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New Left Review 10, July-August 2001

States, markets, firms, classes, movements—how are they inter-related and where are they moving in the new century? Göran Therborn offers a panorama of global politics that amounts to a powerful and original alternative to all existing readings of the state of the world.



Politics are thought and fought, policies forged and implemented, political ideas wax and wane within a global space. [1] This paper was first presented at a conference on ‘La Izquierda ante los Nuevos Tiempos’ organized by the senators of the PRD in Mexico City, 19 April 2001. The space itself decides nothing: only actors and their actions can do that. But it is this dimension—long global, in many respects, but with its worldwide connectivity now greatly thickened—that endows these actors with their strengths and weaknesses, constraints and opportunities. It constitutes the coordinates of their political moves. Skill and responsibility in the art of politics, luck and genius—and their opposites—remain intact within this realm; but it is the latter that largely allocates the political actors their cards.

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