NLR 80

G. M. TamásWords from Budapest

A dissident philosopher traces his path from Ceaușescu’s Romania to Orbán’s Hungary, and from liberalism to Marxism. Memories of a vanquished world and premonitions of a bleak future in Eastern Europe, amid a downgrading of citizen equality.

Régis DebrayDecline of the West?

Mired in recession at home, pledged to perpetual warfare on the periphery—in what shape is the global sheriff? Régis Debray draws up a balance sheet of its vital symptoms.

Asef BayatRevolution in Bad Times

Euphoric celebrations of the Arab uprisings have skated over their profoundly ambiguous character. Asef Bayat explains the failure to make a clean sweep of the old order in terms of a self-limiting programme that stems from the discredit of traditional revolutionary models.

Tariq AliBetween Past and Future

Responding to Asef Bayat, Tariq Ali argues that any adequate analysis of the outcomes of the Arab Spring must reckon with Washington’s tight defence of its interests in the region. The dynamics of the revolts located in a long history of Western intervention.

Peter NolanImperial Archipelagos

While China’s maritime aspirations have been widely criticized, little attention has been paid to the UN compact that guarantees Western imperial powers exploitation rights over vast expanses of the world’s oceans.

Benedict AndersonThe Unrewarded

Capricious patterns of distribution for the Nobel prize in literature as a reflection of changing geo-political currents, from belle époque to Cold War to globalized present.

Sven LüttickenPerformance Art After TV

Relations between TV and performance art since the 1960s as a tangled skein of complicity and contestation. Sven Lütticken traces shifts in modes of acting, working and self-presentation, within a televisual world itself now being absorbed by cybernetic and digital systems.

Systemic Slowdown?

Kozo Yamamura on Tyler Cowen, The Great Stagnation. Can flagging growth in the US be explained by closing technological frontiers?

Delhi’s Dynasts

Kheya Bag on Rani Singh, Sonia Gandhi: An Extraordinary Life, An Indian Destiny. Flacking for the world’s longest-running electoral dynasty.

Third World and After

Ian Birchall on Christoph Kalter, Die Entdeckung der Dritten Welt. The French left’s discovery of the Third World.