Politics & Economics

The House of Commons 1793-94 by Karl Anton Hickel

Constitutional Dramas

Colin Kidd

20 October 2022

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 learning – to make sense of its practices. But the field has been vacated by most historians.

Read more about Highbrow Mother Goose: Constitutional Dramas

Trump’s Indictments

Aziz Huq

20 October 2022

In​ the 1920 US presidential election, Eugene Debs, or Convict 9653, won 913,693 votes while serving a ten-year sentence in a federal prison in Atlanta. ‘Under the influence of this unreasoning mob . . .

Protest, what is it good for?

James Butler

8 February 2024

On a cold evening​ in early February 2011, a small group of activists spilled out of a squat in a Georgian townhouse on Bloomsbury Square. The building – recently purchased by a presenter on Antiques . . .

What happened in Tigray

Tom Stevenson

25 January 2024

What are​ the major wars of our time? Ukraine and Gaza, of course. But what about Syria, Yemen, Ethiopia, Myanmar, Sudan? Most of these are civil wars with very large numbers of fatalities. But they . . .

Versions of Denial

Conor Gearty

25 January 2024

The European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, visited Rwanda before Christmas and on a visit to one of its genocide memorial sites tweeted that she ‘honour[ed] the memory of the victims of . . .

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. 

Read more about Let Them Drown

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?

Read more about Where will we live? The Housing Disaster

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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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...

Read more about Short Cuts: Javier Milei’s Agenda

Short Cuts: War Crimes

Conor Gearty, 30 November 2023

All agree that Israel has a right to defend itself, though there are many differences of opinion among lawyers as to the basis for this. What no one contests, however, is that serious violations of humanitarian...

Read more about Short Cuts: War Crimes

After the Coup: Resistance in Myanmar

Francis Wade, 30 November 2023

Any civilian government that wants to unify Myanmar society will face a conundrum: how to deal with the crimes committed by its own side without turning the groups that have joined together to fight the...

Read more about After the Coup: Resistance in Myanmar

Hizbullah’s War

Zain Samir, 30 November 2023

After nearly two decades of relative calm along the Lebanese-Israeli border, the Israeli defence minister is threatening to do to Beirut what he is doing to Gaza. Hassan Nasrallah, Hizbullah’s leader,...

Read more about Hizbullah’s War

‘The Refugee Problem’

Leila Farsakh, 16 November 2023

The brutality of Hamas’s attack shattered Israel’s definition of itself as a post-Holocaust sanctuary that guarantees protection for the Jewish people inside and outside its boundaries. Israel’s...

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Red Flag, Green Light: Keep the Con Going

Rosa Lyster, 16 November 2023

Advance-fee scams – sometimes called ‘Nigerian prince scams’, although they mostly originate in other countries – have become a hackneyed example of online fraud. But Blay-Miezah and his varyingly...

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Kettle of Vultures: A History of Interest

Jamie Martin, 16 November 2023

Pleasure is supposedly more valuable today than it will be tomorrow; deferral has a cost. But to the canonists, unlike the capitalists, this made no sense. Time wasn’t something that could be bought...

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Poland after PiS

Jan-Werner Müller, 16 November 2023

Rather than complacently celebrating Poland’s ‘return to Europe’, we should be trying to understand why self-declared anti-liberals succeeded in the first place, and in what ways their politics might...

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Yes, there was Care Not Killing at one end and Dignity in Dying at the other. Yes, an actual guide dog was in attendance, at a tactful distance from Cats Protection. But the bigger presences were Google...

Read more about Short Cuts: At the Labour Party Conference

Before the strike, the country was characterised by comparative egalitarianism, the (relative) power and legitimacy of organised labour, and an industrial economy in which state industries played a prominent...

Read more about Blood All Over the Grass: On the Miners’ Strike

He-Said, They-Said: Crypto Corruption

John Lanchester, 2 November 2023

Crypto is an ideology, an anti-government, individualistic belief system, one that Sam Bankman-Fried didn’t really share. He was a trader, and he saw in crypto a big unaddressed market with a lot of...

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Short Cuts: Vancouver’s Opioid Crisis

Karin Goodwin, 19 October 2023

Under British Columbia’s decriminalisation pilot, launched in January this year and due to run until 2026, anyone found with under 2.5 grams of opioids, cocaine, methamphetamines or MDMA won’t be prosecuted....

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After the Old Order

Adéwálé Májà-Pearce, 19 October 2023

Most young people in Nigeria regard military rule as an aberration and find it hard to understand why it appears to be popular in other West African states. But in the quarter-century since we swapped...

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On Nagorno-Karabakh

Tom Stevenson, 19 October 2023

The Republic of Artsakh has gone, but what was it? From the perspective of Azerbaijan’s government, and probably that of international law, Artsakh was an illegal entity. In Armenia it was held up as...

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Where to Draw the Line: Why do we pay tax?

Stefan Collini, 19 October 2023

The imposition of a windfall tax may be seen as an exercise in fiscal populism or a confession of intellectual bankruptcy, but it’s also an implicit affirmation that society has a right to reclaim at...

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Are you still living? Counting Americans

Kasia Boddy, 19 October 2023

Who is counted, how, and for what purpose, has changed a lot since 1790. No census has exactly matched its predecessor in method or design: each time, some questions are dropped and others added, while...

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