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Category Archives: Society & Culture

One decade of Polscieu

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Tomorrow, this blog celebrates its 10th anniversary. Much has happened in those ten years. Too much to write a summary, but the 305 posts published still document some of my work, my activism,  and my research over the years. I published my first post on 5 November 2010, after I had just returned from living […]

Official Secrets — A Movie Review from an Academic Perspective

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We went to see the movie “Official Secrets” this weekend, starring Keira Knightley in the role of Iraq War whistleblower Katharine Gun (UK). The film is based on the book “The Spy Who Tried to Stop a War”, and earlier this year Gun also talked to The Guardian (podcast) about her story. For the past decade, […]

Women in power: recent research perspectives

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History and politics are mostly tales of men on the battlefield or men in dark suits, white shirts and a tie. And as Ewa Widlak showed in “2015, Women and Political Leadership“, only 7.3% of heads of state and 6.5% of heads of government are women right now, so the present doesn’t look much different. […]

A gender balanced EU leadership in 2014? Rather not…

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The European Commission has a gender balance problem. The EU institutions’ leadership has a gender balance problem. And 2014 doesn’t seem to be the year where this will change. Bruxelles2‘s research has shown that, so far, only 5 out 28 EU member states have female candidates lined up for the next College of Commissioners, and […]

Les gens de l’information: A sociology of EU information people

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The “Eurobubble” online series (see also my recent blog post) and the last months of working in Brussels have raised again my academic interest in the sociology of the bubble. In my readings around this subject, I stumbled over “Le champs de l’eurocratie: Une sociologie politique du personnel de l’Union européenne“* by Professor Didier Georgakakis. I haven’t yet read the […]

The aging Union: EU politicians and the dominance of the upper middle-aged (updated)

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German newspaper Die ZEIT yesterday published an article titled “Demografie: Die schon wieder” (Demography: Them again) about how the generation of baby boomers, those born in the early second half of the 20th century, is dominating politics, economy, society. The 35 years old author looks at how the babyboomer generation grow older and shape life […]

Gibt es eine deutsch(sprachig)e Europa-Blogosphäre?

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Weil ich auf der re:publica 12 diesen Vortrag gehalten habe, bin ich Montag in Essen zu einem Vortrag samt Diskussion geladen, bei dem es um die “Europäische Online-Öffentlichkeit” gehen soll. Googelt man den Begriff, ist der einzige Text, den man dazu findet, der hier (vergleiche: Selbstreferenzialität), das heißt, ich muss die Antworten auf die großen Fragen […]

Fortress Europe, Schengen and the European Sphere

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“[H]ow can the public debate necessary to make the EU a genuine ‘land of immigration’ take place if there is no common, democratic European ‘public sphere’, and no space for genuine intra-European political debate? The desire for such debate is connected to the need for a common sphere of social and public interaction within the […]

Extended book review: “La théorie de l’information” by Aurélien Bellanger

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I first stumbled over “La théorie de l’information” by Aurélien Bellanger – published this summer – in a review by Le Soir about a month ago. It was a sunny Saturday morning, a rare occasion here in Brussels, and I was reading the weekend edition of the Belgian newspaper over a breakfast in a café. […]

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