Ferenc Laczó, editor of the History of Ideas section at the Review of Democracy, presents five key Ideas books in 2022.
In this op-ed, Ferenc Laczó explores how Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán’s regime “has been succeeding to a remarkable degree at translating key aspects of Hungarian ethnic nationalism into a wider panic about the future of Western civilization.”
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Susan Neiman dissects what has made the articulation of universalistic Jewish commitments increasingly difficult in the German public sphere; explores why debates concerning global colonialism and the Nazi-colonial connection tend to be so fraught in the country; explains what post-colonial criticisms misunderstand about the intellectual heritage of the Enlightenment; and shows how both ignorance regarding Eastern Europe and social solidarity with the victims have shaped German responses to the ongoing Russian war of aggression against Ukraine.
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Luke Savage – author of “The Dead Center. Reflections on Liberalism and Democracy After the End of History” – discusses key aspects of his critique of contemporary liberalism; reflects on the role of generational experiences in shaping the search for a political alternative; offers a detailed assessment of Joe Biden’s ongoing presidency; and ponders whether democratic socialists have managed to challenge the hegemony of liberal ways of thinking and transform the political conversation.
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Lucan Way – co-author, with Steven Levitsky, of the new book “Revolution and Dictatorship: The Violent Origins of Durable Authoritarianism” – introduces what revolutionary autocracies are; explains why they tend to prove much more durable than other kinds of authoritarian regimes; discusses how the revolutionary sequences so crucial for the emergence of such regimes have played out in the various cases across the globe; and reflects on the contemporary relevance of the book’s findings concerning autocratic longevity.
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Zsuzsanna Szelényi – author of the new book “Tainted Democracy. Viktor Orbán and the Subversion of Hungary” – analyzes the main characteristics of the Orbán regime and the techniques Hungary’s current rulers have employed to establish their dominance over the country’s economy; reflects on the dilemmas and strategies of the Hungarian opposition; examines the role of gendered practices in Hungarian politics; and discusses the reasons behind the sharp democratic reversal and decline of the early 21st century.
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Ben Tarnoff – author of the new book “Internet for the People. The Fight for Our Digital Future” – discusses how the internet was created and how it has been privatized; how its current version fuels inequality and the rise of the political Right; why finding the right metaphors is crucial; and why the ongoing anti-monopoly push is not enough.
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Lilia Moritz Schwarcz – author of the book “Brazilian Authoritarianism” – contrasts mythological and critical-realistic versions of Brazilian history; discusses the main facets of authoritarianism in the country; compares the Bolsonaro phenomenon with the Trump one; and elaborates on her vision of democracy and full citizenship.
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Till van Rahden discusses his last book “Vielheit. Jüdische Geschichte und die Ambivalenzen des Universalismus” (Multitude. Jewish History and the Ambivalences of Universalism)
In conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Gaia Vince – author of the new book “Nomad Century: How to Survive the Climate Upheaval” – sketches the transformations climate change and the accompanying rise in global average temperature are likely to bring in the coming decades; reflects on the most promising innovations when it comes to mitigating temperature rise and moving towards a circular economy; discusses ways to plan for lawful and safe mass migration at a time when large parts of the Earth are becoming uninhabitable; and addresses the key political questions of how to set the right priorities at the global level and how to act to enforce them.