evil clown © jillian.e | Flickr
DemocracyEssaysFeature

Decoding Donald Trump: The Triumph of Trickster Politics

These days the entire world is trying hard to make sense of Donald Trump’s surprising march towards the Republican convention in Cleveland. Like it or not, he is possibly also on his way to becoming America’s next president. Trump seems hard to place within any of our available categories: Is he a conservative populist? Is he a revolutionary? Is he left or right wing Republican — or is he both, or is he neither? Is he a demagogue? Is he a “charismatic” figure? Or is Trump really just a (bad) joke?

When bewildered, we search for historical analogies. To many observers, Trump resembles Silvio Berlusconi, the (in)famous tycoon who was prime Minister of Italy on and off from 1994 to 2011. Rula Jebreal was quick to point out such similarities in a Washington Post …

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Zgoda Project, Warsaw, July 2012  © BR1art | Flickr
DemocracyEssaysFeatureSex & Gender

The Power of the Weak, Neoliberal Biopolitics, and Abortion in Poland

Several days ago, at the end of March, the conservative party Kukiz15, the ruling party of Mr. Kaczynski, Prawo i Sprawiedliwosc (PiS), the Polish Prime Minister, Mrs. Beata Szydlo, the national council of bishops, and the majority of MPs declared their support for banning abortion completely. A new law proposal, submitted to the Parliament last week by members of a pro-life organization, “Ordo Juris”, allows the surveillance and investigation of women who are known to be pregnant; requires a statement from women who miscarry;and enforces imprisonment between 3 months and 5 years of not only the doctor who performs the abortion, but also to the woman, regardless of how the pregnancy was initiated (i.e. whether it resulted from rape) the possible consequences for the life and health of the woman,  …

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Cairo food riots, 1977 © John McIntyre | Flickr
CapitalismEssaysFeature

The IMF Makes Class Warriors of Us All

On October 24, 1973, the Egyptian military, under the command of General Hosni Mubarak, and under instructions from President Anwar Sadat, dealt an unprecedented blow to the most powerful regime in the Middle East: Israel. As the Egyptian army crossed the Suez Canal and established bridgeheads in the Sinai peninsula, it changed the fortunes of a hitherto shaky Egyptian presidency. Until this victory over IDF forces, Sadat had struggled to appear as the legitimate heir to the iconic Gamal Abdel Nasser, but this victory, which wiped out the stain of defeat of 1967, in one stroke turned Sadat from a hesitant, accidental president into the batal al-‘ubur or Hero of the Crossing.This event and this moniker were all the more significant in light of what followed. …

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Culture by  Bill Balaskas, mixed-media installation, 2013. Private Collection, Athens. © Courtesy of the artist and Kalfayan Galleries, Athens–Thessaloniki
Arts & DesignEventsFeatureReviews

Art for the Troika

An exhibition now touring several cities in Europe is worth visiting and thinking about, as it reflects both the political and cultural sensibility of Europe. PIGS is curated by Blanca de la Torre, a Spanish art curator who develops projects throughout the world and understands art as a social tool to disclose political injustices and prejudices. The “pigs” to which this exhibition refers are not simply the four countries (Portugal, Italy, Greece, and Spain) …

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From Michael Almereyda's "Experimenter", 2015.
FeatureMedia & PublicsReviewsScienceThe Psyche

Stanley Milgram, Cinematic Chauvinism, and Psychotherapy: Michael Almereyda’s Experimenter

Shakespeare’s ubiquity makes adaptations of his work uniquely instructive: a critical and staging history of a familiar play creates a backdrop against which to see the vision of a filmmaker at work. 

 

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Statue facing Argentine Presidential palace symbolically dismounted, replaced with statue of mestiza independence fighter Juana Azurduy © Rodrigo Néspolo | DyN Agency
FeatureReviewsSex & GenderTheory & Practice

Nihilists with Good Imaginations

In what may be her most ambitious piece yet, Chiara Bottici recently published a call for a continuation of debates around intersectional oppression along the lines traced out by anarchist thought. Somewhat surprisingly, though, Bottici avoided making explicit reference to some of her previous work, which, though it may be thematically removed, is crucial to understanding the approach taken in “Bodies in Plural.” …

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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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