Nested Stories of Persecution: Ari Joskowicz Discusses the Asymmetrical Entanglements of Jews and Roma in History and Memory
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Ari Joskowicz – author of the new book Rain of Ash: Roma, Jews, and the Holocaust – discusses the ways Jewish and Romani histories have been entangled and what motivated him to write a relational history of the two groups; illuminates why he considers it essential to explore the conditions of knowledge production and how to try to avoid reproducing injustices; shows what it has implied in concrete setting that the stories of persecution of one group of people have been nested within those of another; and reflects on what has truly changed in memory culture and what new dialogues could be pursued in the future.
The Curse of Russian Imperialism: Martin Schulze Wessel on Imperial Optics, False Dichotomies, and the Need to Reconsider East European History
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Martin Schulze Wessel – author of the new book Der Fluch des Imperiums. Die Ukraine, Polen und der Irrweg in der Russischen Geschichte (Imperial Curse. Ukraine, Poland, and the False Paths in Russian History) – traces the ideas that have shaped Russian imperialism and reflects on their devastating contemporary force; explores key moments in the parallel and entangled histories of Poland and Ukraine and how those histories have been shaped by Russian imperialism across the centuries; dissects what he calls Germany’s “imperialism of a second order” and emphasizes the urgent need to revise Russia-centric interpretations of East European history.
Can the Center Hold? Thomas Biebricher on the International Crisis of Conservatism
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Thomas Biebricher – author of the new book “Mitte/Rechts: Die international Krise des Konservatismus” (Center/Right: The International Crisis of Conservatism) – discusses conservatism’s various types and how each relates to the political center and to authoritarianism; illuminates the contemporary crisis of the center right in three major European countries; explains what has driven the culturalization of politics and the redrawing of enemy images, and why the authoritarian right has been a prime beneficiary of those trends; and reflects on how his approach and special emphases relate and add to other contributions to the ongoing debate on the present state and future prospects of liberal democracy.
The Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought: George Steinmetz on French Sociology and the Overseas Empire
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, George Steinmetz – author of the major new monograph “The Colonial Origins of Modern Social Thought. French Sociology and the Overseas Empire” – sketches the manifold entanglements of French sociology with the French Empire and colonialism; discusses the key ideas and innovations that have emerged in this context; dissects how indigenous scholars fared within the vast network of French institutions over time; illuminates his own approach to intellectual history he calls a historical socio-analysis of the social sciences; and reflect on how contemporary agendas of decolonization could be made more convincing and fruitful, not least by drawing on what French sociologists of colonialism have “partially and tentatively foreseen.”
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.’
Be Realistic, Demand Significant Change! Daniel Chandler on What a Progressive Liberal Society of the Future Could Look Like
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Daniel Chandler – author of the new book “Free and Equal: What Would a Fair Society Look Like?” – discusses key principles that a better and fairer society could be based on; shows what makes John Rawls’ ideas so exceptionally relevant today and how they could help improve the democratic process; explains how placing questions of power, control, dignity, and self-respect at the center of liberal economic thinking would foster new economic arrangements; and discusses where egalitarian liberalism has already been practiced and with what consequences.
Reacting to Globalization’s Discontents: Tara Zahra on Anti-Globalism and Mass Politics
In this conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Tara Zahra – author of the new monograph “Against the World: Anti-Globalism and Mass Politics Between the World Wars” – discusses the common features of anti-globalist agendas between the 1910s and the 1930s; explains what the main phases of anti-globalism looked like and how its various forms related to globalization; shows why centering women – as key actors as well as objects – and focusing on Central Europe amount to fruitful approaches; reflects on the long-term consequences of interwar anti-globalism – and how our present predicament may help us reconsider this history.
Conscious European, Critic of Hubris: Timothy Garton Ash’s Personal History of Contemporary Europe
Ferenc Laczó reviews “Homelands”, Timothy Garton Ash’s personal account and interpretation of contemporary Europe, a history book illustrated by memoir. A “post-68er” who is equally accomplished as a historian and as a journalist, and a highly reputed member of the British and European liberal establishments, Garton Ash proceeds chronologically on the book’s pages to cover “the overlapping timeframes of post-war and post-Wall.”
5 Key 2022 Books: Ideas
Ferenc Laczó, editor of the History of Ideas section at the Review of Democracy, presents five key Ideas books in 2022.
Westernization by Preemptive Rejection: How Viktor Orbán Sells to U.S. Conservatives Their Own Obsessions
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.”