Illiberal Liberalism: COVID and the Moral Crisis of the Left
by Muriel Blaive In the recent pandemic, the moderate left has failed the lower half, what we used to call the working class, which is now rather the working poor. What do I mean by the left? Its definition varies from country to country and almost from person to person. I leave aside the extreme left and focus in this article on the liberal left, which I use as a synonym for the moderate left or liberals, a current of thought largely represented amongst intellectuals and journalists, for instance those of the New York Times, the Guardian or the Washington Post that I will cite many times here. While this moderate left has historically claimed to represent the interests of the disadvantaged, I argue that with COVID they have focused instead on surviving at all costs at the expense of the poor, including – and this is my second point – by endorsing authoritarian means: censorship, repression, and public shaming. They rationalized their heavy-handed response with a narrative built [...]
Disabusing Constitutional Identity? In Conversation with Julian Scholtes
The monograph The Abuse of Constitutional Identity in the European Union (OUP, 2023) by Julian Scholtes (Lecturer in Public Law, University of Glasgow) was published in September. In this latest RevDem Rule of law podcast, Oliver discuss constitutional identity and its implications for the Rule of Law and democracy in Europe today. Oliver Garner: I found that your distinction between generative, substantive, and relational aspects of constitutional identity abuse is an impressive attempt to categorize such illegitimate practices systematically. How do these concepts advance our understanding of constitutional identity and its abuse? Do you believe they can be operationalized to allow the identification of abusive identity claims in practice? Julian Scholtes: I think we need to distinguish this idea of constitutional identity, that is quite commonly used in comparative constitutional law, as an analytical lens which allows us to look into the relationship between [...]
Europe’s Two Hearts
The war in Ukraine has shown up the limits of European pacifism and revived a long-forgotten precept: republican opposition to empire. Today’s imperial threat no longer comes disguised as democracy but is openly anti-democratic. Part of the series ‘Lessons of war: The rebirth of Europe revisited’. RevDem publishes today two articles on the consequences of the war in Ukraine for Europe, which are part of a series of Eurozine, a network of magazines to which Revdem belongs. In the coming days we will publish our responses to this debate.
The Power of Smaller Countries
Ukraine’s resistance to Russia’s imperialist war has discredited the spheres of influence theory once and for all. The EU is being forced to reappraise not just its security policy, but also its colonial mindset towards smaller countries beyond its borders. Part of the series ‘Lessons of war: The rebirth of Europe revisited’. RevDem publishes today two articles on the consequences of the war in Ukraine for Europe, which are part of a series of Eurozine, a network of magazines to which Revdem belongs. In the coming days we will publish our responses to this debate.
Regaining Sovereignty in Europe: Back, Beyond or Below the Nation-State?
Peter J. Verovšek reviews "European Disunion. Democracy, Sovereignty and the Politics of Emergency" by Stefan Auer.
Negotiating Amidst Turmoil: Analyzing the Interplay of Dialogue and Conflict in Kosovo-Serbia Relations
In this conversation with assistant editor Lorena Drakula, Bodo Weber, a Senior Fellow at the Democratization Policy Council in Berlin, discusses the current situation, as well as the complex dynamics of the Kosovo-Serbia dialogue, unpacking its democratic implications, challenges, and opportunities.
Thailand’s Conscription: A Threat to Democracy and Freedom
Thailand is about to hold a general election in May 2023. Several progressive political parties are proposing to pass an act to abolish conscription. But the military, which has always meddled with Thai politics, has indicated it will block any efforts in this direction.
A World Without Democracy: Quinn Slobodian on jurisdictional cracks and the crackpots who made capitalism as we know it
In this conversation with Ferenc Laczó and Vera Scepanovic, Quinn Slobodian – author of the new book "Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy" – discusses the unusual legal spaces and peculiar jurisdictions that have multiplied in recent decades and the libertarian ideas that propelled their rise; dissects the relationship of such zones to existing states and their sovereignty; shows how legal unevenness of contemporary globalization relates to earlier forms of imperial and colonial rule; and reflects on the more normative elements of his critique and on the future of the zones in an age of ‘de-globalization.’
Rule of law and the structural inequalities of the European project: Europe and its dissenting peripheries
In this op-ed by Peter Agha, PhD, he argues for a different analysis of the current trouble with Europe, one which starts from the recognition of the irregularity of the rule of law policies and highlights how the clashes between the populist movements and the rule of law doctrine reflect the structural inequalities of the European project. This important aspect is often neglected because of the way we currently frame the discussions – as “the rule of law crisis”. As a result of this, our debates focus on juridical arrangements, whereas the distributional consequences of the EU and the role the legal structure plays in its maintenance remain (almost) invisible.
Orbán as Ideologue
In this post by Zsolt Enyedi, Senior Research Fellow at the CEU Democracy Institute, he argues that Orbán's regime "advantages a well-defined set of values through the allocation of resources and its signatory policies are based on a coherent set of ideas."
It’s Time to Imagine a Future for Burma without Armed Forces
In this op-ed, authors Thiha Wint Aung and Htet Min Lwin argue for the abolition of the armed forces in Burma.
How the Necessary Cold War Ended – and Why an Unnecessary One Followed It: Archie Brown on the Political and the Personal in the Relationship Between the West and the Soviet Union/Russia
In this conversation with RevDem assistant editor Iker Itoiz Ciáurriz, Archie Brown – author of the recently released book "The Human Factor. Gorbachev, Reagan, and Thatcher, and the End of the Cold War" – explains why he approaches the end of the Cold War through the study of political leaders; explores the different personal formations and the varying relationships between his three main protagonists before and after 1985; elaborates on his views on when and how the Cold War ended; and elucidates why the relationship between Russia and the West has deteriorated in the post-Cold War decades.
A Crafted Gem: Giuseppe Martinico reviews ‘Anti-Constitutional Populism’
A review by Giuseppe Martinico of a book Anti-Constitutional Populism edited by M, Krygier, A. Czarnota, W. Sadurski (Cambridge University Press 2022)
5 QUESTIONS to a Scholar: Jeffrey Goldfarb
This is the beginning of a new RevDem series where we talk with academics in the field of democracy studies and inquire about their most formative cultural experiences. For our first installment, RevDem Editor Kasia Krzyżanowska invited Professor Jeffrey C. Goldfarb to explain which films and books have impacted him throughout his life.
A Global History of Hungary: In Conversation with Ferenc Laczó, Bálint Varga, and Dóra Vargha
In this conversation with Bence Bari and Orsolya Sudár, editors Ferenc Laczó and Bálint Varga and contributor Dóra Vargha discuss the new volume "Magyarország globális története, 1869-2022 (A Global History of Hungary, 1869-2022)". The conversation focuses on some of the innovative questions posed by trying to reconceptualize the history of a Central and Eastern European country in a global frame; how the subjects of the volume’s one hundred chapters have been selected; the relation of this new book to other narratives of Hungarian history; and the more political stakes of releasing such a publication today.
Gary Gerstle on the Neoliberal Political Order: An Elite Promise of a World of Freedom and Emancipation (Part I)
In this conversation with Ferenc Laczó, Gary Gerstle discusses key questions tackled in his new "The Rise and Fall of the Neoliberal Order: America and the World in the Free Market Era." Part I covers Gerstle’s interpretation of the longue durée history of liberalism; his encompassing approach to the study of political orders; how the neoliberal order became hegemonic in the US; and why the Soviet Union is crucial to the history of the US.
The war in Ukraine is all about democracy vs dictatorship
A dictatorship has just brutally attacked its democratic neighbor. It’s not the first time in history that happens, but there are good reasons to see the war in Ukraine as the first one defining the conflict lines of this century.