Brexit, 2016 © (Mick Baker)rooster |Flickr
DemocracyElection ForumEssaysFeature

Voting Dangerously: Britain, Europe, and the United States

Back in 2015, the French woke up having to mobilize against the threat of Marine Le Pen’s National Front party, infamously nationalist and anti-immigrant, after its overwhelming victory in the first round of regional elections in 2015. Earlier that year, Poles elected a president endorsed by the Law and Justice party, openly nationalist and xenophobic, leading it to full governmental power as a result the parliamentary elections held several months later. The Austrians barely managed to fend off Freedom Party’s Norbert Hofer in the presidential elections held this spring. Most recently, another decision made directly by European citizens in a ballot ended in anti-EU Brexit. At the same time, in the United States Donald Trump is celebrating his popularity as the Republican Party’s presidential candidate, …

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Outdated map, 2016  © china | Flickr
DemocracyEssaysFeatureIn Depth

The Promise and Logic of Federations, and The Problem of Their Stability

Historians are right to describe the 19th century as the age of nationalism. While many also depict the 20th as the triumph of the nation-state, with more justice it could be called the century of its failure, despite the vast proliferation of the form. If collapsing empires brought us the first World War, the new problems of the nation state prepared the ground for the second. In our own century, looking around the world, we encounter countless examples of nation-state failure to solve the problem that brought it into being: the management of plurality and the self-determination of different political identities.

Throughout the crises of empires and of nation-states, the option of federal union was ever-present, promising to solve what neither other political form could ultimately deal with. …

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COP21 Paris Trocadero, 2015  © Julien B. | Flickr
EssaysFeatureScience

Climate Policies After Paris

Toward the end of 2015, leaders from around the world convened in Paris for the latest round of international climate talks. This marks the 21st annual Conference of Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. More than 40,000 people from over 150 countries attended the conference, representing governments, businesses, non-governmental organizations, and supranational institutions.

The Paris talks underscore the importance of addressing climate change before Earth’s ecosystems face irrevocable damage. Simply put, the use of carbon-based fuels that have been central to the economic development of the last couple hundred years creates a significant cost for the environment. Increasing dependence on fossil fuels has precipitated an unprecedented shift in a number of climate indicators. …

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Mao more than ever © Silly Rabbit, Trix are for Kids | Flickr
FeatureLettersReviews

Xu Youyu Takes Stock Of The Chinese Cultural Revolution

In “The Cultural Revolution, Fifty Years Later,” recently published in Foreign Affairs, Professor Xu Youyu, the University in Exile Scholar at The New School, rightly notes that many intellectuals and officials who lived through the Chinese Cultural Revolution are quietly taking stock of the lessons and legacies of that tumultuous event. …

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paul-mason-interview-postcapitalism-845-body-image-1440497411-size_1000-716x393
A/VCapitalismFeatureReviewsVideo

Comments on Paul Mason’s PostCapitalism: A Guide to our Future

This video was shown at ‘The G20 of Philosophy and Economics’ in Amsterdam on April1, 2016. The event coincided with the publication of the Dutch translation of Paul Mason’s recent book ‘Post-Capitalism: A Guide to Our Future’ and the opening session was a discussion on it. After Mason’s presentation, there were short invited comments and responses to it. …

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Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities © MIT Press | mitpress.mit.edu
FeatureReviews

Sharing Cities: A Case for Truly Smart and Sustainable Cities

According to the 2014 United Nations World Urbanization Prospects report, some two-thirds of the world’s population is expected to reside in cities by 2050, more than double the percentage of urban dwellers that existed across the globe in 1950. To manage this growth, policymakers have embraced the notion that cities need to become ‘smart’, …

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Public Seminar ReviewVolume 1, Issue 2
Second Semester/Summer 2014

The second semester of the Public Seminar is over, and the papers are now in, presented in this our second issue. Here you find short and long essays, supplemented by visual presentations around five major themes: Capitalism and its Alternatives, Democracy and its Enemies, Identities, the Arts and Literature, and Media, Memory and Miscellaneous. Note, though, that the pieces in fact address each other between and among these categories, as they consider “fundamental problems of the human condition and pressing problems of the day, using the broad resources of social research,” staying true to the mission statement of Public Seminar, and to the scholarly and public project of our academic home, The New School for Social Research. -Jeffrey Goldfarb

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