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Steinberger, Petra

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2 articles of this author have been cited in the European Press Review so far.

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 25/02/2008

Saskia Sassen about the disappearing agora

Sociologist Saskia Sassen shares her thought about the future of cities with Petra Steinberger. "The city was always a center for criticism and discussion. But the idea of the agora [open place of assembly] is in serious trouble today, because people increasingly live in their own little worlds. The most varied strata and classes convened at the Agora. Today, you not only have clearly marked off 'gated communities,' but also increasing numbers of invisible closets. Only a certain group of people crosses into the luxury zone. There's hardly ever any interaction. ... Revolutions are experienced in the upper and lower strata. On the top, they are oriented to global networks. On the bottom, there is impoverishment, but also trans-nationalism and internationalism, which can be seen in the debate about immigration. There is a lot happening in cities these days, but gone is the idea of the agora as a place where these developments intersected. Nowadays instead of public space you often have only public access."

Süddeutsche Zeitung - Germany | 19/02/2008

Petra Steinberger on flags and national identity

Petra Steinberger takes the new Kosovar flag as an occasion to reflect on the meaning of flags. "A nation uses its flag to create an image about its goals, its people, its culture and ideology – and that is how it has been since the origin of the nation state. Sometimes it is more by chance that a nation is described as such, particularly outside Europe. And even on the continent where the concept of 'nation' was born, there was a need for unifying symbols. That is how the first museums, anthems, flags and dictionaries came about, where real or imagined prehistory was mixed into the new image of a people. ... But if you think about it, these symbols and their statements were really always quite simple. Freedom. Equality. God. In some form or other. Or: Our country, our fantabulous country. Or: We are the best. … The flags of the early 21st century resemble one another as well as their predecessors in trying, more or less successfully, to express societal ideals and obsessions. Thus their reservoir of symbols is limited. Sun, moon and stars. Animals. Swords. Crosses. Land. And colours."

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