Politics & Economics

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak at Northallerton Leisure Centre in Northallerton, North Yorkshire during the 2024 General Election. Image credit: PA Images/ Alamy Stock Photo.

Fourteen Years Later

William Davies

26 June 2024

What is it that is coming to a close? This fourteen-year fever dream of failures, absurdities and outbursts of reaction defies the neat periodisation or symbolisation with which the Thatcher and Blair epochs have become fixed. Some of that comes down to recency, but it is also an effect of political instability.

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Deborah Friedell

26 June 2024

Robert F. Kennedy Jr​ was nine years old on 22 November 1963 when his mother told him that ‘a bad man shot Uncle Jack.’ He was fourteen, asleep at boarding school, when his father was assassinated . . .

Meddling in Iraq

Andrew Cockburn

26 June 2024

Long before​ Bush and Blair invaded Iraq, many Iraqis suspected that foreign intelligence services were manipulating their country’s domestic affairs. Since the 1920s – when Gertrude Bell manoeuvred . . .

France and Israel

Jeremy Harding

26 June 2024

On​ 27 May, Emmanuel Macron tweeted his outrage at the Israeli bombing of a tent encampment in Rafah that left at least 45 civilians dead. ‘These operations must stop,’ he wrote. ‘There are no . . .

Labour or the SNP?

Rory Scothorne

20 June 2024

This time​ ten years ago, Scotland was gearing up for its first, and as yet only, independence referendum. The ‘Yes’ campaign was noisy, lively, inventive – a ‘political carnival’, as Lynn . . .

Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Perry Anderson, 7 February 2019

By comparison with the scale of the upheaval through which Brazil has lived in the last five years, and the gravity of its possible outcome, the histrionics over Brexit in this country and the conniptions over Trump in America are close to much ado about nothing.

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Let Them Drown

Naomi Klein, 2 June 2016

Environmentalism might have looked like a bourgeois playground to Edward Said. The Israeli state has long coated its nation-building project in a green veneer – it was a key part of the Zionist ‘back to the land’ pioneer ethos. And in this context trees, specifically, have been among the most potent weapons of land grabbing and occupation. 

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Where will we live? The Housing Disaster

James Meek, 9 January 2014

The government has stopped short of explicitly declaring war on the poor, but how different would the situation be if it had?

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What I Heard about Iraq: watch and listen

Eliot Weinberger, 3 February 2005

In 1992, a year after the first Gulf War, I heard Dick Cheney, then secretary of defense, say that the US had been wise not to invade Baghdad and get ‘bogged down in the problems of trying...

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Moderation or Death: Isaiah Berlin

Christopher Hitchens, 26 November 1998

In​ The Color of Truth*, the American scholar Kai Bird presents his study of McGeorge (‘Mac’) and William Bundy. These were the two dynastic technocrats who organised and...

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Why Fascism is the Wave of the Future

Edward Luttwak, 7 April 1994

That capitalism unobstructed by public regulations, cartels, monopolies, oligopolies, effective trade unions, cultural inhibitions or kinship obligations is the ultimate engine of economic growth...

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The Morning After

Edward Said, 21 October 1993

Our peoples are already too bound up with each other in conflict and a shared history of persecution for an American-style pow-wow to heal the wounds and open the way forward. There is still a victim and a victimiser. But there can be solidarity in struggling to end the inequities, and for Israelis in pressuring their government to end the occupation, the expropriation and the settlements. The Palestinians, after all, have very little left to give.

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Maastricht and All That

Wynne Godley, 8 October 1992

A lot of people throughout Europe have suddenly realised that they know hardly anything about the Maastricht Treaty while rightly sensing that it could make a huge difference to their lives....

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John Hume on the end of the Unionist veto in Ulster

John Hume, 2 February 1989

In recent times in Ireland we have been reminded of a lot of anniversaries. Remembering the past is something of an obsession here. The future, discussing it or shaping it, doesn’t seem...

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Despite its significance, the 1924 government has not been remembered fondly, even by Labour supporters, and its leading figures have been forgotten, or, in the case of the party’s first prime minister,...

Read more about When Labour Was New: Labour’s First Government

Thatcherism degraded the social fabric to the point where the Tory Party was removed from office in 1997 on a wave of discontent. Thatcherism in its second guise – represented finally by Sunak announcing...

Read more about Carnival of Self-Harm: Good Riddance to the Tories

Breaking Point: Militant Constitutionalism

Martin Loughlin, 25 April 2024

Democracies implode when the authoritarian tendencies of the leaders of mainstream political parties are not reined in by constitutional mechanisms that are supposed to impose checks. 

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The slippage between Tata and India speaks not just to Tata’s central place in the development of Indian capitalism but also to the way in which the corporation has variously come to represent progress,...

Read more about What’s Good for India: Good for Tata

Radical Mismatch: Cold War Liberalism

Stephen Holmes, 4 April 2024

Samuel Moyn doesn’t really believe that his four Cold War liberals (Isaiah Berlin, Karl Popper, Lionel Trilling and Judith Shklar), much less all those to whom that label might conceivably be applied,...

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Short Cuts: Jeremy Hunt’s Mendacity

James Butler, 21 March 2024

Hunt’s detachment from the catastrophe in local government is symptomatic of an odd doubleness that afflicts British politics, a refusal to acknowledge the yawning gap between the country as it actually...

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China’s sheer size, and the revival of decentralised decision-making since the early post-Mao decades, means that a great deal of economic statecraft occurs at lower levels: provinces, cities, districts,...

Read more about The Mayor Economy: China’s Mayor Economy

There were strong currents of populist ‘anti-globalism’ in the interwar years and plenty of political leaders eager to whip up feeling for nationalist and often nefarious ends. But the 1920s were different...

Read more about We have been here before: Interwar Antagonisms

Cooked Frog: Orbán’s Hungary

David Edgar, 7 March 2024

 ‘Make Hungary Great Again’ is an effective summation of Orbánism; many Hungarians would like back the tracts of territory lost with the collapse of the Habsburg Empire at the end of the First World...

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Using the judiciary to lock up Imran Khan on trivialities, technicalities and a treason charge had only one purpose: to keep him out of the picture.

Read more about Short Cuts: Pakistan’s Electoral Chicanery

Short Cuts: Trump’s Indictments

Aziz Huq, 22 February 2024

Trump’s misdeeds have been amply documented through two impeachment proceedings, extensive congressional investigations, Mueller’s final report and endless news coverage. Perhaps the liberal principle...

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The peculiarities of the British constitution mean that it requires the combined input of the disciplines of law, politics and history – each with its own priorities, sensitivities and hinterlands of...

Read more about Highbrow Mother Goose: Constitutional Dramas

Populists, whether on the right or the left, have not yet got the world they want. The decade that started with the Arab Spring ended with tawdry insurrectionists high on conspiracy theories storming the...

Read more about A Circular Motion: Protest, what is it good for?

Short Cuts: Versions of Denial

Conor Gearty, 25 January 2024

Denial in Israel is a means of keeping supporters abroad on message. We in the Global North need lies so that we can continue to see our support for Israeli action as morally possible.

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With the exception of a brief threat to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in November 2021, the war was only of interest to a few specialist staff at foreign ministries. The idea that there are ‘forgotten’...

Read more about Incapable of Sustaining Weeds: What happened in Tigray

Antidote to Marx: Oh, I know Locke!

Colin Kidd, 4 January 2024

Contrary to the myth that from itsa founding document America was dedicated to capitalism, private property and the personal accumulation of wealth, ‘happiness’ in its 18th-century definition meant...

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Israel’s security is Germany’s Staatsräson, as Angela Merkel put it in 2008. Solidarity with the Jewish state has burnished Germany’s proud self-image as the only country that makes public remembrance...

Read more about Memory Failure: Germany’s Commitment to Israel

Short Cuts: Javier Milei’s Agenda

Tony Wood, 14 December 2023

The mop-haired Argentinian president, Javier Milei, has many well-known eccentricities. He claims to commune with his deceased dog through a spirit medium, and that four of the dogs he expensively cloned...

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