Utblick #2: Whither Europe?

The second issue of Utblick is here!

Europe is once again heading for the voting booths. With the rise of nationalist, populist and right-wing extremist parties across the union, this election is of critical importance. It is not only about which parties will win but also the type of values that the voters would like to promote at the European level. It is about the future of Europe, the type of cooperation it would like to pursue in the upcoming years, and the policies it would implement. It is an election between the right and the left ideologies.

The European Parliament Elections raise concerns in every aspect of life in Europe. How will the election impact feminist movements? What is the role of religion in the European elections and how do parties mobilize anti-Islamic rhetoric to attract voters? How can the youth in Europe be mobilized to participate in the election and increase turnout? These are some of the key questions which will be discussed by various articles in this issue.

Other articles look at the role of democracy in the European Union and how a higher turnout can increase the legitimacy of this polity. You will also read about how Swedish parties in the European parliament position themselves in relation to climate change, migration, and how they envision the future of Europe. The issue further covers articles on how recent events, such as Brexit and the rise of right wing parties, would impact the upcoming European parliament elections and shape the future of the union.

Categorization of political parties at the European level remains a mystery to a majority of voters in the upcoming election. This issue thus contains an article which looks at the different groupings within the European parliament and how different national parties ally with others at the regional level to maximize their interests and promote their political agenda, at home and in Europe.

Despite the continuous concerns, critical debates and the blurred future of Europe, a majority of the articles emphasizes a valuable point: to vote!

Since participation in the election is a key pillar of democracy, we hope that this issue will serve as an encouragement to take more youth to the voting booths and engage them.

The editors,

Nazifa Alizada and Egil Sturk 

First Utblick of 2019 is here!

Turmoil Under Heaven, this year’s first issue of Utblick, is here!

We live in uncertain times: a majority of the BRICs-countries; Brazil, Russia, India and China – comprising over 40% of the world’s population and roughly 23% of world GDP – are now governed by leaders with authoritarian tendencies. Populist, nationalist, and/or revisionist governments dissatisfied with the Liberal World Order established after the Second World War: from Putin’s Eurasian vision for Russia to Modis’ Hindu-nationalism, Xi’s China Dream, and Bolsonaro’s Trumpista-regime in Brazil. Meanwhile, the leader of this order – the United States – is seemingly relinquishing its role as global Hegemon and returning to the isolationism characteristic of the interwar period, when both presidential candidates and Ku Klux Klan-members loudly proclaimed “America First!”

This issue is dedicated to the largest member of the aforementioned constellation, China, and its role in world order, its civil society, its history and future. You will get a micro- and macro perspective on China; from children and women in rural households and civil society activists in the Tibetan highlands, to the consequences of revised waste management policies and the situation of Uyghurs in Xinjiang Province.

Will China be a benevolent Hegemon or a voracious predator? Will it preserve the current order, or will it change it in its own favor? Will it surpass and replace the United States as leader of the World, or will it be able to coexist peacefully? Will it be able to create enough goodwill among neighbors and forge a “community of common density” in the words of Xi Jinping, without being perceived as a revisionist threat to international order? Is there a real risk of a Great Power War breaking out between the US and China? All these questions, and more, are examined by our contributors in this issue.

You can read the new issue HERE.

The editors,

Nazifa Alizada and Egil Sturk