The Parallax View
The philosophical basis for social action, as recast in Kojin Karatani’s striking Transcritique. On Kant and Marx. Slavoj Žižek investigates the irreducible antinomies of production and circulation—or economics and politics—as envisioned from the gap in between.
How the Indian version of the Three Gorges Dam—the great series of barrages planned by state governments and international financial institutions in the Narmada Valley—was fought to a provisional halt by village resistance, in a popular campaign with lessons for every society in the Third World.
On the Attack
The founder of the single most successful movement against neoliberal globalization, and architect of the World Social Forum, discusses the French origins and international growth of ATTAC. Its connexions with Le Monde diplomatique and vision of the battles against financial markets and privatization to come.
Replying to Michael Hardt with an alternative look at Porto Alegre, Tom Mertes argues that while the variety of movements and forces in the WSF is not to be reduced to a single scale, the differences between them are less to do with organization than strategy.
Beyond Civil Society
A Brazilian view of the World Social Forum, in its regional and international context. How the landscape of the world’s Left has changed, and whether the ideologies of non-governmental organization and civil society are capable of resisting what they criticize.
The Filipino analyst and organizer of Focus on the Global South, veteran of the years of Allende and Marcos, discusses the prospects for the World Social Forum after September 11, arguing for the need to link protests against the IMF and WTO to campaigns against US military expansion.
Porto Alegre: Today’s Bandung?
The World Social Forum at Porto Alegre has become symbolic of the forces beginning to shape a front of common resistance to the pattern of imperial globalization. Yet its character and composition remain little understood. Michael Hardt analyses the debates within it, and their political potential.
Barring the Doors
Jacob Stevens on Jeremy Harding, The Uninvited; Michael Dummett, On Immigration and Refugees; and Teresa Hayter, Open Borders. The blockading of Europe’s frontiers against the arrival of those in fear or need, and the reasons why ‘aliens’ should be welcomed.
A Farmers' International?
The demolisher of McDonald’s explains his personal background, the history of the Peasants’ Confederation in France, and the international objectives of Via Campesina. Struggles in the countryside of the Massif Central or Karnataka as spear-points in the anti-globalization movement.
Why Europe Needs a Constitution
Germany’s leading philosopher argues that further development of the European Union requires both a mobilizing political project—positively differentiating the Old World from the New—and a formal Constitution, submitted to a popular referendum.
Into the 21st Century
States, markets, firms, classes, movements—how are they inter-related and where are they moving in the new century? Göran Therborn offers a panorama of global politics that amounts to a powerful and original alternative to all existing readings of the state of the world.
Reclaiming the Commons
The anti-globalization movement is the talk of the financial press. Naomi Klein asks how far it is against globalization and whether it is a movement, arguing it is better described as a broadening series of different struggles against privatization—in every sense.
The Muddles of Multiculturalism
Multiculturalism is the right-minded rhetoric of diversity of the moment. What is its political substance? Brian Barry reads Britain’s Parekh Report and considers the animating philosophy behind it. How far are they compatible with an egalitarian universalism, and what are the implications for traditionalist minorities? Are doctrines of karma just a harmless metaphysical whim?
The Origins of Atlantic Liberalism
Peter Gowan on Richard Tuck, Rights of War and Peace: Political Thought and the International Order from Grotius to Kant. The origins of ‘liberal’ interventionism by the NATO powers today in the doctrines of colonial retribution and expropriation of the seventeenth century.
Why Does the Emperor Need the Yakuza?
Japan’s flashy gangsters look to be the antithesis of its austere emperors. Bertell Ollman contends that there is a structural connexion between them. Rule by an unelected bureaucracy requires an inviolate imperial symbol for compensating legitimacy, which must in turn be shielded from queries or criticisms by criminal thugs. An American Marxist challenges the central taboo of Japanese public life.
US Elections: Testing Formula Two
If the eighties were the decade of the Right in the West, the nineties saw a comparable sweep by the Centre-Left. Does the loss of the US Presidency by the Democrats presage another turn of the wheel in Atlantic politics? With Bush at the helm in the New World, what are the prospects for the Gores of the Old?
Mexico: Permuting Power
Mexico’s new Foreign Minister discusses his country’s prospects under Fox, and explains the thinking behind the ‘Buenos Aires Consensus’ programme for Latin America which will face its first major test there. What is in store for the country after eight decades of PRI rule?
Fire at the Castle Gate
The Chinese intellectual scene has been transformed by the emergence of a New Left. Its leading theorist explains how and why the neo-liberal consensus of the early nineties broke down, and considers what a radical agenda should look like as social and political problems mount.
Britain After Nairn
How far can the path from Thatcher to Blair be written as a dynamic of Ukanian constitutional involution, or devolution? Francis Mulhern questions whether classes can be so quickly bundled off-stage. Is it possible to speak of nations—English, Scottish, Irish or any other—as political communities, without social or ideological dispositions?
A Left Within the Place of Nothingness
Japan’s Left is the least known of any major state, outside its own borders. Asada Akira situates it in a wide-angled panorama of his country: Japanese political, philosophical and cultural life from inter-war days to the dissatisfied, postmodern present.
McKibbin argues that New Labour's constitutional tensions are inherited from the Thatcherite project of centralizing power in order to promote a neoliberal political economy; and Labour's previous commitments to devolution. Tocqueville's view of constitutional inheritance and evolution is cited in opposition to Mair's model of a coherent Blairite strategy.
Globalization and Political Strategy
The all-purpose G-word, as slogan and euphemism, needs taking apart. Fredric Jameson dismantles its different components—technological, political, cultural, economic and social—and reassembles them into a coherent target for collective resistance.
Corporate Populism and Partyless Democracy
Are there more tensions in New Labour’s constitutional reforms than Peter Mair’s model of a ‘partyless democracy’ allows? Anthony Barnett argues that the style of Blair’s government is actually closer to that of a large media corporation—bound to come to grief on the variegated realities of modern Ukania.