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Articles in English

2.11.2016
JBH interview Scotland

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14.9.2016
WHAT´S WRONG WITH EUROPE – AND WHY DON´T YOU FIX IT?

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9.9.2016
WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE NORDIC MODEL?

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31.3.2016
HOW TO SAVE CAPITALISM FROM THE CAPITALISTS - AND DEMOCRACY FROM THE PLUTOCRATS?

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15.2.2016
The Transition from totalitarianism to democracy: WHAT CAN WE LEARN FROM THE BALTIC ROAD TO FREEDOM AND POST-INDEPENDENCE EXPERIENCE?

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All articles in English

4.5.2011

INTERNATIONAL SEMINAR IN GERMANY ON “FREEDOM”.

May 13 – 22 this year 400 students of more than 40 nationalities came together in Thüringen in Germany to share experiences and exchange opinions on freedom. The hosts were a network of universities in Ilmenau, Weimar, Jena and Erfurt – the old academies of Goethe and Schiller. This was the 10th seminar of this kind being conducted by those universities during the past 20 years – or since the fall of communism. For a period of ten days the inhabitants of those cities open their homes to their foreign guests. By doing so they form contacts between the German hosts and the foreign students which often turn out to be lasting relationships – long after the visitors have returned home.

This seminar is held every other year. Each time a major theme is elected for “in–debt” research and investigation. This time the theme was freedom. Ten lecturers introduced the subject. They dealt with the philosophical definition of the topic; the history of freedom, political freedom, developement of human rights, freedom and basic human needs, individual privacy vs. the security of the state, freedom of markets vs. social responsibility, the limits of freedom, e.g. due to cultural traditions or lifestyles, freedom and religion, and finally freedom within scientific research and in the arts.

For each subject the students formed working groups for critical investigation and the publication of a summary. During those ten days they run a radio station, TV- programs, put together a documentary film and in the end publish the conclusions of the seminar.

This is the third time that I have been a guest lecturer during the international students´ week in Thüringen. In 2005 my topic was: “Rhetoric vs. Realpolitik, Failures of Western Foreign Policy from Vietnam to Irak.” In 2009 my topic was: ““The International Financial Crisis – The Case of Iceland: Are there Lessons to be Learned?” The Schiller Research Institute for International Finance in Weimar published this lecture in Jan. 2010 in a a series of publications on the causes and consequences of the international financial crisis. “The text of this lecture is to be found on my home-page.

This time my topic was: “In Search of Freedom: It´s All about Equality, Stupid!” In this lecture I present my views on the market system, the role of the state and the rapidly growing inequality within developed societies and between them and the rest of the world.

Further information on the Thüringen seminar can be found at the following webside: www.iswi.org – the info-office e-mail address is: info@iswi.org.

Jón Baldvin Hannibalsson

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