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June 04, 2012
European Stories

Politics becomes impossible without a good story in the form of a convincing plot or an inspiring vision. The same applies to good literature. When we fail a method in our scholarship, or when a method fails us, we switch to a story – this sounds much in tune with Umberto Eco. Where scholarly language fails, fiction comes as a way out of the predicament with an interpretation of the world around us. (Read more...)

May 30, 2012
Discursive handicap of Central and Eastern Europe

In his reflections on Central Europe and Kundera, George Schopflin, a British political theorist of Hungarian background who acts as a member of the European Parliament on behalf of Hungary, aptly described the phenomenon which he termed the discursive handicap of Central Europe and the disparity of linguistic and cultural voices of West and Central Europe. This creates an obvious asymmetry of power and prestige when it comes to the use of languages, discursive strategies, and interpretations. This is more than true with regard to identity politics and educational strategy. (Read more...)

May 10, 2012
The end of modern politics?

The question whether modern politics, the way it has existed for centuries, will survive the 21st century is no joke nowadays. The Manichaeism of the left and the right, which, in Milan Kundera’s words, “is as stupid as it is insurmountable,” and which is deeply grounded in Western Europe and North America, is much more than partisan politics. Had it been that way, it would have been quite safe to assume that no other way can be offered to deal with polarities and opposing visions of human existence than democratic politics with its ethics of rational compromise without losing one’s core principles, dignity and identity. (Read more...)

April 26, 2012
Do Ukraine and the EU Need Each Other?

The title of my commentary hardly accounts for anything other than sheer rhetoric. Does Ukraine need the EU? Of course it does — simple as that. The next question, then, would be whether – and if yes, to what extent – the EU needs Ukraine. Quite frankly, the EU needs Ukraine now more than ever. (Read more...)

April 04, 2012
Commercialism or a cult of brutality and power?

The amount of negative information, brutal images, and violence in the Lithuanian media raises the issue of whether the reasons behind publicizing this sort of information lie in extreme commercialism or in a disguised power cult? Many of us have noticed the inexplicable amount of negative information, brutal images, and detailed scenes and reports of violent acts in the Lithuanian media. (Read more...)

March 30, 2012
Minorities: The Precious Voices of Baltic Multiculturalism

Talking about the Baltic States, it is worth remembering that prior to World War II, Finland was also considered to be a Baltic State. That is to say, there were four Baltic States in prewar Europe. The fact that only three entered the 21st century is an irony of recent history. Yet some similarities and affinities between the Baltic States are too obvious to require emphasis. All three nations stood at the same historic crossroads after the WWI. All were linked to the fate of Russia in terms of (in)dependence and emancipation. All three existed as independent states from 1918 until 1940. (Reado more...)

March 14, 2012
The new Russia with the worn-out leader

By Leonidas Donskis

That Russia is not the Soviet Union seems obvious to anyone more or less familiar with history and not devoid of a sense of reality. Yet what happened over the past months was much more than a sheer repetition of history or an echo of the Arab Spring, as we are inclined to think sometimes. (Read more...)

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