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The Enabling Boundary

Tom Nairn: We’re All Petit Bourgeois Now, 18 October 2007

What Should the Left Propose? 
by Roberto Mangabeira Unger.
Verso, 179 pp., £15, January 2006, 1 84467 048 1
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The Self Awakened: Pragmatism Unbound 
by Roberto Mangabeira Unger.
Harvard, 277 pp., £19.95, February 2007, 978 0 674 02354 3
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Une brève histoire de l’avenir 
by Jacques Attali.
Fayard, 432 pp., €20, October 2006, 2 213 63130 1
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... brass band of neoliberality has, as neoconservatism, become hilariously discordant. Encouraged by Francis Fukuyama, trombonists and drummers are deserting its ranks every day. Thus the ‘End of History’ has made way for the ‘New Wilsonianism’ prospected by Fukuyama last year in After the Neocons: America at the ...


Geoffrey Hawthorn, 3 December 1992

English Questions 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 370 pp., £39.95, May 1992, 0 86091 375 9
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A Zone of Engagement 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 384 pp., £39.95, May 1992, 0 86091 377 5
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... Andreas Hillgruber, Max Weber, Ernest Gellner, Carlo Ginzburg, Isaiah Berlin, Fernand Braudel and Francis Fukuyama. More recently (LRB, 24 September and 22 October), he has extended himself to Michael Oakeshott and others of Oakeshott’s generation on ‘the intransigent right’, and to those in Ukania who have been resurrecting these theorists to ...

Will the Empire ever end?

John Lloyd, 27 January 1994

Pandaemonium: Ethnicity in International Politics 
by Daniel Patrick Moynihan.
Oxford, 221 pp., £17.95, March 1993, 0 19 827787 3
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Nations and Politics in the Soviet Successor States 
edited by Ian Bremner and Ray Taras.
Cambridge, 577 pp., £55, December 1993, 0 521 43281 2
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The Post-Soviet Nations 
edited by Alexander Motyl.
Columbia, 322 pp., £23, November 1993, 0 231 07894 3
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The Baltic Revolution: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and the Path to Independence 
by Anatol Lieven.
Yale, 454 pp., £22.50, June 1993, 0 300 05552 8
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... Russians close up and grotesquely exaggerated. The Zhirinovsky glass reveals and enlightens like a Francis Bacon portrait. Even before the elections shot him to prominence, Zhirinovsky was in the habit of issuing threats of an apocalyptic kind – nuclear strikes against Japan and Germany, Russian expansion to the Indian Ocean, the ‘annihilation’ of the ...


Perry Anderson: On E.P. Thompson, 21 October 1993

... in the spring of 1990, and published in Mary Raider’s Europe from Below, is in part a reply to Francis Fukuyama, about whom we had opposite opinions. It is one of his most attractive statements, at once autobiographical and visionary. People will return to it after more conventional verdicts are forgotten. It was first drafted, he explains, just ...


Paul Hirst, 23 November 1989

... a storm of debate in the US and be syndicated by papers throughout the world. The burden of Francis Fukuyama’s argument is that we are witnessing the end of history. That end will not be as it has so often been imagined – either apocalypse or utopia. History, in the sense of fundamental ideological and political change, will cease with the ...

The Egg-Head’s Egger-On

Christopher Hitchens: Saul Bellow keeps his word (sort of), 27 April 2000

by Saul Bellow.
Viking, 254 pp., £16.99, April 2000, 0 670 89131 2
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... explication of the occult element in classic and classical texts. His American disciples, of whom Francis Fukuyama is probably the most celebrated, achieved a brief nearness to real power during the Reagan and Bush Administrations, one of them (William Kristol, son of Irving) being the Aristotelian mentor of Dan Quayle. The giveaway in Straussian ...

‘I’m a petitioner – open fire!’

Chaohua Wang: Beijing locks up its lawyers, 5 November 2015

... to reform.’ A week before the legal reforms took effect, Wang Qishan received a visit from Francis Fukuyama, and lectured him on the need to root out corruption in the party, explaining it as a necessary act of self-purification. Fukuyama asked if the constitution should enshrine the independence of the ...
Still the New World: American Literature in a Culture of Creative Destruction 
by Philip Fisher.
Harvard, 290 pp., £18.50, May 1999, 0 674 83859 9
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... a strategy of big business, but he thinks it necessarily has emancipatory effects. Among pundits, Francis Fukuyama has arrived at a similar conclusion, and among fictional characters, the heroine of Richard Condon’s novel The Final Addiction. Like them, Fisher insists that the ingenuity of global capitalism now flows into all the interstices of out ...

Laptop Jihadi

Adam Shatz: Theoretician of al-Qaida, 20 March 2008

Architect of Global Jihad: The Life of al-Qaida Strategist Abu Musab al-Suri 
by Brynjar Lia.
Hurst, 510 pp., £27.50, November 2007, 978 1 85065 856 6
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... read at West Point, profiled by Lawrence Wright in the New Yorker, heralded by Newsweek as the ‘Francis Fukuyama of al-Qaida’ and by CNN as ‘the most dangerous terrorist you’ve never heard of’. The ‘architect of global jihad’ seems to have been discovered by the umma and the Great Satan at roughly the same time. Lia, a Norwegian scholar of ...

The Open Society and its Friends

Christopher Huhne, 25 October 1990

Reflections on the Revolution in Europe 
by Ralf Dahrendorf.
Chatto CounterBlast Special, 154 pp., £5.99, August 1990, 0 7011 3725 8
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... triumph of the Western idea, including Western capitalism. This is, indeed, the central theme of Francis Fukuyama’s notorious article ‘The End of History?’. For Fukuyama, no fundamentally conflicting ideas of the state or of order remain. Instead, we will live in an era of the anti-hero. ‘The end of history ...

Flailing States

Pankaj Mishra: Anglo-America Loses its Grip, 16 July 2020

... Friedman claimed that postwar Japan and South Korea were exemplars of open, competitive markets; Francis Fukuyama credited the prewar successes of Germany and Japan to ‘economic liberalism’. It’s also true that the social question did not until recently seem as critical in Anglo-America as in late-developing nations. Britain, the first major ...

Deconstructing Europe

J.G.A. Pocock, 19 December 1991

... the ‘death of history’, prematurely announced a little while ago, might theoretically happen. Francis Fukuyama was (perhaps) imagining that the growth of the state and the processes of revolution might cease to be effective makers of history, given the universal triumph of a global market which took no account of frontiers; that the politics ...

Après Brexit

Ferdinand Mount, 20 February 2020

... and precise, must have seemed utterly counterintuitive, appearing as it did only five years after Francis Fukuyama’s ‘The End of History’. Fukuyama argued with a seductive confidence that liberal democracy was here to stay, that in this sense the great struggles of human history had come to an end. Oh no, they ...

Day 5, Day 9, Day 16

LRB Contributors, 24 March 2022

... on Ukraine his bitter post-Soviet fantasy of revanchism. ‘The spirit of 1989 remains alive,’ Francis Fukuyama declared in the Financial Times, but we must ‘constantly struggle’ for the ‘existing liberal order’. As it happens, emulation of the American way of being in the world is largely complete with Putin’s shock and awe assault, which ...

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