19 June 2010

Journal "Internationale Politik" on "The False Glamour of Dictatorship" (in German)

The May/June 2010 issue of the German foreign policy journal "Internationale Politik" ("International Politics"), published by the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP), is dedicated to the theme "Der falsche Glanz der Diktatur" ("The False Glamour of Dictatorship"; my translation).

Those able to read German can find a table of contents and some articles accessible free of charge here:


This journal special issue has been reviewed in English, on 15 June 2010, in an unsigned article titled "A Bit of Dictatorship" on the "Information on German Foreign Policy" website, a news and opinion site "compiled by a group of independent journalists and social scientists".

The full text of the review article can be read free of charge here:


Excerpts: "Foreign policy specialists from Berlin's establishment are discussing possible advantages of dictatorial forms of government. According to the current issue of a leading German foreign policy review, some observers see the West as being currently in a 'state of democratic fatigue with an erosion of democratic institutions.' Simultaneously there are 'diverse discussions of dictatorial powers and measures' even if usually in terms of a temporary dictatorship. They see as the primary question, whether 'beyond the system of rule of law, legitimacy reserves can be tapped' to 'rejuvenate the system (– democracy –) that has grown old' [...], a terminology used in the 1930s by the key Nazi jurist, Carl Schmitt[,] to justify the annulment of the [Weimar] democratic constitution. [...] [S]ome business representatives are in no way adverse to authoritarian measures and are questioning whether 'the constitutional state can still hold its own' in the competition of systems against China and Russia. [...] [A] 'spreading discomfort with democracy' provides 'a certain seductiveness for a flirt with dictatorships.'"

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