NLR 115

articles
Susan WatkinsAmerica vs China

Introducing a triptych of perspectives on the PRC, as the drumbeat from Washington grows louder. Is the American imperium now so vast, so overweening in its demands, that any rising power must grate against it?

Peter NolanThe CPC and the Ancien Régime

Roots of the PRC’s legitimating ideology in the longue durée of Chinese history, as source of the Party’s confidence that it need not imitate Western models in the coming century. Peter Nolan sets out the view from Zhongnanhai on the desirable relation between market and state—a potential alternative to the current world order?

Christopher ConneryRonald Coase in Beijing

On the eve of the financial crisis, Giovanni Arrighi’s Adam Smith in Beijing posited the advent of a world-equalizing market state in China. Christopher Connery now takes a sardonic look at the country’s ‘institutional economics’ through the eyes of an idiosyncratic English Hayekian.

interview
Victor ShihChina’s Credit Conundrum

Interviewed by Robert Brenner, Victor Shih discusses the one-off factors that enabled China’s rise as workshop of the world and its subsequent dependence on state credit as driver of growth. Contradictions between the conditions for political and financial stability, as the Xi regime superintends an unsteady slowdown.

articles
Didier Fassin & Anne-Claire DefossezAn Improbable Movement?

The policies and pretensions of a Bourbonnais president as background to the political insurgency of provincial France. Origins and complexion of the gilets jaunes mobilization, with the Elysée resorting to the worst police violence since May 68.

Mark Burton & Peter SomervilleDegrowth: A Defence

Counterblast to Robert Pollin’s programme in NLR 112 for a green-growth new deal, arguing that a radical reduction in greenhouse-gas emissions requires a smaller global economy. Proposals for a drastic overhaul of production, construction, transportation and agricultural practices.

Lola SeatonGreen Questions

A survey of the ‘green strategy’ debate in recent numbers of NLR unravels the threads of twin disagreements about GDP growth, which appears, by turns, a political-economic necessity and an ecological death-sentence. Steady-state, half-earthing, degrowth, green new deal? All have questions to answer.

reviews
Fictions of Culture

Frederik Van Dam on Francis Mulhern, Figures of Catastrophe. Elegant elucidation of an unsuspected literary genre centred on culture as a ground for social conflict.

Imagined Transmigrations

Alexandra Reza on Stephen Smith, La ruée vers Europe. Projected convergence of African demographic growth and economic stagnation as conditions for a migratory ‘scramble for Europe’.

Mutinous Territory

Rebecca Lossin on Mauvaise Troupe, The ZAD and NoTAV. Oral history and barefoot ethnography combine in a participants’ account of territorial struggles in Piedmont and Brittany.