Soundings

Articles from No. 36, Summer

A De-Militarised War: Faisal Devji Argues That Because 'Terror' Is an Abstract Concept, the War against It Cannot Be Conducted According to Military Norms. This Can Be Clearly Seen in the History of Abu Ghraib
Following the attacks of 11 September 2001 on New York and Washington, the United States and its allies used military force to topple the governments of two Muslim countries and occupy their territory. These events in Afghanistan and Iraq were complemented...
Death as Everyday Life: In Words and Photographs Cynthia Cockburn Explores Our Discomfort and Anxiety around the Lifeless Body
In house windows along certain streets in north London last winter there was a blooming of orange posters. 'Community not Death', they read, and 'No Morgue'. They were the response of a Tufnell Park residents' group to the request by a local business...
Democracy and the Public Realm: Towards a Progressive Agenda?
In its deployment of the language of democracy-devolution, participation, engagement, the 'new localism'-New Labour has frequently emptied it of all content. How can we put new life into this vocabulary, and into democratic practices? It is widely...
Guidelines for Envisioning Real Utopias: Erik Olin Wright Offers Insights into Ways of Thinking about Alternative Futures
To be a radical critic of existing institutions and social structures is to identify harms that are generated by existing arrangements, to formulate alternatives which mitigate those harms, and to propose transformative strategies for realizing those...
Liberalism in Iran: Iranian Philosopher Ramin Jahanbegloo in Conversation with Danny Postel
Ramin Jahanbegloo is one of Iran's preeminent intellectual figures and in this role has been responsible for bringing Indian, European and North American intellectuals to lecture there, acting as a kind of philosophical ambassador between Iran and...
Nanotechnology and Visions of the Future: Richard Jones Offers a User-Friendly Guide to the Science That Underlies Nanotechnology and the Debates That Surround It
Few new technologies have been accompanied by such expansive promises of their potential to change the world as nanotechnology. For some, it will lead to a utopia, in which material want has been abolished and disease is a thing of the past, while...
New Labour, the Market State, and the End of Welfare: Jonathan Rutherford Looks at the Connections between Government and the Insurance Business in Their Joint Project to Reduce Eligibility for Sickness Benefits
In November 2001 a conference assembled at Woodstock, near Oxford. Its subject was 'Malingering and Illness Deception'. The topic was a familiar one to the insurance industry, but it was now becoming a major political issue as New Labour committed...
Politics and Markets
The market is constantly encroaching on our lives, and it increasingly pervades our politics too. The contributors to Soundings 36 explore this issue in a number of different ways. Ken Livingstone is one of the most interesting and creative politicians...
The Politics of Time: Valerie Bryson Argues for Resistance to the Results-Oriented 'Clock-Time' of the Capitalist Economy
In recent years, a number of time related issues have risen up the political agenda in the UK. Concern about the damaging effects of long working hours is widely articulated. The TUC's 'It's About Time' campaign aims to put long hours and work/life...
The World We're In: An Interview with Ken Livingstone
Ken Livingstone talks to Doreen Massey about London as a global city, and how times - and politics - have changed since the GLC of the 1980s.On the one hand, London is now a place unrivalled in its particular form of multiculturalism. On the other,...
What's Wrong with Happiness? Michael Rustin Argues That Greater Well-Being Is Unlikely to Be Promoted in a System Whose Main Goal Is Increased Economic Efficiency
This article is a contribution to the debate on the questionable connections between economic growth and enhanced happiness among populations in already-affluent societies. (1) I will first review current discussion of these questions-debate about...
Zionism, Antisemitism and the Struggle against Racism: Nira Yuval-Davis Argues That It Is Important to Distinguish between Different Histories of Racialisation When Discussing Zionism as a Form of Racism
In spite of the great efforts made by the Israeli government and its supporters throughout the years to keep what has been happening on the ground hidden from the world, the Palestinian issue now occupies the same symbolic space as Apartheid South...
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