Beyond the Rentier State: The ‘Uneven & Combined Development’ of the Persian Gulf

How do we explain the interaction between the social formations and geopolitics of the GCC states?

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Postmodernism: Periodisation, Permutations & Spectres

Postmodernism as a philosophy is most generally associated with two fundamental principles: anti-foundationalism and anti-essentialism. These may be characterised as the repudiation of metaphysics, that is, of any ultimate system of meaning in nature or the universe; and as the struggle against any normative idea of human nature. It promotes a skepticism toward sweeping universal, absolute… Continue reading Postmodernism: Periodisation, Permutations & Spectres

Theoretical Reflections on the State in the Era of Trump

How 'Deep' is Your State? A spate of articles and conversations have been circulating social media feeds that have re-aligned focus on the 'deep state' and its shadowy machinations. It is used to explain how the Trump administration's first major scandal - the resignation of Michael Flynn as national security advisor - was the result of a powerful, institutional offensive. At the… Continue reading Theoretical Reflections on the State in the Era of Trump

Minimalism At Home, Maximalism abroad: The Curious Case of Islamophobic Anti-Islamophobia

P U L S E

8f54ed819732badc8cd3e9fdba223d30 Artwork by Molly Crabapple 

Every once in a while, this space christened the Left—of whose foundational texts and core values I largely hold in regard—feels like a foreign place. The paradox is that occupying a place on the Left, a priori, is “supposed” to feel like refuge. 

A curious phenomenon I’ve come across on the Left is a politics of pro-Muslim islamophobia. Take for instance Angela Merkel’s proposition to ban the Niqab, or the face-veil. Of course, a ban would be an affront to egalitarian ideals. And a ban should be very much be opposed. But one noticeable knee-jerk reaction—even cliche—that many progressives have produced is that such an initiative would alienate German—and by extension all—Muslims, if not impel them to active opposition or radicalization. This is profoundly mistaken. There is no data that supports such a conclusion.

But it’s worth noting, first, the problematic nature of the underlying presumption: that…

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