Our Word of the Year 2011

What a year! The Arab Spring, Germany's rejection of nuclear energy, the crisis in the Eurozone, a plagiarism scandal. As the year winds down, our staff sits down to discuss their "words of the year", humble attempts to put twelve months worth of politics into a few letters.

The Markets...

We're tip-toeing into the abyss of mounting debt, economic stagnation and eroding confidence. But instead of questioning the decisions of banks and governments, we freeze in fear: "The Market" has struck again!


The morning after is always tough. It's hard to remember what happened at the party, but the creeping feeling of guilt lingers. Blackouts are the opposite of responsible behavior - yet they have become a standard part of the toolkit of politics.


"Sinner states" - countries that have failed to adhere to the rules of fiscal austerity are often branded as deviant outcasts. Even in the 21st century, the European media is relying on biblical rules of right and wrong to make sense of the continent's debt crisis.


Most People Are Rationally Ignorant

What decisions would we make if we deliberated carefully about public policy? Alexander Görlach sat down with Stanford's James Fishkin to discuss deliberative democracy, parliamentary discontent, and the future of the two-party system.

A Violent Tea Party?

For many Europeans the massacre in Arizona is another evidence that political violence is spreading in the United States but this unfortunate event was the deed of a mentally ill person, not a political activist. There is no evidence of an increasing political extremism tearing America apart. Using

Passage to India

The US and Russia don't agree on much - but they are both keen to develop a good relationship with India. How do we know? Look at the arms trade.

"Cities are making us more human"

More than 50 percent of the world's population now live in cities – and there is no end of urbanization in sight. Harvard economist Edward Glaeser believes urbanization to be a solution to many unanswered problems: pollution, depression and a lack of creativity. He spoke with Lars Mensel about the

No Glove, No Love

Contrary to the mantras repeated by the press, HIV infections are not increasing. We need to move away from activist scare tactics and towards complex risk management strategies.

Perfection Is Not A Useful Concept

Nick Bostrom directs the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford University. He talked with Martin Eiermann about existential risks, genetic enhancements and the importance of ethical discourses about technological progress.

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