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Issue 1/2019: Public intellectuals. What is their place, role and responsibility today?

This issue takes a special look at the role and responsibility of the public intellectual in Central and Eastern Europe today.

January 2, 2019 - New Eastern Europe - Issue 1 2019MagazineNew Eastern Europe

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From the Editors:

On December 8th 2018, as we were preparing this issue for print, the 91-year old Russian human rights activist Lyudmila Alexeyeva passed away. She was the founding member of the Moscow Helsinki Watch Group. Alexeyeva devoted over 50 years of her life to promoting and defending human rights, first in the Soviet Union, later from the United States and finally in modern Russia. Famously, her Moscow apartment on Arbat Street turned into a meeting place of Russian intelligentsia and dissidents. When asked once about her work, she said that her goal was never power but human dignity. “I only fought for people to know their rights and defend them,” she explained.

To Alexeyeva’s memory and to pay our respect to all defenders of democracy and universal human rights we dedicate the texts in this issue, which tackle the topic of the role of public intellectuals today. We know that without them the peaceful changes of 1989-1991 would have never taken place in this region. Today, 30 years since and worried about the future, we ask: Where are public intellectuals today?



Where there is word, there is responsibility for mankind
A conversation with Basil Kerski

The intellectual in Central Europe: Havel, Orbán and Walter
Samuel Abrahám

The long shadow of the dissenter. Challenges to public intellectual practices after 1989 in Hungary

Gergely Romsics

Ukrainian intellectuals after Maidan
Vakhtang Kebuladze

Intellectuals need to compete in quality, not quantity
Interview with Marci Shore

Where Eastern European intellectuals sit today
Zofia Bluszcz


Tsars and boyars on the Muscovite court
Tomasz Grzywaczewski

Can Israel accept Russia in its backyard?
Agnieszka Bryc

Russia’s role in the Middle East – a grand plan or opportunism?
Wojciech Michnik

Overcoming the damage of disinformation
Przemysław Roguski

How to profit from education in Russia
Dagmara Moskwa

The dramatic turn of political discourse in Romania
Paul Gabriel Sandu

The state of decentralisation in Ukraine
Kateryna Pryshchepa

Georgia in the move to a multi-polar world
Maximilian Hess


Human rights as a weapon
An interview with Ivan Lishchyna

Like in the good, old American movies…
A conversation with Nijolė Oželytė-Vaitiekūnienė

The business case for climate action
An interview with Adam Koniuszewski


The house that Mykola built
Kinga Anna Gajda

A day in an Istrian olive grove
Andriy Lyubka


On food and power
Irina Sokhan

The land of the warm breeze
Katerina Novikova and Wiktor Trybus


Women’s rights in imperial Russia. Outcasts of history
Irina Yukina


Film as a counternarrative
Jakub Bornio

A reflection of the modern populist
Adam Reichardt

The liberating holiday of Sânziene
Kinga Anna Gajda

A tribute to Nemtsov
Agnieszka Legucka

We had a dream
Jan Brodowski

The essence of Central Asia
Zbigniew Rokita




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