08. March 2018
The #MeToo campaign has become one of the most influential movements against sexual abuse, leading to the biggest scandal in Hollywood in recent history. It brought stories of harassment and sexual assault to the foreground and united millions of women across the globe against all forms of abuse. It was not so in Russia, where the campaign generated different reactions from Russian state media, the film industry and the general public.
08. March 2018
In the international press, Germany is often portrayed as one of the champions of human rights. However, the #MeToo movement has shown that neither politicians nor German society at large has a common understanding of women’s rights. The country struggles to talk about patriarchy, gender-based power relations and sexual abuse, the majority of German people prefer to remain silent. But that situation is about to change; Germany now has its own Weinstein: Dieter Wedel.
26. February 2018
Italian elections – an expat exercise
How does a young Italian expat like me stay informed about what is going on in his/her country? I must confess that I haven’t always done a good job, preferring to read international newspapers where, I thought, I could find more unbiased information, as opposed to the national Italian news. In doing so, I sometimes missed out on some Italian drama (without regrets) and focused more on world politics and international affairs. But…
15. February 2018
by Samson Son
I have a background in Economics, Entrepreneurship and IT Engineering. I am based in Paris but have lived and worked in Lima (Peru). My main interests are new technologies, drawing and video making.
29. September 2017
A few years ago, a headline reading: Erdoğan calls Merkel’s stance on EU membership ‘Nazism,’ would have made me raise an eyebrow. Today, such headlines seem entirely normal. This makes me wonder about the development of our news, and in particular about the state of the public debate. It seems as if the debates have gotten harsher, the statements bolder and the headlines bigger. At the same time, people appear increasingly convinced that they are right – less interested in dialogue and reflection. As a student of psychology, with a particular interest in interactions between people and society, this development has both fascinated and frightened me over the last couple of years.
31. August 2017
by Doris Manu
Nearly one year ago, Turkey faced a domestic crisis of international significance, which interrupted the summer holidays of many, including those of the country’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan. While the all too powerful Turkish leader was the only target of the putschists in mid-July 2016, the consequences of the attempted coup affected far more people than anyone could have imagined.
28. July 2017
The word ‘reform’ is the most commonly used word in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). One way or another the country has been in some kind of reform process for the past 22 years. Reform became like a family member: we live with reform every day; we eat fruits and vegetables that are produced according to ‘reform’ instructions. The constant use of this word by politicians, teachers, family members and media create the sense that if you want to succeed in life, you have to reform.
27. July 2017
It’s been almost 15 years since the 2003 Thessaloniki promise of EU membership for the Western Balkans, and the countries in the region are still in the EU’s ‘waiting room’. The EU Commission’s ‘White Paper on the Future of Europe’, published on 1 March 2017 does not mention EU enlargement at all. In the context of the 2017 Western Balkans Summit in Trieste, the first one to be organised after the Brexit vote, Miruna Troncotă (Ro) and Hatidza Jahic (BiH) ask: Are the Balkans forever stuck in the EU’s waiting room?
09. May 2017
by Enja Sæthren
We got lucky this time. France said no to xenophobia, closed borders and hatred by electing Emmanuel Macron as the next president of the French Republic with 66 % of the votes. The French refused to follow in the footsteps of the British and the Americans, but how confident can we really be that this was the last battle? Has the fight against right-wing extremism already been won?
03. April 2017
by Fiona Fritz
Closing borders, limiting immigration and a faster expulsion of criminal asylum seekers. These topics currently dominate the discourse on migration all over Europe. The numbers of people seeking refuge in Europe has been on the rise for the last 5-10 years. But since 2015 this topic is on the front pages of news outlets in Germany almost every single day. Merkel’s “Wir schaffen das!” (We’ll make it!) was met with scepticism by parts of the population and many politicians. In the recent debates, however, the issue of integration is too often neglected. This is partly due to the fact that ‘integration’ is a fuzzy and unclear concept. Who is responsible for integration? What does it mean to be integrated? In my opinion, integration requires time and effort by both the host societies and their new members.
20. March 2017
It was a sunny and beautiful day in Sarajevo on 2 March 2017. The city was full of blue and yellow flags, signs of celebration from the day before – Independence Day. Flags were left hanging from buildings a day longer, probably on purpose – to gently sway and greet very important guest our country was about to receive: Federica Mogherini, High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy/Vice-President of the European Commission. Her visit to Sarajevo was part of her Western Balkan’s tour of countries that are EU member state candidates/candidates-to-be. The plan was to meet with the members of the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), to talk about the country’s current issues and problematic path toward EU candidacy and also, to give a lecture on the same subject to the academic community of the University of Sarajevo.