Politics & Economics

LRB cover 1903, 6 Feb 1997, by Peter Campbell

In Beijing

Long Ling

4 June 2020

I replied no to each question and then asked: ‘What if someone hides this information?’ Without looking up she said: ‘Nobody can hide. Everything is under control.’

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In Tripoli

Jérôme Tubiana

4 June 2020

Iarrived​ in Tripoli on 29 February during a lull in the bombardment of the city. The day before, no planes had been able to land: Khalifa Haftar’s so-called Libyan National Army (LNA) had . . .

The American Virus

Eliot Weinberger

4 June 2020

Half of all Americans receive health insurance through their employers. If the unemployment rate continues at 20 per cent, it is estimated that as many as 43 million will lose their insurance. The administration . . .

The Inequality Engine

Geoff Mann

4 June 2020

With​ Paris still vibrating in the aftermath of the Commune, Emile Boutmy and a group of intellectuals founded the École Libre des Sciences Politiques in 1872. The school was a direct response . . .

Scotland’s Dreaming

Rory Scothorne

21 May 2020

From​ the vantage point of England, the short period since 2015 has seemed to contain decades’ worth of political upheaval. Scotland’s equivalent political time-crunch occurred in the . . .

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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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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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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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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Mussolini’s Unrealism

Edward Luttwak, 21 May 2020

As his country’s grand strategist, Mussolini’s incurable delusion was that a highly staged military parade, with the same tanks turning up again and again, was proof of actual military capabilities...

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A Great Wall to Batter Down

Adom Getachew, 21 May 2020

Priyamvada Gopal’s focus isn’t on the ways colonial subjects negotiated, resisted and reclaimed the empire, so much as on the ways in which imperial crisis awakened dissent at the metropolitan...

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Becoming homeless is easily done

David Renton, 7 May 2020

Early on it became clear that millions of workers were employed on contracts their employers regarded as temporary. Employers were perfectly willing to dismiss these workers, in some cases even refusing...

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The government is now keen to claim it was never prepared to tolerate high levels of infection in order to achieve herd immunity, but while it was defending the mitigation strategy it was prepared to argue...

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Bibi has done it again

Yonatan Mendel, 7 May 2020

On 15 March – two days before Netanyahu was due to appear in court, the first time in Israel’s history that a sitting prime minister would go on trial – the justice minister announced...

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Nigel Lawson once said, with the hint of a sneer, that the NHS is ‘the closest thing the English people have to a religion’. There seems every likelihood that the NHS will become the defining...

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Adam Tooze, 16 April 2020

It isn’t a secret that China’s debt bubble, Europe’s divisions and America’s irrational political culture pose a challenge to the functioning of what we know as the world economy....

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Diary: #coronasomnia

Wang Xiuying, 16 April 2020

My city is at a standstill and the smog has cleared. The sky at night is a revelation.

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The Arrestables

Jeremy Harding, 16 April 2020

Extinction Rebellion has come under fire for suggesting, as Roger Hallam has, that prison isn’t such a bad experience. Eda Seyhan, a lawyer and civil liberties campaigner, delivered a blistering...

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Secrets are like sex

Neal Ascherson, 2 April 2020

Like sturgeons and swans in medieval England, public information began as royal property. Today, we understand more vividly than ever before that information is also a commodity: I have it, you don’t;...

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Too early or too late?

David Runciman, 2 April 2020

There is a difference between a politician deciding your fate and its being left to impersonal chance. But it isn’t a dif­ference that matters much when lives are on the line. When something...

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Chris Mullin, 19 March 2020

What to do about overseas aid has long been a problem for the Conservatives. The Department for International Development (DFID), set up by the Blair government in 1997, is widely seen as a success. To...

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Very Un-Mongol

Edward Luttwak, 19 March 2020

Now​ that the long-term confrontation between China and an assortment of countries – Australia, Japan, the US, Vietnam and other less committed fellow travellers (including the UK)...

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Beyond Elections

Jan-Werner Müller, 19 March 2020

‘Our regimes are democratic,’ Pierre Rosanvallon states in the opening sentence of Good Government, ‘but we are not governed democratically.’ There has in recent decades...

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Wanted but Not Welcome

Jonathan Steele, 19 March 2020

In February 1947 the Ministry of Labour had sent officials to recruit displaced people languishing in camps in Germany, including Balts, Latvians, Poles, Ukrainians and Lithuanians. The programme was bizarrely...

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India’s Far-Right

Aijaz Ahmad, 19 March 2020

The RSS presents Hindu nationalism as a cultural nationalism of which Hinduism per se is the defining ingredient. Indian culture, it’s argued, is so deeply defined by its Hindutva essence that no...

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The Anxious Emperor

Richard Lloyd Parry, 19 March 2020

Britain’s royal family is deplorable principally because it institutionalises the corrosive divisions of social class. Japan’s imperial house does damage of a different kind. 

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In Lahore

Tariq Ali, 20 February 2020

The day​ I arrived in Lahore, two stories dominated the newspapers’ front pages. The Supreme Court had declared the Ministry of Railways the most corrupt department in the country. No...

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