Refine your search
The Missing Text
The debates of the English New Left in the summer of 1961 as backdrop to the memorable essay by Raymond Williams, printed below—and possible explanation for its first appearance in an obscure, formerly CIA-funded literary journal. Perry Anderson asks how knowledge of it would revise Edward Thompson’s critical assessment of The Long Revolution in NLR.
An Afternoon with Althusser
Notes on a conversation in the summer of 1977, when the philosopher made an impromptu visit to the NLR office. Wide-ranging discussion on Althusser’s relations with the PCF, the condition of Marxism, the Chinese and Russian revolutions compared; Trotsky, Sraffa and the problems with Gramsci’s concept of hegemony.
The Centre Can Hold
How did Emmanuel Macron become President of France virtually overnight? What are the likely consequences of his rule? The long epoch of collusive alternation between Centre-Left and Centre-Right, and its abrupt ending; the realities of Le Pen’s Front National, and the riposte of Mélenchon’s La France insoumise. Has neo-liberalism finally arrived in force in Paris, and if so what are the implications for Europe?
The Heirs of Gramsci
Transformations of the Prison Notebooks’ fertile problematic of hegemony by a quartet of thinkers—Hall, Laclau, Guha, Arrighi—from Jamaica, Buenos Aires, Bengal, Milan. Coercion and persuasion, ideology and economic interest, national and inter-state systems as means for thinking Thatcherism’s ascendancy, populist strategies, peasant rebellion, post-colonial rule and the geo-political logics of American power.
The House of Zion
The fate of the Palestinians and the fortunes of Israel, after fifty years of occupation, and American and European collusion with it. Realities behind the official tropes decorating a ‘two-state solution’, and hesitations of nascent debate over a single state in the territory once ruled as a mandate by Britain.
With the collisions over Ukraine, the contradictions in Russia’s relations with the West have been sharpened by sanctions and economic crisis. Perry Anderson on the spectre of Great Power status that still informs the post-multinational nation—and why, despite all the Kremlin’s attempts at integration with the US–EU, the country remains indigestible.
Retrospective on the liberated life and work of Alexander Cockburn, whose last book, A Colossal Wreck, completes a dazzling triptych. Shaping influences of family, place and political epoch on a singularly radical temperament, and the keen-edged prose in which it found expression.
In the American intellectual landscape, the literature of grand strategy forms a domain of its own, distinct from diplomatic history or political science, though it may occasionally draw on these. Its sources lie in the country’s security elite, which extends across the bureaucracy and the academy to foundations, think-tanks and . . . read more
Since the Second World War, the external order of American power has been largely insulated from the internal political system. If party competition in the domestic arena has rested on rival electoral blocs, combining significant fluidity of contours with increasing sharpness of conflicts, in the global arena such differences are . . . read more
On the Concatenation in the Arab World
From Tunis to Manama, 2011 has brought a chain-reaction of popular upheavals, in a region where imperial domination and domestic despotism have long been entwined. A call for political liberty to reconnect with social equality and Arab fraternity, in a radical new internationalism.
A New Germany?
What have been the outcomes of reunification in the Federal Republic? Perry Anderson charts contradictory cross-currents within its polity, economy, culture and society, gauging the impact of a contested neoliberal offensive on the ‘Modell Deutschland’ and its intellectual life.
Jottings on the Conjuncture
A reckoning of global shifts in political and economic relations, with China emerging as new workshop of the world and US power, rationally applied elsewhere, skewed by Israeli interests in the Middle East. Oppositions to it gauged, along with theoretical visions that offer exits from the perpetual free-market present.
Arms and Rights
In an era of serial war, Rawls, Habermas and Bobbio as theorists of a perpetual peace. Jurisprudence and force in three parallel philosophical constructions of the present international order, and the unsettled afterthoughts—American, German, Italian—that accompanied them.
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?
A Sense of the Left
Norberto Bobbio’s book on the Right and Left marks a significant moment in the author’s long and distinguished career as a political thinker. Published during the Italian electoral campaign of 1994, Destra e Sinistrais one of his most topical and personal writings, whose popular success in Italy is not hard . . . read more
A Culture in Contraflow--II
Amovement from modes of production to those of communication, which marks the historical anthropology of Jack Goody was, of course, also one of the central themes of the work of Raymond Williams. The parallels in the development of an original cultural materialism in the two bodies of writing are not . . . read more
A Culture in Contraflow--I
Few subjects can be so elusive as a national culture. The term lends itself to any number of meanings, each presenting its own difficulties of definition or application. Towards the end of the sixties, I tried to explore what seemed one significant structure to fall under such a heading in . . . read more
Roberto Unger and the Politics of Empowerment
The largest industrial power of the Southern hemisphere has recently completed one of the most protracted and divisive processes of constitution-making in modern history. The fruits of nineteen months of labour by the Constituent Assembly of Brazil have already aroused violent reactions. ‘Clauses on employment worthy of Cuba, on foreign . . . read more
The Affinities of Norberto Bobbio
In early 1848, within a few weeks of each other, two antithetical texts were published in London, on the eve of European revolution. One was The Communist Manifesto, by Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels. The other was Principles of Political Economy, by John Stuart Mill. The former famously declared that . . . read more
The Figures of Descent
The debates aroused by a number of theses on Britain, published in New Left Review some twenty years ago, had at their centre a dispute over the character of the dominant class in Hanoverian and Victorian England, and the nature of the state over which it presided. These were the . . . read more
Modernity and Revolution
The subject of our session this evening has been a focus of intellectual debate and political passion for at least six or seven decades now.footnote* It already has a long history, in other words. It so happens, however, that within the last year there has appeared a book which reopens . . . read more
Trotsky’s Interpretation of Stalinism
Trotsky’s interpretation of the historical meaning of Stalinism, to this day the most coherent and developed theorization of the phenomenon within the Marxist tradition, was constructed in the course of twenty years of practical political struggle against it. His thought thus evolved in tension with the major conflicts and events . . . read more
The Antinomies of Antonio Gramsci
Today, no Marxist thinker after the classical epoch is so universally respected in the West as Antonio Gramsci. Nor is any term so freely or diversely invoked on the Left as that of hegemony, to which he gave currency. Gramsci’s reputation, still local and marginal outside his native Italy in . . . read more
Components of the National Culture
Acoherent and militant student movement has not yet emerged in England. But it may now be only a matter of time before it does. Britain is the last major industrialized country which has not produced one. The immediate priorities for any such movement are obvious: the fight against the authoritarianism . . . read more
Socialism and Pseudo-Empiricism
In a voice choking with anger, Edward Thompson has denounced the historical and theoretical work on British society developed in this review. In twenty years of public life, no other group or individual has earned the kind of unprovoked attack he has launched over some fifty pages of the Socialist . . . read more
The Left in the Fifties
For a decade in Britain, under Conservative rule, there was a recognizable and active Left. Now at last there is a Labour Government. But there is no longer, in the same sense, a Left. This paradox must be the starting-point of any consideration of the tasks confronting socialists today. Clearly, . . . read more
Critique of Wilsonism
The relatively stable equilibrium, which defined British politics and society for a decade, has now broken down. The crisis of the traditional English hegemonic class, under whose rule British capitalism has in recent years so visibly declined, threatens the long supremacy of the Conservative Party. It would be too much . . . read more
Origins of the Present Crisis
Two commanding facts confront socialists in Britain today, dominating this moment of our history. British society is in the throes of a profound, pervasive but cryptic crisis, undramatic in appearance, but ubiquitous in its reverberations. As its immediate result, a Labour government seems imminent. So much everyone agrees. But what . . . read more
Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (Part 3)
Mass forced labour: de facto pass laws: omnipresent foreign capital: an incendiary white lumpenproletariat: a superstructure of magic: an economic and social machine turning in a void, driven by pure terror. This was the system of Portuguese imperialism at the opening of 1961, the most primitive, the most defective and . . . read more
Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism (Part 2)
Apreliminary remark on method should be made. The account which follows does not attempt to give an exhaustive description of the whole Portuguese colonial system. The method chosen is rather to select various key sectors which appear to be privileged expressions of the whole, and to show their rigorous coherence. . . . read more
Portugal and the End of Ultra-Colonialism- Part I
It is now clear that the Portuguese Empire is coming to an end. In its final days, it may be timely to examine the history and structure of this empire, both for their own interest and for the importance they have for any general account of imperialism. Good factual accounts . . . read more
The Debate of the Central Committee of the Italian Communist Party on the 22nd Congress of the CPSU
The Italian Communist Party, in exile and jail for 20 years under Mussolini, was re-formed in 1944 in the throes of the Resistance. Relatively uncompromised by the equivocations and complicities of the 30’s, the Party’s formative experience was national resistance and insurrection. The majority of its cadres were younger than . . . read more
The Politics of the Common Market
with the Common Market, we have arrived at a real turning point in post-war history. It is always difficult to date such moments precisely, but it can now be clearly seen that the signing of the Treaty of Rome in 1957, gathering up as it did the separate strands of . . . read more
Sweden: Study in Social Democracy (Part 2)
the swedish class structure has revealed itself as at once idiosyncratic and typical. Income distribution is vastly more even that in other western countries, but social mobility is fully as sluggish, and the lived distances between classes probably as great. On the other hand, violent hostility between classes—class feeling as . . . read more