Programme notes

articles
Manuel RiescoIs Pinochet Dead?

Central planks of the Chilean dictator’s state have been left untouched by successive elected governments. Tracking recent student and labour protests, Manuel Riesco asks whether the ‘Transition’ will now finally follow Pinochet into the grave.

Gopal BalakrishnanRole of Force in History

Gopal Balakrishnan takes issue with an ambitious attempt to apply evolutionary paradigms to human history, which would locate the wellsprings of conflict in the combative make-up of the species. Azar Gat’s War in Human Civilization as an instance of neo-social darwinism adapted to the multicultural spirit of the age.

Meredith Jung-En WooThe New East Asia

The emergence of a new regional order from the ashes of the Asian Financial Crisis. As the PRC’s economic expansion takes it further afield in search of markets and raw materials, how have China’s neighbours responded to the Middle Kingdom’s return to the global stage?

Robin BlackburnPlan for a Global Pension

On current projections, a fifth of the world’s population will be over 60 by 2050. With old-age poverty set to increase across the planet, Robin Blackburn presents a plan for funding a universal pension of a dollar a day.

interview
Jesse Diaz & Javier RodriguezUndocumented in America

Has the mass immigrants’ rights campaign of 2006 been asphyxiated by the Democrats’ embrace? Two Los Angeles activists recount the movement’s progress since the Chicano struggles of the 60s, and current defence of America’s sans-papiers from state and vigilante attacks.

article
Andrew PlaksLeaving the Garden

Cao Xueqin’s monumental 18th-century novel Honglou MengDream of the Red Chamber—is an undisputed masterwork of world literature. Andrew Plaks on the resonant imagery and dense interweaving of literary and philosophical motifs in a paradoxical Bildungsroman of decline.

reviews

Vivek Chibber on C A Bayly, The Birth of the Modern World, 1780–1914. Modernity’s origins sought among Safavid, Ottoman and Mughal crises—with cameo roles for Western capital and labour.

Emilie Bickerton on Serge Halimi, Les Nouveaux chiens de garde. Polemical attack on the French media as choristers of the new liberal order. Does Sarkozy’s victory mean the electorate is finally in tune?

David Simpson on Donald Sassoon, The Culture of the Europeans. Market mechanisms as makers of genre and arbiters of their survival, in a longue durée account of cultural consumption.