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From Francis Fukuyama and the War in Ukraine to the Principle of Hope

Read the latest publications by the Review of Democracy, our online journal.

Russia Would Not Have Invaded Ukraine if It Had Been a Democracy

In an interview with Francis Fukuyama, hosted by Laetitia Strauch-Bonart and Michal Matlak, they discuss his latest book, the war in Ukraine, the status of liberal and illiberal democracies in today's world, threats to American democracy and more.

Read it here.

Ambiguous Tests of Loyalty

In this extended conversation with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó, Franziska Exeler – author of the new monograph Ghosts of War: Nazi Occupation and Its Aftermath in Soviet Belarus – discusses the extremely violent history of Belarus during the WWII; analyses the various choices people made under the dire constrains of the Nazi German occupation and the challenges of drawing on Soviet sources to analyze those choices; zooms in on the issue of Soviet retribution and its ambiguities; and reflects on how the partisan experience and narrative has continued to shape the country.

Read or listen to it here.

What Does Right-wing Anti-gender Mobilization Have To Do With Progressive Gender Trends?

Hosted by Ferenc Laczó, Eszter Kováts dissects the main anti-gender frames currently employed; discusses the potential interactions between progressive and right-wing conceptualizations and mobilizations around gender-related issues; illuminates the conclusions she has drawn from her comparison of the discourse coalitions around AfD in Germany and Fidesz in Hungary; and reflects on how social scientific research and normative claims relate to each other – and where the borders of democratically legitimate practices are.

Read it here.

A Turning Point of Democracy?

To mark the International Day of Democracy, we present an op-ed by Wolfgang Merkel examining the state of democracy around the world: "On February 24th, 2022, Putin’s army attacked Ukraine. According to the basic standards of international law, a war crime. Only three days later, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz used the term Zeitenwende – turn of the times – to describe the monstrosity. Scholz’s speech was remarkable, even if the term was not new. What exactly was meant by it politically still needs to be spelled out and so do its implications for democracy..."

Read it here.

How Socialism Went Global – And Why It Withdrew

Péter Apor, James Mark, and Steffi Marung converse with RevDem editor Ferenc Laczó about their new collective monograph Socialism Goes Global. The Soviet Union and Eastern Europe in the Age of Decolonisation. They dissect the relationship between eastern Europe and the extra-European world in the age of decolonization; explain how key East European traditions of relating to the extra-European world have evolved over time, and more.

Listen to it here.

Democracies Proved More Successful at Breaking Promises

In conversation with RevDem section heads Vera Scepanovic and Ferenc Laczó, Fritz Bartel – author of The Triumph of Broken Promises. The End of the Cold War and the Rise of Neoliberalism – explains how the notion of breaking promises can capture developments of the late Cold War period and why democracies proved more successful at doing so, and much more.

Listen to it here.

A Crafted Gem: Giuseppe Martinico Reviews ‘Anti-constitutional Populism'

In the review, he notes that "[t]his book has the ambition to address several issues arising from the topic of populisms, offering a truly holistic approach. It deals with a range of empirical, conceptual, explanatory and normative issues."

Read it here.

It Is a Mistake To See the Eastern Vision as Undemocratic

In this conversation with RevDem editor Kasia Krzyżanowska, Peter Verovšek — author of Memory and the future of Europe. Rupture and integration in the wake of total war — discusses the importance of foundational stories for communities; explains the influence of personal experience on European integration; shows differences in remembering the past in Western and Eastern Europe and ponders the consequences of Russian aggression on Ukraine for European memory.

Read or listen to it here.

Repairing the Damage to Our Ethical Categories

Charlotte Wiedemann, author of Den Schmerz der Anderen begreifen. Holocaust und Weltgedächtnis (To Grasp the Pain of Others. Holocaust and Global Remembrance), explores with Ferenc Laczó the inequalities of the reigning “economy of empathy”; discusses ways to connect the histories of National Socialism and global colonialism; reflects on problematic aspects of German memory culture today; and suggests paths through which more pluralistic and inclusive memory cultures might be fostered.

Read or listen to it here.

Rehabilitating the Principle of Hope in Modern History

In conversation with Una Blagojević and Iker Itoiz Ciaurriz, Enzo Traverso discusses key themes in his newest book Revolution: An Intellectual History (Verso, 2021). The conversation explores Traverso’s agenda of rehabilitating revolutions as crucial moments of historical change; his conception of the role of the historian and approach to writing intellectual history; his understanding of the different types of revolutionary intellectuals in modern times, and much more.

Read it here.