NLR 44

Cihan TuğalNato’s Islamists

Analysing the current hegemony of Erdoğan’s AKP in Turkey, Cihan Tuğal argues that the party has been the agent of a classic passive revolution, effectively shoring up the Kemalist state. Paradoxes of ‘Americanization with Muslim characteristics’, against the backdrop of Western military intervention in the Middle East.

Vladimir PopovRussia Redux?

A balance-sheet of Russia’s post-Soviet fortunes, placing the devastating collapse of the 1990s and recent revival under Putin in comparative context. Vladimir Popov warns of the dangers—overvalued currency, oil dependence, crumbling infrastructure—on the road ahead.

Tony WoodContours of the Putin Era

Responding to Vladimir Popov, Tony Wood examines the geographical and social distribution of Russia’s recent economic growth. What are the priorities and outlook of the emerging business-state elite—and whom will Putin’s ‘stabilization’ benefit?

Forrest HyltonRemaking Medellín

Transformed from murder capital to corporate boom town, Medellín has been hailed as a rare urban success story for neo-conservatism in South America. The singular progression of Escobar and Uribe’s hometown—cattle-trading post, industrial centre, drug-trafficking hub, neoliberal Latin Mecca.

Peter WollenOn Gaze Theory

The author of Signs and Meaning in the Cinema traces the dialectic of the gaze from Hegel to Hitchcock, via Kojève, Lacan, Sartre, Vertov and Kuleshov. Vision and voyeurism, selfhood and spectatorship in psychoanalysis, philosophy and cinema.

Sven LüttickenIdolatry and its Discontents

Amid rhetorical dust-storms over purported Islamist threats to Western values, Sven Lütticken finds antecedents for contemporary struggles over the image in Judaic and Protestant bans on idolatry. Multiple meanings of the veil and varying forms of iconoclasm, under the aegis of the spectacle.

Stephen GrahamWar and the City

As Bush pours extra troops into Baghdad, Pentagon strategists plan for the urban future of warfare. Stephen Graham surveys the emerging network of US military training facilities—Potemkin battlefields and slum simulacra designed to replicate the alleyways of the global South.

Contesting Confucius

Henry Zhao on Jean-François Billeter, Contre François Jullien. France’s celebrity popularizer of Chinese philosophy assailed for his political occlusions, amid Confucian crossfire in the PRC itself.

Absolute Zero

Barry Schwabsky on Kirk Varnedoe, Pictures of Nothing. Valedictory Stateside view of abstract art, shorn of its revolutionary beginnings and collective ambitions, from MoMA’s former chief curator.

Light from the Fens?

Christopher Brooke on Mark Goldie and Robert Wokler, eds, The Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Political Thought. Enlightenment thinking in France, Germany, England, Scotland and America, as seen by the heirs of Pocock and Skinner.