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Article

Jo Littler, David Featherstone, Sally Davison

Spring 2020

Editors Jo Littler, David Featherstone and Sally Davison introduce issue 74 of Soundings.

Hilary Wainwright talks to Jo Littler.

New municipalism as space for solidarity.

Understanding the multiple forces shaping the ‘Johnson bloc’ may enable a strategic focus on its potential lines of fracture and failure.

We will only be able to survive as a species if we can find ways to limit the exercise of all forms of coercive power, to unleash the multiplier effect of social power, and to distribute power-to as widely as possible. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to reconceptualise the nature of power itself.

Ben Roberts and Patrick Crogan introduce this special issue of New Formations.

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.

Article

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

How do different ideas about religion and the secular shape the building of solidarities and alliances?

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

Article

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford

Winter 2019

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.

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