NLR 63

Susan WatkinsBlue Labour?

Anatomy of the UK’s new crossbreed government, and the uneven electoral geography that produced it. Amid the ruins of New Labour’s economic model and spreading Euro-turbulence, what prospects for resistance to austerity’s impending axe?

Tom HazeldineThe North Atlantic Counsel

Profile of the conflict-instigation NGO, International Crisis Group. Tom Hazeldine follows the parallel courses of its Atlanticist advocacy and of Western military aggressions, from the Balkans to Mesopotamia.

Paul NugentStates and Social Contracts in Africa

Arguing for a renewed focus on political economy, Nugent surveys repertoires of state power and forms of social contract in Africa. Control of revenue, land and population as variables permuted by post-colonial regimes—and reordered by the pressures of structural adjustment.

Zhang XudongPoetics of Vanishing

Cinematic portraits of China’s breakneck social and economic transformation, as seen from street level at its provincial margins. Zhang Xudong on motifs of disappearance, demolition and mobility in the films of Jia Zhangke.

Steven Rose & Hilary RoseDarwin and After

A century and a half on from Origin of Species, what is the present state of evolutionary theory? Hilary Rose and Steven Rose examine current debates around epigenesis, ‘evo-devo’ and adaptation, emphasizing—contra the determinists—contingency’s role in biological outcomes.

Stefan JonssonThe Ideology of Universalism

Contending visions of universality, from Kantian common sense to the doctrine of human rights. Can a constellation of singularities emerge within the standardization envisaged by globalized production? Prompts from Musil, Gursky and the carpet-weavers of Kuyan-Bulak.

Spain’s Invisible Army

Alistair Hennessy on Ronald Fraser, Napoleon’s Cursed War. Masterly close-quarters account of Spanish popular resistance to the Emperor’s designs, from the author of Blood of Spain.

Family Resemblances

Michael Mann on Peter Baldwin, The Narcissism of Minor Differences. Beneath the distinctions commonly perceived, do Europe and America fundamentally resemble one another?

The Business of Belonging

Kristin Surak on John L Comaroff and Jean Comaroff, Ethnicity, Inc. Anthropological case studies in the commodification of ethnic identity.