Publications / Tr@nsit Online
Dreams of Europe
We often talk about there being “two Ukraines”, about how compatible or incompatible they are, how love draws them together and mutual distrust drives them apart. However, we rarely notice that Europe also has two faces. They look in different directions and only occasionally see each other.
Both Your Houses. Protest and Opposition in Russia and Ukraine
There is one central similarity between Euromaidan and other recent movements across the world: protesters’ self-reliance and distrust of politicians who pretend to represent them is what gives their movement its democratic credentials, but it is also a weakness.
Opinions about time are varied because time itself has a history. Hence, thinkers of the past do not necessarily speak about the same time. But opinions are also varied among contemporaries, since some focus on nature and others on soul, some see the time of clocks negatively and that of consciousness positively, while others make an opposite assessment. The plurality of opinions about time is a consequence of the plurality and heterogeneity of time itself.*
From Goulash-Communism to Goulash-Authoritarianism?
The present situation in Hungary is a challenge for the model that has shaped the political life of Western Europe since WWII. The way the European Union handles the Hungarian issue has a significance that reaches well beyond the individual case of a minor East Central European state and might become an indicator of the direction European political culture will take in the decades to come.
Students Take Bulgaria’s Protests to the Next Level. Can They Break the Political Stalemate?
Tom Junes assesses the prospects of the Bulgarian student protest movement and asks if it has the power to effect real political change in the country.
Is There a Future for Democracy?
The world is changing faster than ever, and it is unclear whether modern democracy will be able to keep up with the changes. To quote A.J.P. Taylor, ‘nothing is inevitable, until it happens’, and predicting democracy’s future is no exception. In a world where the IT revolution is having profound effects on the economy, society and politics, positive and negative, where inequality in the developed world is on the rise, but where millions in the developing world are rising out of poverty, where Islamic fundamentalism appears on the rise in the Islamic world, but where in other regions there is also an increase in a non-ideological, secular approach, and where over half the world’s population is urban, it is hard to say what opportunities democracy will have, what threats there are to it, and whether its response will be effective. Will the connection between freedom and equality hold, or will it be broken – or will their relationship change under the pressure of new circumstance? Will democracy as we know it – a hybrid of government by elected officials, a free market economy and the rule of law – nevertheless survive in recognizable form?
Serbia’s Quest for a Usable Past
In post-Milošević Serbia 19th century ideas and symbols have been revitalized and incorporated into new identity discourses and value systems. These fall into two sets: one that contributes to a process of re-traditionalization and another that underlines modernization and aspects of history linking Serbian society to “modern European traditions”. The 19th century provides a source for both a romantic-traditionalist-nationalist ideology and a modern-“mondialist”-“European” one. The article focuses on the negotiation of national identity as well as on ways in which the legacy of the 19th century is used to posit “Europeanness” in a society in the process of EU accession.
Lemkin and Lauterpacht in Lemberg and Later: Pre- and Post-Holocaust Careers of Two East European International Lawyers
Two of the most prominent and influential international lawyers of the 20th century both studied law at Jan Kazimierz University in the Galician capital, called Lemberg during the Habsburg era and Lwów in interwar Poland. Both were former Jewish activists who in their professional careers focused on crimes against humanity and, in particular, the Holocaust, and both played an important role in Nuremberg in 1945 and 1946. Although the two of them do not seem to have gotten along, their common ‘Galician’ imprint is obvious. And while Lauterpacht had more professional success during his lifetime than Lemkin, the latter gained global prominence posthumously as ‘father’ of the term ‘genocide’.*
Rachelka’s Tablecloth. Poles and Jews, Intimacy and Fragility “on the Periphery of the Holocaust”
What does local participation in the Holocaust—victims who refer to their murderers by the diminutive versions of their names—teach us about intimacy? About the fragility of the border between good and evil? About what it means to be a human being? For Marci Shore, these are the central questions addressed by Agnieszka Holland’s film In Darkness, Jan Gross‘s and Irena Grudzinska Gross’s book Golden Harvest, and Tadeusz Słobodzianek’s play Our Class. These works reveal the extent to which Poles are coming to see the history of Jews—their lives and their deaths—as a history about themselves, and about all of us.
Brothers – The SS Mass Murderer and the Concentration Camp Inmate
We know relatively little about intra-familial ruptures in National Socialist Germany. Most well researched are the divorces of Jewish-non-Jewish marriages, many of which were brought about by means of coercive measures. But what about those non-Jewish families whose individual members found themselves on opposite sides of the political divide? Were there, for example, cases of National Socialists and communists or social democrats within the same family?
Public Space Democracy
We are witnessing a new type of worldwide protest. From the Arab world to the Western capitals, from Turkey to Brazil, a wave of protest movements, despite the differences among them, reveal a profound social malaise, a gap between society and the political agenda. All solicit new approaches to established concepts of democracy.
Putin’s Self-Destruction: Russia’s New Anti-Corruption Campaign Will Sink the Regime
This spring has been almost eerily calm in Russia. The protest movement, which coalesced after the rigged parliamentary elections in the autumn of 2011, has all but disintegrated, and hopes for substantive political opening have faded. High-profile liberals are in retreat or retirement, a dozen opposition activists are in jail, and President Vladimir Putin’s will is unchallenged. Even the weather has been nice, perhaps lulling the Kremlin into believing that it has little to fear. In fact, it does: unwittingly, Putin’s recent anti-corruption campaign has set the stage for the system’s collapse.