NLR 40

Malcolm BullStates of Failure

The question of agency remains the central lacuna in the construction of systemic alternatives. Building on ‘The Limits of Multitude’ in NLR 35, Malcolm Bull proposes a reconceptualization of the relation between collective will and invisible hand. Can bearings drawn from Hegel, Gramsci, Sartre indicate the route to a new global order through dissolution of the Western imperial state?

Gadi AlgaziOffshore Zionism

How a militarized alliance of state-subsidized software firms, real-estate developers and captive Orthodox labour is forging the path of the Separation Wall in the Occupied Territories. Call for a cyber community boycott to support Palestinian farmers and Israeli oppositionists in their fight against it.

R. Taggart MurphyEast Asia’s Dollars

Discussions of the sustainability of the US current-account deficit—trending upward from $800bn—rarely plumb the long-term motives of its creditors. Taggart Murphy analyses the historical roots of Tokyo’s post-1868 geofinancial support for the ruling superpower, London or Washington, and the implications of China’s rise for Japanese strategy.

Terry EagletonPolitical Beckett?

Samuel Beckett’s work for the French Resistance set against his dogged refusal of all ideology. The traces of Ireland’s history—hunger, deferment, deflation, indeterminacy—in his exile art.

Immanuel WallersteinThe Curve of American Power

Will strategic failure in Iraq hasten a decline in US hegemony? Immanuel Wallerstein surveys the global landscape that might emerge from the longue durée of American rule, with rival regional powers competing for energy, water and markets in an unstructured world-political order.

Sven LüttickenSuspense and . . . Surprise

Media projections of the ‘war on terror’ as manipulations of shock and time, purveyed through a perpetual present of 24-hour coverage and on-line news. Lessons from Hitchcock, Conrad and Benjamin on the poetics of suspense and possibilities for a rehistoricization of the attentat.

Amit ChaudhuriEast as a Career

Oriental orientalism? Amit Chaudhuri unravels assumptions in the charge, levelled at India’s anglophone writers, of exoticizing the Subcontinent for Western markets—and explores alternative strategies of estrangement that would disrupt conventional national narratives.

Imperial doxa from the Berlin Republic

Benno Teschke on Herfried Münkler, Imperien. Can an ideal-type for empire be deduced from a historical sociology of Han, Persian, Roman, Ottoman and US models? Prescriptions from Berlin for a second-tier European Empire.


Jan Breman on Mike Davis, Planet of Slums. Panorama of the epochal shift to a majority urban world, with the vast mass of the destitute driven to subsistence tactics in their villas miseria.

The Life and Times of Simón B

Tariq Ali on John Lynch, Simón Bolívar: a Life. The Liberator as pragmatist, and his legacy from the colonial Andes to the Caracas of today—a prophylactic portrait for the times?