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Abstract

A quarter of a century ago, the Soviet Union dissolved and the Cold War ended. Now the current political era involves a broad challenge to liberal democracy in the European Union. Central European countries such as the Czech Republic, Hungary, the Republic of Poland, and the Slovak Republic (‘the Visegrád Group’) joined the EU in 2004 with the hope that the post-Cold War era would be one of peace and stability in Europe, including (most importantly) the expansion of Europe’s democracy. A turning point came in 2014, however, when the Syrian refugee crisis hit the EU and caused a political ‘about face’. The European refugee and migrant crisis have strengthened right-wing populism among the European countries, including the Visegrád group. Obviously there are certainly similarities between the populist rhetoric of Hungary’s ruling party, Fidesz, and the Law and Justice party (known as PiS) which is governing the Republic of Poland. The two countries appear to be following the same path of becoming ‘illiberal democratic’ states. The templates of authoritarianism which both countries have adopted involve the following: the restriction of civil society and the independence of the media, control of the judiciary and the court system, together with the transformation of the constitutional framework and electoral law in order to consolidate power. This paper analyses two examples of authoritarian populist leaders: first, Viktor Orbán, the Prime Minister of Hungary of the Fidesz Party and, second, Jarosław Kaczyński, a leader of the Law and Justice Party (PiS) in Poland. A brief description of each is provided as a background for the discussion which follows.

Abstract

Genocide perpetrated against the Armenian population of the Ottoman Empire was both gender-oriented and age-oriented. The Armenian male population was generally killed before or at the beginning of deportation, while women and children, as well as being massacred, were also subjected to different forms of physical and sexual violence during the death marches. Children were also forcibly transfered to the enemy group, while women were abducted or forcibly married. The experiences and fates of Armenian women and children offer a perspective on how complex and multi-faceted the phenomenon of genocide is. Based on the surveys of rescued Armenian women kept in the archives of the League of Nations, this article will present the fate of women during and after the Armenian Genocide.

Abstract

Since the end of the wars of Yugoslav secession, and since Kosovo’s declaration of independence, the Balkans—Serbia included—have taken a back seat in academic research. Even though media freedoms have been severely stifled following the coming to power of Aleksandar Vučić in 2012, today’s Serbian media are still failing to become a topic for scholarly research. In this article, we scrutinize the daily Informer, the unofficial daily of Serbia’s strongman, president Vučić, via a discourse analysis of its headlines. As shall be shown, the Informer supports the reign of Aleksandar Vučić by framing him as a hero and martyr, fighting for the ‘people’, in a highly populist fashion, discursively painting the opposition in a highly negative light, as well as promoting warmongering and the idea that Serbia is surrounded by enemies. This is achieved via discursive deception, bases on assertive rhetoric, filled with exaggerations.

Abstract

This paper offers a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the current armed conflict in Eastern Ukraine as a way of understanding the dispute and the failure of the warring parties to broker a lasting peace. It examines the ideological background to the conflict by considering the most significant historical myths that inform both sides, especially the myths surrounding the medieval state of Kievan Rus’, and the religious, political and linguistic elements of those myths that contribute to mutual misunderstanding and heightened tensions. What is demonstrated is that the myths of each side are structurally very similar: one set is the mirror image of the other (with corresponding labels interchanged). This symmetry helps to intensify and maintain inflamed confrontation, so that there is a pressing need to move beyond these myths, if a lasting peace is to be achieved.

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Abstract

Drawing on works of literature, especially ones written by Dostoyevsky and Böll, this essay discusses Orwell’s decision, at the height of the Cold War, to inform against suspected Leftist sympathisers.

Abstract

Taking recent events in Ukraine as central, the article examines Russian identity as a reaction against its own construction of Western identity. In the process the piece argues that Russia and the West have fundamentally different ideas of law. In the West, power is constrained by law, but in Russia power is superior to it.