What Is a Crisis?

by Phumlani Pikoli (Johannesburg)

Since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has been in a state of panic, fearing the unprecedented times we face. The idea that the pandemic has induced some pre-pubescent existential crisis is laughable, however.

As the world has been forced to sit and reckon with its own systemic failures and global structures of existence the real crisis is, ‘what does it mean to be a human supporting the failed system of global capitalism’? After all, is democracy not a rich person’s game?

Crisis, trust and pandemic

by Andrew Simon Gilbert

It has become increasingly common over recent years for academics to declare a “crisis of trust” in Western institutions. One of the main points of this crisis has been the healthcare system, with eroding trust in doctors and the institutions of biomedicine apparently evident in surveys, as well as the proliferation of “anti-vaxxer” ideology and people’s willingness to second-guess health professionals

Update: Living and Thinking Crisis online series

It’s been several weeks since we launched our special online series of essays and photo-essays; engaging with the pandemic in the real-time of its making. Our aim has been to document the thoughts (and lived-experience) of authors and artists from diverse locations, cultural/political contexts and from different intellectual perspectives. Below you will find a list of the articles published to date.

Issue 133, April 2016

Politics of Critique and the Critique of Politics Articles: Habermas on the European crisis: Attempting the impossible Volker M. Heins Abstract: Based on a critical reading of Jürgen Habermas’s journalistic writings on the European Union, the article argues that Europe’s current crisis is also a crisis of its narratives, and hence a crisis of meaning. The…

Issue 127, April 2015

Cultural systems, crisis, and entrepreneurship Articles: What is world-systems analysis? Distinguishing theory from perspective Salvatore Babones Abstract: World-systems analysis is a well-established but poorly-defined critical research tradition in the social sciences. Its undisputed progenitor, Immanuel Wallerstein, steadfastly maintains that world-systems analysis is not a theory, yet it is widely referred to as such by commentators,…