NLR 100

Susan WatkinsCasting Off?

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.

Malcolm BullSoftening Up the State

What advice might Machiavelli offer critics of the contemporary market nation-state? In this striking reconstruction, lessons on corruption, inequality, immigration, mobilization—from Rome and Sparta, Florence and the Venetian Republic—yield proposals for open borders and universal basic income.

Tony WoodDark Mirrors

Fine-grained reading of the films of Andrei Zvyagintsev, from the abstract allegories of his earlier work to the unsparing portrayals of contemporary Russia in Elena and Leviathan, exemplary of a new social turn in post-Soviet cinema. Reflections of class polarization and fables of power, with Orthodoxy as its prop.

Perry AndersonThe Heirs of Gramsci

Transformations of the Prison Notebooks’ fertile problematic of hegemony by a quartet of thinkers—Hall, Laclau, Guha, Arrighi—from Jamaica, Buenos Aires, Bengal, Milan. Coercion and persuasion, ideology and economic interest, national and inter-state systems as means for thinking Thatcherism’s ascendancy, populist strategies, peasant rebellion, post-colonial rule and the geo-political logics of American power.

Nancy FraserContradictions of Capital and Care

Nancy Fraser tracks the reconfiguration of the relations of social reproduction under successive regimes of accumulation—‘separate spheres’, male breadwinner, dual-income household. Are the exactions of financialized capitalism now serving to undermine its lifeworld?

Michel AgliettaAmerica’s Slowdown

Robert Gordon’s panoramic Rise and Fall of American Growth foregrounds exogenous explanations for the fall-off in us economic dynamism since the seventies. Challenging his account, Michel Aglietta explores the role financial rents and shareholder agendas have played in sapping growth—and prospects for a new era of eco-tech innovations.

The Free Machine

Rob Lucas on Paul Mason, Postcapitalism. The present crisis interpreted as the stalled transition to a new mode of production, augured by info-tech’s ascent.

Audit Culture

Emma Fajgenbaum on David Graeber, The Utopia of Rules. Rather than rolling back the state, has neoliberalism diffused it, with workers now administrators of themselves?

The Conformists?

David Owen on Lorna Finlayson, The Political is Political. Rawlsian political philosophy as a depoliticized realm where dissent from liberal norms is silenced.