The Myth of Anglophone Succession
How far are the systems of British and American international power historically comparable? Can the imperium presided over by Clinton and Blair be regarded as essentially a sequel to the Victorian order guided by Palmerston or Salisbury, or does it represent something quite new—the first true hegemony in history?
The American expedition to Baghdad, and world-wide reactions to the new imperium. From mass demonstrations against the war to the diplomatic hypocrisies colluding with it. The UN as framework of blockade and intervention yesterday, and mask of reconstruction tomorrow.
The Social and Political Economy of Global Turbulence
In a landmark engagement with Robert Brenner’s account of the long downturn of the world economy since the 70s, Giovanni Arrighi lays out a social and political economy of the roles of labour unrest, national liberation and corporate financialization in the crisis of the post-war order, and the prospects for a militarized US hegemony today.
Letter from America
Why does a malcontent Europe not simply sue for union with the global hegemon, discarding its wisps of independence to exchange proud membership of the American Empire for today’s sullen servility? A jeu d’esprit from the 18th century in the caustic spirit of S*** and V***.
A Calculus of Power
John Mearsheimer’s Tragedy of Great Power Politics disdains liberal-imperial rhetoric for a tough-minded theory of ‘offensive realism’. Peter Gowan argues that, whatever its merits, the behaviour of states in the international system cannot be dissociated from the internal dynamics of the political orders they protect.
From Slavery to Mass Incarceration
The fate of US blacks, from the time of Jefferson to that of Reagan and Clinton, trapped within four successive ‘peculiar institutions’, under a sociological spotlight. The origins of American racism and its outcomes in today’s hyperghetto and prison regimes.
A reigning doctrine of international relations proclaims that, despite everything, the world is entering a new epoch of hopeful cosmopolitanism—narrow state sovereignty being overcome by the common and, where necessary, armed resolve of a ‘Pacific Union’ of democratic nations. What then of the asymmetric hegemony of the United States?
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?
The Rise of America’s Prison-Industrial Complex
Why look at the famous incarceration rates of the US only from the standpoint of the consumer—America’s two million prisoners? David Ladipo shows how practical and profitable they are for the producer—attracting investment and generating employment where small towns and impoverished counties need them most. What could be more rational than sentencing laws that keep the industry booming?
The Boom and the Bubble
In the last four years, the US economy has posted its best performance since the sixties. What is the connexion between the formidable boom in the real economy and the historically unprecedented bubble on the stock market? Could the inflation of asset values far beyond the rise in corporate earnings be preparing a Japanese-style nemesis?
Chronicle of a City Foretold
Andy Merrifield on Mike Davis, Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Big City. What are the patterns, and what will be the consequences—social, cultural, political—of the massive influx of immigrants from lands south of the Rio Grande into North American cityscapes?
Clinton’s finest hour, on the welfare front. The moral hysterias and mean calculations of US reform are now a benchmark for post-social-democracy in Britain. Joel Handler considers the fall in American welfare rolls, and the realities of poverty and vulnerability behind them.
Anatomy of Clintonomics
The performance of the American economy is widely hailed as stellar, and the policies of the US President as financially prudent and socially progressive. Robert Pollin dismantles Clinton’s record as steward and reformer. Stock bubble and poverty sump as ‘residuals’ of the New Economy?
The New Imperial State
Globalization is the watchword of the moment. Does it mean the irresistible sway of markets over states—or are welfare regimes in Europe or dirigiste governments in East Asia still potentially robust? Neither, Leo Panitch argues: the reality is an unprecedented dominance of the United States over world capital flows and allied political systems alike.
Seattle Diary: It’s a Gas, Gas, Gas
“Seattle has always struck me as a suspiciously clean city, manifesting a tidiness that verges on the compulsive. It is the Singapore of the United States: spitpolished, glossy, and eerily beautiful. Indeed, there is, perhaps, no more scenic setting for a city set next to Elliot Bay on . . .” read more
Inequality and Unemployment in Europe: The American Cure
“What is the relationship between inequality and unemployment? This question is perhaps the most important issue in the political economy of Europe, and it has relevance for other regions with developing transnational ties, including the United States and the North American region.” read more
The Bosnian Protectorate and the Implications for Kosovo
“The international Contact Group proposals for the future of Kosovo, put forward at the Paris/Rambouillet talks, in February 1999—advocating an international Implementations Mission in Kosovo—were based on the provisions of the Dayton Peace Agreement of November 1995, which ended the Bosnian conflict. If nato gets its way, . . .” read more
Kosovo: The War of NATO Expansion
“nato has established a Kosovo protectorate at the cost of great suffering for its people, and in a manner calculated to store up future problems. The bombing by nato generalized and greatly intensified the persecution of the Kosovans and destroyed infrastructure throughout Yugoslavia. There were . . .” read more
Against the Double Blackmail
“The prize-winner in the contest for the greatest blunder of 1998 was a Latin American patriotic terrorist who sent a letter-bomb to a us consulate in order to protest against the Americans interfering in local politics. As a conscientious citizen, he wrote on the envelope his return . . .” read more
Protecting the Kosovars?
“Once again, and led by the United States as usual, a war is being conducted—this time in Europe—against an unprincipled and racist dictator who will almost certainly survive the onslaught, even though thousands of innocents will pay the actual price. The pretext this time is, of course, the . . .” read more
Magical Urbanism: Latinos Reinvent the US Big City
“Sometime during 1996, at the very latest, Latinos surpassed Blacks as the second largest ethno-racial group in New York City. (They long have been the largest census group in the Bronx.) There were no street celebrations in El Barrio or Washington Heights, nor did the mayor hold a . . .” read more
Springtime for NATO
“When Western leaders assemble in Washington, later this year, to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of nato, how will they assess the Balkan campaign of Spring 1999? The aim of the summit is a new mission statement for nato, transforming it from a defensive alliance into a . . .” read more
The NATO Powers and the Balkan Tragedy
“Western powers usually legitimize military interventions in terms of a proclaimed commitment to some universalist norm or to some goal embodying such a norm. These declared goals can oscillate, but they are important because a central element of their foreign policy, particularly when it involves starting a war, . . .” read more
Why There Will Be No Revolution in the US: A Reply to Daniel Lazare
“In recent years, Daniel Lazare has emerged as one of the most provocative and insightful critics of the us federal constitution and the superstitious reverence for it which is cultivated by the American political establishment. In his brilliant polemic The Frozen Republic (1996), Lazare subjected American political . . .” read more
Securing Occupation: The Real Meaning of the Wye River Memorandum
“As a formal document, the Wye River Memorandum breaks no new ground.Its stated purpose is merely to reaffirm and ‘facilitate implementation’ of ‘prior agreements’.Nonetheless, the Memorandum illuminates the process set in motion at Oslo and dispels lingering illusions.In these remarks, I will first sketch the crucial historical background, . . .” read more
America the Undemocratic
“The United States, as every American schoolchild knows, is the oldest and still greatest political democracy on earth. Non(Un?)-Americans may disagree, but on one point there is complete unanimity: the United States is different. Just how different can be gleaned from two seemingly innocuous statements by the man . . .” read more