Tom Stevenson

Tom Stevenson is a contributing editor at the LRB. Someone Else’s Empire, a collection of essays, many of which first appeared in the paper, is out in November.

On Nagorno-Karabakh

Tom Stevenson, 19 October 2023

If one​ were designing an international system from scratch, it wouldn’t feature enclaves or exclaves. States are violent institutions at the best of times, given to feuds and to border disputes launched over the smallest provocation. Nesting part of the territory of one state inside another seems like an excellent way to increase the chances of things going wrong. But the existing...

From The Blog
18 August 2023

Last month, Parliament’s Intelligence and Security Committee finally published a report on China on which it had been working, on and off, for almost four years. The main finding, reported approvingly across British media, was that China represents a threat to the UK because of Beijing’s ‘global ambition to become a technological and economic superpower’.

Disappearing Ink: Life of a Diplomat

Tom Stevenson, 10 August 2023

In his​ 1917 guide to diplomatic practice, Ernest Satow described a court ball held in London in 1768 at which a dispute over seating placements in the diplomatic box resulted in a duel between the Russian and French ambassadors. (The Russian ambassador came off worse, but survived.) The life of a diplomat is no longer assumed to feature the smell of flintlock at dawn, but it is still...

From The Blog
28 July 2023

Countries that purport to hold democratic values do not like admitting that they run death squads and carry out night-raid executions. So instead they talk of special forces on ‘deliberate detention operations’. But there is a limit to the concealing power of language when you are flying helicopters into mud-brick villages and killing people in front of their families.

From The Blog
8 June 2023

‘If we can perturb an asteroid out of impact trajectory,’ Sagan and Ostro wrote, ‘it follows that we can also transform one on a benign trajectory into an Earth-impactor.’

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.

Newsletter Preferences