Programme notes

articles
Jean BaudrillardThe Pyres of Autumn

The torching of the French banlieues as both sequel to the No vote of May 2005 and symptom of a wider Western malaise. Rejection of official pieties of integration, and flames of revolt against an automated Europe.

Kees van der PijlA Lockean Europe?

Liberalization and its discontents seen in the longue durée—the struggle of late-coming statist contenders against an Anglophone heartland, now subsuming Europe in its Lockean embrace. Kees van der Pijl tracks the removal of macro-economic questions from democratic decision-making as central precondition for the EU’s neoliberal turn.

Sabry HafezAn Arabian Master

The remarkable life and literary career of Abd al-Rahman Munif, author of the Cities of Salt quintet. Sabry Hafez charts the emergence of Munif’s searing fictions. Evocations of desert traditions, foreign interference, the deformities of despotism and lessons of resistance.

Forrest HyltonThe Landslide in Bolivia

The Left owes its December victory in Bolivia to the popular movements that have stymied water and gas privatizations since 2000. Forrest Hylton surveys the landscape ahead, and the militant formation of Morales’s running mate Álvaro García Linera.

Alvaro Garcia LineraState Crisis and Popular Power

Bolivia’s new vice-president analyses the dual crisis of his country’s state. Exhaustion of the neoliberal primary-export model, and bankruptcy of a ‘colonial’ republican order founded on mestizo superiority.

Julian StallabrassSpectacle and Terror

After Gopal Balakrishnan’s engagement with Afflicted Powers in NLR 36, Julian Stallabrass turns to the Retort collective’s conception of spectacle and its Islamist antagonists. Does a Debordian optic occlude the oppositional potential of modern technologies?

Peter HallwardStaging Equality

The ‘theatrocracy’—sovereignty of the audience—condemned in Plato’s Laws is reinstalled as a radical principle of egalitarian politics in Jacques Rancière’s work. Peter Hallward examines the implications and limitations of his approach. Is today’s post-political order vulnerable to theatrocratic attack?

reviews

Tom Nairn on Tariq Ali, Rough Music. Britain’s subservient foreign policy and fawning political culture as indices of decline. Terror bombings and the returning furies of Blair’s war.

Georgi Derluguian on Andrew Wilson, Virtual Politics. Techniques of political legerdemain in the former Soviet states, and the swerving trajectories of its intelligentsia practitioners

Justin Podur on Michael Deibert, Notes from the Last Testament. Untenable defence of Aristide’s overthrow, as Haiti’s poor come under siege from militias tacitly sanctioned by UN forces.