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

The Liar’s Dividend

Luke Warde
If what passes for political satire has as its chief effect the buttressing of the belief that all politics is mired in deceit, then shameless, unconcealed mendacity can come to seem, however perversely, refreshingly honest ‑ with results that by now are too depressingly clear.
Nov 5, 2020, 11:12 AM
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Empire Loyalists

Maurice Walsh
For Walter Bagehot, the best-known editor of ‘The Economist’, the prospect of workers organising to defend their interests represented ‘an evil of the first magnitude’. The paper’s first love, however, was always empire, British of course; but after that ran out of road American would do.
Oct 7, 2020, 10:06 AM
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The Right People

Frank Callanan
It is offensive to regard true democratic values as the exclusive possession of classic liberalism. But perhaps we should all audit the prejudices we derive from our own political tribe and orientation and ask what in them might be inessential ‑ or even plain wrong.
Oct 6, 2020, 19:42 PM
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Don’t Stop Thinking About Tomorrow

John Fanning
Many huge companies continue to ignore environmental and societal issues and carry on despoiling the planet and exploiting their workers in the name of profit maximisation. But such organisations – let us call them the ‘hairy bacon capitalists’ – are not immune to public opinion.
Oct 6, 2020, 19:31 PM
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Commodity Citizenship

Tadgh Healy
Citizenship is an arbitrary status that to a large extent determines the material conditions of one’s future. More than class, gender or race, it is the most important factor affecting one’s life chances. Put crudely, some passports come with an array of desirable entitlements; others do not.
Sep 3, 2020, 14:10 PM
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A Modern Utopian

Bryan Fanning
Dominic Cummings favours government guided by experts trained in mathematics and scientific thinking. This idea of epistocracy, rule by those who know, is emerging at a time when the right no longer trusts global free markets and politics have considerably dumbed down.
Jul 2, 2020, 13:06 PM
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The White Raven

Pádraig Murphy
Carl Schmitt, close to the authoritarians von Schleicher and von Papen, may have thought he would become indispensable in the new Germany as a useful legal expert. But Hitler, once in power, cared nothing for its legal basis, and still less for the intellectuals who trafficked in such matters.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:14 PM
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The Political Anatomy of a Crime

Alice Stevens
Every conflict in Latin America is, at the heart of it, about land. Land tenure is vital in a region where such a large portion of the population is comprised of small farmers. Without much of a social safety net, land ownership is often the only security against starvation.
Jul 2, 2020, 12:00 PM
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Time to Strike Out?

Rory Montgomery
That the EU functions as well as it does is an everyday miracle, made possible by an ingrained culture of compromise and commitment to ‘a shared Europe’. But from a basis of cautious pragmatism, there have also been times when the Union has deemed it essential to take a major step forward.
Jun 2, 2020, 18:53 PM
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Whitewashed

Sean Byrne
Bundesbank president Wilhelm Vocke retired, laden with honours, in 1957 and was replaced by Karl Blessing. Both men had cheerfully served the Nazi regime. They could be rehabilitated because they fell out with the Nazis on monetary policy, though not, it seems, on any other matter.
Jun 2, 2020, 12:04 PM
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Get Happy

Michael Byrne
In a winner-takes-all society there will always be more losers, and the chance of becoming one of them is greater, breeding, in many people, anxiety, poor health, even addiction. What if economics were to treat human beings as something more than soulless choice-machines?
Jun 2, 2020, 12:01 PM
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Ourselves Alone

Frank Callanan
As the scale of Labour’s defeat became clear, a succession of Corbynists emerged to insist that the voters’ rejection of their policies was not a rejection at all and that nothing need change: a strange product of a new ‘leftism’ that exists not to seek power but largely for its own sake.
Apr 30, 2020, 19:15 PM
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For the Cause

John Mulqueen
In the mid-1930s, 40,000 men enlisted in the International Brigades to fight fascism in Spain. Many died, while the recollections of some who returned, like those published in a moving memoir from the mid-1970s, do not cast much credit on the organisers of the resistance.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:34 PM
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There Will Be Order

Alena Dvořáková
László Krasznahorkai’s new novel, ‘Baron Wenckheim’s Homecoming’, reveals the kind of dynamic, both economic and emotional-spiritual, that has facilitated Viktor Orbán’s Hungarian ‘koronadiktatúra’, a form of rule which also appeals to other central European would-be autocrats.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:27 PM
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Booms and Busts

Timothy King
Declines in human fertility have been attributed to ‘moral and cultural relativism, multiculturalism and political correctness’, but in fact political, social and cultural attitudes seem to play very little role, fertility decisions being both decentralised and private.
Apr 30, 2020, 18:15 PM
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What Is To Be Done?

John Fanning
The business corporation has been in existence for centuries, but it was only in the last fifty years that the primacy of maximising shareholder return as its sole purpose was established as dogma. But now that dogma is being challenged, and sometimes in unlikely quarters.
Apr 2, 2020, 13:51 PM
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Not With A Bang

Tadhg Hoey
In previous ages, the apocalypse was envisaged as a great, singular occurrence. What marks our age out more than previous ones may be the realisation that what we had thought of as one apocalyptically levelling event might rather come for us in a multitude of smaller waves.
Apr 2, 2020, 13:36 PM
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Manufacturing Victimhood

Clare O’Dea
First create a movement – not a party – which speaks up for ‘the real people’ and promises to punish their oppressors. Then proceed to the infantilisation of political language ‑ outrageous statements help ‑ and turn up the level of aggression, eventually creating a public sphere where shame no longer exists.
Mar 2, 2020, 18:38 PM
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‘It’s all bullshit’

Luke Warde
For trolls, politics is insuperably Manichaean. It is governed by enmity and the notion that things could be otherwise is a saccharine fiction that should be derided. In this regard they share something of the worldview of Nazi jurist and political philosopher Carl Schmitt.
Mar 2, 2020, 15:27 PM
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America Dreaming

Nicole de Silva
There was a time when the American Dream was taken to mean the integration of immigrants and a reasonable level of prosperity for all. Yet it is reasonable to point out the term’s elasticity of meaning, and that today some of the hardest-working Americans remain poor.
Jan 30, 2020, 12:38 PM
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