Programme notes

article
Robert BrennerEscalating Plunder

In the US, amid soaring unemployment, loss of health insurance and rising poverty, a $4 trillion hand-out to capital, with Biden’s party and Trump’s shoulder to shoulder. Robert Brenner analyses the Covid-19 bailout in the broader context of a faltering productive economy and growing elite predation.

interview
Roberto SchwarzNeo-Backwardness In Bolsonaro’s Brazil

Brazil's foremost cultural theorist considers parallels between the rise of Bolsonaro and the 1964 military coup. Is capital once again advancing its modernization programme with the support of the country’s most backward-looking elements? Paradoxes of politics and culture, from Machado to the present, via tropicalismo and Glauber Rocha.

articles
Sharachchandra LeleEnvironment and Well-Being

Critical considerations on NLR’s eco-strategy debate from the perspective of the Global South. Is the Northern focus on reducing carbon emissions blinkered about more pressing human and environmental needs?

Mao JianOf Pestilence and Love

Reflections on literary treatments of pandemic, from Boccaccio and Chaucer to Maugham, Mann and Camus. Plague as revelation and reconfiguration, as decadence, death and rebirth, and as bearer of revolution.

Wolfgang StreeckEngels’s Second Theory

The author of Buying Time detects a state-political supplement to Marxian social theory in Engels’s analyses of 19th-century militarism. The interplay of modes of production and destruction, class struggle and international warfare, from the Crimea to the War on Terror.

Carlo GinzburgMachiavelli, Galileo and The Censors

Under the Inquisition, twin defences against the challenge of natural and political science, hinging on the distinction of reasoning simpliciter and sub conditione. A striking commonality in the cases of Machiavelli and Galileo, targets of the censors and progenitors of upheaval in Renaissance thought.

Monique SicardEutopia

‘Brussels’ is the ubiquitous synecdoche for EU rule, but the spatial reality of the Belgian capital’s European Quarter is less discussed. What does its architecture say about the EU project, and how might we imagine its alternatives?

Francis MulhernIn the Academic Counting-House

Leading opponent of the British university’s subordination to metrics, bureaucracy and capital; heir to the English moralists and foe of declinism. What kind of critic is Stefan Collini?

reviews

Lorna Finlayson on Katrina Forrester, In the Shadow of Justice. The gestation of Rawlsian justice theory, marked by postwar neoliberal thought and Oxford ‘ordinary language’ philosophy.

Julian Stallabrass on Dougie Wallace, East Ended. London’s denizens harshly satirized under the lens and flash-guns of a latter-day Cruikshank.

Adrian Grama on Oskar Negt Überlebensglück and Erfahrungsspuren. The social theorist traces his passage through German history and formation in and against the Frankfurt School.