Politics & Economics

Photo of the Rotterdam Port.

Who owns the oil?

Laleh Khalili

23 September 2021

Most firms operate as partnerships and, apart from Glencore, none has chosen to go public and expose itself to the scrutiny that a prospectus for a stock market listing brings. Commodities traders don’t want scrutiny. They work with kleptocrats and oligarchs, do some of their best deals in countries at war, pour money into the coffers of warlords and help out intelligence agencies.

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In Burnley

David Edgar

23 September 2021

Mike Makin-Waite​, a militant anti-fascist, was working for the borough council in Burnley when, after riots in the town in 2001, it became a stronghold of the British National Party. On Burnley . . .

Before Kabul

Thomas Meaney

27 August 2021

The corruption of the Afghan government is dwarfed only by that of the American operation itself, which constituted a massive wealth transfer to US defence industries. Will the Taliban behave? They have . . .

Naoroji’s Tactics

Priya Satia

9 September 2021

In​ 1841 Thomas Carlyle declared that ‘the History of the world is but the Biography of great men.’ Soon after, Thomas Babington Macaulay, a policymaker in British India as well as a . . .

Prussian Disneyland

Jan-Werner Müller

9 September 2021

The reconstructed palace, with Franco Stella’s razionalismo façade. Thirty years ago​, the Bundestag voted to move from sleepy Bonn to newly unified Berlin. There was a lot of anxiety . . .

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.

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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

Now that some of the euphoria has lifted, it is possible to re-examine the Israeli-PLO agreement with the required common sense. What emerges from such scrutiny is a deal that is more flawed and,...

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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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Kennedy was perfectly aware that nuclear missiles in Cuba posed no real threat to national security, even if they slightly narrowed America’s enormous lead in weapons capable of reaching the other’s...

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Tesco and a Motorway: In the Coalfields

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, 9 September 2021

The politics of class hasn’t disappeared, though its articulations have not remained the same. Deindustrialisation has led to a cascade of changes in the economy and society; its impact on Britain’s...

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Strewn with Loot

Adewale Maja-Pearce, 12 August 2021

Because the British Museum has artefacts from so many other places the British pillaged and destroyed, and because many more people visit London than Benin City, or even Lagos, it follows that this is...

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Hush-Hush Boom-Boom: Spymasters

Charles Glass, 12 August 2021

Scores of former agents have exposed CIA crimes and defeats in books, films and articles. In the wake of American humiliation in Vietnam and the Watergate scandal, Senate and House investigations documented...

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Neither Trump nor the people around him were part of a sinister plot to subvert and ultimately take over the democratic institutions of the United States. They didn’t possess even the minimum competence...

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Diary: A Free Speech Agenda

Sophie Smith, 12 August 2021

Those who portray themselves as beleaguered defenders of academic freedom also enjoy less tangible benefits: it’s possible for them to configure good faith criticism – the substance of academic...

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Short Cuts: After the Assassination

Pooja Bhatia, 29 July 2021

Many of the journalists and activists I knew when I lived in Haiti ten years ago have fled. Since June, violence has displaced more than fourteen thousand people in Port-au-Prince. The week before Moïse’s...

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Diary: Young Hong Kongers

Simon Cartledge, 29 July 2021

Looking back at the Hong Kong protests now – especially at the hundreds of hours of video footage on YouTube and elsewhere – I find it hard not to marvel at what happened. I’m also shocked...

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Out Hunting: In Baltimore

Gary Younge, 29 July 2021

The demand of Black Lives Matter and others to ‘defund the police’ follows the logic that addressing the causes of crime – by funding housing, drug rehabilitation, education and mental...

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It shouldn’t be more important that the North Sea wind farms get built than that some of their towers are made by low-paid labourers working twelve-hour shifts, seven days a week; and yet the immense...

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Diary: Class 1H

Ian Jack, 15 July 2021

As names were called, children stood up from the benches and gathered at the front, until an entire class had been assembled. A, B, C, D, E and F were called, and I was still there, waiting with around...

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Particularly Anodyne: One bomb in London

Richard Norton-Taylor, 15 July 2021

Decades​ of resentment in Northern Ireland, ignored by Westminster, finally resulted in 1969 in what are known euphemistically as ‘the Troubles’. Almost three decades of violence...

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Yanqui Imperialismo: Compañeras

Lucy Delap, 1 July 2021

The feminist campaigners of the interwar period set the terms for future activism by insisting that the language of human rights is inherently feminist. Their telegram diplomacy and ‘foot in the...

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Kagame has successfully deflected criticism, partly thanks to Western guilt over the genocide in Rwanda (a recent report commissioned by Macron said that France bears an ‘overwhelming responsibility’)...

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It is one thing to station military forces around the world to maintain your empire, but quite another to do so for someone else’s. It’s not a new observation that those in power in Britain...

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What most people in the US call an ‘embargo’ – meaning the sweeping trade restrictions first imposed in 1960 and ratcheted up many times since – is known in Cuba as el bloqueo,...

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Short Cuts: Untilled Fields

Ferdinand Mount, 1 July 2021

‘This is certain – for I have noted it several times – some parts of England are becoming almost as lonesome as the African veld.’ This was Rider Haggard’s...

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Short Cuts: Friend or Threat

William Davies, 17 June 2021

For much of the past fifteen months, hospitality has been either banned or strictly regulated. Once the state is involved in deciding whom we may eat or drink with, and even what counts as a shared ‘meal’...

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