This article comprises a report on the proceedings of a conference held in Tbilisi, Georgia on 11-14 October 2018, co-organized by a number of foundations as part of the Transnational Institute’s New Politics project. In the aftermath of the 2008 global financial crisis, the world finds itself in a new era of political turmoil. If the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and the disintegration of the Soviet Union in 1991 were celebrated as the beginning of a global neoliberal era, the contradictions set in place by this reconfiguration of global capitalism are breaking open today in the form of economic and soci ..
LeftEast editor Agnes Gagyi spoke to Anikó Gregor, one of the faculty in charge of the Gender Studies masters program at Budapest-based Eötvös Loránd University (ELTE), shut down by the governments de-accreditation of Gender Studies programs in November. Gregor’s analysis places the ban in the context of Fidesz’s strategy of emphasizing liberal democracy’s failures, economic repositioning away from the EU and the privatization of higher education. It provides insight into the emerging links with Anti-Slave Law protests happening in the country for the past two weeks. In international news, current pr ..
Note from LeftEast Editors: On December 16th, Salome Zurabishvili has been sworn into office as Georgia’s first woman president amid continued denunciations by the opposition that her election was rigged. LeftEast editor Agnes Gagyi has interviewed Nino Khelaia on the post-electoral situation in Georgia and the wider political context that surrounds it. What would be your comments on the elections, what were the main stakes? To understand the recent presidential elections in Georgia, a quick look at the wider political context in the country is needed. The Georgian Dream coalition and Liberalization Whe ..
Ágnes Gagyi: “Populism” seems to have become a central notion in debates about contemporary politics. How do you see the socio-political process that led to this centrality within the US? How would you characterize the political and discursive fields that shape the meanings and applications of this notion in contemporary US debates? Mary Taylor: Let me first address the term ‘populism’s status as a catch phrase more generally at this global historical juncture. It seems that people are using the term quite often without defining it, and that (in most cases) it is valued negatively; it is an accus ..
This article appeared originally on the Cultures of History Forum at the Imre Kertész Kolleg, University of Jena. The Cultures of History Forum’s invitation to discuss the ‘Lex CEU’ and the state of the open society focuses on threats against academic freedom and civil society in Central and Eastern Europe. It reads the Hungarian government’s attack on the Central European University (CEU) as a symptom of a more general shift away from fundamental principles of liberal democracy in the region. As a regional process, this backslide is seen as standing in contradiction to the hopes and efforts of ..
Part 1. Events On 25 October, tens of thousands in Budapest marched against the government’s new proposal to introduce a 0,5 EUR/1GB tax on internet data traffic. After organizers officially closed the event, protesters moved on to the headquarters of the ruling party, Fidesz, brought down part of the fence, threw old computer parts at the building breaking windows, and put an EU flag on the balcony. Protestors announced another demonstration in 48 hours in case the internet tax was not revoked. Fidesz reacted immediately, passing a bill to cap the internet tax at 2,5 EUR for citizens and 16,5 EUR for companies ..