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Ben Roberts and Patrick Crogan introduce this special issue of New Formations.
Ben Roberts, Caroline Bassett
This article discusses the cyclical nature of automation anxiety and examines ways of thinking about the recurrence of automation debates in culture, particularly with reference to the 1950s, 1960s and today.
Contesting binaries that tend to underlie claims about automation, this article seeks to complicate arguments that are made about digital technology and the processes and practices of automation essential to it.
Clare Birchall, Jack Boulton, Joni Meenagh, Danielle Sands
On the NSA (New Security Aesthetics) Clare Birchall reviews Matthew Potolsky, The National Security Sublime: On the Aesthetics of Government Secrecy, London, Routledge, 2019, 183pp; £115 hardback; from £21 ebook. All Good in Theory Jack Boulton reviews John Protevi, Edges of the State, Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press, 2019, 118pp; paperback, $7.95, ISBN 978-1-517-90796-9. Can Femininity be Queer? Joni Meenagh reviews Hannah McCann, Queering Femininity: Sexuality, Feminism, and the Politics of Presentation, London and New York, Routledge, 2018, 162pp; £115.00 hardcover. Judgment, or Learning How to Live Danielle Sands reviews Jacques Derrida, Before the Law: The Complete Text of Préjugés, Sandra Van Reenan and Jacques de Ville (trans.), Minneapolis & London, University of Minnesota Press, 2018, 78pp; ISBN 978-1517905514 (pbk).
Minimal Autonomies Oliver Haslam reviews Nicholas Brown, Autonomy: The Social Ontology of Art under Capitalism. Durham, Duke University Press, 2019, 232pp; $24.95 paperback, $89.95 cloth. Epochal Ecopoetics Demi Wilton reviews David Farrier, Anthropocene Poetics: Deep Time, Sacrifice Zones, and Extinction, Minneapolis and London, University of Minnesota Press, 2019, 164pp; $23 paperback, $93 cloth.
As we were going to press the December general election was announced. During the campaign Boris Johnson looks set to continue his impersonation act as tribune of the people and embodiment of the popular will. For this reason Bill Schwarz’s analysis in this issue of Johnson’s role in attempting to reconfigure the Conservative Party as a party of the populist right is essential reading. As Schwarz argues, the incorporation of right-wing populism potentially marks a new period in the history of the old party. The continuously intensifying condensation of meanings into the deadly Brexit meme, which began long before the referendum took place, has offered the right an historic opportunity to link together a set of populist ideas that may be capable of re-ordering the political landscape of Britain.
Boris Johnson’s newly adopted persona as embodiment of the people’s will represents another step along the road towards a very English populism
Deborah Grayson, Tamanda Walker
How do different ideas about religion and the secular shape the building of solidarities and alliances?
Jo Littler, Akwugo Emejulu
Akwugo Emejulu interviewed by Jo Littler.
In the midst of the 2018 Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, a group of comrades under the banner of Artists4Corbyn made a journey to the wind turbines just off the coast. The grey pillars of the generators that march across the horizon are visible from the northern parts of the city. Our intention was to gain a visceral experience of the Green Industrial Revolution being launched at the Conference. The following day at ‘The World Transformed’ we retold the story of our voyage.
A feminist reading of Rethinking Democracy Karen Celis and Sarah Childs Andrew Gamble and Tony Wright (eds), Rethinking Democracy, Political Quarterly Monograph Series, 2019 Trump and trade with the East: the continuing story Marc Reyes Andrew C. McKevitt. Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of 1980s America, University of North Carolina Press, 2017
Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford
Regardless of the outcome of the election on 12 December, there can be no turning back the clock on Labour’s transformation into a party of thoroughgoing economic radicalism.
Labour’s economic agenda combines radical redistribution with the construction of new institutions that hard-wire democracy and social justice into Britain’s political economy. But its ambition remains largely national in scope. What policies could bring about an ‘international institutional turn’?
In a world where progressive and conservative governments alike are clamping down on migrants, Labour must prioritise a radical commitment to justice for migrants.
Georgia Gould, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite
Deliberative democracy has the power to counteract division and lack of trust in politics, deliver more radical solutions to problems, and involve communities in tackling those problems. We talked to Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, about the transformative potential of deliberative democracy at a local level.
Bernie Sanders and the UK Labour Party have both committed to a radical new policy on worker share ownership: Inclusive Ownership Funds. By giving workers new rights over the wealth they create and the firms that they work for, IOFs can set us on the path to the democratic economy we need.
The article provides a critical overview of the latest phase of scholarly engagement with Eurocommunism, firstly, by pointing out the resilience of a ‘Cold War framing’ in many of the new studies of the phenomenon, secondly, by stressing the resulting blind spots in the assessment of its geographical scope (e.g., the lack of attention paid to Spain, scarce contributions on Eurocommunism’s ramifications beyond West Europe).
Helena Sheehan, Navigating the Zeitgeist: A Story of the Cold War, the New Left, Irish Republicanism, and International Communism, New York: Monthly Review Press, 2019, (pb) 308pp., ISBN 978-1-58367-727-8.