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‘You May!’

Slavoj Žižek: The post-modern superego, 18 March 1999

... customs in today’s ‘risk society’. According to the risk society theory of Anthony Giddens, Ulrich Beck and others, we no longer live our lives in compliance with Nature or Tradition; there is no symbolic order or code of accepted fictions (what Lacan calls the ‘Big Other’) to guide us in our social behaviour. All our impulses, from sexual ...

Global Style

Hal Foster: Renzo Piano, 20 September 2007

Piano: Renzo Piano Building Workshop 1966-2005 
by Philip Jodidio.
Taschen, 528 pp., £79.99, February 2005, 3 8228 5768 8
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Renzo Piano Building Workshop Vol. IV 
by Peter Buchanan.
Phaidon, 240 pp., £22.95, January 2005, 0 7148 4287 7
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... modernity’ and a ‘second modernity’ proposed by the sociologists Zygmunt Bauman and Ulrich Beck respectively. For Bauman modernity is now ‘liquid’ because present flows of capital seem able to carry almost anything along with them (maybe not yet ‘all that is solid melts into air,’ but closer all the time). Piano all but expresses ...

War Therapy

Chase Madar: Victors’ Justice, 22 April 2010

Victors’ Justice: From Nuremberg to Baghdad 
by Danilo Zolo, translated by M.W. Weir.
Verso, 189 pp., £14.99, October 2009, 978 1 84467 317 9
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... number of tribunals set up by the UN and endorsed by liberal humanitarians from Habermas to Ulrich Beck. Zolo, characteristically, disagrees: ‘There is justice as tailored to the major powers and their political and military authorities, who enjoy total impunity for war crimes – and above all for wars of aggression … disguised as humanitarian ...

Diary

Jordan Sand: In Tokyo, 28 April 2011

... security. Nuclear power is the quintessential heavy infrastructure, a physical embodiment of what Ulrich Beck has called the risk society, a society in which the greatest hazards are of human manufacture, and their threat comes ‘clad in numbers and formulas’ rather than in more tangible form. The technologies of the risk society, maintained by the ...

Vanity and Venality

Susan Watkins: The European Impasse, 29 August 2013

Un New Deal pour l’Europe 
by Michel Aglietta and Thomas Brand.
Odile Jacob, 305 pp., £20, March 2013, 978 2 7381 2902 4
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Gekaufte Zeit: Die vertagte Krise des demokratischen Kapitalismus 
by Wolfgang Streeck.
Suhrkamp, 271 pp., £20, March 2013, 978 3 518 58592 4
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The Crisis of the European Union: A Response 
by Jürgen Habermas, translated by Ciaran Cronin.
Polity, 120 pp., £16.99, April 2012, 978 0 7456 6242 8
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For Europe! Manifesto for a Postnational Revolution in Europe 
by Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Guy Verhofstadt.
CreateSpace, 152 pp., £9.90, September 2012, 978 1 4792 6188 8
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German Europe 
by Ulrich Beck, translated by Rodney Livingstone.
Polity, 98 pp., £16.99, March 2013, 978 0 7456 6539 9
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The Future of Europe: Towards a Two-Speed EU? 
by Jean-Claude Piris.
Cambridge, 166 pp., £17.99, December 2011, 978 1 107 66256 8
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Au Revoir, Europe: What if Britain Left the EU? 
by David Charter.
Biteback, 334 pp., £14.99, December 2012, 978 1 84954 121 3
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... all, nation-states had existed for centuries before universal suffrage. The Munich sociologist Ulrich Beck’s German Europe at first strikes a refreshingly critical note. It opens with his incredulity on hearing a radio newsreader announce in late February 2012: ‘Today the German Bundestag will decide the fate of Greece.’ For ...

All Together Now

John Lloyd: The British Trade Union, 19 October 2000

British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. I: The Postwar Compromise, 1945-64 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 335 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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British Trade Unions and Industrial Politics. Vol. II: The High Tide of Trade Unionism, 1964-79 
edited by John McIlroy and Nina Fishman et al.
Ashgate, 389 pp., £35, January 2000, 0 7546 0018 1
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The TUC: From the General Strike to New Unionism 
by Robert Taylor.
Palgrave, 299 pp., £45, September 2000, 0 333 93066 5
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... comes from those who write about globalisation. In What Is Globalisation? the German sociologist Ulrich Beck writes about ‘how democracy will be possible without the securities of the work society’ and suggests that public or civic labour – that is, work currently performed ‘invisibly’ in the voluntary sector – could inform the basis of a ...

Attempts to Escape the Logic of Capitalism

Slavoj Žižek: Václav Havel, 28 October 1999

Václav Havel: A Political Tragedy in Six Acts 
by John Keane.
Bloomsbury, 532 pp., £25, September 1999, 0 7475 4458 1
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... a clear-cut case of religious fundamentalism. Havel’s statement is a good example of what Ulrich Beck, in an article in Die Süddeutsche Zeitung last April, called ‘militaristic humanism’ or even ‘militaristic pacifism’. The problem with this approach is not that it is inherently contradictory, an Orwellian ‘peace is war.’ Nor is the ...

Like a Dallas Cowboys Cheerleader

John Lloyd: Globalisation, 2 September 1999

The Lexus and the Olive Tree 
by Thomas Friedman.
HarperCollins, 394 pp., £19.99, May 1999, 0 00 257014 9
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Global Transformation 
by David Held and Anthony McGrew.
Polity, 515 pp., £59.50, March 1999, 0 7456 1498 1
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... politics’ after the collapse of the Soviet Union; we live in what the German sociologist Ulrich Beck calls a post-military state. We have also woven about us a ‘human rights regime’ which has, as Held & Co put it, entrenched in international law the notion that a legitimate political power must be, on the one hand, a form of political power ...

Dirty Little Secret

Fredric Jameson: The Programme Era, 22 November 2012

The Programme Era: Postwar Fiction and the Rise of Creative Writing 
by Mark McGurl.
Harvard, 466 pp., £14.95, November 2012, 978 0 674 06209 2
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... references (Wright Mills, Pine and Gilmore, Thomas Frank), and even a few socio-economic ones (Ulrich Beck, Anthony Giddens). The point is, however, not necessarily to endorse these (many are standard culture critiques), but rather to indicate the direction in which literary theory opens onto other disciplines. Class analysis is meanwhile ...

A General Logic of Crisis

Adam Tooze, 5 January 2017

How Will Capitalism End? 
by Wolfgang Streeck.
Verso, 262 pp., £16.99, November 2016, 978 1 78478 401 0
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... camp, alongside Lafontaine and his one-time state secretary in the Finance Ministry, Heiner Flassbeck, the most prominent voice has belonged to the sociologist Wolfgang Streeck. His role is a sign of the times. Until recently a long-term SPD member, Streeck had done teaching stints at major US universities before becoming the director of the prestigious Max ...

In the Opposite Direction

David Blackbourn: Enzensberger, 25 March 2010

The Silences of Hammerstein 
by Hans Magnus Enzensberger, translated by Martin Chalmers.
Seagull, 465 pp., £20, 1 906497 22 2
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... Berlin apartment. Its members included his ex-wife, Dagrun, his young daughter and his brother Ulrich. It’s hard to imagine a more impeccably radical pedigree. Fast forward 40 years, and what we have looks like a journey from left to right. The critic of the Vietnam War has witnessed the Khmer Rouge and become a critic of ‘the cant in Western ...

Bear, Bat, or Tiny King?

Deborah Friedell: The Rorschach Test, 2 November 2017

The Inkblots 
by Damion Searls.
Simon and Schuster, 406 pp., £20, February 2017, 978 1 4711 3041 0
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... in the middle and say “Good morning” to our schizophrenic patients every day.’ His father, Ulrich, was a painter who spent years writing a treatise on ‘the laws of form’, which he thought would apply to everything in nature, if only he could figure out what they were. His obituary in 1903 reported that he had been depressed and delusional, and that ...

Then came the Hoover

Hugh Pennington: The Allergy Epidemic, 22 June 2006

Allergy: The History of a Modern Malady 
by Mark Jackson.
Reaktion, 288 pp., £25, May 2006, 1 86189 271 3
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... creates superb opportunities for quacks and charlatans. Jackson’s account is underpinned by Ulrich Beck’s Risk Society (1986). Beck describes a new modernity, one no longer coextensive with industrial society. These days, the risks created by industry and science are of a new kind, ‘somehow universal and ...

Depicting Europe

Perry Anderson, 20 September 2007

... beings without clear direction. The European Dream is a beacon of light in a troubled world. It beckons us to a new age of inclusivity, diversity, quality of life, deep play, sustainability, universal human rights, the rights of nature, and peace on Earth.’ These transports may seem peculiarly Anglo-Saxon, but there is no shortage of more prosaic ...

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