central and Eastern Europe. Indeed, in a very real way, the disintegration of Europe will be set off by Brexit, but it will take place far to the east.
    Read more

  • Hobbesian Catholicism on the Rise in Poland?

    The state church might have been a rational choice in England torn by religious wars of sixteenth century, but in twenty-first century Europe it is a dangerous vision for the Church, which risks losing its spiritual authority. Although a schism seems to be very unlikely, a further confessionalization of Polish state is quite probable. The question now is whether Catholic hierarchs in Poland will reject such a dangerous vision, and the lure of symbolic and financial gain, in favor of what is right for society and the Church.
    Read more

  • Poland vs. History

    Perhaps the greatest surprise in the Polish government’s decision is the implicit alliance with current Russian memory policy. The move to limit the Polish history of World War II to the week-long engagement with Germany at Westerplatte in 1939 follows a Russian script that is entirely on the record. In a speech at Westerplatte in 2009, Vladimir Putin accepted that Poland, and not the USSR, was the first victim of German aggression. But there was an important proviso, which he has amplified several times since. The German attack on Poland, Putin asserts, was a consequence of Poland’s own dealings with Nazi Germany before the war, rather than a result of the Soviet-German alliance of 1939.
    Read more

  • Behind the New German Right

    Throughout its postwar history, Germany somehow managed to resist the temptations of right-wing populism. Not any longer. It is now possible to be an outspoken nationalist without being associated with—or, for that matter, without having to say anything about—the Nazi past.
    Read more

  • Between ‘the Russian World’ and ‘the Ukrainian Nation’: Kyiv Pride before and after Euromaidan

    Ukrainian LGBT movement is the logical product of the Ukrainian social, economical, and political context. For queer politics to appear in Ukraine, different conditions and possibilities have to be created. It will take years for currently isolated queer activists to rearticulate the existing heteronormative order through many scattered tactical interventions into the public sphere.
    Read more

  • America Hasn’t Gone Crazy. It’s Just More Like Europe

    In comparing themselves with Europe, Americans prided themselves on the fact that “It can’t happen here” — namely, European socialism and European fascism. It viewed itself as immune to the pathologies of democracy: Crowds can go crazy in any other place in the world, but not in America, the land of common sense. But after the last years of extreme polarization and dysfunctional governance, are Americans still convinced that their democracy cannot be upended?
    Read more

  • Self-Reflection Through the Visual: Notes on Some Maidan Documentaries

    On a formal level, the images win a subjectivity of their own, in a similar way to the people -- the main protagonist of all the abovementioned films -- who gain their political subjectivity during the course of revolutionary struggle. If there is any universal truth about Maidan, then it can be articulated like this: people with their own hands, their own efforts and will ousted the oppressive political regime from power.
    Read more

  • Committee for the Defense of Democracy in Poland: Rebellion of the “Beneficiaries of the Transformation”?

    KOD is avoiding sensitive subjects, which could divide its sympathizers, but at the same time with its moderate postulates it discourages those Poles who blame the former centrist government for its cultural conservatism and economic neoliberalism. By integrating different party groups, KOD is building its political capital, but at the same time it pays a high price for it. It is easy for PiS to frame these social protests as a revolt by those who lost the election and cannot accept their defeat.
    Read more

  • Rohith Vemula: Death and Resistance at the University

    Dalit students committing suicide in institutions of higher education in India has become endemic. In Hyderabad itself, between 2007 and 2013 there have been eleven cases of student suicides, and most of them have been Dalits. And yet, it took the death of someone as outspoken and ‘public’ as Rohith Vemula for the issue to be brought to public attention with any sense of urgency.
    Read more

  • An Unruly Younger Generation? Student Protest and the Macedonian Crisis

    Student protest has been a regular occurrence in the Balkans in recent years. While the actions of students against austerity policies and budget cuts at Greek universities or the Gezi protests in Istanbul gained wider international notoriety, it was the western Balkan countries that provided for a model of student protest action that has been emulated throughout the region.
    Read more

  • The Case for Europe: An Interview with Donald Tusk

    The fact is that around Europe, and within it too, there’s no lack of enemies of liberal democracy, and it certainly requires constant mobilization and readiness to defend it. But I am much calmer about it. If we take the area surrounding our continent into consideration, liberal democracy is still doing pretty well in Europe.
    Read more

  • On Krzysztof Michalski’s “The Flame of Eternity”

    For Krzysztof Michalski, the reflection on time, on what time is, provides philosophy a ground from which to illuminate essential aspects of the human condition, including its paradoxes and inherent ambiguities.
    Read more

  • When Corruption Kills: A Romanian Tragedy

    On November 3, around 30,000 demonstrators gathered in the center of Bucharest. They demanded the resignation of the prime minister, Victor Ponta, who had been accused of corruption-related crimes months before. There were cries of “Assassins” and “Shame on you”, and some people had banners reading “Corruption kills”. Ponta announced his resignation the next morning.
    Read more

  • Why Putin Loves Trump

    Mr. Putin’s predilection for Mr. Trump has nothing to do with the Kremlin’s traditional preference for Republicans. It also can’t be explained by the fact that had Mr. Putin — a physically sound, aging, gun-loving and anti-gay conservative — been an American citizen, he would have fit the profile of a Trump supporter. Rather, Mr. Putin’s puzzling enthusiasm for Mr. Trump is rooted in the fact that they both live in a soap-opera world run by emotions rather than interests.
    Read more

  • In Defence of Free Movement

    Asserting a human right to free movement without explaining how it could be accepted by states as a norm of international law risks disconnecting moral critique from political reform. In the present world the admission of refugees and other forced migrants must be governed by principles of human rights, humanitarian duties and burden sharing between states rather than by a right of free movement.
    Read more

  • “Let’s Go England!”: Multiple Facets of the Jungle of Calais

    The jungle is presented in the media as an informal settlement where hardly any service is available, where 4500 people from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria or Eritrea converge in the hope of crossing the Channel and setting foot on the British soil. Is it really a place of exception, where the rule of law is suspended and the only function of the state is containment?
    Read more

  • Student Protest as the Trigger for the Revolution of Dignity in Ukraine

    By now it has been nearly forgotten how the events started that led to Yanukovych relinquishing power. Nevertheless, it was exactly on the grassroots level that some of the most interesting developments took place such as the appearance of a student protests movement which became crucial for the Euromaidan movement and whose fate paradoxically directly triggered the Revolution.
    Read more

  • Parsing Populism: Who Is and Who Is Not a Populist These Days

    Donald Trump is but Bernie Sanders isn’t; Syriza is, sometimes. Contemporary populism is not just anti-elitist, but also necessarily anti-pluralist, and in this exclusive claim to representation lies its profoundly undemocratic character.
    Read more

  • Where Do We Want the EU’s Borders to Lie?

    The centres and camps that already exist at Europe’s borders (and those being proposed) are not simply de-territorialized, exceptional, ‘waiting spaces’ where European rights do not (yet) apply. They are rather sites that are crucial to the sorting and organization of the right to European rights, through a principle of differentiated inclusion. Access to the right to asylum is thus no longer regulated through physical presence on national territory, but determined in geographically-dispersed locations.
    Read more

  • Hungary’s Anti-European Immigration Laws

    Viktor Orbán, who has styled himself as the defender of Europe’s “Christian civilization” against an Islamic invasion, has encouraged other eastern European governments to follow his example in violating EU norms. If Hungarians ultimately opt for an illiberal democracy, as Prime Minister Viktor Orbán publicly advocated over a year ago, they must accept certain consequences. These include parting from the European Union and the wider community of liberal democracies.
    Read more

  • Central Europe and the Refugees

    West European elites carry the burden of a bad conscience with respect to people from the South. There is nothing of the sort in the East where people are unanimous in recalling their own suffering and their historical innocence, and in affirming that “we are not responsible for the miseries of the world.”
    Read more

  • Syrian Origins of the Refugee Crisis: The Cost of No Policy?

    Europe's proximity to Syria means it now has to deal with the refugees. This could have been anticipated in 2013, yet European countries choose to ignore it time and time again. More gravely, by taking a marginal role in the crisis, Europe has let Turkey, the Gulf states, Iran, Hezbollah and Russia determine Syria’s future. It has allowed the most liberal and moderate-minded rebels to be excluded from Syrian politics.
    Read more

  • The Refugee Crisis that Europe Solved

    The refugee crisis in Europe after the Second World War was far worse than the EU faces today, but a successful structure arose in 1945 because the world assumed it could solve the refugee problem. Today, we accept refugees as a permanent consequence of modern global affairs and respond to each individual crisis without looking for long-term solutions.
    Read more

  • Heft 47: Russland Nacheuropa Religion

    Themen in diesem Heft sind unter anderem Museums- und Seelenlandschaften des heutigen Russland, das Ende Europas, Philosophie im Ersten Weltkrieg, das Verhältnis von Vernunft und Religion sowie von Christentum und Gewalt. Ein kleiner Schwerpunkt gibt Einblick in das spannungsvolle Verhältnis zwischen den heutigen orthodoxen Kirchen und der Moderne. Der Photoessay zeigt verlassene Orte des Widerstands. Ein Gespräch mit der polnischen Schriftstellerin Olga Tokarczuk und ein Fragment aus ihrem neuen Roman beschließen das Heft.
    Read more

  • Hungary’s Response to the Refugee Crisis: An Orchestrated Panic

    Why is Hungary, the first communist country to dismantle the Iron Curtain, now busy building a fence in order to keep refugees out? The answer is: domestic politics.
    Read more

  • If You Push for Regime Change, You Get the Refugees Too

    Indians, Pakistanis and others have a right to question Europe on its immigration and citizenship policies, not just because of the presence of Asians and Africans in Europe but because none of the European countries have borne the flow of refugees that the South has seen.
    Read more

  • Warnings from Another Refugee Crisis

    The last world war began amidst a refugee crisis. In discussions of refugees today, many European politicians neglect to mention how exclusion led to murder the last time around.
    Read more

  • Eastern Europe’s Compassion Deficit

    Commenting on the flow of migrants making their way through Hungary to Austria and Germany, a Hungarian journalist told me recently: “We don’t have cities anymore. Only an extended railway station.”
    Read more

  • What the West Gets Wrong About Russia

    Vladimir V. Putin finds his name emblazoned on nearly every page of the myriad memos and papers struggling to understand the mind-set driving Russia’s strategic behavior. To understand Mr. Putin, the thinking goes, is to understand Russia. But is that quite right?
    Read more

  • The Polish Presidential Election: A Victory for the “Radicals”?

    The surprise defeat of the Polish president Bronisław Komorowski by the Law and Justice candidate Andrzej Duda suggests a return of the reactionary and parochial politics of the Kaczynski era. Social scientist Magdalena Nowicka discusses where Komorowski and the Civic Platform went wrong, and whether this is a taste of things to come in the Polish parliamentary elections in October.
    Read more

  • Macedonia at the Crossroads

    For all the worries over the current crisis in Skopje, there is reason for optimism. What everyone should hope for is not a revolution, but a reasonable compromise — one that will be acceptable not only to political leaders but also to the citizens who mistrust these same leaders. The elevator should move again, and best if it moves in the direction of Brussels.
    Read more

  • How Women Survived Post-Communism (and Didn’t Laugh)

    The situation for women in societies caught up in the post-'89 transition is complicated, notes Slavenka Drakulic. On the one hand, they now stand to lose rights that were, at least formally, established during the communist regime. On the other hand, women's position in society has been undermined everywhere in Europe – in East and West alike. The financial crisis has struck hard, and – as so often – women have been struck harder.
    Read more

  • When Empires Collapse – Reflections on the Crisis in Ukraine

    Despite the many obvious differences, the current turmoil in the Middle East and the Ukrainian crisis have something in common: both reflect the problematic legacies left behind when centuries-old empires collapse and the successor states appear less stable and viable than originally imagined.
    Read more

  • 70 Years After: Russia’s Uses of the Past

    Seventy years after the end of World War II the fight for hegemony in Europe continues – disguised as a conflict of historical master narratives. The beginning of the current round of memory wars in the post-Soviet space can be dated back to 2005, when the 60th anniversary of the victory over Nazi Germany turned into a loyalty test for the politicians of neighbouring countries. With Moscow’s annexation of Crimea and the ongoing struggle over Ukraine, the celebration of the 70th anniversary has become even more divisive. We publish three articles that help understand the peculiarities of the Kremlin’s geopolitics of memory.
    Read more