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  1. Mike Davis: The Last White Election? Panoramic survey of America’s political landscape as revealed by November’s vote, with age, gender, ethnicity and geography the volatile determinants of Obama’s victory. Within an increasingly polarized ideological force field, how will the coming struggles unfold between Democratic President and Senate and a Republican House, itself consumed by turmoil?
  2. Christopher Johnson: All Played Out? Christopher Johnson detects the patterns of a hidden philosophy of history, threaded through Claude Lévi-Strauss’s most famous works. Might its seeming pessimism—a sequence of downward turns from the Neolithic to the present—hold out the possibility of alternative outcomes, virtual destinies?
  3. Claude Lévi-Strauss: The Setting Sun In one of the last interviews before his death in 2009, the author of Tristes Tropiques discusses his early literary ambitions, the relation between field work and theory, and the future of anthropology as a discipline.
  4. Kevin Gray: Political Cultures of South Korea The presidential victory of Park Geun-Hye, the dictator’s daughter, as bid for a refurbished conservative hegemony in the ROK. Origins of the elite in colonial collaboration and anti-Communist modernization, and its attempts to re-hegemonize the country’s historical trajectory.
  5. Jiwei Xiao: A Traveller’s Glance Object of fierce controversy when first shown, Antonioni’s documentary Chung Kuo—filmed in the PRC during the Cultural Revolution—has since been largely overlooked within his oeuvre. The director of L’avventura as failed Marco Polo, whose patient, humanizing gaze left a record of China’s past that is belatedly being rediscovered.
  6. Bolívar Echeverría: Homo Legens Is the book-reader an endangered species? Bolívar Echeverría traces the emergence of the individual reading subject within the maelstrom of capitalist modernity, linking their fates to argue against Homo legens’s imminent demise.
  7. Adam Tooze: Empires at War Adam Tooze on Michael Mann, The Sources of Social Power, Volume III: Global Empires and Revolution, 1890–1945. The world-spanning crises of the early 20th century seen through the lens of historical sociology.
  8. Robin Blackburn: Finance for Anarchists Robin Blackburn on David Graeber, Debt: The First 5,000 Years. Anthropological enquiry into the fluctuating forms of money and credit over the longue durée.
  9. Gregor McLennan: Charting Radical Theory Gregor McLennan on Göran Therborn, From Marxism to Post-Marxism?. A balance-sheet of the legacies of radical social theory, and its prospects in the new century.



  1. 2011, Echoes of past rebellions in 2011’s global upsurge of protest. Against a backdrop of world economic slump, what forces will shape the outcome of contests between a raddled system and its emergent challengers?
  2. Arab Concatenation, From Tunis to Manama, 2011 has brought a chain-reaction of popular upheavals, in a region where imperial domination and domestic despotism have long been entwined. A call for political liberty to reconnect with social equality and Arab fraternity, in a radical new internationalism.
  3. NLR at 50, 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.
  4. Wall Street Crisis, Against mainstream accounts, Peter Gowan argues that the origins of the global financial crisis lie in the dynamics of the New Wall Street System that has emerged since the 1980s. Contours of the Atlantic model, and implications—geopolitical, ideological, economic—of its blow-out.
  5. NPT, What are the geopolitical origins of the NPT, and what are its actual effects? Non-proliferation as nuclear privilege of the few, weapon of intimidation of the one, submission of the many—and its impact on the peace movement.
  6. 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.
  7. Concert of Powers, 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.
  8. Force and Consent As war looms again in the Middle East, what are the aims of the Republican Administration, and how far do they mark a break in the long-term objectives of US global strategy? The changing elements of American hegemony in the post-Cold War world.
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