2020

12 May

“WhatsApp Israel?”

There are not many individuals in the world, who do not know Israel. Who did not hear something, good or bad, about it? Many have strong opinions about what is happening in this small country. The country that was once a model society of equality and liberal democracy is now a partner to more conservative …
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26 Mar

Byzantium as an Argument in the Russian Intellectual Debate

Not long ago, two prominent public intellectuals in Russia – a well-known pro-Kremlin analyst and the liberal thinker Yulia Latynina –  wrote articles about Byzantium. Although their attitudes toward Byzantium were diametrically opposite to each other, the two authors were comically unanimous in their belief that this long defunct Empire was responsible for everything that …
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24 Mar

Contentious Politics in Neoliberal Cities

Cities have become strategic sites for the expansion of the political. They have witnessed the emergence and erosion of new citizenships, popular sovereignties, and democratic interventions. Actors affected by austerity policies struggle against social injustice and for the right to the city. Among them are sections of the middle class whose living and working conditions …
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23 Mar

Post-Accession Politics and Democratic Backsliding in Eastern Europe

Back in the late 2000s, when all former Soviet satellites in Eastern Europe acquired full membership of the European Union, it appeared as if these countries were on their way to democratic normality. What happened instead was that many of them underwent democratic backsliding. As the region transitioned from the accession to the post-accession era, …
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17 Mar

The Remains of the Real. Politics after Postmodernism

There was a moment in the 1990ties, in the era of high postmodernism, when it seemed that social reality has had no stable foundations and as such it can be freely and totally transformed by interventions in the registers of symbols and images. Various social, political and economic developments of the last two decades – …
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16 Mar

The Importance of Being Funny: Jewish Humour in Cabaret and Film of the Weimar Republic

This talk is part of a book project on the cultural history of Jewish artistic presence in German-speaking cabaret and film in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s. (During my fellowship at the IWM, I am researching materials at the Austrian Exile Archive at ÖNB and the Österreichisches Kabarettarchiv in Graz.) In this presentation for the …
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04 Mar

In guter Verfassung?

In diesem Jahr wird das österreichische Bundes-Verfassungsgesetz (B-VG) 100 Jahre alt. Es gründete auf Verfassungskämpfen von 1848, übernahm Grundrechte von 1867 und stellte 1920 die Weichen für einen Aufbruch der jungen ersten österreichischen Republik in eine ungewisse Zukunft. Seither wurde es vielfach diskutiert, reformiert – und zwischenzeitlich sogar demontiert. 1934 wurde das B-VG durch die …
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25 Feb

Liberalism in Crisis: Between Totalitarian Responses and Progressive Dreams

In the past decade, many have spoken of the “crisis of democracy” due to the rise of populism in Europe, both in the East and the West, in the Union’s member states and in the aspiring member countries. But is democracy really what is at stake and in crisis nowadays, or is it a whole …
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24 Feb

Manufactured Alienation

Boris Johnson turned the recent UK election into a referendum on the character of politics, and won by making democracy miserable. Based on years of investigating the dark money funded institutions which drove Brexit in the UK, undercover reporting across Europe, and street interviews with voters from Hungary to Spain and Scotland to Italy, openDemocracy’s …
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17 Feb

Freedom and Solidarity

In Poland he is remembered as an intriguing personality and a spiritual leader of the Solidarity movement. Abroad, mostly as co-founder of the Institute for Human Sciences, Vienna. A boy from a Polish village who became a profound interpreter of Husserl, Heidegger and Levinas. A Catholic priest inspired by a Jewish philosophy of dialogue, trying …
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