On Europe

(22) 1, 2 

Felix Ackermann

My Lithuanian Driving License

What is holding Europe together? What have Lithuanians done over the last quarter of a century with their recently won freedom? And how does the European Union function at the furthest reaches of its eastern borders? Rather than examining these questions theoretically, in 2011 Felix Ackermann left Berlin with his family in order to become a guest scholar at a Belarusian university in exile in the Lithuanian capital of Vilnius. There his children learnt Lithuanian and became good little patriots. His wife gave birth to a daughter who was immediately given a Lithuanian identification number. And Felix Ackermann finally managed to get his driving license in a little town called Utena.

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Lithuania (Leidykla Lapas)

Juri Andruchowytsch, Andrzej Stasiuk

My Europe

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Wolfgang Bauer

Across the Sea

There is a humanitarian catastrophe happening in front of our eyes: The Syrian civil war continues to claim hundreds of lives. Millions of Syrians are fleeing, some of them risk the transit from Egypt to Europe by boat. Each year, hundreds of people die during this endeavour, making the Mediterranean the most dangerous sea boarder in the world.

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Ulrich Beck

German Europe

In his famous speech in Hamburg in 1953, Thomas Mann warned the Germans never again to strive for a »German Europe«. As a result of the Euro crisis, however, that is exactly what has happened: the continent’s strongest economic power is in a position to dictate the terms under which struggling Euro nations can apply for further credit, to the point where the democratic autonomy of the Greek, Italian, Spanish – and ultimately also the German – parliaments are completely eroded.

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Ulrich Beck, Edgar Grande

Cosmopolitan Europe

Rethought Europe - that is the theme of this book. The cosmopolitan view on Europe, conceived in notions, could well be the starting point for new action opportunities.

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Hauke Brunkhorst

The Two Faces of Europe

The development of the EU is often described as the history of decline: a technocratic monster born from out of a visionary project. With the Euro crisis the hour of a collective Bonapartism seems to have arrived and seems to have taken over the continent through a regime of austerity. Hauke Brunkhorst offers another way of reading this: like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde he shows how vision and technocracy are related, how the EU’s utopian beginnings are still conserved within its laws, and how the European High Court does indeed strengthen citizens’ rights.

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Italy (MIM)

Hans Magnus Enzensberger

Tender Monster Brussels or the Disenfranchisement of Europe

»Europe is on everyone’s lips these days. Mistrust is rife against the distant institution in Brussels. What, more and more Europeans ask themselves, do our largely unknown custodians do behind mirrored facades, mostly closed doors and with a highly questionable legitimisation?«

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Arjun Appadurai, Zygmunt Bauman, Donatella della Porta, Nancy Fraser, Eva Illouz, Ivan Krastev, Bruno Latour, Paul Mason, Pankaj Mishra, Robert Misik, Oliver Nachtwey, César Rendueles, Wolfgang Streeck, David Van Reybrouck, Slavoj Žižek

The Great Regression

At the latest, since the effects of the financial crisis became clear and migration to the European Union began to grow, we have seen developments that many had thought were the phenomena of a distant age: the rise of nationalistic, in part anti-liberal parties like the Front National and the Alternative für Deutschland, the profound crisis of the EU, a coarsening of public discourse thanks to demagogues like Donald Trump, a growing distrust of the established media and the spread of xenophobic ideas... all of which are a reminder of dark times. Politicians are vilified as »traitors to the fatherland«, Muslims are under general suspicion and the internet is awash with the crudest of conspiracy theories.

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Jürgen Habermas

Ach, Europa

Ach, Europa: only the sighing tone remains. Prompted by a discussion with the German Federal Foreign Minister, Jürgen Habermas develops in his address political alternatives for the continent. He advocates a policy of gradual integration and a »bipolar community« of »old Europe« with the USA.

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Jürgen Habermas

The Divided West

On September 11th 2001, not only did the Twin Towers crash, but so did the unity of the Western World. The policy of the US-government, that pushes the United Nations to the bottom of the wall and stays put with breaking off Europe, has also had ist repercussions in Germany.

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Jürgen Habermas

On Europe's Constitution

»In the face of a politically unregulated rise in global social complexity which systemically and increasingly restricts the autonomy of the nation state, the normative function of democracy itself requires that political agency be expanded beyond national boundaries.« Jürgen Habermas

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Axel Honneth


In his new book, Axel Honneth traces the idea of recognition and the diversity of meanings it has taken on since the beginning of modernity in Europe. Referencing three powerful schools of thought – the French, the British and the German – he traces the way it has in each case experienced entirely different philosophical interpretations and sociopolitical expressions due to various sociopolitical challenges.

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Dirk Jörke

The Size of Democracy

Though for a long time there was consensus about the integration of national states into transnational communities like the European Union, this view is now under pressure: Brussels is too far away, the populations of member states have too little influence – »Take back control« as the Brexiteers said.

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Claus Leggewie


The Greek crisis and the lack of willingness to act when dealing with refugees have shown clearly that the European Union is troubled. Additionally, there are more and more voices of various degrees of provenance that attack Europe and question European values: identitarians like the mass murderer Anders Breivik, jihadists like the Syrian Abu Musab al-Suri, »Eurasians« like Putin-advisor Alexander Dugin, but also some left-wing populists associated with Syriza and Podemos.

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Enis Maci

Ice Cream Parlour Europe

What might resistance look like nowadays? Seeking an answer, Enis Maci draws a direct line from Joan of Arc to Sophie Scholl to the sworn virgins of Albania. She exposes the media strategies of the identitarian movement as a farce, she questions mother tongue and  origin, travels to the Walhalla memorial where she looks at Edith Stein’ bust, the nun murdered in Auschwitz. She dwells on social fringes and weaves seemingly unrelated topics into the dense panorama of the European present-day. In her essays, the remarkable rubs shoulders in her essays with the everyday, the private with the political.

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Robert Menasse

The Capital

Brussels. A panorama of tragic heroes, manipulative losers, involuntary accomplices. In his new novel, Robert Menasse spans a narrative arc between the times, the nations, the inevitable and the irony of fate, between petty bureaucracy and big emotions.

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Jan-Werner Müller

Where Europe Ends

»As far as democracy and the rule of law are concerned, Europe shouldn’t leave anything to chance.«

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Italy (Beit)

Wolfgang Streeck

Buying Time

The crisis has us all on tenterhooks and creates a pervasive sense of disorientation. Problems so large as to be entirely inscrutable provoke measures that seem like emergency open heart surgery on the entire Western world – carried out without examining the patient’s past medical history. As serious as the situation is, we seem just as incapable of understanding what exactly is going on. And how it could have come to this.

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Tuvia Tenenbom

Alone Among Brits

For months, people in Germany and the rest of Europe have been wondering: What do the British want? Do they even know what they want? And why is Brexit pursued with such frenzied dedication by its proponents and fought against with such vehemence by its opponents? There are no fast answers to all these questions and a remote diagnosis won’t help. If you want to know what this historical turning point means for the British people – and for us – you need to go into the field and talk to them – or follow Tuvia Tenenbom on his journey across the four nations that make up the United Kingdom where he takes a humorous yet painful look at the British society of our time.

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Philipp Ther

The Outsiders

Flight and integration are extremely important themes at present. They are a major reason for the rise of right-wing populist parties and are threatening to divide the EU. However, a glimpse into the depths of history puts 2015’s »refugee crisis« into perspective. Since the expulsion of Jews from the Iberian Peninsula in 1492, Europe has constantly been a continent of refugees.

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