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Geography Archives: Poland

Sectarianism Versus Ecumenism: The Case of V.I. Lenin

Was Lenin, as the standard interpretations would have it, a sectarian who sought to destroy all who disagreed with him?  Or did he also display ecumenist tendencies alongside, or in tension with, his sectarian bent?  Is there perhaps a deeper relation between sectarianism and ecumenism in his work? The material from the time, especially before […]

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Tough on Euros, Weak on Nazis

Hurray!  Merkel won the day!  It took a long night of backroom bargaining, but except for that Tory, David Cameron, all European Union members agreed to save the euro, save the economy, save the world!  It had been on the brink of disaster, Sarkozy warned on the eve of the meeting: unless we reach agreement […]

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Deconstructing the Foundational Myths of Israel

Shlomo Sand.  The Invention of the Jewish People.  Verso, 2009. By this time already, after 60-plus years of heatedly arguing the topic back and forth, is there anything new and insightful to be said that might have a bearing on the Israel-Palestine conflict and help to bring some political and intellectual closure at long last […]

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Before October: The Unbearable Romanticism of Western Marxism

Most Western Marxists suffer from a deep resentment: they have never experienced a successful communist revolution.  For some unaccountable reason, all of those successful revolutions have happened in the ‘East’: Russia, Bulgaria, Romania, Yugoslavia, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, Poland, China, Vietnam and so on.  And none of the few revolutions in the ‘West’, from Finland to Germany, […]

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Workers in Neocapitalist Romania

  David A. Kideckel.  Getting By in Postsocialist Romania: Labor, the Body, and Working-Class Culture.  Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2008.  xii + 266 pp.  $65.00 (cloth), ISBN 978-0-253-34957-6; $24.95 (paper), ISBN 978-0-253-21940-4. During the last twenty years, Romanian mass media and most Romanian intellectuals have typically portrayed the miners of the Jiu Valley in Romania […]

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Michal Kalecki and the Economics of Development

In the long and impressive catalogue of Michal Kalecki’s contributions to economics, the proportion of writings devoted to what is now called “development economics” is relatively small.  And most of his work in this area is concise to the point of being terse, in short articles that simply state some crucial principles, typically without much […]

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End “Supermax” Isolation in Ohio State Penitentiary

TO: Warden David Bobby, Ohio State Penitentiary Director Gary Mohr, Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction Chief William A. Eleby, Bureau of Classification Ohio Department of Rehabilitation We the undersigned call for an end to isolated “supermax” imprisonment in Ohio State Penitentiary.  We are especially concerned about the cases of Siddique Abdullah Hasan (Carlos Sanders); […]

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Merkel, Muslims, and Multi-Kulti

Merkel, Muslims, and Multi-Kulti

It’s those foreigners again!  In June and July, during the World Cup, Germans cheered their soccer team’s every skilled pass, every goal — and seemed proud that so many of its players had immigrant backgrounds, from Tunisia, Nigeria, Brazil, Spain, Yugoslavia, Ghana, Poland, and Turkey.  Hurrah! But now it’s October.  The leaves have changed color […]

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Distribution of Voting Rights among World Bank Directors in 2008

How Does the World Bank Function?

The International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (IBRD) was established at Bretton Woods in July 1944, at the initiative of forty-five countries that had come together for the first monetary and financial conference of the United Nations.  In 2010, it had 186 member countries, with Kosovo its latest addition (it joined in June 2009). The […]

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Iranian Sociology and Its Discontents

I recently returned from the quadrennial International Sociology Association’s World Congress held in Gothenburg, Sweden.  It’s kind of like the World Cup of sociology.  There I sat in on a session organized by the Iranian Sociology Association, where a few presenters, including its president Hossein Serajzadeh, discussed the state of social science in Iran.  I […]

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Après moi, le déluge: War, Debt, and Revolution

  Michael Sonenscher, Before the Deluge: Public Debt, Inequality, and the Intellectual Origins of the French Revolution.  Princeton and Oxford: Princeton University Press, 2007.  x + 415 pp.  Notes, bibliography, and index.  $39.95 U.S.  ISBN-13: 978-0-691-12499-5 (hb). The subtitle of Michael Sonenscher’s book calls to mind at least two different, and separate, historical problems.  First, […]

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Glimpses of Alternatives to Neoliberalism

  Social Justice and Neoliberalism: Global Perspectives.  Adrian Smith, Alison Stenning, and Katie Willis, eds.  Macmillan/Zed Books, 2008.  253 pages. Following the tradition of critical geographers, this book explores the expansion of neoliberalism into different spheres and spaces of everyday life.  It consists of a collection of essays by writers from the global South, the […]

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Real GDP Growth Rate

Should Greece Follow Estonia’s Example?

  As the representatives from the European Union, the IMF, and the Greek government are trying to flesh out how Greece can use the EU’s and the IMF’s funding to remedy its fiscal position, the main question hovering above their negotiations is whether Greece can and should follow Estonia’s example in massively cutting public spending. […]

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Is the U.S. “Offer” to Iran on Medical Isotopes a Pretext for More Coercive Action?

Earlier this week, journalists highlighted U.S. Deputy Secretary of Energy Dan Poneman’s statement that the Obama Administration had “offered to facilitate Iran’s procurement through the world markets of the medical isotopes its citizens need,” but that “Iran’s leaders apparently prefer to reject the most responsible, cost effective, and timely options to ensure access to medical […]

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