All writers are egomaniacal, manic depressive, drug-addicted alcoholics. T.C. Boyle

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.

We don’t need a monarch, but a thinker!

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The German singer Rio Reiser once envisioned his hypothetical kingdom with these lyrics: “I’d travel the world including the USA, I’d like to bite Ronald Reagans calves like a doggie. I would change my crown daily, would bathe twice. The German Army would only play the pop charts…”.

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by Dietmar Bartsch
11.02.2017

Trump’s visit to Mexico, the costs of stupidity.

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Thursday, protestors will gather in Mexico City’s main square to demand the resignation of president Enrique Peña Nieto. The selected date is charged. The 15th of September is Mexican Independence Day, the most important in the national calendar.

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by Alan Grabinsky
13.09.2016

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.

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

Lessons from the crisis

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We Europeans face a historic choice: either we further develop Europe as a single political entity, or we recede from the limelight.

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by Andreas Moring
30.01.2015

The Culture of Charity

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Why Do We Give?

Charitable giving is seen by some as an integral part of the human condition, a reflection of our empathy and compassion. Yet charity is practiced differently across cultures, religions, and worldviews. Why do we give, and what role does charity play in our varied societies?

What's more?

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Impact Investing, an investment “into companies, organizations, and funds with the intention to generate a measurable, beneficial social or environmental impact alongside a financial return” is being hyped right now. Go to any conference related to investing and it will be mentioned at some point. The landscape is growing with new funds emerging.

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by Antonis Schwarz
30.10.2016

Dutch Charity Lotteries

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The specifics of Dutch history have lead to a Netherlands which, despite a modern government active in social issues, maintains a strong culture of private charitable giving.

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by Marieke van Schaik
24.06.2015

What Shapes Charity Culture in the UK?

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The culture of charity and giving in the UK is shaped by three key factors: state structures, citizens’ religious backgrounds, and the country’s industrial and colonial history.

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by Alex Swallow
20.06.2015

Making Zakat Relevant in the West

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Zakat is a form of alms mandated by Islamic scripture. The coordination of this massive giving project has taken several forms throughout history. In today’s western world, Muslim charities play a central role.

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by Amal Imad
19.06.2015

The Philosophical Salon

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The Philosophical Salon

True to the tradition of public intellectual engagement, the Philosophical Salon is a place where contemporary thinkers can discuss today’s crucial issues. In cooperation with our two columnists and editors of the Philosophical Salon, philosopher Michael Marder and literary and cultural theorist Patricia Vieira, The European brings you leading intellectuals from across the world and their reflections on things that matter to us all.

In Pursuit of the Beautiful Soul

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“The Beautiful is not different from the Good: The Beautiful is the Good that shows itself to us pleasingly veiled. —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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by Justine Kolata
05.10.2016

A Renaissance of Salon Culture

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What is the history of salon culture? How did the salon contribute to the formation of a European public sphere? In what ways did salons create new forms of community through culture and ideas? What lessons can be learned for communication, discursive action and human interaction today? These are questions we must consider in envisioning new forms of participatory democracy in the 21 st century.

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by Justine Kolata
29.08.2016

Being Human Matters

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How do we define what is human and what is not?

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by Alice Crary
27.07.2015

Deadly Hesitation

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The notion of the universality of human rights is morally undeniable. Why do we struggle to act on them?

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by Michael Allen Gillespie
20.07.2015

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?

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

A white rose for the Cuban people

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The U.S. embargo of Cuba is less a political issue than a humanitarian one. The Revolution is ending, and the U.S. must be present to help the Cuban people choose their future freely.

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by Pedro Freyre
10.02.2015
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