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Happy Campers

Ellen MeiksinsWood: G.A. Cohen, 28 January 2010

Why Not Socialism? 
by G.A. Cohen.
Princeton, 83 pp., £10.95, September 2009, 978 0 691 14361 3
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... Socialism’, Albert Einstein said, is humanity’s attempt ‘to overcome and advance beyond the predatory phase of human development’, and for G.A. Cohen ‘every market … is a system of predation.’ That is the essence of his short but trenchant and elegantly written last book – Cohen died last August. His object is to make what he calls a ‘preliminary’ case – a tentative case that may, in the end, be defeated by inescapable realities – for a socialist alternative ...

Why It Matters

Ellen MeiksinsWood: Quentin Skinner’s Detachment, 25 September 2008

Hobbes and Republican Liberty 
by Quentin Skinner.
Cambridge, 245 pp., £12.99, February 2008, 978 0 521 71416 7
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... Is it possible, Quentin Skinner asks, that an entire tradition of political thought, including the most influential conception of freedom in anglophone political theory in the past half-century, ‘has been insensitive to the range of conditions that can limit our freedom of action’? A reasonable question, one might think, not only about Isaiah Berlin’s influential defence of ‘negative’ against ‘positive’ liberty but about the whole tradition of liberalism ...

The Interregnum

Martin Jacques: The Nation-state isn’t dead, 5 February 2004

Empire of Capital 
by Ellen MeiksinsWood.
Verso, 182 pp., £15, July 2003, 1 85984 502 9
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Empire Lite: Nation-Building in Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan 
by Michael Ignatieff.
Vintage, 134 pp., £6.99, May 2003, 0 09 945543 9
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Global Civil Society? 
by John Keane.
Cambridge, 220 pp., £40, April 2003, 0 521 81543 6
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Global Civil Society: An Answer to War 
by Mary Kaldor.
Polity, 189 pp., £45, April 2003, 0 7456 2757 9
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... utopianism, the biggest speculative bubble in history, neutral, interest-free globalisation. Ellen MeiksinsWood is guilty in her book of glossing over this interregnum and, even more extraordinarily, of paying scant regard to the Cold War: American behaviour and motivation can, for her, be charted as a straight ...

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