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»Blätter International«

The Collapse of the EU?

The Return of Borders and the Danger of Populism

by Albrecht von Lucke
The contrast could not be greater: where, twenty-five years ago, border fences between Austria and Hungary were coming down, and the path was being cleared for German reunification and the creation of a new, free Europe in the West and East, we are now seeing the complete opposite. […]

»We will manage!«

The challenge of integration

by Claus Leggewie and Daniel Cohn-Bendit
The conflicting messages of welcome displayed by the German government towards refugees is hindering integration processes, for the state, the refugees and the citizens. For the sake of all three, accepting the situation is the only way of moving forward. […]

German Europe's ascendancy

by Eric Bonse
During almost a decade in office, the German Chancellor has never been so prominent as now: first in energetically trying to settle the crisis in Ukraine, and then pokering with the newly elected government of Alexis Tsipras about Greek debt remission and whether Greece is to remain in the eurozone. […]

Privacy as a human right

Edward Snowden and the control of power

by Peter Schaar
In June 2013, Edward Snowden's revelations about the massive surveillance programme of the NSA and the British GCHQ caused global outrage. Almost two years later, the burning question is whether effective means exist to prevent blanket surveillance by the security services. One thing is for sure: there will be no return to the analogue era. […]

Controlling the future: Edward Snowden and the new era on Earth

by Elmar Altvater
In June 2013, Edward Snowden began to uncover the machinations of the US National Security Agency (NSA) and the British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), prompting a worldwide debate about the alarming power of the secret services. […]

Europe entrapped

by Claus Offe
Europe finds itself in what may well be its worst crisis since 1945. More and more historically aware commentators are reminded of the situation prior to 1933. […]

Bayern, Berlin, Brussels. The long march of the refugees

by Martina Mauer
The European Union's approach to refugees is causing a humanitarian catastrophe: almost everyday, people die attempting to cross the tightly guarded external borders of Europe. According to estimates, lives lost since the 1990s total 19,000. […]

A new way for Turkish democracy

by Dilek Zaptcioglu
Events are unfolding fast in Turkey. No one would have imagined that protests against building over a green space in Istanbul would lead to a countrywide explosion of social unrest. But within days, it was clear: nothing in Turkey would ever be the same again. Some have already branded the daily mass protests a "Turkish Spring". […]

Together against Orban: Hungary's new opposition

by Robert Hodonyi und Helga Trüpel
At the beginning of the year Prime Minister Victor Orbán predicted that 2013 would be the "Year of Harvest" for Hungary and that everything would be better than in 2012. […]

Goodbye future?

by Stephen Holmes
Almost a quarter century has passed since the citizens of central and eastern Europe took to the streets to demand more democracy. Though the memory remains fresh in reunified Berlin, I wonder whether, elsewhere, 1989 and its aftermath are still debated with any real urgency. […]

Contested copyright

The battle over intellectual property

by Sabine Nuss
The proposed international treaty ACTA (Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement) provoked much resistance in 2012 – both online and on the streets. Participant states intended to establish global standards for the protection of intellectual property and sharp penalties for copyright infringement. […]
Foto: Hamid Saber, cc 2.0. Source: Wikimedia

Islam and democracy

The history of an approximation

by Katajun Amirpur
In Iran, the revolutionary dogma prevailing at the official level has obliged "post-Islamist" philosophers to provide profound justifications for Islam's compatibility with democracy. Katajun Amirpur puts contemporary Iranian thinking on religion and politics in the context of the intellectual anti-westernism of the Khomeini era. […]

Sea and sun for Europe

A new project for the next generation

by Claus Leggewie
Both the European Union and the "idea of Europe" are facing their sternest test since 1945: this is the pessimistic tenor of many of the comments on the euro crisis and the unpopular cuts being made in national budgets. Members of the wartime generation refer warningly to Europe's self−destruction and division in the twentieth century. […]

Cooperate or bust

by Ulrich Beck
The existential crisis of the European Union […]
Foto: ECFR

Europe and the "new German question"

by Christian Calliess, Henrik Enderlein, Joschka Fischer, Jürgen Habermas and Ulrike Guérot
Addressing a panel hosted by the European Council on Foreign Relations and the Mercator Foundation on 6 April 2011, Jürgen Habermas criticized political elites for shirking their responsibility of delivering Europe to its citizens, instead relying on opportunism that threatens to "sink 50 years of European history". […]
Foto: Dyanna

The Arab Spring: Religion, revolution and the public sphere

by Seyla Benhabib
"Freedom is a great, great adventure, but it is not without risks [...]. There are many unknowns." Fathi Ben Haj Yathia (Tunisian author and former political prisoner), New York Times, 21.2.2011 […]

Nuclear exit now: The time is ripe

by Hermann Scheer
The whole world is talking about renewable energy, sympathetically, as if about nice weather. Hardly anyone still disputes that it represents the future of energy supply for humankind. However this shift of perception is only a few years old. The attention that renewables receive worldwide has developed despite the mainstream energy discussion in politics, finance and the media. […]

Egyptian transformations

by Mohammed Bamyeh
Though the regime struggled for two more weeks, practically little government existed during that period. All ministries and government offices had closed, and almost all police headquarters were burned down on 28 January. Except for the army, all security personnel disappeared, and a week after the uprising, only few police officers ventured out again. […]

World improvement reloaded

Why being on the Left means being progressive

by Robert Misik
Many people have lost the belief that the world can be put on a better track. Since the Enlightenment, people or groups of people – political parties, revolutionaries, subversives, utopians or reformers – have tried again and again, but often not much good has come of it. In this respect, we are once bitten, twice shy. […]

Stuttgart 21: Back to the future

by Tim Engartner
Two-hundred-and-fifty km/h from Stuttgart main station across the Schwäbische Alb – that's what Baden-Württemburg's political establishment have been dreaming about since 1994. Yet it's not certain that Stuttgart's railway terminus really will have been converted into an underground through-station by 2019. […]

Bologna, or The capitalization of education

by Richard Münch
At the end of 2009, German students once again took to the streets and occupied their universities in protest at current study conditions. At core, the protests were aimed at the massive changes in the organization of higher education introduced by the Bologna Process. And rightly so. […]

The emancipation of African football

From colonialism to the World Cup 2010

by Dietrich Schulze-Marmeling
A football World Cup on the African continent might be a novelty but it is no accident. […]

Africa's blogosphere

Citizen journalism from Cairo to Cape Town

by Geraldine de Bastion
Africa's blogger community is still in its infancy, but it has already demonstrated its importance in mobilising opinion in Kenya and Nigeria and promises to be a significant player in the fight for democracy and free expression across the continent. […]

Digital civil rights: From Karlsruhe to Brussels

by Ralf Bendrath
There was jubilation among data privacy campaigners on 2 March after the German Constitutional Court in Karlsruhe overturned the EU Data Retention Directive of 2006 (obliging member states to store citizens' telecommunications data for six months to two years).[1] However […]

More security at any price

The Stockholm Programme of the European Union

by Christine Wicht
German chancellor Angela Merkel's neologism Flüchtlingsbekämpfung, coined in the German parliament in 2009 and translatable as "refugee combating", might have seemed like a misanthropic lapse; it could, after all, easily belong to the jargon of the extreme Right. […]
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