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Letter from Poland: Committee in Defense of Democracy – We, The People in Polish (One country’s response to a right-wing takeover)

By Leszek Budrewicz The Committee in Defense of Democracy (Komitet Obrony Demokracji, or KOD) appeared to start suddenly out of thin air. It is now the biggest mass mobilization of Polish citizens since the days of Solidarity twenty-five years ago. Although on the one hand this was clearly a response to the electoral victory in […]

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“Everyday Revolutions”: Anna-Verena Nosthoff on Agnes Heller

The encounter with Agnes Heller at the 2014 Democracy & Diversity Institute in Wroclaw and in her class on “The World of Prejudice”, inspired TCDS alumna Anna-Verena Nosthoff to write a portrait of the esteemed Hungarian philosopher.   “I felt that I had a debt to pay as a survivor. Writing moral philosophy and philosophy of history for […]

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Letter from St. Petersburg: An Analysis of Maidan, Part 1

This is the first in a series of essays by Public Sociology Laboratory, which includes many TCDS alumni, analyzing the Maidan protest movment in Ukraine.   Public Sociology Laboratory (further – PS Lab, http://ps-lab.ru) is an autonomous project of social researchers from Russia. The goal of PS Lab is to create socially and politically engaged, […]

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Letter From Europe: Elzbieta Matynia “NSSR Europe Courage in Public Scholarship Award”

Last July It was in late July of 2014, during the final two days of the 23rd annual Democracy & Diversity Institute, that a sizable group of the Institute’s alumni — representatives of a much larger NSSR/TCDS community now living and working in Europe — joined us in Wroclaw. They were an impressive and accomplished […]

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Letter from Lithuania: Adam Michnik “Vilnius and Warsaw – Our Common Cause

The following is a speech by Adam Michnik — Polish intellectual, a 1984 New School honorary degree recipient, and editor-in-chief of Gazeta Wyborcza – addressing the Lithuanian Parliament in Vilnius in the context of the war in Ukraine Mrs. President, Mrs. Chair of the Parliament, Mr. Prime Minister, I am moved and embarrassed by this honor bestowed […]

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A Letter from New York: An Excerpt from “An Uncanny Era: Conversations between Václav Havel and Adam Michnik” by Elzbieta Matynia

  Havel, Michnik and the Making of 1989[i]   THE PATH OF FRIENDSHIP It was a perfect summer day in August 1978, almost exactly ten years after the armies of five Warsaw Pact countries had invaded Czechoslovakia to suppress the democratic aspirations of the Prague Spring. In the mountains between Poland and Czechoslovakia, a mountain […]

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Letter from The New School for Social Research: Elzbieta Matynia Remembers Jonathan Schell

Long before I had any idea who Jonathan Schell was, I got a brief note from Chuck Tilly asking me to write a review essay for the Sociological Forum. The book to be reviewed was Adam Michnik’s Letters from Prison, just published by the California University Press. In 1985 I already knew Michnik, and the […]

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Letter from New York: Susan Yelavich on Design and Performative Democracy in Wrocław

Ring in 2014 with Małe Instrumenty: The Politics of Tiny Instruments in Poland. by Susan Yelavich This New Year, as we emerge from the season of sales and the scourge of shopping, Małe Instrumenty offers a different kind of gift: music played on toy pianos. Yes, Virginia, toy pianos. Toy pianos, children’s music boxes, and […]

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Ukraine: An Open Letter from Yuri Andrukhovych

Dear Friends, all foreign journalists and editors! Recently I received requests from many of you to describe the current situation in Kiev and generally in the Ukraine, to present my judgment of what is going on, and to present my vision of the near future.  Since it is impossible for me to write a separate […]

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A Letter from Ukraine: Experience of Maidan

Experience of Maidan by Andriy Bondarenko Kyiv’s Maidan has really proved to be a lasting affair, strong enough to manifest the will of the majority of Ukraine’s population. Everyone could see the evidence of its ability to stand against police forces. Even during calm periods Maidan is still an impressive sight. For those of us […]

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