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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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A Letter from New York: Elzbieta Matynia introduces a very special poem by Gema Santamaría

Interview with an Expert on Violence by Elzbieta Matynia and Gema Santamaría In late September the Transregional Center for Democratic Studies arranged a talk by Anabel Hernández, a Mexican journalist and courageous writer whose book, Narcoland: The Mexican Drug Lords And Their Godfathers, has just been published in English by Verso. I had heard about Hernández and her work, […]

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A Letter from Russia: Notes on Movements and Protests

Prisoners and suspects Two years have passed since the unexpected appearance of a protest movement in Russia. Today the movement has declined. White ribbons, a symbol of the democratic movement, are out of fashion. And most of 28 participants of the peaceful oppositional meeting of the 6th of May 2012 that were arrested during the […]

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A Letter from Nairobi: Dlamini Zuma’s Footsteps in the Long Walk to Continental Unity

By Moses Karanja South Africa’s Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, 63, became the first female head of the African Union (AU) Commission, a post poised to test her leadership abilities to the limit, but also to potentially make her the ablest successor to President Jacob Zuma.  In the apt words of one government official, “Ms Dlamini-Zuma’s job […]

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