Is this the word we need to describe unprecedented convergences between ecological, political and economic strife?
Why European artists shifted their focus from power to peasants in the 16th century
Masts like a forest
How the trees of China – fir, camphor, ironwood and nanmu – were used to build an empire that lasted for centuries
Ian M Miller
A gospel of enjoyment
The French idea of the good life doesn’t always make rational economic sense. So much the worse for traditional economics
Earth science and climate
Even if we ‘solve’ global warming, we face an older, slower problem. Waste heat could radically alter Earth’s future
Matrimony and the market
The sexual revolution promised new norms of intimacy based on egalitarianism. So far, only the rich have cashed in
The empty basket
Economics is the language of power and affects us all. What can we do to improve its impoverished menu of ideas?
Japan’s Cold War education policy used religion to ‘make’ the ideal humans needed by its nascent economy. Did it work?
Jolyon Baraka Thomas
The golden fuel
Asia’s rise to economic power and food security has been powered not by rice but by American maize, the ultimate flex-crop
Peter A Coclanis
Jesuits in the boardroom
As corporations struggle to survive in a more uncertain world, they should look to the success of the Society of Jesus
Ever more land and labour
Centuries of capitalism saw the global countryside ruthlessly converted into cheap commodities. But at what cost?
Sven Beckert & Ulbe Bosma
History of ideas
Peter Singer charts the path from Hegelian philosophy to Marxist revolution
History by numbers
Is history a matter of individual agency and action, or of finding and quantifying underpinning structures and patterns?
Claire Lemercier & Claire Zalc
Demography and migration
The ungreat replacement
Workers in the West have indeed been repressed – but not by immigrants. The policies of their own governments are to blame
Marx’s idea that societies were naturally egalitarian and communal before farming is widely influential and quite wrong
The Midas Disease
Corruption is a truly global crisis and the wealth addiction that feeds it is hiding in plain sight
The perilous lives of the ‘climbing boys’ who swept chimneys in 19th-century London
The worldly turn
After generations of ‘blackboard economics’, Berkeley and MIT are leading a return to economics that studies the real world
How we became weekly
The week is the most artificial and recent of our time counts yet it’s impossible to imagine our shared lives without it
A fourth globalisation
A new form of trade is reshaping our world, and it’s driven by the movement of bits and bytes, not goods, around the globe
Thinkers and theories
In praise of possibility
For the political economist Albert O Hirschman, democracy thrives not on strong opinions but on doubt and flexibility
Abolition in Africa brought longed-for freedoms, but also political turmoil, economic collapse and rising enslavement
How a flawed logic of economic scarcity and social climbing spurred witch hunts in early modern Germany
The tyranny of work
Jobs have become, for so many, a relentless, unsatisfying toil. Why then does the work ethic still hold so much sway?