While the Eurozone crisis is intensifying the contradictions of the project for European integration and the dreaded Troika is forcing unprecedented levels of austerity on the Greek nation, the question of the left's relation to Europe has once more been raised. Owen Jones has been the latest in a long line of prominent leftists to defend a left anti-EU stance, recently arguing in a column in the Guardian for the need for a Left Exit (or 'Lexit') campaign which will wrestle the issue of British withdrawal from the EU away from the UKIPpers and the Eurosceptic Tories. Yet under the leadership of Alexis Tsipras, Syriza is continuing with its attempt to push a left strategy while remaining in the Eurozone.
In this video, part of Open Democracy's #TalkReal series, philosopher Srecko Horvat, Professor of Law Costas Douzinas and others discuss the future of the European project in response to the increasing crisis in Greece. Should the left push forward with its long march through the institutions or should we be campaigning against the anti-democractic EU? Can the Eurozone become a space for progressive politics or will it continue to be used to force through punishing austerity?
In Welcome to the Desert of Post-Socialism, Srećko Horvat and Igor Štiks bring together a series of profound analyses of post-socialist economic and political transformation in the Balkans, and the new movements struggling to realize radically democratic visions of society. We present the editors' introduction below.
Over the last couple of years we have regularly witnessed popular protests and uprisings in the post-socialist Balkans. The well-known mobilisations, struggles and street violence in the southern part of the peninsula, in Greece and recently Turkey, have a constant and yet under-reported echo in other Balkan states. These have had a different historical trajectory: after the disappearance of the state socialist regimes, in all of these states, most dramatically across the former Yugoslavia, a period of violence, conflict or general instability and economic misery has been followed by a seemingly endless transition to liberal democracy and neoliberal economy. During this process some countries have joined the European Union (Slovenia, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia), further marginalising the ‘latecomers’ and ‘laggards’ in the long process of ‘European integration’ (Bosnia-Herzegovina, Montenegro, Serbia, Kosovo, Macedonia and Albania), all of which are now encircled by the EU border.