Programme notes

articles
Kevan HarrisMaking and Unmaking of the Greater Middle East

What longer-run dynamics underlie present realities in the Middle East? Kevan Harris traces changing state formations and social compacts, from decaying Ottoman and Safavid empires, through colonization and postwar corporatism to infitah, authoritarian retrenchment and military intervention.

Eric HobsbawmPierre Bourdieu

A warm but critical appreciation of Bourdieu’s corpus, focusing on his engagement with the work of historians and asking what the latter can draw from his ambitious social theorizing and the conceptual tool-box it supplies.

Wanda VrastiWorking in Prenzlau

Despatches from the frontline of job-market restructuring in the former GDR Länder, as residual social-democratic structures ease the downward passage of redundant workers into a newly fractious class experience.

Stanford Literary LabMapping London’s Emotions

What light can be shed by quantitative analysis and digital text-mining on fictional cartographies of happiness and fear? Semantics of space and class in the nineteenth-century novel, polarized between normative landmarks of West End wealth and power, and the East End’s nameless warrens, a literary geography of the unknown.

Alexandra RezaNew Broom in Burkina Faso?

After ruling for a quarter-century with support from Washington and Paris, Burkinabè leader Blaise Compaoré was ejected by mass protests in October 2014. Alexandra Reza places Compaoré’s regime and its ouster in a historical context of dictatorship and dependency that has been repeatedly challenged by popular mobilization.

William DaviesThe New Neoliberalism

If the ruling economic paradigm remains traceable to Mont Pèlerin, how to distinguish the present from the moment that brought Thatcher and Reagan to power? A periodization of neoliberalism, from anti-socialist insurgency, through centre-left stewardship, to the inchoate ideologies of the post-crash era.

reviews

Daniel Finn on Diarmaid Ferriter, A Nation and Not a Rabble. History of the Irish revolution, between popular struggle and conservative nationalism.

Dylan Riley on David Runciman, The Confidence Trap. Parables for the present crisis drawn from liberal democracy’s most difficult hours.