Central and Eastern Europe are facing a global pandemic, an attack by state institutions on an independent judiciary and the media, or a post-Soviet dictatorship right in the European Union’s neighborhood. This volume offers a women’s perspective on these life-changing events and highlights what we should not overlook. Stay healthy and read the brand new Aspen.Review!
Will Women Change (Eastern) Europe?
Many still tend to think that it is unusual for a woman to be the leader of a country. In Central Europe, we find it a surprise that female politicians can win elections. The perceived hurdle —reflected in the omnipresent trials of day-to-day life— seems to be insurmountable until it is achieved. Read more about women power in the article Not Yet a Revolution by Magda Jakubowska.
When the women’s strike broke in Poland in November 2020, it was difficult to ignore the parallel between the protests against the illiberal government and the prominent role played by women in the Belarusian revolution—Nelly Bekus
The way in which the women’s protests in Poland unfolded display a great deal of similarity with the Belarusian events. In both cases, the marches and demonstrations had women at the forefront and no obvious political leadership. Read about the Women’s Protest in Belarus and Poland by Nelly Bekus.
“President Čaputová has become a lonely liberal island in the middle of a conservative revolution. It soon turned out that this regime change was hardly any change at all,” argues the Slovak fiction writer Michal Hvorecký. Her greatest success is the way she communicates with people, in a way never seen in Slovakia before. Read more in the interview The Change Proved To Be an Illusion with Michal Hvorecký.
The anti-abortion law constituted the Great Compromise, in which political elites secured the church’s support for political and economic reforms, including Poland joining the EU—Małgorzata Fidelis
It is not unusual for women to make revolutions. In these past upheavals, however, women often became marginalized and erased from the collective memory while the revolutions were turned against them. The Polish Revolution of October 2020 is different, writes Małgorzata Fidelis.
What Went Wrong During The Pandemic in V4?
Apart from the the cover stories, there are also other topics in this Aspen.Review! Having prided themselves on being the coronavirus champs in the spring, the Visegrad countries have ended up amongst the losers in the fall. Take a look at What Went Wrong During The Pandemic in V4 written by Luboš Palata.
And did you know, in many regards, the experience of East Europeans with their Western brethren has been very traumatic? It has been overloaded with false expectations, bitter resentments and poorly hidden psychological complexes writes Mykola Riabczuk in his article. “Eastern Europeans have had many good reasons to feel betrayed by the West, belittled and alienated. But, on the other hand, this political stance and ideological niche had been already occupied by the Soviets,” he argues. Read his thoughts in the article Shifting the Wall Further East. Kundera’s Tragedy of ‘Central Europe’ Three Decades Later.
Nationalism and racism are part of the local legacy like multiculturalism and tolerance and a “super-bureaucratic statism and formalistic legalism took to absurd extremes” had been the region’s particular features long before the advance of Soviet Communism—Mykola Riabczuk
Americans should focus more on the EU, which has become a regulatory superpower, says Ian Bremmer. Find out more about the US green plans in an interview about The Biden Administration, which Will Be the Greenest in US History.
Biden’s economic orientation is more social democratic, more closely in line with the center in Germany or France, and these are the most important governments driving EU policy—Ian Bremmer
There is a lot more in this issue! Read about What is at Stake in the Eastern Mediterranean by Dimitar Bechev or the interview with the Polish MEP Radosław Sikorski who is not sure if American Democracy Could Have Survived the Second Term of Donald Trump. And did you ever make up your mind as to whether Belarus Belongs to Central Europe? Or if the fantasy hero Witcher is Slavic? If not, you can find out in Aspen Review!
Stay tuned for new texts and thoughts in the next issue. Enjoy your reading and stay healthy!
Publishing Editor of Aspen.Review