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»Blätter International«

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Social control 4.0? China’s Social Credit Systems

by Katika Kühnreich
With China’s geopolitical ambitions currently at the centre of attention, the domestic policies of the Communist Party of China (CPC) are going largely unnoticed.[1] Yet it is becoming clear that internally, China is also undergoing wholesale transformation: by the year 2020, the CPC aims to introduce digital systems for social control nationwide. […]

Explaining Brexit

by Anthony Barnett
The negotiations over Britain’s decision to leave the European Union are now entering a decisive stage. European colleagues have asked me to set out what is going on. Will there be a deal? If there is, will the government hold together? Will the UK’s parliament vote it down? Might the UK crash out of the EU without a deal? Will Jeremy Corbyn become Prime Minister? […]

Modes of denial: On the legend of US liberal hegemony

by Norman Birnbaum
At the memorial service for the late John McCain, our divided political elite came together to voice their apprehensions about our democracy. Better late than never; having indulged in an increasingly preposterous American moral imperialism for decades, it is indeed time for them to reconsider. […]
Foto: kemai / photocase.de

Welcome to Austria: The neoliberal nationalism of Kurz & Co.

by Raphaela Tiefenbacher
The motto of the new government in Vienna is ‘Austria first!’ Although the country’s export economy means that Trump-style trade wars are not an option, rose-tinted nationalism is another matter. […]

Four in a row for Merkel: Germany at the crossroads

by Albrecht von Lucke
The result of the 2017 German federal elections is historic – in a historic year. The fiftieth anniversary of the death of Konrad Adenauer on 19 April, the death of Helmut Kohl on 16 June, and the twenty-fifth anniversary of the death of Willy Brandt on 8 October: 2017 is a year when post-war West German history is again being remembered. […]

Apocalyptic populism

by Wendy Brown
I want to bracket the chaos and the calamity, the horror and even absurdity of the Trump regime to ask this: how was it brought into being from a popular base that stands to gain so little from it? […]
Foto: Maurice Weiss/Hertie School of Governance

Rethinking Europe

A discussion between Jürgen Habermas, Sigmar Gabriel and Emmanuel Macron

by Emmanuel Macron, Jürgen Habermas and Sigmar Gabriel
This event, entitled ‘Which future for Europe?’, was hosted by the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin on 16 March 2017 and moderated by Henrik Enderlein, the Hertie School’s Vice-President. […]

Breaking out of the echo chamber

A broadcasting service for Europe?

by Carl Henrik Fredriksson and Roman Léandre Schmidt
In an article in Spiegel Online, Andre Wilkens and Jakob von Weizsäcker call for a publicly financed media channel that is produced in and for Europe.[1] It is their hope that the project will make an important contribution to European democracy. […]

For a democratic polarization

by Jürgen Habermas
Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik: After 1989, all the talk was of the ‘end of history’ in democracy and the market economy; today we are experiencing the emergence of a new phenomenon in the form of an authoritarian/populist leadership – from Putin via Erdogan to Donald Trump. […]

Caught in the geopolitical crossfire

Ukraine and the new Cold War

by Achim Engelberg
Three years ago, on 21 November 2013, the protests commenced on the Maidan Nezalezhnosti, or Independence Square, in Kyiv, that quickly became known as Euromaidan. Euromaidan, because the Ukrainian government had broken off negotiations concerning the Association Agreement with the European Union shortly before they were due to conclude. […]

Aspirational maps

On migrant narratives and imagined future citizenship

by Arjun Appadurai
Forced exits can be created by traumas of environment, economy or national civil war. They produce refugees who are invariably traumatized. […]

The failure of the political centre ground

The EU and the rise of right-wing populism

by Ulrike Guérot
Throughout Europe – from Finland to Greece – right-wing populist parties have been mushrooming in recent times. […]

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. […]
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