Opinion pieces published in EuropeNow do not necessarily reflect the positions of the Council for European Studies.
Contemporary Balkan Cinema: Transnational Exchanges and Global Circuits, edited by Lydia Papadimitriou and Ana Grgić
Reviewed by Philip E. Phillis
The transnational turn in European filmmaking and film studies has given renewed currency to peripheral cinemas and the opportunity to circumvent the western Eurocentric understanding of European cinema(s) and the hegemony of Hollywood in popular discourse.
Reviewed by Richard F. Wetzell
After emigrating to the United States in 1941, the German Jewish lawyer Ernst Fraenkel published The Dual State: A Contribution to the Theory of Dictatorship, a seminal analysis of Nazi Germany that he had drafted while practicing as a lawyer in the Third Reich.
By Judit Hajnal Ward
Kafka’s Son––what a captivating title! It translates well into any language. Additionally, it sends an instant message about the book’s subjects and dimensions: paying tribute to an unparalleled author in East Europe, capturing the complexities of the father-son relationship, tracking an author’s path in creative writing through space and time, all in a posthumous, unfinished novel placed in a Kafkaesque world.
Translated by Mauricio Ruiz
I sit alone at the airport in northern Norway to see my paternal grandmother before she dies. The bus rides on the new road, no one drives on the old road anymore. Just my dad. He will always drive on the old road, because that’s where his father used to drive.
By Manasi Sinha
With continuous instability and violence engulfing Afghanistan, large numbers of Afghan women and girls are likely to reach Europe to seek protection from conflict and violence in their native land.
On “Trying to Find Their Own Oppression”: An Interview with Simon Strick about Digital Fascism and the Climate of Germany’s Elections
Interviewed by Sanders Isaac Bernstein
Rather than understand the growing strength of the so-called far right as a matter of political program championed by distant extremists, Strick argues that we need to consider how they transform the emotional climate of everyday life.
Interviewed by Benjamin Bernard
Stanford historian Andrei Pesic recently published an article in the leading historical journal, Past & Present, about how music might help us to rethink this question.
Self-fulfilling Prophesies: Domestic Terrorism, Islamist Separatism, and Muslim (Non)belonging in France
By Carol Ferrara
It’s been nearly six years since the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo terror attack that killed twelve people working for the famous satirical magazine. Carrying out a coordinated multi-sited attack, another team of attackers also took sixteen hostages at a Hypercacher—a Kosher grocery store in the Paris suburbs—killing four individuals there, as well as a policewoman in Montrouge, and staging a second hostage situation nearby.
Are the Balkans Still the Other of Europe? Untangling the Post-conflict Realities with an Outsider’s Gaze: An Interview with Miruna Butnaru-Troncotă
Interviewed by Dragoș Ioniță
Working for the last five years with professor Miruna Butnaru-Troncotă, a young researcher from Romania who specializes in this region and in EU’s foreign policy discourses, I managed to discover the less-approached ways of understanding and even problematizing the Balkan region, its people, its politics, and its passions, while mapping various stereotypes that all our lenses are formed of when approaching the topic.
By Stuart P. M. Mackintosh
Facing the ongoing pandemic, Johnson and his pals have handled the emergency in a manner Trump would also approve of, with friendship trumping competence and capability, and money flowing to toadies with no oversight or assurance on their ability to get the job done.
By Lucian A. Despa
In October 2015, former European Commission Vice-President Frans Timmermans stated, “the challenge (the migrant crisis of 2015) facing the European project today, is existential.” Five years later, the crisis could be repeated if coordinated measures on behalf of the EU and Turkey will not be taken.
A Social History of Early Rock ‘N’ Roll in Germany: Hamburg from Burlesque to the Beatles, 1956-1969
Reviewed by Justin Patch
The Beatles: what more is there to say about the band that transformed global popular culture? A casual survey of the Library of Congress reveals over a thousand titles.
Reviewed by Maria Mitchell
Short-listed by the American Academy of Religion for the Best First Book in the History of Religions and recipient of the Waterloo Centre for German Studies Book Prize, this beautifully written monograph deserves wide readership, especially by students and scholars of Europe and sexuality.
By Lauri Tähtinen
As of late April, eighteen of the twenty-six member countries of the Schengen Area were conducting internal border checks. In May, European Union institutions awoke to the need to “reopen” Europe before summer, the high season for the tourism industry which has been responsible for one tenth of Europe’s GDP.
Reviewed by Mohamed Amine Brahimi
Nadia Kiwan’s Secularism, Islam and Public Intellectuals in Contemporary France, addresses a topic that receives little attention in the social sciences: the position of Muslim intellectuals in France and their relationship to secularism.
Reviewed by Sarah Slingluff
One walks away from La Corte del Califa with a deep appreciation for the ability of the Umayyad rulers of al-Andalus to manage resources, develop networks, and negotiate governance in the Iberian Peninsula.
Across the Waves: How the United States and France Shaped the International Age of Radio by Derek W. Vaillant
Reviewed by Kimberley Peters
As expressed in Vaillant’s own words, the book aims to explore the “users and developers of US-French broadcasting to illuminate the complexity of international broadcasting and reveal its consequences for cultural affairs and geopolitics,” and does so through careful, detailed research, drawing on a variety of textual and sound archives, making for a rich and expressive account.
By Kyle Shybunko
Presidential candidates in the current Democratic primary campaign are proposing major structural changes to America’s political economy in a way not seen since perhaps Ronald Reagan’s 1980 run for President, when he called for the liberalization of America’s labor market, deregulation of industries across the board, and welfare reform.
By Olga A. Vorkunova and Samvel Kochoi
A social integration perspective in Europe provides an organizing framework for understanding the changing processes of complex identities. For Yezidi people, it is about new methods and forms of post-genocide survival.
By Hélène B. Ducros
In the fall issue of EuropeNow, we feature an Author-Meets-Critics on Vichy contre Vichy, Une capitale sans mémoire by Audrey Mallet
By Bertram M. Gordon
Mallet addresses the prewar history of Vichy as a spa center, reaching a turning point with the construction of a railway station under Napoleon III, which brought an extended clientele and made it internationally famous, evidenced in an article in the New York Times in 1876.
By David Lees
For historians of modern France, it can sometimes appear that all roads lead to the small spa town of Vichy. Such is the legacy of World War II in France that the four “dark years” of German Occupation and Vichy rule still cast long shadows over French society today.
By Richard Carswell
The visitor to Vichy today will look in vain for the Hôtel du Parc, seat of Marshal Pétain’s government from 1940 to 1944. The building still exists. But there are no signs to indicate its former incarnation. It is now a block of offices, apartments, shops and the local tourist office, where an official will tell you—on request—that, yes, this was the site of the Hôtel du Parc. The only sign of the building’s association with the defunct regime is closed to the casual tourist.
By Kirrily Freeman
In this engaging book, Mallet examines the factors that shaped the wartime experiences of the town of Vichy (which was the provisional capital of France and seat of Marshal Philippe Pétain’s collaborationist government from 1940 to 1944), the responses of the local population, and the ways in which these experiences and responses have been remembered locally (or not remembered) since the end of World War II.
By Caroline Bruzelius
Fires were the scourge of Medieval and Early Modern buildings and cities (think of the Great Fire of London, 1666). But they were also the opportunity for great creativity and innovation, an incentive to introduce new updated architecture and to produce cities built largely of non-flammable materials (London, Paris). In the Middle Ages, some cathedrals burned over and over (Canterbury, Chartres, Reims), but the destruction of the old churches stimulated the construction of the glorious structures in the Gothic style that we know today.
By Darcie Fontaine
For the vast majority of the nearly thirteen million annual visitors, the cathedral is less of a religious pilgrimage than an exceptional opportunity to observe rare medieval Gothic architecture and its famous stained glass rose windows.
Reviewed by Sean Brennan
The success of Christian Democratic parties in stabilizing the political orders, which emerged out of the devastation of the Second World War in countries such as Austria, Germany, Italy, and to a smaller extent, in France and other countries in Western Europe, remains one of the most important stories in the history of Europe in the twentieth century.
Reviewed by Julia Khrebtan-Hörhager and Minkyung Kim
Grand master narratives of contemporary history rarely correlate war with womanhood, especially if the latter has some dark, shameful, and controversial nature, like the infamous stories of comfort women.
By Stuart P. M. Mackintosh
Boris Johnson’s election as leader of the Conservative Party and Prime Minister of the United Kingdom on July 23, 2019, may result in a damaging, hard, disorganized Brexit on Halloween, October 31. But the economic reality of a hard Brexit could be obscured by fairytales about the glorious future awaiting Britannia when she is freed from the shackles of the European Union, and able once again to sail the seas and chart her own economic and trade course.
By Thomas Henökl
Whether we see a shift away from populism or whether the far right manages to set the agenda will depend on the ability of the political mainstream, together with progressive moderates, to present a credible agenda for the future.
Interviewed by Kelly McKowen
Oscar Wilde’s utopia was socialism, a social order that he believed would overcome the misery and exploitation wrought by industrial capitalism. More than a century later, as issues like inequality and climate change swell the ranks of the left in Europe and abroad, one hears renewed calls to set sail for a society that lies beyond the capitalist horizon.
By Esther Dischereit
It’s no different in Brooklyn: of the 1,825 students accepted into an elite high school, 95 are black. Well-off parents pay for private tutoring long before the entrance exam so their children will pass the test. The result is that black and Latinx children are left waiting outside the door.
By Esther Dischereit
The words Let the People Rule can be found on an inscription in this city. This slogan, which Andrew Jackson proclaimed a long time ago, earned him the name of “Jackass” from his enemies. Since then, the Democrats are happy to use the image of a donkey in their campaigns.
By Esther Dischereit
Elizabeth has almost finished her degree in International Relations. She had an interview for the Foreign Service on Saturday that lasted all day. Is that her President? She rolled her eyes; she doesn’t believe that impeachment proceedings could succeed.
By Senka Neuman Stanivukovic
How to assemble, curate and circulate an archive of human mobility? The Colours of a Journey (CoJ) is a collective that addresses these questions by envisioning an archive of human mobility that apprehends the variegated practices and experiences of movement.
Please join us for a moderated discussion in anticipation of the 26th International Conference of Europeanists. April 11th, 2019, Instituto Cervantes New York.
Translated by H.J. Gardner
A fence separating one country from another in Europe. On one side, MOTHER, about 45 years old; on the other side, her SON, about 20 years old. They are connected to each other by the umbilical cord that supplies nourishment to the fetus. The cord is still functioning, moving nourishment from one body to the other.
By Louie Dean Valencia-García
Eighty years ago today, November 9, 1938, an order was given by Nazi German authorities to terrorize and arrest German Jewish citizens, resulting in tens of thousands of people being sent to concentration camps. Kristallnacht, or the Night of Broken Glass, marked a violent escalation against Jewish people.
By Stuart Mackintosh
As we approach the two-year mark of the Trump Presidency, the implications and the effects of the “America First” policy are becoming clear. Supporters of the multilateral rules-based world order are alarmed. We are witnessing the end of Pax Americana; the end of a generally benign U.S. hegemony; the end of U.S. support for a global system created by America and her allies after the Second World War.
Global Hybrid Threats and European Security in the Age of Trump, Growing Populism, and International Terrorism
By Giray Sadik
Hybrid war encompasses a set of hostile actions whereby, instead of a classical large-scale military invasion, an attacking power seeks to undermine its opponent through a variety of acts including subversive intelligence operations, sabotage, hacking, and the empowering of proxy insurgent groups.
By Özgür Özvatan
European welfare states witness both the challenges of Turks’ political inclusion and the rise of the populist radical right firmly warning against the threat of “Islamization.” Turks in Europe, perceived as Europe’s dominant Muslim group, create complex dilemmas for “native” Europeans as well as their “non-native” Turkish fellows. The latter recognize drastic changes in the way they are treated in their everyday life and are portrayed in the public sphere in the aftermath of 9/11.
By Mike Finn
In the Brexit debate, academic expertise itself came under visceral attack. Overwhelmingly, academics backed the Remain cause, and as the political scientist David Runciman has noted, universities and their environs often became isolated pockets of Remain resistance in otherwise Leave-dominated areas once the votes were tallied.
Reviewed by Andrea F. Bohlman
The organizing strategy usefully provides reading routes through the book. It keeps both chronology and geography in kaleidoscopic movement so as to foreground diversity.
By Giuseppe Spatafora
The end of the Cold War significantly strengthened the forces of globalization and internationalization: the political and economic developments in Eastern Europe, the post-Soviet space, Southeast Asia and Latin America opened up previously sealed markets and fuelled exponential growth of trade and financial interchange.
By Nicholas Ostrum
Even more beneficial to West Germany, Libya was plying the German oil industry with reliably growing quantities of high quality crude. By 1964, Libya relied on German markets for 45 percent of its production.
Ukrainian Migration to the European Union: Lessons from Migration Studies by Olena Fedyuk and Marta Kindler
Reviewed by Alina Zubkovych
The authors have included material on migration flows in the context of the post-Maidan situation. It is an interesting phenomenon where further explanations will benefit a deeper understanding of the migration strategies of Ukrainians to Poland.
By Stephen F. Williams
The years 1905-1917 presented Russia with an opportunity to move smartly toward the rule of law and constitutionalism. In October 1905, Tsar Nicholas II issued the October Manifesto, in which he promised a popularly elected legislature, the State Duma, and committed the regime to the principle that law could become effective only with approval of the Duma.
By Enika Abazi
Fatigued by expansion and challenged by the refugee crisis, Brexit, Catalonian independence, and the aftershocks of the financial crash, the EU project faces major internal challenges, which perhaps should require the EU to revise its policies to make membership more attractive.
Interviewed by Dana J. Johnson
The name Maria Todorova is familiar to all scholars of the Balkan Peninsula and Eastern Europe. Prof. Todorova’s seminal book, Imagining the Balkans (1997), prompted a broad conversation in the social sciences and humanities about the Balkans as location and imaginary.
Reviewed by Anca Pop
François Jullien is a world-renowned French philosopher and sinologist, a most widely translated thinker with a prolific oeuvre on Chinese thought and culture. Having uniquely forged an intellectual reputation as an intercultural philosopher, he aptly holds the Alterity Chair at “Fondation Maison des Sciences de l’Homme” in Paris.
Interviewed by Daniela Irrera
Mario Telò is an eminent scholar in the International Relations and European Studies field. He has just edited Deepening the EU-China Partnership: Bridging Institutional and Ideational Differences in an Unstable World with Ding Chun and Zhang Xiaotong (Routledge, 2018) where he discusses the relations between China and Europe and launches some perspectives on the future of this partnership, facing the regional and global political and economic developments and the challenges posed by the current instability.
By Marci Vogel
As reflected in its title, Galaxies intérieures straddles the worlds of material and spirit, creating a convergence of inner and outer realms, an interior emotional galaxy intimately tied to earthly experience — personal, political, and linguistic.
Interviewed by Andrea Recek
Lumedia Musicworks is a non-profit organization that creates concert seasons equally present in the local community and on the internet. We design our seasons around three words: Collaborate, Innovate, and Captivate.
The Death of the Perpetrator: Interdisciplinary Reflections on the Cadavers of Criminals of Mass Violence, edited by Sévane Garibian
Reviewed by Lee Douglas
Broad in scope and interdisciplinary in tone, the book examines the political, social, and symbolic lives of the bodies of Europe’s most singular tyrants, including Hitler, Franco, and Mussolini, who are placed side by side with analyses of other dictators and despots from Latin America, the Middle East, and Asia.
Reviewed by Alison Sperling
Haraway engages the feminist techno-scientific thinkers and ideas that have always marked her work, as she stays with different sticky, murky, complicated practices and companions, laying out the ethical dilemmas presented on a damaged planet and making suggestions about how we are to navigate them.
Reviewed by Thomas Kuehn
Collections of essays are sometimes uneven, but no such weakness plagues Marriage in Europe. The editor has solicited contributions from an impressive array of leading scholars in the field, and from eight different countries.
By Daniela Irrera
Among the EU policies, humanitarian aid has been one of the most expressive, expected to represent and apply the European principles and values in the world. It has changed a lot over the decades in its strategy, actors, and tools, trying to adapt to the transformations in the global environment and to fulfill international duties.
By Julian Jürgenmeyer
Martin Schulz went head-on against Angela Merkel: the German chancellor was a “vacuum cleaner of ideas,” sucking up the programmatic core of other parties and selling it as her own whenever public opinion polling promises a profit; her “systematic refusal of politics” was responsible for the rise of right-wing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD); her election campaign nothing short of “scandalous.” The problem with Schulz’s fierce attack: it came too late.
By Chris Boonzaaier and Harry Wels
The commodification of culture in tourism is often critiqued and lamented in academic texts. What this process often seems to entail is that so called “cultures” of local communities are showcased to tourists from around the world. Often, it is especially what is considered “exotic” and “indigenous” that is showcased to tourists.
Translated by John K. Cox
Ivan urged his mother impatiently on, watching her root around in the ruins on Uskočka Street. He screamed at her, flapping his arms, cursed, threatened her, looked around in nervousness and fright: It’s already getting dark! But Milica, not paying him any heed, sat down on a smashed ceiling joist, and, now with her cane and now with her bare hand, she picked through the indistinguishable mass of rags, furniture, burnt scraps…
Reviewed by Mark Lawrence
Nina Berman’s Germans on the Kenyan Coast: Land, Charity, and Romance is a thoughtful effort to draw connections between the ever-vexed land question in the postcolonial world, the frequently oversimplified complexity of the history behind this, and the often-marginalized ways in which the personal has played as important a role as the political in externally-driven material development in Africa.
By Louie Dean Valencia-García
While many elements of the extreme far-right were suppressed after the Second World War, today, neo-fascists, white nationalists, far-right traditionalists, and new groups have emerged, such as Génération Identitaire (Generation Identity)—a trans-European, networked group of primarily young people who advocate for a “Europe of Nations.”
Interviewed by Masha Udensiva-Brenner
Krasikov immigrated to the United States in 1987 from the Soviet Republic of Georgia. Her critically-acclaimed debut short story collection, One More Year, was published in 2008. She was named one of Granta’s Best Young American Novelists of 2017. I spent an afternoon with Krasikov in the Hudson Valley discussing her novel in the context of the recent global paradigm shift, and Russian-American political attitudes.
By Louie Dean Valencia-García
From its beginning, ITP/Arktos heavily promoted the work of far-right philosopher Julius Evola, whose ideas were popular amongst fascist thinkers and in the press under Mussolini. Politically, Evola located himself to the right of fascism. Like many of his fascist contemporaries, Evola wanted to eschew modernity to restore an imagined, glorious past, delving into a sort of occultism that obscured the rhetoric of his fascistic ideologies.
By Louie Dean Valencia-García
Established by many of the original ITP collaborators, most of whom no longer are with the company, Arktos dominates the field of far-right publishing, and has published and translated authors with the purpose of radically transforming the conservative and neoliberal right—calling forth a return of the “real right,” as Arktos C.E.O., Daniel Friberg, articulates in his less-than-eloquent manifesto work published in 2015.
By Louie Dean Valencia-García
Over the last decade, ITP/Arktos has created a trans-European and global Nationalist-Traditionalist network, translating and editing texts that have appealed to supporters of both nationalist and neo-traditionalist ideologies.
By Sheri Berman
Democracy today seems to be in constant crisis. Democratic backsliding has occurred in countries from Venezuela to Poland, and autocratic leaders, including Hungary’s Viktor Orban, Turkey’s Recep Tayyip Erdogan, and Russia’s Vladimir Putin, proudly proclaim that the era of liberal democracy is over.
By Louie Dean Valencia-García
Over the course of this series, readers will be introduced to a hybrid print/digital publisher that has brought esoteric, fascist ideologies back from the grave. Each installment will delve into another aspect of the media company, outlining Arktos’ history, while describing more broadly the ways its collaborators are using both the internet and analogue media to promote fascistic ideologies.
By Eric Lee
While the Russian Bolsheviks were clamping down on trade unions, which were dismissed by Trotsky as being under the control of “chatterboxes,” in Menshevik-led Georgia they thrived – retaining their independence from the state and winning a constitutional right to strike. They also played a key role in a remarkable institution known as the Wages Board, which consisted of ten representatives each from the employers and trade unions.
By Anne Price-Owen
For over three decades, devotees of the painter-poet David Jones have waited eagerly for the definitive biography and attendant revelations concerning this extraordinary artist and poet, and they have not been disappointed. Thomas Dilworth’s book is a compelling read, and his claim that Jones was the greatest native British Modernist working in twentieth century Britain is convincingly articulated.
By Christos Louvaris
Sixty years after the signing of the Treaty of Rome, and nearly twenty years after the proclamation of the Community Charter of the Fundamental Social Rights of Workers, the Commission finally published the European Pillar of Social Rights (EPSR) in April 2017.
Interviewed by Frédéric Baitinger
The question of populism is essential, even though the term is a bit confusing. To be a populist does not mean to be close to the people. To be a populist, according to me, is to speak in the name of people, to speak for them, which is to say, on their behalf.
By Jonathan Sherry
All too often, the Spanish Civil War is discussed by way of subsequent events. The trend is just as marked in public discourse as it is in academic study. Whether intellectuals conceptualize the terms of World War II as the “first chapter” in the battle between the Axis and Allied powers, or in the Cold War lexicon as a struggle against Communist or Soviet domination, the ideological and historical complexity of the conflict is often swept under the carpet.
By Mark Römisch
Among the many challenges that Europe faces in the wake of the recent refugee crisis is the integration of millions of immigrants and the rise of xenophobia and nationalism at the same time. The photographic work Broken highlights an aspect of the crisis that is not necessarily obvious to those who are in support of the refugees or for those who want to refuse them entry to their country.
Interviewed by Kader Attia
Many Syrian refugees are suffering from depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, as well as delirium. These people were already ill in Syria before they arrived here. The delirium is mostly political; they feel persecuted by ISIS, the Syrian army. It has to do with politics rather than religion. We see more patients suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder than patients who are truly depressed.
By Thomas Henökl
The EU is about to digest the separation from Great Britain, a major member state, and one of Europe’s two military powers. Setting a precedent of sorts, Brexit, so far, may appear to be a negative example of how to prepare for common challenges and multilateral cooperation in times of turbulence.
By Michael Keating
Ten years after stepping down as first minister of Scotland, Jack McConnell remains a busy man. I caught up with him by Skype in New York, where he was attending the UN meetings on development.
By Aude Cefaliello
I belong to a generation that has been told there is no other choice other than to be flexible in the labour market. It means being flexible about where you go to work, when you go to work, and about what work you are going to do. For many of us, the idea of a long-term employment contract in a company where there is the possibility to progress belongs to another time.
By Kelly Kollman and Alvise Favotto
When the Trump administration was still deciding whether America should remain in the Paris climate agreement, the president’s closest officials lined up on different sides of the debate. Those in favour of the agreement included Trump’s son-in-law and close adviser, Jared Kushner, a career property developer, and the secretary of state and former chief executive of ExxonMobil, Rex Tillerson.
By Susan Giaimo
The economic crisis of the past decade has been a wrenching experience, particularly for Greece, Spain, Portugal and Ireland. They all required bailouts from the Troika of the European Commission, European Central Bank, and the IMF. The bailouts came with tough conditions to slash public spending and employment and raise taxes to achieve a balanced budget.
By Sarah French Brennan
Aziz is from Kabul in Afghanistan. His boyfriend was murdered by his own family in early 2014. They threatened to kill Aziz too, so he fled. After he arrived at an asylum camp in the Netherlands, the family beat his mother and siblings. He sought asylum claiming he was in fear of his life, but the Dutch authorities rejected the application.
By Alexandra Ba-Tin
Over the last twenty-five years, clear patterns were emerging in the Central and Eastern European region, showing that unlike in the Baltics and in Ukraine, Russian involvement in private and state energy sectors had been relatively low.
The New Repartition of Forces Between Employers and Unions in the Current Industrial Relations’ Equation
By Aude Cefaliello
If we want to deal with the challenges Europe faces and develop sustainable mechanisms to overcome them, it is necessary to understand the forces exercised at the decision-making level, for example, in the relations between employers, unions, and European Union institutions.
By Hunter Doyle and Sofia Pia Belenky
Zooming to the scale of the individual bill, it is clear that the note itself reflects both of these trends, the cultural narrative or mythology, as well as the private desire for territorial accumulation. Each euro note has an architectural theme ranging from classical to “modern” twentieth century. As the bill increasses in value, the architectural period becomes more contemporary.
The difference with today’s migrants is that they are better educated and leaving a welfare state that ranks as one of the best places to live in the world according to most indices. The likelihood of them returning has nevertheless fallen sharply. Why?
Interviewed by James Crossley
I hoped this story would go beyond the Persian diaspora. It is about all migrant communities, all refugees, all people exiled either by choice or because of necessity. We do need labels, to flag the limits of our knowledge, the extent of our ignorance, but as Aminatta Forna says, labels can also limit who we are.
Reviewed by Roger Hillman
Since the fall of the Berlin Wall, the ongoing emergence of a new, multi-faceted European identity has been a gradual process. In a valuable contribution, this book takes stock of a work-in-process after its first quarter century, the melting pot fusion that is Europe, as reflected (but not in a vulgar Marxist sense) in European cinema
By Irial Glynn
With peak season approaching for refugees making treacherous journeys to and through Europe, don’t be surprised if we are told again that this is unprecedented. That would certainly be in keeping with what news organisations, politicians and research bodies have asserted in the past several years.
By Julie Reiss
Like many people, I had been concerned about the frightening implications of the Anthropocene long before I even heard the word. As I worried about the widespread destructive impact of human activity on the earth, I became aware that geologists were debating whether that impact was so far reaching that it had caused a distinct geological epoch: the Anthropocene.
By Jan Čulík
While the Czechs as members of a ten million nation know very well their international influence would be greatly diminished if the EU ceased to exist, their dissatisfaction of what they increasingly see as a position of second rate citizens within the EU could in future become a deeply destabilizing factor.
Curated by Antonio Laruffa
When you talk about Nik Spatari, it is a very complex figure you are dealing with. Like the pagan god Janus, this artist might be seen as a man with two faces; like the god that can look to the past and the future, Spatari has been and still is a protagonist of artistic movements that span two centuries, both representing 20th-century Avant-garde and being an independent pioneer in 21st-century art.
The Contemporary Presence of the Past: Memory Studies in the Council for European Studies and Beyond
By Aline Sierp and Jenny Wüstenberg
As Michael Rothberg recently pointed out, we currently appear to be living in a “moment of danger” in which memory has become particularly salient–both in terms of being abused by authoritarian and populist forces, and in terms of its importance in resisting them.
Remembering the Netherlands during World War II: War Diaries and the Role of the Historian in Collective Memory
By Sacha van Leeuwen
On May 8, 1945, three days after the liberation from Nazi Germany, the State Institute for War Documentation (Rijksinstituut voor Oorlogsdocumentatie; RIOD) was founded in the Netherlands. Led by historian, Loe de Jong, RIOD was tasked by the government to write the official history of the Dutch kingdom during World War II.
Reviewed by Yasmin Roshanian
With language, Mandell encompasses this urgent tie to the past. The history is fed to us in visceral images of women required to veil, drug rings flowing with opium, rotting buildings crippled with rickety bedframes, and cigarette burns dented in wood. As Franz recollects his most poignant memories from Tehran, he revisits a city still reeling from a revolution.
By Agostino Petrillo
There is nothing more vague and ambiguous than the concept of the suburb; it cannot exist on its own, it can only do so in connection with the center, in a never-ending and repetitive connection of meanings, a spiral of reciprocal definitions that Saint Thomas Aquinas called infinitum ad quem.
Interviewed by Jake Purcell
Director of the World of Film International Festival Martin Petrov, discusses EuropeNow Festival; a collaboration with WoFF and the Council for European Studies.
By Jan Čulík
The significant upsurge of refugees, which came into Europe in 2015, was met with unprecedented anger and hostility from an overwhelming majority of citizens of most of the post-communist Central European countries. It would appear that a synergy of several historical, cultural, political, and economic factors has created this fiercely hostile reaction.
By Sheri Berman
Economically, much of the continent suffers from low growth, high unemployment and rising inequality, while politically, disillusionment with the European community as well as domestic institutions and elites is widespread. Partially as a result, right-wing populism is growing, increasing political instability and uncertainty even further.
By Claire Needler
This project aims to influence policy and practice, and to make tangible improvements to the lives of migrants who have settled in Scotland. Our focus is participatory action research, working with migrants and stakeholders to find local, grassroots solutions to issues they have identified.
By Mary Wang
In European countries with growing right-wing movements, the upcoming elections should serve as a reminder that merging bodies into one space isn’t always enough. Instead, those in countries like France and the Netherlands, who will elect new governments in March, will need to understand that even in countries where the female body isn’t immediately under threat, female solidarity means voting against the politicians who will hurt immigrant and colored bodies more.
By Thomas Henökl
Never before has the change of administration in the United States caused this much concern globally, and never before has a US President incited so much tension ahead of taking office. As the hopes for a Damascene conversion for the new POTUS are waning, one thing has become evident by now: the path of naive unilateralism that the forthcoming American government is set to follow will prove to be of little help for international development or a burgeoning global policy of common good.
By Ewa Hryniewicz-Yarbrough
While city attitudes toward women cutting their tresses had by then become more liberal, in small towns and villages the daring ones were branded morally delinquent and sentenced a priori to eternal damnation. A popular saying: “Short hair, short on brains” expressed prevalent attitudes.
By Robert van Voren
The tragedy of Leonidas’ death is the fact that he did not have to die. The fact is that Vilnius airport has three defibrillators and none of them was touched. As I said, none of the airport staff tried to resuscitate him, and instead waited until the ambulance arrived–too late to save his life.
Translated by Jordan Stump
But just then a crowd appeared, bellowing, with machetes in their hands, and spears, bows, clubs, torches. We hurried to hide in the banana grove. Still roaring, the men burst into our house. They set fire to the straw-roofed hut, the stables full of calves. They slashed the stores of beans and sorghum. They launched a frenzied attack on the brick house we would never live in. They didn’t take anything, they only wanted to destroy, to wipe out all sign of us, annihilate us.
By Jake Purcell
On December 1 and 2, Columbia University hosted Brexit: Before & Beyond, a set of panels and events that brought together journalists and scholars from both European and American universities to discuss the events that precipitated the UK’s vote to leave the EU, as well as the continuing fallout from that referendum.
By Mary Wang
John Lancester’s “Brexit Blues,” published in the London Review of Books starts with an explanation of the “Overton window,” a concept in political science that describes the range of ideas that are deemed acceptable by the public at one time. The crucial insight of Joseph Overton, the inventor who lent his name to the concept, was that this window of acceptability could be shifted.
Interviewed by Jake Purcell
Council for European Studies chair Sheri Berman, discusses the rise of populism and the inclusion problems of the center-left.
By Jake Purcell
Columbia University’s Department of History kicked off the academic year with an “air-clearing” conversation about the Brexit vote.
Reviewed by Margaret Galvan
In focusing on the readership patterns of comics among British girls in the second half of the twentieth century, Mel Gibson recuperates a richly textured subject that has, by her account, “been largely neglected as a research subject within the academy and in popular accounts of youth culture.”
By Sheri Berman
Europe today is a mess. The strongest countries face lackluster economic growth, while the weakest, like Greece, are struggling to recover from depression-like downturns. Politically, things are even worse, as disillusionment with European and domestic institutions and elites is at record levels, and support for far-left and far-right parties is growing, creating political instability.
Reviewed by Julie Hemment
Oil, corporate power, and shifting corporate/state alignments are all urgent twenty-first century themes, implicated and embedded in Europe’s current intersecting crises.
Populist Political Communication in Europe by Toril Aalberg, Frank Esser, Carsten Reinemann, Jesper Strömbäck, and Claes H. de Vreese
Reviewed by Hanspeter Kriesi
Although they only indirectly speak to the topic of the volume, some of the conceptual discussions of populism in the country chapters are of more general interest, because they clarify the sources of confusion that exist in the debate on populism.
Reviewed by Stephen Banks
Indeed, the whole book is entertaining, and during the course of its excursions from Southern Italy to the western shores of Ireland, or the eastern fringes of Russia, there is much wry humor on display reflected in a wealth of memorable anecdotes.