Laurence Bagot | Manuela Bairos | Gerard Baker | Fred Barnes | David Barry | Attila Bartis | Ute Meta Bauer | Seyla Benhabib | Alan Berger | Peter Berger | Kurt Biedenkopf | Anna Bikont | Wolf Biermann | Marianne Birthler | Max Boot | Maarten Brands | Ari van den Brand | Hans van den Broek | Rachel Bronson | John Bruton | Michal Buchowski | Martin Butora
Gerard Baker writes a column in the Financial Times on US politics and policy, which appears every Thursday. He came to Washington in 1996 after almost three years as an FT Tokyo correspondent, covering Japan’s unfolding financial crisis and broader economic issues. Between 1998 and 2002 he was Washington bureau chief. In 1999 he was selected as a finalist for the Gerald Loeb Award for business journalism in the field of commentary for his writing on US economics. (2004)
Fred Barnes is executive editor of The Weekly Standard. From 1985 to 1995, he served as senior editor and White House correspondent for New Republic. He covered the Supreme Court and the White House for the Washington Star before moving on to the Baltimore Sun in 1979. He served as the national political correspondent for the Sun and wrote the “Presswatch” media column for the American Spectator.
He is host, along with Mort Kondracke, of the Beltway Boys on the Fox News Channel. Mr. Barnes appears regularly on Fox’s Special Report with Brit Hume. From 1988 to 1998 he was a regular panelist on the McLaughlin Group. He has also appeared on Nightline, Meet the Press, Face the Nation, and the NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. (2005)
Attila Bartis is the author of Tranquility, winner of the inaugural Best Translated Book Award. Tranquility is a claustrophobic, dark first-person novel that deals with a contemporary Hungary still coming to grips with the fall of Communism. Tranquility was translated from the Hungarian by Imre Goldstein and published in English in 2008 by Archipelago Books. It received the Tibor Déry Prize and the Sandor Márai Prize in 2001.
Bartis was born in Transylvania in 1968. His family moved to Budapest in 1984 when his father, Ferenc Bartis, was exiled from Romania. His first novel, 1995’s A seta (“The Walk”) has been called an “ambitious debut” with “many eclectic sideways glances at literary history.” Bartis worked on it for six years, and the book deals with Romania under Ceausescu.
Bartis is also the author of A kékloý pára (“Bluish Mist”) a collection of short stories inspired by his childhood memories of Romania. The stories have been described as “expressed in accurate, measured and elegant sentences, balanced on the edge of reality and grotesque mystery.”
Bartis’s most recent work is a collection of 12 literary essays entitled A Lázár apokrife (“Lazarus’s Apocrypha”). Published in 2005, the essays have been described as “meditations on everyday life and writing; travelogues, which are mostly haunting personal memories and experiences which are shaped into twelve ‘true stories about God.’”
Ute Meta Bauer
Ute Meta Bauer is Associate Professor and Director of the Visual Arts Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge). She was born in Germany, and educated as an artist at the Hochschule für Bildende Künste Hamburg (Academy of Fine Arts Hamburg), where she received her Diploma with Honors in Visual Communication/Stage Design in 1987. She has been working ever since as a curator for exhibitions and presentations on contemporary art, film, video with a focus on transdisciplinary formats. She has served as director for various art institutions and as well as advisor for a number of high-profile cultural boards, such as the chairwoman of the Art Advisory Board of the Goethe Institutes, as a member of the International Scientific Board of the Bauhaus Foundation in Dessau, and most recently she was nominated as a member of the International Committee of the 3rd Yokohama Triennale 2008. (2009)
Seyla Benhabib is Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy at Yale University. She is the author of several books, including The Claims of Culture: Equality and Diversity in the Global Era (2002). Articles drawing upon her current research on multiculturalism in liberal democracies and transformations of citizenship have appeared in Die Zeit, Daedalus, Dissent and Political Theory. In 1996 she was a Visiting Senior Fellow at the Institute for Human Sciences in Vienna, Austria. During the summer of 2000, she held the Baruch de Spinoza Distinguished Professorship at the University of Amsterdam. Her Spinoza lectures are published as Transformation of Citizenship Dilemmas of the Nation State in the Era of Globalization (2000). She also delivered the John Seeley lectures in Cambridge, UK, on Aliens, Citizens, and Residents: Political Theory and Membership in a Changing World, published in 2004 by Cambridge University Press. (2005)
Senior Editorial Writer, The Boston Globe (2007)
Peter Berger has written numerous books on sociological theory, the sociology of religion, and Third World development, which have been translated into dozens of foreign languages. Among his more recent books are Redeeming Laughter: The Comic Dimension of Human Experience (1997); Modernity, Pluralism and the Crisis of Meaning (with Thomas Luckmann, 1995); The Capitalist Revolution: Fifty Propositions About Prosperity, Equality and Liberty (1988); and The War Over the Family: Capturing the Middle Ground (with Brigitte Berger, 1983). In 1992, Professor Berger was awarded the Mannes Sperber Prize, presented by the Austrian government for significant contributions to culture. Since 1985, Professor Berger has been Director of the , a research center committed to systematic study of relationships between economic development and sociocultural change in different parts of the world.
Kurt Biedenkopf has played a major role in shaping the German political landscape for over thirty years. He was named Secretary General of the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) in 1973 and served in the Bundestag between 1976 and 1980 and again between 1987 and 1990. As Minister President of Saxony from 1990 – 2002, he had a crucial role in modernizing the eastern German state. He is a leading expert in transatlantic issues, as well as on the effects of globalization. Dr. Biedenkopf is a member of the board of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation and continues to represent the CDU as a member of the state parliament in Dresden. (2003)
Wolf Biermann , born in 1936 is a poet, songwriter and essayist and former East German dissident. He was the son of a German Communist killed by the Nazi government during World War II.
In 1953, at the age of 17, Biermann decided to emigrate from West to East Germany where he believed he could live out his Communist ideals but then became one of the regimes fiercest critics.
In 1960, Biermann met composer Hanns Eisler, who adopted the young artist as a protégé. Eisler used his influence with the East German cultural elite to promote the songwriter’s career, but his death in 1962 deprived Biermann of mentor and protector. In 1961 Biermann formed the Arbeiter- und Studententheater (Workers and Students Theater). It produced a show called Berliner Brautgang documenting the building of the Berlin wall and was shut down by the authorities in 1963. Although a committed socialist, Biermann’s nonconformist politics soon alarmed the East German establishment. In 1963 he was refused membership in the ruling Socialist Unity Party of Germany (SED). Two years later, publicly denounced as a “class traitor,” he was forbidden to publish his music or perform in public.
In 1976 the SED Politbüro decided to strip Biermann of his citizenship while he was on tour in West Germany. Biermann’s exile provoked protests by leading East German intellectuals, including novelist Christa Wolf. In 1977 he was joined in West Germany by his partner, East German actress Eva-Maria Hagen, and her daughter Catherina (Nina Hagen).
In the west he continued his musical career, criticizing East Germany’s Stalinist policies. He was able to perform publicly again in East Germany in late 1989 during the Wende, or peaceful revolution, that eventually toppled the Communist government. (2009)
Marianne Birthler heads the state-funded body which manages the archives of the former East German secret police (Stasi). She was born in Berlin in 1948. She grew up in East Germany and was active in child and youth work for the Church, first in her parish in Prenzlauer Berg, then as a youth advisor in the City of Berlin.
After the Fall of the Wall, Marianne Birthler headed the Green Party/ Die Grünen as spokesperson in the German Parliament. In 2000, she was elected Federal Commissioner; her office preserves the records of the Ministry for State Security of the GDR in its archives and makes them available to the public. She is responsible for securing the controlled opening of the Stasi files and of the GDR’s secret police: files, index cards, films, audio documents, microfiche. It is one of the largest archives in Germany with a total of 180 km of records. (2009)
Max Boot is Olin Senior Fellow in National Security Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York, and a contributing editor to The Weekly Standard. Before joining the Council in October 2002, Boot spent eight years as a writer and editor at The Wall Street Journal, the last five years as editorial features editor. From 1992 to 1994 he was an editor and writer at The Christian Science Monitor. (2003)
Ari van der Brand
Ari van den Brand has worked his whole life at the intersection of agriculture and society. The son of a Dutch family farmer, he earned a master’s degree in agriculture from Wageningen University in the Netherlands. He was very involved in the development of farmers’ unions and cooperatives, and was one of the founding fathers of Dutch sustainable agriculture. He was elected to the Dutch parliament as a Green Party representative and served several years. Currently, Arie is a part-time farmer, consultant and President of Biologica (www.biologica.nl), the Dutch national umbrella organization for organic agriculture. He is also active with the Groupe de Bruges (www.groupedebruges.eu), an independent think tank on European agriculture and rural development, and AlimenTerra (www.alimenterra.org), a new network of European organizations committed to developing practical and cooperative actions leading to the creation of a truly sustainable European food system. (2009)
Hans van den Broek
Hans van den Broek served as Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Netherlands from 1982 to 1993 and as Member of the European Commission responsible for common foreign and security policy and enlargement negotiations from 1993 to 1994. (2003)
John Bruton is European Union Ambassador to the United States and a former Prime Minister of Ireland (1994-1997). He was deeply involved in the Northern Irish Peace Process leading to the 1998 Good Friday Agreement and presided over a successful Irish European Union Presidency in 1996 helping to finalize the Stability and Growth Pact, which governs the management of the single European currency. Before being appointed Ambassador to the United States, John Bruton served as a leading member of the caucus that drafted the European Constitution and was Vice President of the European People’s Party from 1999 to 2005. He was first elected to the Irish Parliament (“Dáil Éireann”) in 1969 at the age of 22 as a member of the Fine Gael Party, becoming its leader in 1990 and leading it into government in 1994. He previously served as Ireland’s Minister for Finance (1981-1982 & 1986-1987); Minister for Industry & Energy (1982-1983); Minister for Trade, Commerce & Tourism (1983-1986). He resigned his seat effective November 1, 2004 to take up appointment as European Union Head of Delegation in the United States. (2005)
Michal Buchowski is a Distinguished Visiting Professor for International Affairs at Columbia University where he is the first holder of the Polish Program Studies Chair. He also lectured at the University of Kansas, Humboldt University, and Rutgers University. He was a Fellow of British Council, Fulbright Foundation, Kosciuszko Foundation and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, and worked as a research fellow in the Centre Marc Bloch in Berlin and CNRS in Paris. His scientific interest is in modes of thought and systems of beliefs, as well as in Central European social and cultural transformations. He has published several books, among them most recently in English Reluctant Capitalists(1997), The Rational Other(1997), Rethinking Transformation(2001), and he is the co-editor of Poland Beyond Communism(2001) and The Making of the Other in Central Europe(2001). Currently he is working on issues related to the encounter of the free market and democracy with the realities of post-socialist Poland at the grass-roots level in Poland and Central Europe. (2004)
Martin Bútora is former Ambassador of the Slovak Republic to the United States (1999-2003). A lifelong advocate for human rights, he was one of the founders of the political movement Public Against Violence. In the period of 1990-1992 he held a position of a Human Rights Advisor to the President of Czech and Slovak Federal Republic Václav Havel. He has taught at Charles University in Prague (where he holds a position of Professor Habilis since 1992) and at the Department of Political Science, Trnava University (1993 – 1998). In 1997 he co-founded the Institute for Public Affairs and served as its first president. A former newspaper and magazine editor, Mr. Bútora is the author of three prose works, several TV programs and film scripts, and translations of theatrical plays. (2006)