Originally published in Croatian at Bilten. Translated by James Robertson. One of the key characteristics of populism, if we are to believe concerned Europeans, is a certain fiscal nonchalance. Populists, that is, are not worried about the “social physics” which stand behind a balanced budget. They throw money around as if there is no tomorrow. And thus they threaten both economic and political stability. Such are the fears raised among the European establishment by the current Italian government, a coalition of the League and the Five Star Movement. For a month now, the Italian government has been in ..
Note from LeftEast editors: This interview originally appeared on the Revolution Permanente website. Albanian students are protesting en masse against a new hike in tuition fees in one of the poorest countries of the continent. While the medium wage in Albania is 350 euros per month, the tuition fees can go up to 2000 euros per year. Government wanted to make students pay for retake exams but it was forced to retreat to try to calm down the movement. But it seems not enough. We interviewed Redi Muçi, lecturer at the Faculty of Geology and Mining and member of Movement For University (Levizja Për Universitetin), ..
In the last days, thousands of students have flooded the narrow street where the Albanian Ministry of Education, Sport and Youth is located. Demonstrations of this magnitude are not alien to the public. In the last three decades there have been plenty of anti-government demonstrations in Albania, and apart from a few notable exceptions, they have been successfully co-opted by various mainstream political parties. Thus, one of the main features of this protest has been a clear collective attempt to keep it unaffiliated with any political party, the main reason for this being the fear of losing the credibility. The ..
Gramsci argued that ‘democracy, by definition, cannot mean merely that an unskilled worker can become skilled. It must mean that every ‘citizen’ can ‘govern’ and that society places them, even if only abstractly, in a general condition to achieve this’. Therefore, he argued that the task for the working class was to become intellectually autonomous, as this was the way for them to lead their own movement and thus, become a ruling class. He relentlessly sought the ways for accomplishing this historical task, among others, in the field of education. His pedagogical program was based on the radical idea ..
Note from the editors: The following piece is scheduled to appear in the edited collection The Art of Civil Action, edited by Philipp Dietachmair and Pascal Gielen and published through Valiz in November 2017. Today, it is common to contrast the statism of today’s Russia with the Western neoliberal order, which is based on the primacy of political and economic freedom. European journalists and experts discuss Putin’s Russia as though it were a revisionist state that is not only ready for military aggression but is also driven by internal destructive forces: a “populist international” of right and left par ..
The following interview between Petar Protić and Aleksandar Matković originally appeared in Serbo-Croatian at Al Jazeera Balkans and concerns the recent labour laws that have been carried out almost simultaneously across several Balkan countries, each bearing similar tendencies: a weakening of workers’ rights and a strengthening of the rights of employers, the increase of precarious work and employers arbitrarily assigning work times as they see fit. These labour reforms form one of the central topics of the interview. Protić: Recently the Chinese company Hesteel Serbia, which operates the Smederevo ironwork ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: As we move towards the 2018 parliamentary elections in Hungary, the Momentum Movement, recently chartered as a party, is being touted in the international liberal media as a pro Europe party with potential to threaten the right-dominated political space where the main challenge to Fidesz comes from the extreme right party Jobbik. After becoming known this spring through it’s a successful campaign against Hungary’s the government’s plan to bid to host the 2024 Olympics, Momentum is now poised to run in the elections. Momentum drives a campaign designed by communication profess ..
The following two-part interview with Joachim Becker,, professor of Economics and Business at Vienna University and deputy head of the Institute for International Economics and Development, was conducted by the Croatian activist and writer Domagoj Mihaljević. Mihaljević: For the time being, it seems the process of capital accumulation in Europe has been stabilized through policies of fiscal stability and structural reforms. In doing this, the central focus of European ruling classes was to secure the survival of monetary union at any cost necessary. In turn, this has made the fragmentation between the core and ..
Note from LeftEast Editors: We republish an interview with LeftEast editor Mariya Ivancheva, taken by Eli Thorkelson for Academography on April 7th. Mariya Ivancheva is currently working on a research project with the Universities of Leeds and Cape Town called “The Unbundled University.” Some of her recent work includes “The Discreet Charm of University Autonomy: Conflicting Legacies in the Venezuelan Student Movements” (2016), “Academic freedom and the commercialisation of universities: a critical ethical analysis” (2016, with Kathleen Lynch), “The age of precarity and the new challenges to ..