Blätter International

Blätter International

Blätter International


‘Out of concern for Germany’ read the headline of Blätter, the Journal for German and International Politics (Blätter für deutsche und internationale Politik), that was first published on 25th November 1956. Today it might be: ‘Out of concern for democracy’ – in Europe and beyond. All across Europe the rise of right-wing populism is evident. The post-war development of the Western European model of democracy consisting of key principles such as political parties, free market economy, representative government, and civic participation seems to have failed. How can we save democracy? This is just one of the big questions that ‘Blätter’ intends to look at in the future.

Blätter is the most widely read political journal in the German-speaking area. The journal self-publishes a monthly issue, which is independent from companies, churches, interest groups, and political parties. In times of increasing corporate control of the media, it provides lively and critical media coverage. It considers itself a forum for current political discussion. Within the 128 pages, Blätter authors comment on and analyse the political events in Germany and abroad – retaining a critical perspective on the technocratic and neoliberal mainstream. The more than 11.000 subscribers guarantee its editorial and financial independence. The total print run is 12.500 copies.

Blätter aims to bring together academia and political intervention. On the one hand, it is focused on contributions with arguments backed up by academic standard citations, on the other hand, every text is held to journalistic standards of good readability and comprehensibility.

The editorial office consists of the five editors Anne Britt Arps, Daniel Leisegang, Albrecht von Lucke, Annett Mängel and Steffen Vogel. They are supported by a circle of publishers that share Blätter’s belief in editorial standards and emancipatory analysis of political debates. Among the 22 publishers are Jürgen Habermas, Seyla Benhabib, Saskia Sassen, Katajun Amirpur, Peter Bofinger, Micha Brumlik, Rudolf Hickel, Claus Leggewie, Jens Reich, Friedrich Schorlemmer and Hans-Jürgen Urban.

This stable publishing circle guarantees that Blätter remains what it has been for almost 65 years: ‘an island of reason within a sea of nonsense’ (Karl Barth).

The following articles were translated and published in cooperation with Eurozine, a network of European cultural journals.

All articles (page 2 of 2)

A new way for Turkish democracy

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".

Islam and democracy

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.

Nuclear exit now: The time is ripe

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.

Bologna, or The capitalization of education

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.

Digital civil rights: From Karlsruhe to Brussels

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

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.

Banking regulation? Malfunction!

Two years have passed since the outbreak of the property and financial crisis, yet there has been no progress in the regulation of the banking and financial sectors. Worse still, a serious start has not even been made. This diagnosis doesn't only go for Germany. It applies equally to the US, the European Union, and at the level of international regulation.

Swiss self-defeatism

On 29 November 2009 the Swiss electorate was called upon to vote on an initiative that wanted to ban, with immediate effect, the construction of minarets. Moreover, it was proposed that the ban – a mere detail of building law – be written into the constitution (!).

Are newspapers still relevant?

Yes, newspapers are relevant – and I can prove it. They are more relevant than Hypo Real Estate, more relevant than Deutsche Bank or Dresdner Bank. They are far more relevant than Opel or Arcandor.

Battlefield Europe

It has long been a cliché that Europe is in crisis. First it was a crisis of "widening", then it was a crisis of "deepening", now it is a constitutional crisis.

From '68 to '89

Gert Weisskirchen: When we – especially those of us in the "West" – speak of '68, we usually think of Paris or the Prague Spring, which was suppressed with such brutality when the Warsaw Pact states invaded on 21 August. It is less well known that as early as March 1968 demonstrations were held in Poland – when performances of a play by the great Polish writer Adam Mickiewicz were banned. So 1968 evidently had a lot to do with culture. One of the students who protested, and was later imprisoned for doing so, was Adam Michnik.