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Study Abroad: Continental Contrasts

“You can’t have it all!” – Yes, you can. The biggest city in Europe offers contrasts everywhere you look. Two girls take a selfie, one wears extensive make-up, her friend a head scarf. A Syrian refugee with counterfeited crocs-plastic-sandals walks next to wealthy Western tourists. Young students in Besiktas drink traditional Turkish cay and play backgammon, while later they have ... Read More »

Quo Vadis?

I was not sure if I was going the right direction. Even though the recorded voice kept announcing the somehow familiar stops, I could not shake of the feelings of anxiety and excitement, which kept me on the edge of the seat for the rest of the trip. In less than 20 minutes the city was left behind and the ... Read More »

Antifascism and Patriotism – the case of Josef S.

Guilty. On July 22 German law-student Josef S. received a verdict of twelve months, of which he already spent six in pre-trial detention. He supposedly breached the peace, was condemned for attempted aggravated assault and serious damage to property during protests against the far-right Akademikerball (Academic’s Ball) in Vienna last January. What is worrying is the poor evidence for these ... Read More »

The mute debate…

…and a common market generating GDP of 32,000,000,000,000 dollars. The Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership Agreement, in short TTIP, is the biggest trade deal the EU has ever negotiated and it could greatly influence daily life on both sides of the Atlantic. However, the subject matter of this transatlantic market and removal of trade barriers has not been prominent in ... Read More »

Ukraine in Turmoil: a Local View

The European headlines currently are filled with the turmoil in Ukraine. Every day there is new developments in the East of the country with the “pro-Russian separatists” taking control of an increasing number of official buildings and strategic positions. We read about the resurrection of an already buried Cold War rhetoric. The Western alliance gathers together to impose sanctions and ... Read More »

Free but not Fair

With the continuous crisis in Ukraine taking most of the media’s attention, a dubious election in the heart of Europe passed silently. In Hungary, the popular but controversial prime minister Viktor Orbán and his Fidesz-KDNP party retained their power in a seemingly ‘free’ election. Ruling party Fidesz however took preemptive measures to manipulate the outcome, making the elections far from ... Read More »

Vita Activa

There is an inscription on Athens’s ancient city wall which claims that ‘The man with no public business has no business’. Greek ancient philosophy asserts that someone who is ignorant towards public affairs can be considered as being an idiot – an uneducated and self-centered person. However, it is comforting to know that in the same Athenian democracy, idiots were ... Read More »

Who to blame for the “European Dictatorship”

Many European countries experience a drastic increase in far-right and anti-EU political parties. Politicians like Geert Wilders, Marie Le Pen and Heinz-Christian Strache profit from their prominent media appearances and the tiredness of many EU citizens that do not grasp the far-away Brussels bureaucracy. The upcoming elections in May might change the scene and produce a more nationally focused Union. ... Read More »

The Shame of our Time: Human Trafficking (Modern Slavery)

Men, women and children, working extensive days of hard labour in bad conditions without or little pay and no possibility to leave. Impossible as it might be for us to imagine the complete absence of freedom, these practices are not just taking place in distant, shady sweatshops or backstreet brothels in developing countries –human trafficking is very real and happening ... Read More »