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CONTENTS

  1. Tsering Shakya: Tibetan Questions The leading historian of modern Tibet discusses the background to recent protests on the Plateau. What has been the evolution of its culture, modern and traditional, under the impact of the PRC’s breakneck development and market reforms?
  2. Walter Benjamin: 1940 Survey of French Literature Benjamin’s last, unpublished report on the literary situation in France. Critical reflections on the fiction, philosophy, memoirs and art criticism of the time—and on Paris, Surrealism and the logic of Hitlerism—moving constantly from the realm of letters to a world at war.
  3. Lucio Magri: The Tailor of Ulm How should the Left think about the Communist experience today? A founding theorist of Il Manifesto reflects on the need for critical examination of the past—and the lessons to be drawn for the future from the PCI’s trajectory.
  4. Cihan Tugal: The Greening of Istanbul Its population swollen by six million new arrivals in thirty years, Istanbul has sprawled outwards from the Bosphorus with dramatic speed. Cihan Tugal analyses the contradictions of an urban Islamism, wedded both to vote-winning populism and to financial markets.
  5. Ece Temelkuran: Flag and Headscarf An iconoclastic journalist looks at the thinning substance behind the AKP’s façade of ‘democratization’, and demagogic responses from Turkey’s secular establishment and army.
  6. Brent Shaw: After Rome Assessing Chris Wickham’s sweeping historical survey, Framing the Early Middle Ages, Brent Shaw questions linear narratives of a transition from Roman Empire to feudalism. What conclusions might derive from alternative analytical categories—markets, wars, modes of belief?
  7. Charles Armstrong: Contesting the Peninsula Heightened insecurity and inequality as outcomes of a decade of centre-left rule in South Korea. Can neoliberalism advance further across the ROK’s shifting political terrain, as a newly elected President’s popularity crumbles in face of public resentment?

BOOK REVIEWS

  1. David Laitin on Paul Nugent, Africa Since Independence. Lucid comparative assessment of the trajectories of 50 sub-Saharan states, from colonial inheritance to debt crises and Structural Adjustment.
  2. Gopal Balakrishnan on Parag Khanna, The Second World. Globe-trotting account from beyond the OECD, surveying the stakes in a coming battle between ascendant China and a West caught in imperial doldrums.
  3. Daniel Miller on Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet. After the explosive growth of the Web, can the experimental freedoms on which it was founded resist the deadening technology of Xbox and iPhone?.

Articles:

  1. Benedict Anderson,
    ‘Exit Suharto’ What explains the extraordinary longevity of Indonesia’s ‘New Order’, and what are the legacies of three decades of dictatorship? Benedict Anderson details Suharto’s career, from colonial army to crony capitalism, and explores the consequences of his rule—political, social, cultural—for a disorientated, amnesiac present.
  2. Mike Davis,
    ‘The Democrats before 2008’ With anti-war sentiment growing—if still passive—in the US, how will Democrats use their recapture of Congress? Mike Davis analyses likely outcomes on the questions—Iraq, corruption, economic insecurity—that confront a Party leadership hooked on corporate dollars, and myopically gazing towards 2008.
  3. Robin Blackburn,
    ‘The Subprime Crisis’ As reverberations from the stricken mortgage market reach the real economy, Robin Blackburn reveals the origins of the crunch in the shadowy realms of financialization. Precedents from the bubbles and crash of the 1920s, warnings from pioneers and venture capitalists, and proposals for how to turn the crisis to socially redistributive effect.
  4. Robert Brenner,
    ‘US Politics’ Robert Brenner reads the US mid-term results against deeper structural shifts in the American polity. The rise of the Republican right seen in the context of the long downturn and dismantling of the liberal compact: from New Deal and Great Society to the capitalist offensive under Reagan, Clinton and Bush.
  5. Lucio Magri,
    ‘Tailor of Ulm’ How should the Left think about the Communist experience today? A founding theorist of Il Manifesto reflects on the need for critical examination of the past—and the lessons to be drawn for the future from the PCI’s trajectory.
  6. Daniel Miller,
    ‘Sterilizing Cyberspace’ Daniel Miller on Jonathan Zittrain, The Future of the Internet. After the explosive growth of the Web, can the experimental freedoms on which it was founded resist the deadening technology of Xbox and iPhone?

Editorials:

  1. Tariq Ali,
    ‘Afghanistan’ Reasons for the West’s stalemate in Afghanistan sought neither in lack of troops and imperial treasure, nor in Pakistani obstruction, but in the very nature of the occupation regime. Tariq Ali on the actual results of ‘state-building’ in the Hindu Kush, as a broken country is subjected to the combined predations of NGOs and NATO.
  2. Perry Anderson,
    ‘On the Conjuncture’ A reckoning of global shifts in political and economic relations, with China emerging as new workshop of the world and US power, rationally applied elsewhere, skewed by Israeli interests in the Middle East. Oppositions to it gauged, along with theoretical visions that offer exits from the perpetual free-market present.
  3. Middle East, As fears are voiced within the US establishment of impending debacle in Iraq, a survey of the embattled landscape from Baghdad, Ramallah and Tehran to Beirut and Damascus. American control is slipping, Ali argues—but it is too soon to count on imperial defeat.
  4. Europe, Europe’s political landscape, revealed by the protest votes in France and the Netherlands. Mutation and dilation of the EU in the age of liberal hegemony, and lessons to be drawn from the unprecedented irruptions of discontent against it.
  5. Chechnya, Eager to embrace Putin, Western rulers and pundits continue to connive at the Russian occupation of Chechnya, as Moscow’s second murderous war in the Caucasus enters its sixth year. Traditions of resistance, popular demands for sovereignty and Russia’s brutal military response, in Europe’s forgotten colony.
  6. Iraq, With the now unanimous support of the ‘international community’, can Washington hope to recoup its gamble in Iraq? Prospects for the resistance and the Occupation, as the UN-approved government is hoisted into place.
  7. New Labour, Causes and consequences of Britain’s distinctive contribution to the repertoire of latter-day neoliberalism. The domestic and foreign record of the Blair regime, and its hybrid role in a shifting Atlantic order.