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What’s it all for?

Mary Kaldor, 15 August 1991

Statement on the Defence Estimates: Britain’s Defence for the Nineties 
HMSO, 157 pp., £8, July 1991, 0 10 115592 1Show More
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... This is the much heralded first post-Cold War White Paper, which has been eagerly awaited for two years. Last year, after the revolutions in Eastern Europe, it was hoped that the end of the Cold War would enable Western countries to reduce their defence efforts drastically. Tories like George Walden, in a celebrated speech to Chatham House (published in the London Review of Books), suggested that Britain’s international position had been ‘artificially inflated’ by the Cold War and that Britain would ‘be forced to spend less time basking on summit slopes ...

Conventional Defence

Robert Neild, 18 November 1982

A Policy for Peace 
by Field-Marshal Lord Carver.
Faber, 123 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 571 11969 7
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The Third World War: The Untold Story 
by General Sir John Hackett.
Sidgwick, 256 pp., £9.95, June 1982, 9780283984495
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Six Armies in Normandy 
by John Keegan.
Cape, 395 pp., £8.95, April 1982, 0 224 01541 9
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... defences. One day General Rogers, the Supreme Commander of Nato, is saying it, the next day it is Mary Kaldor, an advocate of unilateral nuclear disarmament, par excellence a ‘peacenik’. Strange bedfellows. Why this convergence on conventional defence? And where is it likely to lead us? The first question is not too hard to answer. Most people who ...

The Interregnum

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

Empire of Capital 
by Ellen Meiksins Wood.
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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... West, and ‘multilateralism’ was a way of describing the symbiotic nature of the alliance. As Mary Kaldor points out, the Cold War gave rise to the politics of the blocs, and the partial eclipse of the nation-state. After the end of the Cold War, there followed what now seems nothing more than an interregnum before the beginning of another defining ...

The Next Fix

Lara Pawson: African Oil, 7 February 2008

Poisoned Wells: The Dirty Politics of African Oil 
by Nicholas Shaxson.
Palgrave, 280 pp., £15.99, May 2007, 978 1 4039 7194 4
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Oil Wars 
edited by Mary Kaldor, Terry Lynn Karl and Yahia Said.
Pluto, 294 pp., £17.99, March 2008, 978 0 7453 2478 4
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Untapped: The Scramble for Africa’s Oil 
by John Ghazvinian.
Harcourt Brace, 320 pp., $25, April 2007, 978 0 15 101138 4
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... accountants based in the City of London, Paris, Geneva and Washington. Oil Wars, edited by Mary Kaldor and others, came about after Kaldor was invited to the BP Christmas party in 1998. She didn’t know why she’d been asked until she started talking to the managing director. He explained that because BP was ...

‘We do deserts, we don’t do mountains’

Alex de Waal: The United Nations, 11 November 1999

Soldiers of Diplomacy: The United Nations, Peacekeeping and the New World Order 
by Jocelyn Coulon.
Toronto, 231 pp., £26, October 1998, 0 8020 0899 2
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Hard Choices: Moral Dilemmas in Humanitarian Intervention 
edited by Jonathan Moore.
Rowman and Littlefield, 320 pp., £18.95, December 1998, 0 8476 9031 8
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New and Old Wars: Organised Violence in the Global Era 
by Mary Kaldor.
Polity, 200 pp., £13.99, December 1998, 0 7456 2067 1
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... justification of intervention may be hard to meet. An interesting third position is developed by Mary Kaldor in New and Old Wars. She calls it ‘cosmopolitan law enforcement’, something between soldiering and policing: Unlike war-fighting, in which the aim is to maximise casualties on the other side and to minimise casualties on your own ...

Counting weapons

Rudolf Peierls, 5 March 1981

Britain and Nuclear Weapons 
by Lawrence Freedman.
Papermac, 160 pp., £3.25, September 1980, 0 333 30511 6
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Countdown: Britain’s Strategic Forces 
by Stewart Menual.
Hale, 188 pp., £8.25, October 1980, 0 7091 8592 8
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The War Machine 
by James Avery Joyce.
Quartet, 210 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 7043 2254 4
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Protest and Survive 
edited by E.P. Thompson and Dan Smith.
Penguin, 262 pp., £1.50, October 1980, 0 14 052341 3
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... growing expenditure on arms research, development and production, and its motivation. Elsewhere, Mary Kaldor discusses the conversion problems which would arise as a result of substantial disarmament. Ken Coates, restating the arguments against tactical nuclear war, claims that at one time US plans provided for the possibility of nuclear attacks against ...

The End of the Future

Jeff McMahan, 1 July 1982

The Fate of the Earth 
by Jonathan Schell.
Cape/Picador, 256 pp., £7.95, June 1982, 0 224 02064 1
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The Two-Edged Sword: Armed Force in the Modern World 
by Laurence Martin.
Weidenfeld, 108 pp., £5.95, March 1982, 0 297 78139 1
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Zero Option 
by E.P. Thompson.
Merlin, 198 pp., £10, June 1982, 0 85036 288 1
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Disarming Europe 
edited by Mary Kaldor and Dan Smith.
Merlin, 196 pp., £10, May 1982, 0 85036 277 6
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... The Reagan Administration’s bellicose posturing and its apparent relish for the Cold War have finally succeeded in rousing Americans to an awareness of the danger of nuclear war. But, while Reagan and his associates certainly deserve most of the credit for dispelling people’s complacency, the American campaign against the nuclear arms race has also received considerable inspiration from a series of articles by Jonathan Schell which appeared this past February in the New Yorker ...

Diary

Thomas Jones: The Bomb in My Head, 5 April 2018

... line that the protests, though ‘impressive’, ‘did not change policy’.3 But as Mary Kaldor told Zoe Williams last year, one of Reagan’s advisers later revealed to her that ‘they copied their so-called “zero option” (winding down nuclear capacity on both sides) straight off the women’s banners.’ So why the apathy now? Are ...

So much was expected

R.W. Johnson, 3 December 1992

Harold Wilson 
by Ben Pimlott.
HarperCollins, 811 pp., £20, October 1992, 0 00 215189 8
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Harold Wilson 
by Austen Morgan.
Pluto, 625 pp., £25, May 1992, 0 7453 0635 7
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... seen playing tennis only three weeks before. Gladys (who later came to prefer her second name, Mary) was somewhat bemused, particularly since Harold, already, in Pimlott’s words, ‘cheerful, boastful, absurdly sure of himself and confidently planning the future’, went on to tell Gladys that he intended to become an MP and, ultimately, prime ...

An Example of the Good Life

Steven Shapin: Michael Polanyi, 15 December 2011

Michael Polanyi and His Generation: Origins of the Social Construction of Science 
by Mary Jo Nye.
Chicago, 405 pp., £29, October 2011, 978 0 226 61063 4
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... isn’t a lot of current interest in who Polanyi was and how he came to hold the views he did. Mary Jo Nye’s excellent and richly researched book aims to tell us and, along the way, uncovers a genealogy for the notion of tacit knowledge that situates it in the force fields shaping much 20th-century thinking about politics and economics as well as ...

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