Cities are a great place for social experiments. Benjamin R. Barber

Debates

Power in the 21st Century

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Who’s Got The Power?

Power is a fundamental resource of human interaction. Be it on the political level or on the societal level: power shapes our relations. But the nation-state is no longer the only game in town. New powers are rising and the global power balance is reaching a tipping point.

What the German Voters did

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I was in Hamburg on the day of the elections. I watched the results come in with a girlfriend on her television. She is a green voter appalled to see the high proportion of seats won by the AfD. It was hardly a surprise. The result was symbolic of the breakdown of the old style binary parliamentary structures of Western European democracies that have been around for a century.

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by John Malcolm Watts
05.10.2017

We only have two choices

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Jean-Claude Juncker has given his final state-of-the-union-address to the EU-parliament. He said: “Either come together around a positive European agenda or each retreat into our own corners. Faced with this choice, I argued for unity.” The European hereby presents the full text of this speech.

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by Jean-Claude Juncker
15.09.2017

Global Catastrophic Risks

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Apocalypse No

For millennia, man has been fascinated by the idea of global apocalypse. We’re now able for the first time to develop preventive and defense technologies against some of the most destructive natural threats.

Glyphosat: the Commission, a mere sekretariat!

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In the European Commission, they like having the power but not the responsibility. They like pressure even less. As NGOs and certain journalists go after glyphosate, the Commission is muddling through and passing the buck to the Member States without any hesitation.

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by Daniel Guéguen
20.09.2017

Against the Tide

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Even the most advanced technology cannot compete with nature when it comes to tsunami defense. Our best hope: preserve coastal forests, and run for the hills.

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by Bill McGuire
13.04.2013

Access Denied

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Hundreds of asteroids – so-called “Near Earth Objects” – could impact the earth with devastating consequences. But scientists are already working on defensive technologies.

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by Massimiliano Vasile
12.04.2013

Exceptional Risks, Exceptional Precautions

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The biggest viral threats come from man-made super-viruses. To prevent lethal global epidemics, scientists must trade experimental research for tighter safety measures.

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by Marc Lipsitch
10.04.2013

Atheism

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And We Have Killed Him

Religiosity is on the decline throughout the West, and church attendance has never been lower. But can atheists ever hope to replace religious institutions with secular organizations?

ISIL targeting civilians to 'avenge' loss of Tal Afar

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Fighters from the Islamic State (ISIL) are indiscriminately targeting civilians to avenge for their loss of Tal Afar, the top United Nations political representative in Iraqi today said, condemning the latest attack in Baghdad.“Da’esh terrorists have shown absolute disregard for human life

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by Jan Kubis
03.09.2017

Religious freedom is under attack

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Religious persecution and intolerance remains far too prevalent. Almost 80 percent of the global population live with restrictions on or hostilities to limit their freedom of religion.

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by Rex Tillerson
27.08.2017

Out of Service

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Instead of following the Church into irrelevance, we should embrace a secular celebration of culture and the arts.

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by Jörg Friedrich
29.06.2013

Questioning the Questioners

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Atheists celebrate scientific rationality. But even the most thorough experiment cannot resolve all mysteries about human existence.

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by Wolfgang Huber
24.06.2013

Moving away from cold war era strategies

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How to Weaken a Dictator

The historic opening of US-Cuban relations marks a major reversal of cold war era policies that maintained sanctions on undemocratic nations. Was it a misstep or long overdue, and will the US take a softer approach with rogue nations in the future?

Music Beyond Borders

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Rock’n’Roll translated to rebellion and youth. Future and Freedom. It often meant freedom from the “establishment”, the conservative parents, the partially reactionary West-German society of the 1980s, writes Lia Maiello. David Gilmour, Iggy Pop, Joe Elliott, Jimi Hendrix, Debbie Harry, Kurt Cobain and David Bowie – those are the heroes of my youth!

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by Lia Petridis Maiello
14.08.2017

The fallout of Russia’s Syria campaign in the North Caucasus

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Throughout spring 2016, the news coverage on war-torn Syria had been without doubt overwhelmingly dominated by the strong symbolic message sent by the Damascene regime by gaining ground against Islamic State as it recaptured the ancient city of Palmyra in the Syrian desert. Within the broader picture, the incident also provides valuable insight into a less tangible strategic enterprise of Russia.

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by Sebastian Maier
26.07.2016

The same tired arguments

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Despite his conservative critics, Obama’s opening to Cuba is as significant as Nixon’s opening to China in 1972. The arguments against this step forward just don’t pass muster.

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by William LeoGrande
19.02.2015

Back to normal

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President Obama seeks to strengthen his historical legacy by reaching out to Cuba, but can he succeed where Presidents Ford and Carter have failed?

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by Susan Purcell
13.02.2015

The Future of the EU

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A Model, Or A Curse?

Sixty years after the beginnings of the European idea, the EU is in trouble. Debt and currency crises have eroded confidence into the European project while member states remain hesitant to transfer power to Brussels. Yet historically, crisis has always resulted in further integration.

Lessons to Europe

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Populism is the current trending topic when one explains politics in Western countries. Though it is not a new concept, it is rising in Europe and it also managed to win hearts and minds of American people last year who chose Donald Trump to be the 45th president of the United States.

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by Robert Born
13.01.2017

We Can Not Afford More of The Same!

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“The residents of the East German village Unterleuten didn’t read the papers, didn’t watch TV, didn’t use the World Wide Web. Politicians didn’t pay attention to Unterleuten – why would Unterleuten pay attention to politics? The village was missing stores, doctors, clergymen, the postal service, a pharmacy, as well as a school – it didn’t have sewerage either.” Juli Zeh hereby hits the bull’s eye.

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by Dietmar Bartsch
10.12.2016

Has UK Politics hit fast forward?

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Just over a week ago the UK’s latest Prime Minister was revealed. The leadership contest, sparked by the country’s vote to leave the EU and expected to last weeks, was over in just days. Is this a reflection of the UK’s political environment post Brexit? Matthew Amroliwala from the BBC reflects on covering the day David Cameron waved good bye and Theresa May embarked on her premiership.

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by Matthew Amroliwala
24.07.2016

On Brexit, from the East

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We do not know whether Brexit will bring about more harm or benefit for Europe. It is a sad moment to see a great European country leaving the Union, and it also raises questions about the future of the UK as a mid-ranked European power and, indeed, as a united kingdom. The EU may come out of this turmoil institutionally strengthened, and its Eastern member states may be especially better off.

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by Zoltán Ádám
05.07.2016

Austerity in Europe

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Endgame

Years of austerity have left their mark on Europe: budget deficits have shrunk, reforms have been delayed, and the social costs of cuts are increasingly visible.

Less free market, more political creation

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Recently I read two seemingly contradictory ‘letters to the editor’ in a daily paper, I frequent regularly: “We always claimed that the boom of the East is really happening in the West,” a citizen from Wittstock in Brandenburg wrote. A reader from a city in North-Rhine-Westphalia, on the other hand, criticized my party DIE LINKE for a “policy which focuses too strongly on the Eastern Germany.”

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by Dietmar Bartsch
11.04.2017

Impoverished Living in a Wealthy Nation

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The German teacher Friedrich Froebel founded an educational establishment in the East-German Keilhau, Thuringia, about two hundred years ago. His credo at the time: “Children shall not be safeguarded or indoctrinated, but shall happily grow in the sunlight, gain strength and develop.” And 200 years later? Well, today we can hardly ignore the encompassing concern of society for our offspring.

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by Dietmar Bartsch
09.01.2017

Something to celebrate

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The possibility of a “Europe” worth dreaming of was saved, for sure. But Europe didn’t save itself. Greece took a bullet for the rest of us.

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by Adam Donen
06.07.2015

Why Marxism fails in the Eurozone

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Yanis Varoufakis dubbed himself an “erratic Marxist” and presented his interpretation of Marx in detail. But his dialectical spirit is unlikely to succeed.

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by Jasper Finkeldey
27.02.2015
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