NLR 50

Tariq AliAfghanistan: Mirage of the Good War

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.

Benedict AndersonExit Suharto

What explains the extraordinary longevity of Indonesia’s ‘New Order’, and what are the legacies of three decades of dictatorship? Benedict Anderson details Suharto’s career, from colonial army to crony capitalism, and explores the consequences of his rule—political, social, cultural—for a disorientated, amnesiac present.

Robin BlackburnThe Subprime Crisis

As reverberations from the stricken mortgage market reach the real economy, Robin Blackburn reveals the origins of the crunch in the shadowy realms of financialization. Precedents from the bubbles and crash of the 1920s, warnings from pioneers and venture capitalists, and proposals for how to turn the crisis to socially redistributive effect.

Shih-Diing LiuCasino Colony

The transformation of the former Portuguese enclave of Macau into East Asia’s gambling capital by an alliance of local elites and Las Vegas entrepreneurs, under the approving gaze of Beijing. A frenzy of construction, rising inequalities and rampant corruption as outcomes of a neon-lit decolonization.

Sovereign Impunity

Alberto Toscano on Danilo Zolo, La giustizia dei vincitori: Da Norimberga a Baghdad. A Florentine legal scholar traces the postwar development of a system of punitive international law, and its 1990s deployment by the West to impose ‘victors’ justice’.

Rogue Projects

Alexander Cockburn on Sudhir Venkatesh, Gang Leader for a Day: A Rogue Sociologist Crosses the Line. Ethnographic memoir of life and times with the dealers, hookers and struggling residents of Chicago’s South Side Projects.

Atlantic Ideologies

Kees van der Pijl on Walter Russell Mead, God and Gold: Britain, America and the Making of the Modern World. Traditions of pragmatic flexibility as explanation for the ascendancy of the Anglosphere—and basis for a coming realignment of US foreign policy?