In the latest issue:

Real Men Go to Tehran

Adam Shatz

What Trump doesn’t know about Iran

Patrick Cockburn

Kaiser Karl V

Thomas Penn

The Hostile Environment

Catherine Hall

Social Mobilities

Adam Swift

Short Cuts: So much for England

Tariq Ali

What the jihadis left behind

Nelly Lahoud

Ray Strachey

Francesca Wade

C.J. Sansom

Malcolm Gaskill

At the British Museum: ‘Troy: Myth and Reality’

James Davidson

Poem: ‘The Lion Tree’

Jamie McKendrick


Jenny Turner

Boys in Motion

Nicholas Penny

Jia Tolentino

Lauren Oyler

Diary: What really happened in Yancheng?

Long Ling

Short Cuts: Harry Goes Rogue

Jonathan Parry


Terms and Conditions

These terms and conditions of use refer to the London Review of Books and the London Review Bookshop website ( — hereafter ‘LRB Website’). These terms and conditions apply to all users of the LRB Website ("you"), including individual subscribers to the print edition of the LRB who wish to take advantage of our free 'subscriber only' access to archived material ("individual users") and users who are authorised to access the LRB Website by subscribing institutions ("institutional users").

Each time you use the LRB Website you signify your acceptance of these terms and conditions. If you do not agree, or are not comfortable with any part of this document, your only remedy is not to use the LRB Website.

  1. By registering for access to the LRB Website and/or entering the LRB Website by whatever route of access, you agree to be bound by the terms and conditions currently prevailing.
  2. The London Review of Books ("LRB") reserves the right to change these terms and conditions at any time and you should check for any alterations regularly. Continued usage of the LRB Website subsequent to a change in the terms and conditions constitutes acceptance of the current terms and conditions.
  3. The terms and conditions of any subscription agreements which educational and other institutions have entered into with the LRB apply in addition to these terms and conditions.
  4. You undertake to indemnify the LRB fully for all losses damages and costs incurred as a result of your breaching these terms and conditions.
  5. The information you supply on registration to the LRB Website shall be accurate and complete. You will notify the LRB promptly of any changes of relevant details by emailing the registrar. You will not assist a non-registered person to gain access to the LRB Website by supplying them with your password. In the event that the LRB considers that you have breached the requirements governing registration, that you are in breach of these terms and conditions or that your or your institution's subscription to the LRB lapses, your registration to the LRB Website will be terminated.
  6. Each individual subscriber to the LRB (whether a person or organisation) is entitled to the registration of one person to use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site. This user is an 'individual user'.
  7. The London Review of Books operates a ‘no questions asked’ cancellation policy in accordance with UK legislation. Please contact us to cancel your subscription and receive a full refund for the cost of all unposted issues.
  8. Use of the 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is strictly for the personal use of each individual user who may read the content on the screen, download, store or print single copies for their own personal private non-commercial use only, and is not to be made available to or used by any other person for any purpose.
  9. Each institution which subscribes to the LRB is entitled to grant access to persons to register on and use the 'subscriber only' content on the web site under the terms and conditions of its subscription agreement with the LRB. These users are 'institutional users'.
  10. Each institutional user of the LRB may access and search the LRB database and view its entire contents, and may also reproduce insubstantial extracts from individual articles or other works in the database to which their institution's subscription provides access, including in academic assignments and theses, online and/or in print. All quotations must be credited to the author and the LRB. Institutional users are not permitted to reproduce any entire article or other work, or to make any commercial use of any LRB material (including sale, licensing or publication) without the LRB's prior written permission. Institutions may notify institutional users of any additional or different conditions of use which they have agreed with the LRB.
  11. Users may use any one computer to access the LRB web site 'subscriber only' content at any time, so long as that connection does not allow any other computer, networked or otherwise connected, to access 'subscriber only' content.
  12. The LRB Website and its contents are protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. You acknowledge that all intellectual property rights including copyright in the LRB Website and its contents belong to or have been licensed to the LRB or are otherwise used by the LRB as permitted by applicable law.
  13. All intellectual property rights in articles, reviews and essays originally published in the print edition of the LRB and subsequently included on the LRB Website belong to or have been licensed to the LRB. This material is made available to you for use as set out in paragraph 8 (if you are an individual user) or paragraph 10 (if you are an institutional user) only. Save for such permitted use, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt such material in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department.
  14. All intellectual property rights in images on the LRB Website are owned by the LRB except where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited. Save for such material taken for permitted use set out above, you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, post, reproduce, translate or adapt LRB’s images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the LRB. To obtain such permission and the terms and conditions applying, contact the Rights and Permissions department. Where another copyright holder is specifically attributed or credited you may not download, store, disseminate, republish, reproduce or translate such images in whole or in part in any form without the prior written permission of the copyright holder. The LRB will not undertake to supply contact details of any attributed or credited copyright holder.
  15. The LRB Website is provided on an 'as is' basis and the LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website will be accessible by any particular browser, operating system or device.
  16. The LRB makes no express or implied representation and gives no warranty of any kind in relation to any content available on the LRB Website including as to the accuracy or reliability of any information either in its articles, essays and reviews or in the letters printed in its letter page or material supplied by third parties. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) arising from the publication of any materials on the LRB Website or incurred as a consequence of using or relying on such materials.
  17. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability of any kind (including liability for any losses, damages or costs) for any legal or other consequences (including infringement of third party rights) of any links made to the LRB Website.
  18. The LRB is not responsible for the content of any material you encounter after leaving the LRB Website site via a link in it or otherwise. The LRB gives no warranty as to the accuracy or reliability of any such material and to the fullest extent permitted by law excludes all liability that may arise in respect of or as a consequence of using or relying on such material.
  19. This site may be used only for lawful purposes and in a manner which does not infringe the rights of, or restrict the use and enjoyment of the site by, any third party. In the event of a chat room, message board, forum and/or news group being set up on the LRB Website, the LRB will not undertake to monitor any material supplied and will give no warranty as to its accuracy, reliability, originality or decency. By posting any material you agree that you are solely responsible for ensuring that it is accurate and not obscene, defamatory, plagiarised or in breach of copyright, confidentiality or any other right of any person, and you undertake to indemnify the LRB against all claims, losses, damages and costs incurred in consequence of your posting of such material. The LRB will reserve the right to remove any such material posted at any time and without notice or explanation. The LRB will reserve the right to disclose the provenance of such material, republish it in any form it deems fit or edit or censor it. The LRB will reserve the right to terminate the registration of any person it considers to abuse access to any chat room, message board, forum or news group provided by the LRB.
  20. Any e-mail services supplied via the LRB Website are subject to these terms and conditions.
  21. You will not knowingly transmit any virus, malware, trojan or other harmful matter to the LRB Website. The LRB gives no warranty that the LRB Website is free from contaminating matter, viruses or other malicious software and to the fullest extent permitted by law disclaims all liability of any kind including liability for any damages, losses or costs resulting from damage to your computer or other property arising from access to the LRB Website, use of it or downloading material from it.
  22. The LRB does not warrant that the use of the LRB Website will be uninterrupted, and disclaims all liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred as a result of access to the LRB Website being interrupted, modified or discontinued.
  23. The LRB Website contains advertisements and promotional links to websites and other resources operated by third parties. While we would never knowingly link to a site which we believed to be trading in bad faith, the LRB makes no express or implied representations or warranties of any kind in respect of any third party websites or resources or their contents, and we take no responsibility for the content, privacy practices, goods or services offered by these websites and resources. The LRB excludes to the fullest extent permitted by law all liability for any damages or losses arising from access to such websites and resources. Any transaction effected with such a third party contacted via the LRB Website are subject to the terms and conditions imposed by the third party involved and the LRB accepts no responsibility or liability resulting from such transactions.
  24. The LRB disclaims liability to the fullest extent permitted by law for any damages, losses or costs incurred for unauthorised access or alterations of transmissions or data by third parties as consequence of visit to the LRB Website.
  25. While 'subscriber only' content on the LRB Website is currently provided free to subscribers to the print edition of the LRB, the LRB reserves the right to impose a charge for access to some or all areas of the LRB Website without notice.
  26. These terms and conditions are governed by and will be interpreted in accordance with English law and any disputes relating to these terms and conditions will be subject to the non-exclusive jurisdiction of the courts of England and Wales.
  27. The various provisions of these terms and conditions are severable and if any provision is held to be invalid or unenforceable by any court of competent jurisdiction then such invalidity or unenforceability shall not affect the remaining provisions.
  28. If these terms and conditions are not accepted in full, use of the LRB Website must be terminated immediately.

Last November​ Joseph Muscat, the prime minister of Malta, flew to Miami to convince several hundred lawyers, accountants and wealth managers of the virtues of a Maltese passport. New legislation, Muscat and his advisers said, would allow carefully screened foreigners to obtain fast-tracked, no-strings-attached Maltese citizenship in exchange for an investment of 650,000 euros. The parliament in Valletta was due to approve the plan once a few details had been ironed out. In the meantime, interested parties should speak to Henley & Partners, the firm that had organised the conference and would be administering the passport programme.

‘Citizenship by investment’, as it’s known, is a lucrative business. Demand for citizenship of a second (or third) country has soared among the very rich: in unstable times the passports serve at once as visa-free travel documents, insurance policies, tax-avoidance tools and an investment in the future of the children of those who hold them. Most existing programmes are offered by tiny Caribbean countries – St Kitts, Dominica, Antigua – which, despite their best efforts, can’t seem to dispel the taint of loucheness that tends to be associated with tropical tax havens. A Maltese passport sounds more respectable: Malta has a safe banking sector, easy access to major airports, good infrastructure, nice views and, besides, the scheme offers a first-class ticket to the EU.

But not everyone is keen on the idea of selling citizenship. There’s a widespread fear that criminals will take advantage of these programmes to evade the law in their own countries. Unsavoury stories are told: the Indian lawyer, fleeing justice, who absconded to Dominica with his seven-year-old son; the Iranian nickel trader who got himself a diplomatic St Kitts passport, and on being asked about his credentials at Toronto airport, demanded to speak to the prime minister. Such episodes might well lead other countries to decide on security grounds to require travellers to get visas if they come from states that hawk passports. For would-be citizens from Russia, the Middle East or China, that would considerably diminish a passport’s value. And the politics are fraught. A head of state has to deflect accusations that his or her country is prostituting itself: an image nationalist politicians are quick to invoke. Like the Antiguans and Kittitians before him, Muscat tried to dignify the scheme, but his political rivals weren’t persuaded and many Maltese complained loudly about the programme in the local press. Muscat’s case was further complicated by Malta’s EU membership.

Muscat is a 40-year-old former journalist whose Labour Party took power last March. In Miami he told me he believes it’s inevitable that citizenship will eventually be bought and sold more freely. As he sees it, international borders will gradually open, following the model of the EU’s Schengen Agreement, but until that happens, he would like Malta to take the lead in developing novel ways to attract talent (it’s always talent, never money). ‘We want people who can bring jobs and investment, but it’s also about ideas,’ he said. ‘This is the next big thing in getting the right people. We want high-net-worth individuals, and highly networked individuals – people who can get things done with a phone call rather than going through bureaucratic processes.’

Christian Kalin of Henley & Partners, which describes itself as ‘the global leader in residence and citizenship planning’, agrees that the market will grow but sees states becoming more closed, more unequal, and more concerned with restricting people’s movement. ‘Why do we have borders? It’s to keep people where they are,’ he said. ‘It’s like in the Middle Ages, but more sophisticated.’ Kalin, a Swiss-German, made a name for himself popularising St Kitts’s citizenship-by-investment programme. The scheme was launched in the 1980s, but was largely dormant until Henley began bringing in clients, and marketing it at junkets in London, Hong Kong and Dubai four or five years ago. Kalin and his colleagues have since advised Antigua, Canada, Cyprus and many other countries on citizenship by investment and its close cousin, the investor visa. Virtually every Western democracy offers an investor visa, which comes with a residence permit in exchange for the purchase of government bonds or investments in local businesses. (A UK investor visa requires an initial investment of £1 million for a stay of three years and four months; holders can go on to apply for UK citizenship through normal channels.) Henley publishes a yearly ranking of the best and worst citizenships to have based on how freely their passports allow people to travel; last year Finland, Sweden and the UK tied for first place. Afghanistan came last, after Iraq, Somalia and Pakistan. Henley’s rivals accuse the firm of parachuting into countries where it sniffs an opportunity and strong-arming politicians into adopting schemes like the one Malta is considering.

In November, Muscat told me he was ready for criticism: ‘I believe pioneers have always encountered resistance.’ The Maltese parliament was certainly furious. MPs resented the €650,000 price tag. (It’s one thing to be a prostitute, another to be a cheap one.) They were unhappy that there was no residence requirement: you could become Maltese without needing to live on the island at all. They feared that too many people would apply, and disapproved of the arrangement with Henley: the company would at once charge clients for its services, review due diligence reports, and administer the programme on Malta’s behalf, pocketing a 4 per cent fee on every approved application. ‘It is as if a teacher who corrects examination papers were told: “I’ll give you 26,000 euros for each student who passes,”’ Jason Azzopardi, a member of the Maltese parliament, said in the local press. Nuri Katz, the CEO of Apex Capital, a rival of Henley’s, was more blunt: ‘The conflict is mind-boggling,’ he told me. ‘They’ve crossed the line – it was a tactical mistake.’

The Times of Malta has reported that hundreds of people – including a Formula One champion, a football player, a pop star and a Chinese billionaire – have already expressed interest. The second passport business tends to attract people with strong persecution complexes who subscribe to a paranoid libertarianism: during my time in Miami, I was told of the imminent downfall of the US Federal Reserve; strongly advised to invest in gold; praised for my failsafe collection of nationalities (Swiss, Canadian, Iranian); and told never, ever to become a US citizen if I wanted to cling to any semblance of personal freedom.

The Maltese opposition didn’t have enough votes in parliament to prevent the passing of the legislation, but they began to negotiate amendments. They made Maltese citizenship almost twice as expensive by adding real estate and bond purchase requirements. Under the revised bill, which still awaits final approval, the number of applicants may be capped at 1800 heads of household. (Malta’s population is 420,000.) A residence requirement has been added, though it is only for a year and applicants won’t have to be physically present the whole time. The opposition also successfully pushed for a list of these new ‘economic’ citizens, as they’re called, to be published. Matthew Ledvina, a tax lawyer in Zurich who handles many expatriations, told me this would be unpopular: ‘Our clients, very wealthy individuals, are asking every day: “How do I protect myself better and more secretly?” So they won’t get behind having their names out there. It’s a shame that it might be sunk. It would have been a nice programme for the right kind of client.’

Brussels wasn’t impressed by Malta’s actions either. After weeks of heated private meetings, the European Commission met on 15 January to discuss whether citizenship by investment ‘undermines the very concept of European citizenship’. (The answer was a resounding yes.) The next day, representatives voted on a motion opposing the sale of citizenship in the EU by a margin of 560 to 22, with 44 abstentions. ‘It is legitimate to question whether EU citizenship rights should merely depend on the size of someone’s wallet or bank account,’ Viviane Reding, the EU justice commissioner, said. But it’s entirely up to sovereign states to decide who they let in, and who they keep out. EC votes are non-binding, and while the EU has regulatory powers over trade and currency, it has no control over member states’ immigration policies, which are a relic of Europe’s Westphalian past. Besides, it wouldn’t be hard to argue that the EU should be happy for its member states to raise money and avoid bankruptcy.

Now that states compete for manufacturing contracts, company headquarters and tax dollars, why wouldn’t they compete for citizens too? The involvement of the private sector is only a logical next step. ‘It’s not about selling citizenship,’ Muscat told me. ‘We’re looking at it as strategic partnership with new citizens. In ten years’ time people will look at this programme as something that was so obvious and that needed to be done, so we’re glad we’re first. It’s part of the equation that we get criticised. Very soon, we’ll get followed.’

Send Letters To:

The Editor
London Review of Books,
28 Little Russell Street
London, WC1A 2HN

Please include name, address, and a telephone number.

Read anywhere with the London Review of Books app, available now from the App Store for Apple devices, Google Play for Android devices and Amazon for your Kindle Fire.

Sign up to our newsletter

For highlights from the latest issue, our archive and the blog, as well as news, events and exclusive promotions.