Susan Watkins on Geoffrey Wheatcroft, Strange Death of Tory England. Roles of déclassement, decolonization and Thatcherite revolution in the Conservative decline.
TORYISM AFTER BLAIR
If conservatism is staked on appeals to order or tradition, its political history has generally been one of schism, revolutionary rupture or military defeat. Few conservative parties on the European continent or in East Asia have a continuous organizational existence going back more than seventy years. Those in the Western hemisphere are little older; it was not until well into the 20th century that the gop emerged as a force to the right of the Democrats. Across Latin America military juntas have regularly made up for conservatism’s lack of popular support, with Colombia’s Partido Conservador the notable exception.
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The American anti-discrimination paradigm, generated in the 1960s to neutralize the threat of radical black protests, has provided the palimpsest for global feminism for the past twenty years. How will it be challenged by the eruption of new gender protests, from Buenos Aires to Warsaw, Washington to Rome?
How to assess the latest set-back for the European Union: the vote to leave by its second-largest state? Complex determinants of the Brexit protest—party-political contingencies played out against topographies of class and sub-national disaffection—met by single-minded condemnation of it by the global elite.
After years of economic crisis and social protest, the cartel parties of the extreme centre now face a challenge to their dominance from outside-left forces in a number of Western countries. Contours of the emergent left oppositions, their platforms and figureheads, from Tsipras to Corbyn, Sanders to Mélenchon, Grillo to Iglesias.
The Political State of the Union
Debt, deflation and stagnation have now become the familiar economic stigmata of the EU. But what of its political distortions? A survey of the three principal—and steadily worsening—imbalances in the outcome of European integration: the oligarchic cast of its governors, the lop-sided rise of Germany, and the declining autonomy of the Union as a whole in the North Atlantic universe.
After decades of connivance with territorial seizures from Palestine to East Timor, the West rediscovers the principle of state sovereignty in Crimea. The actual record of 20th-century land grabs, and the cross-cutting geopolitical pressures bearing down on Ukraine.
Another Turn Of The Screw?
Beneath the roiling surface of the Euro-crisis, a further chapter of the EU integration project is underway. Susan Watkins on the institutional machinery Berlin is imposing across the Union, and the political stakes—and hypocrisies—laid bare by the struggle.
Presentism? Reply to T.J. Clark
Responding to Clark, Susan Watkins questions the adequacy of a perspective built upon man’s propensity for violence, and defends a historicized politics of social transformation against the cramped horizon of the present.
Remembering the watercolourist, typographer and writer—resident art critic at the London Review of Books—who redesigned NLR.
Anatomy of the UK’s new crossbreed government, and the uneven electoral geography that produced it. Amid the ruins of New Labour’s economic model and spreading Euro-turbulence, what prospects for resistance to austerity’s impending axe?
What remains of the neo-liberal order after the implosion of 2008—with what implications for a journal of the left? Notes for a future research agenda, as NLR enters its quinquagenary year.