Politics and government


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A guard in the ‘segregation block’ at the Adelanto Detention Center, the latest Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facility in California and managed by the private GEO Group. ICE detains an average of 33,000 undocumented migrants. Photo by John Moore/Getty

Essay/
Human rights and justice
Private gain, public loss

Putting public services in private hands is bad economics. Worse, it undermines our bonds as a political community

Alon Harel

A view of Singapore’s central business district from a hotel along Beach Road. Much of Singapore’s recent development has been built upon land reclaimed from the sea. Photo by Sim Chi Yin/Magnum Photos

Essay/
Politics and government
The ungoverned globe

The end of the liberal order would unleash chaos; its continuance means unconstrained economic suffering. What to do?

Benjamin Studebaker

Carl Schmitt addresses the German Industry and Trade Day at the Kroll Opera House, Berlin, 8 April 1930. Photo by Ullstein Bild/Getty

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Political philosophy
Lawyer for the strongman

Demagogues do not rise on popular feeling alone but on the constitutional ideas of Weimar and Nazi legal theorist Carl Schmitt

David Dyzenhaus

Adolf Hitler greets German workers in 1934. Concern for workers’ rights was part of the initial appeal of fascist leaders. Photo by Heinrich Hoffmann/Ullstein Bild/Getty

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Politics and government
The lure of fascism

Fascism promised radical national renewal and supreme power to the people. Are we in danger of a fascist revival today?

Jonathan Wolff

Police in Hong Kong confront demonstrators defying a ban on rallying and set against a backdrop of mounting threats from China, 31 August 2019. Photo by Anthony Wallace/AFP/Getty

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Human rights and justice
Riot acts

History shows that tumult is a companion to democracy and when ordinary politics fails, the people must take to the streets

Antonia Malchik

Cicero, in the Senate, accusing Catilina of conspiracy. Fresco by Cesare Maccari (1889). Palazzo Madama, Rome. Photo by AKG London

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The ancient world
Rules or citizens?

Ancient Athenian and Greek practices afford us insights into how and why to maintain real accountability in public life

Melissa Lane

New York in 1946 from the New Jersey shore, taken with a 40-inch Dallmeyer telephoto lens. Photo by Andreas Feinin/Time Life/Getty

Essay/
Political philosophy
Project and system

There are two ways of seeing order in the world: as a spontaneous system or as an intentional project. Which way lies freedom?

Paul Kahn

KFC, McDonald’s, tourists and a Trabant car at the site of the former Checkpoint Charlie in Berlin. Photo by Kay Nietfeld/dpa/AFP/Getty

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Politics and government
The horror of sameness

What people most fear is not difference, but a world in which nothing and nowhere is unique, in which everyplace is the same

Holly Case

Marble statue of an anonymous man wearing a toga, 1st century CE. Gift of John D Crimmins, 1904. Courtesy The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Essay/
The ancient world
The power of anonymous

Is the figure of the author bad for literature? Un-authored Roman literature and the transcendence of mere individuality

Tom Geue

‘Aristotelian education, like its Platonic predecessor, is almost lifelong.’ In the reading room of Widener Library, Harvard University, 1974. Photo by Constantine Manos/Magnum

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Education
The well-educated person

If we took Aristotle seriously we would revolutionise our educational systems to enable citizens to learn throughout life

C D C Reeve

How much? The big, red Brexit bus. Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty

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Mathematics
Citizens need to know numbers

A single statistic, or its misuse, can help upend a nation. Civic life depends on a basic level of statistical literacy

David Spiegelhalter

Coloured lanterns featuring Peppa Pig characters at Fo Guang Shan during a dharma assembly on the Chinese New Year, 5 February 2019, in Kaohsiung, China. Photo by Chen Xiaoyuan/China News Service/Getty

Essay/
Global history
Re-made in China

From Marxism to hip hop, China’s appropriations from the West show that globalisation makes the world bumpy, not flat

Amy Hawkins & Jeffrey Wasserstrom

Members of the Castellers de Sants build a human tower in Tarragona, Spain. October 2017. Photo by Maja Hitij/Getty Images

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Politics and government
Rebirth of the body politic

Individualism is not a sufficient foundation for social life: the image of the body politic reminds us that we are all one

Nick Romeo & Ian Tewksbury

UN forces patrolling the streets of Port au Prince in Haiti after a devastating earthquake, 22 January 2010. Photo by Jerome Sessini/Magnum

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Poverty and development
After the storm

Few things tell us more about the nature of state sovereignty, and the threats to it, than the politics of disaster relief

Saptarishi Bandopadhyay