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  1. Tariq Ali: Throttling Iraq The bombing and starving of Iraq are nearing their tenth year. Catechisms and consequences of the Anglo-American blockade, as a defining memorial of the Clinton and Blair regimes.
  2. Akira Asada: A Left Within the Place of Nothingness Japan’s Left is the least known of any major state, outside its own borders. Asada Akira situates it in a wide-angled panorama of his country: Japanese political, philosophical and cultural life from inter-war days to the dissatisfied, postmodern present.
  3. J. G. A. Pocock: Gaberlunzie's Return The historian of Machiavelli and Gibbon—New Zealand originator of a ‘new British history’ framed beyond Anglocentrism—looks at Tom Nairn’s After Britain. Is the United Kingdom really fated to disintegration, or absorption into Europe?
  4. Francis Mulhern: Britain After Nairn How far can the path from Thatcher to Blair be written as a dynamic of Ukanian constitutional involution, or devolution? Francis Mulhern questions whether classes can be so quickly bundled off-stage. Is it possible to speak of nations—English, Scottish, Irish or any other—as political communities, without social or ideological dispositions?
  5. Qinglian He: China's Listing Social Structure An iconoclastic study of the PRC’s increasingly polarized society that has made headline international news. What is the new hierarchy of wealth and power in contemporary China? Is it sustainable—and if not, what is needed to set the country on a better course?
  6. Geoffrey Hawthorn: Running the World on Windows Reviewing Daniele Archibugi’s case for a ‘cosmopolitical democracy’ in NLR 4, Geoffrey Hawthorn argues nation-states can neither be wished away, nor shadowed in parallel by a global civil society: they remain the Hobbesian precondition of a realistic politics, which Kantian prospects set aside at their peril.
  7. Franco Moretti: Markets of the Mind What does a survey of the fare in different videostores tell us about the social geography of big cities in the West? How should the quotient of violence in it be calibrated? The logic of the ghetto in today’s entertainment industry.
  8. Sabry Hafez: The Novel, Politics and Islam The astonishing story of the uproar in Egypt over the publication of a Syrian novel set in Algeria—a work of literature as trigger for political crisis and polemical turmoil, two decades after it was written, in a landscape completely transformed. Haydar Haydar’s fiction as tuning-fork of stark dissonances of time and outlook in the Arab world.


  1. Gopal Balakrishnan on Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire. Globalization as a new Roman order, awaiting its early Christians.
  2. Andrew Glyn on Robert Shiller, Irrational Exuberance and Andrei Shleifer, Inefficient Markets. Have even the most critical professionals fully explained the record Wall Street bubble?
  3. Bryan Appleyard on Julian Stallabrass, High Art Lite. Precedents and pioneers among tacticians of fame—the rise of the new British art.