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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Sleeping with the Enemy

The party system of European states, George Soros argues, continues to reflect the capital-labour divisions that mattered in the 19th and 20th centuries. But the cleavage that matters most today is the one between pro- and anti-European forces. Well up to a point, Mr Soros.
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Sharp Right Ahead

European social democracy has lost ground in recent years, in spite of a notable success in Spain last month. Social democrats in Denmark, which goes to the polls next month, are offering ‘muscular’ policies on immigration and integration, making them sound very like the populist far right.
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Can Spring be far behind?

Percy Shelley felt, in winter’s grip, a presentiment of coming spring. It’s true there is a certain inevitability to these things and the leaves have never failed to return to the trees yet. But the wait can sometimes be a bit tedious.
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Jane Austen and IVF

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single woman in possession of the $800 needed to buy a vial of pre-screened sperm will wish to be informed of the heritable characteristics of its donor. A man of parts will certainly be favoured, yet even more so one of amiable and ductile temper.
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Karol Modzelewski 1937-2019

The distinguished Polish historian spent eight years in prison for his activism in favour of free trade unions and political democracy. He was also the man who came up with the name by which the movement he was engaged in building would become known, Solidarność.
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No Pizza. No Lasagne. No Directions.

There are a number of places in Europe where no one, except for some not very numerous sellers of tourist tat, wants any more visitors. In fact they’d prefer to be without the ones they have. So will we be staying away? No, no, let the others stay away. I need my culture.
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The Left holds the line in Spain

Sunday’s general election saw a disastrous drop in the votes of the main right-wing party, the Popular Party, a qualified success for the centre-left PSOE and a smaller than forecast breakthrough for the new, ultra-nationalist party of the Spanish right, Vox.
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No More Mr Nice Guy

There is a widespread belief in the US that not only must China be contained but that the traditional American style of conducting international politics through alliances no longer serves the interests of the US. A radical change of approach is required. This is where Trump, the great disrupter, comes in.
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Response to a Review

Lucy E Salyer responds to comments by Breandan Mac Suibhne in his review of her book 'Under the Starry Flag'.
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Stockholm or Silicon Valley?

Childcare costs in Ireland absorb 28 per cent of disposable income; the European average is 12 per cent. We seem to be modelling our economy on the US, where there is no paid maternity leave. As increasing numbers of Irish people feel the squeeze, something is likely to give politically.
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The Politics of English Nostalgia

Ireland has a tradition of seeking help from the Continent, in the form of soldiers, swords, cannon - generically fíon Spainneach. It’s not surprising that we are comfortable in the Union. For the British, where sovereignty has been long attested by ‘divers sundry old authentic histories’, it’s a different matter.
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You can keep your Gucci loafers

A fifteenth century English treatise loudly complained of the tricky trade practices of foreigners and argued for a protectionist regime under which home industry would thrive. The future would be bright, since England dealt in solid goods everyone wanted while the foreigners sold only ‘fripperies, niffles and trifles’.
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Anderlecht, Nine More

They say that keeping a pet and learning to look after it ‑ even experiencing its death ‑ can teach a child valuable lessons. So too can following a football team. It teaches you that though sometimes in life you can win you can just as easily lose. Oh how you can lose.
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The Poor Man At His Gate

The rich man in his castle, the poor man at his gate, God made them high and lowly, and ordered their estate. So the hymn went, and many in nineteenth century Ireland believed it. But not everyone.
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How to Make a Killing

People will tell you it’s hard to make a fortune. Don’t listen to them. They’re the losers. They don’t know what they’re talking about. All you have to do to become seriously rich is follow three simple rules.
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Housing Crisis

Ireland is dependent on inward investment, which is hostile to regulation of the market. At the same time our history is one of above average social integration and consensus. With the housing crisis, which will not be solved without huge state intervention, these two elements are headed for a clash.
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What about us?

In an international survey of outstanding cultural achievement, can the author make judgments about what is excellent and must be included and what can be left out? Or should criteria of proportionality, even-handedness and, above all, inclusivity come into play?
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Running on Empty

Asked why they are leaving, the Venezuelans crossing into Colombia reply that it’s because at home there is nothing – non hay nada. Venezuela’s collapse was not caused, as some have claimed, by the US, yet perhaps it is US backing for the opposition that most stands in the way of resolution.
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Winding Back the Clock, Part II

Right-wing politicians have always liked to tell women where their place is - at home with babies at their feet. Mussolini wanted them to breed soldiers, while his political inheritors today want European women to produce white babies, rendering immigration unnecessary.
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Winding Back the Clock, Part I

Hungary proposes tackling population decline by offering tax-free status to mothers who produce four or more children. Is this a practical idea? Or is the thinking that underscores it perhaps just another facet of the conservative social vision of a defiantly confident traditionalist politics?
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