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“Resisting Multiple Pressures – Perspectives on Academic Freedom in Europe” – Side Note on the re:constitution Seminar

By László Detre. re:constitution is a joint program of the Forum Transregionale Studien and Democracy Reporting International, funded by the Stiftung Mercator. Re:constitution awards fellowships, inspires and organizes topical seminars, and offers fact-based analysis on and around the rule of law and democracy in the European Union.

“The Problem is Not in the Illusions, but in the Aims of the Apparatus of Power” – Interview with Gintautas Mažeikis

Interview with Gintautas Mažeikis by Miglė Bareikytė. I remember when professor Gintautas Mažeikis, during the first week of the semester at Vytautas Magnus University in Kaunas, told his students, including me, that we should read Horkheimer and Adorno’s “Dialectic of Enlightenment”. We were young, the book was poorly translated, perplexity set in.

The Russian Orthodox Church and Modernity

By Regina Elsner. Russian Orthodoxy is often suspected to be pre or anti-modern because of its difficulties engaging with a plural and secular society – for example, when relating to democracy, human rights, or gender diversity. After the end of the Soviet Union, the Russian Orthodox Church associated increasingly with the agenda of the political elites in Russia and other successor states of the Soviet Union.

What Local Gold Extraction Tells Us about a Globalized Mining Economy

By Diana Ayeh. When I first came to Houndé in 2016, the town of 150,000 inhabitants in southwestern Burkina Faso already had a certain gold-rush atmosphere. Not only was the landscape in and around Houndé marked with indications for future extraction, the construction of the first industrial gold mine in the urban municipality was also accompanied by the arrival of new actors and ideas that made extraction feasible.

Global South Scholars in the Western Academy: Harnessing Unique Experiences, Knowledges, and Positionality in the Third Space

This book was conceptualized at an international conference on refugee studies in Germany in 2018, where the editors, Staci Martin and Deepra Dandekar, first met. At the time, Staci wanted to explore a pedagogic practice of teaching that co-creates spaces of critical thinking and hope in the classroom, resulting in social action or change. Deepra was focused on questions of migration, gender, and belonging outside the bureaucratic-administrative purview of citizenship.

“I’m Staying in Ukraine to Understand What is Happening” – Interview with Artist Alevtina Kakhidze

The artist Alevtina Kakhidze lives not far from Kyiv. She was active in the Maidan protests, and her performance for Manifesta 2014, in St. Petersburg, focused on the war in Eastern Ukraine. She speaks about the role of artists in conflicts, what happens to morality during war, and when it is acceptable to be a pacifist.

Islam, Ethnicity, and Conflict in Ethiopia: The Bale Insurgency, 1963-1970 by Terje Østebø

By Ulf Engel. Contemporary conflicts in Ethiopia are overshadowed by the ongoing war between the government of Prime Minister Abiy Ahmed on the one hand and the Tigray People’s Liberation Front on the other. Between 1991 and 2018 both parties were partners in a Tigray dominated coalition front which finally failed to impose its hegemonic nation-building project on the multi-ethnic country.

Unicorns in the Real World: Triple Discrimination within a Neoliberal Education System

By Jennifer Wilkinson. The current neoliberal system has become a parasitic affront to the core aims of education. Woven into the fabric of education, Neoliberalism has risen to a state of liberal legality. With arbitrary and discriminatory standards of success, this legality obscures the fundamental right to learn.

Whose History is it? The Challenges and Paradoxes of Studying Queer History in a Neoliberal and Nationalist Context

By Mathias Foit. Ever since the Law and Justice (PiS) party’s victory in the 2015 parliamentary election, queer research in Poland has become especially challenging and more politicised than ever before. The moment the ultraconservative PiS party won the election in 2015 and secured an outright majority can be pinpointed as the beginning of what some have referred to as a “conservative revolution” in Poland.

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