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The crisis of the left

(This is the text of the CriticAtac conference delivered in Bucharest, April 18, by Dr. Attila Melegh, senior researcher at Demographic Research Institute in Budapest and associated professor at the Corvinus University) When we look at the East European scene and ask what organized real left we have (not the liberal, cynical opportunistic one) the picture looks […]

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Words from Budapest. An interview of Gaspar Miklos Tamas with New Left Review.

Interview with G. M. Tamás Your trajectory has been an unusual one: a dissident libertarian philosopher under Communism in both Romania and Hungary, who has emerged as one of the foremost left critics of the capitalist order in eastern Europe, and author of a striking set of essays on the historical and cultural legacies and contemporary […]

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A Band of Raggamuffins’ Wondrous Adventure in a High Society Club

East versus West is once again a hot topic in Romania. Or rather a superficial repositioning – which doesn’t mean that it has a lesser influence over public agenda setting – in the never-ending battle between Europeanizers (white collars, hard-boiled capitalists, entrepreneurs) and Traditionalists of all denominations (nationalists either of Interbellum persuasion or converted during […]

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The Manele and The Underworld

This article deals with the connection between manele and the criminal world in Romania. Although I finished it more than a year ago, I hesitated a long time before publishing it – it seemed that these things, though known, wouldn’t necessarily do justice to my favourite musical genre and would certainly upset those who work […]

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On neoliberalism and “workfare” regimes. An interview with John Clarke.

Interviewed by Florin Faje and Alina-Sandra Cucu, 11 March 2013, Budapest Biographical note John Clarke is a Professor of Social Policy at the Open University, UK and a recurrent Visiting Professor in the Department of Sociology and Social Anthropology, at Central European University. He is one of the best-known social policy researchers of his generation. […]

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Bulgarians in flames: on the current wave of self-immolation

In one of his essays, Zygmunt Bauman (1999) deals with the existential terror induced from having knowledge about the finiteness of our existence. According to Bauman, the pre-modern world could deal with the fear of death by firmly weaving individual existence into the eternity of the afterlife. Two pillars assumed this role in the modern […]

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SYRIZA: a Political Universality of the Balkans

There is a Robinson Crusoe-like syndrome among Albanians, which can be dissected in two psychological moments. The first, a feeling of isolation which comes not only as a political isolation of the present and past, but also as a mentality which rarely steps over the home-border of social and political commitment. Such a phenomenon produces […]

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Bulgaria’s Belated Occupy

Since mid-February, a popular uprising has brought out thousands in city squares across Bulgaria, giving voice to grievances accumulated over the last 23 years and reinserting the popular into the country’s politics. What began as a spontaneous expression of discontent at the rising electricity prices grew into a protest against the role of the privatized […]

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Real Power Directly to the People

The events in Bulgaria are moving so fast that it seems that whatever commentators will say will be rendered immediately as non-contemporaneous to them: either too soon or too late. Such instability is driven by the behaviour of the main actors themselves: one day the prime minister is certain he won’t resign (so as not […]

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We will not pay for your crisis: who really profits from our labor?

In the first days of 2013 a photograph got to the attention of Bulgarian anti-racists and elicited a few quick replies. The photograph was uploaded in the spring of 2012 by a 28-year-old ethnic Bulgarian female, Margarita Angelova from Radnevo. The text that accompanies the photograph expresses outrage at the high income of single mothers […]