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Stephen J. Silvia

Since German unification, assessments of the German economy have swung from “sick man of the euro” in the early years to dominant hegemon of late. I argue that the German economy appears strong because of its recent positive performance in two politically salient areas: unemployment and the current account. A deeper assessment reveals, however, that German economic performance cannot be considered a second economic miracle, but is at best a mini miracle. The reduction in unemployment is an important achievement. That said, it was not the product of faster growth, but of sharing the same volume of work among more individuals. Germany’s current account surpluses are as much the result of weak domestic demand as of export prowess. Germany has also logged middling performances in recent years regarding growth, investment, productivity, and compensation. The article also reviews seven challenges Germany has faced since unification: financial transfers from west to east, the global financial crisis, the euro crisis, internal and external migration, demographics, climate change, and upheavals in the automobile industry. German policy-makers managed the first four challenges largely successfully. The latter three will be more difficult to tackle in the future.

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Stephen Gross

Over the past decade Germany has had one of the most successful

economies in the developed world. Despite the ongoing Euro crisis unemployment

has fallen below 7 percent, reaching its lowest levels since German

reunification in 1990. Germany’s youth unemployment is among the

lowest in Europe, far beneath the European average.1 One of the most

important engines of the German economy today, and in fact throughout

the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, has been its export sector. As Ludwig

Erhard, West Germany’s Economics Minister during the Wirtschaftswunder

of the 1950s remarked: “foreign trade is quite simply the core and

premise of our economic and social order.”2 According to various estimates,

today exports and imports of goods and services account for nearly a half of

German GDP—up from only a quarter in 1990. Germany is one of only three

economies that do over a trillion dollars worth of exports a year, the other

two being the United States and China.

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Kuwait and Iran

Mutual Contact in the Pre-oil Era

Yacoub Y. Al-Hijji

This article examines the relations and interaction between Kuwait and Iran before the export of oil from Kuwait in 1946. It begins with a short account of the establishment of Kuwait as a small maritime community, the ramifications of its location amongst its three large neighbours, and Iran's role in helping Kuwait to establish its roots as a seafaring community by providing its earlier inhabitants with basic food requirements. The article then goes on to review several aspects of the interaction between Iran and Kuwait and the influence that these communities have had on one another. It concludes by emphasising that the relationship of mutuality between the two countries must continue in this age of oil and globalisation for the benefit of both peoples.

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Sophie Meunier

The most common perception of France found these days in the American media is that of an arrogant country, whose international gesticulations are the last hurrah masking its inevitable decline into oblivion. The French have not yet come to terms with their lengthy collapse, which started with the devastation of World War I, continued with the humiliation of their defeat in 1940 and was furthered by the loss of their colonial empire. This would explain their support, still to this day, for a Gaullist policy made up of power incantations, in contrast to real power—or lack thereof. Of course, this characterization is meant as much as an insult as an objective statement of fact. What few of these American commentators comprehend, however, is how much this image of a nation blinded by self-confidence is erroneous. On the contrary, the French have excelled at self-flagellation for a long time, rightly or wrongly. Whether one calls it “malaise” or decline, French commentators are the first to confess that France is free-falling—whether vis-à-vis the US, its European partners, or its own aspirations.

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Family History and Social History

Étienne Davodeau's Reportage of Reality in Les Mauvaises gens

Clare Tufts

This article discusses a bande dessinée that recounts the life story of the artist's parents, factory workers in a deeply conservative milieu who became trade union militants. The article is split into four sections. The first deals with techniques that reinforce the effect of documentary accuracy; the second examines how page layout adds symbolic effects and varies pace and perspective; the third analyses the complex chronology, in which there is not only a shifting between the time of narration and the time of the events recounted, but a further significant temporal displacement relating to the process of narration; the fourth considers the extent to which this biography is also necessarily autobiographical.

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Fire Escapes to Nowhere

Colin and Cilluffo's World Trade Angels

Lawrence R. Schehr

Colin and Cilluffo's graphic novel, World Trade Angels, is an illustration of the creation, through language and image, of a new vocabulary and a new imaginaire, after the events of 11 September 2001. No previously existing language is adequate; the authors introduce a new verbal, temporal, and pictorial vocabulary to try to represent the unrepresentable of that day. Significantly, in this work, divisions, grills, grates, bars and squares all multiply until the representation of the entire city is seen as a reproduction of the façade of the towers and a reflection of that façade that no longer exists. And as a synecdoche of that grillwork that quickly becomes a penetrable portcullis or an inescapable set of prison bars, the authors introduce the leit-motiv of a fire escape, but one that leads not to safety but to perdition and repetition. It is this set of figures I explore in this article.

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James Baker

On 18 September 1809, Covent Garden Theatre reopened, lavishly decorated after the devastating fire of the previous year. Far from being an occasion of celebration, an increase in prices and the architectural redistribution raised the ire of London's theatregoers, sparking months of sustained protest. Known as the Old Price riots, these protests received widespread attention in the metropolitan press. They also prompted various responses from London's satirical print trade. This article will explore the output of these two publicly facing media with respect to the Old Price riots as means of examining the differing processes of reportage they functioned within. It will argue that despite operating on a 'virtual' plane of reportage, that during the Old Price riots graphic satire escaped the confines of its virtuality and became an active agent in Georgian anti-authoritarian protest.

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Héctor Germán Oesterheld

Ethics and Aesthetics of a Humanist

Domingos Isabelinho

This text was inspired by a personal perplexity occasioned by the Argentinian miniseries on TV Pública, Germán, últimas viñetas [Germán's Last Panels] with actor Miguel Ángel Solá in the leading role. (The series aired from 30 April to 23 May 2013.) I mean perplexity because why would a TV channel devote a whole series to a comics scriptwriter? I ask because in many countries and moments in history the comics scriptwriter was not even credited. On the other hand, the series implies another question: what happens to a great creator when he finds himself, because of his life's circumstances, in the situation of practising his trade in a primarily conservative and commercial environment? I'll try to answer those questions, but since Oesterheld's achievements are still too unknown in Europe I hope to also give here my humble contribution to help correct the situation.

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Bringing Slavery into the Light in Postcolonial Portugal

The rhetoric and poetics of a slavery exhibition

Paula Mota Santos

colonial endeavors, geopolitical systems that were deeply rooted in the massive transatlantic slave trade that produced what Paul Gilroy (1993) named “the black Atlantic.” But if Portugal was the first European nation to establish colonial rule, it was

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Leading through a Decade of Crisis—Not Bad, After All

Germany’s Leadership Demand and Followership Inclusion, 2008-2018

Valerio Alfonso Bruno and Giacomo Finzi

.s.-eu trade war (2018). Political: including the landmark “Brexit” vote in the United Kingdom (2016); the rise of radical right nationalist and xenophobic populist movements in Eastern Europe and in other eu countries alongside the success of radical left