Political Economy

The TTIP: Back to the future?


In 1954 the ordo-​liberal economist1 W. Roepke was invited in the Hague to deliver a paper on the relation between (neoliberal) economics and international law. In this instructive speech entitled ‘Economic Order and International Law’2 Roepke observed that the 19th century being par excellence the time of economic liberalism lacked international legal documents on free trade,…

Demanding the Future: The Right2Water and Another Ireland


The American abolitionist Frederick Douglass once observed that if you find out ‘just what any people will quietly submit to … you have found out the exact measure of injustice and wrong which will be imposed upon them’ and that such injustices ‘will continue till they are resisted with either words or blows, or with…

Wealth inequality denial

Ceci n'est pas l'inegalité des fortunes http://www.cbo.gov/publication/42729

In the week a report established that 97.1% of scientists publishing on the subject have concluded that man-​made climate change exists, it seems the right have re-​opened an old front in their war on reality. In Saturday’s Financial Times the normally sober paper appears to have fancied a day masquerading as Fox News as it piled into…

Cupcake Fascism: Gentrification, Infantilisation and Cake

Eliza Koch

The Cupcake as Object The cupcake is barely a cake. When we think about what “the cake-​like” ideal should be, it is something spongy, moist, characterized by excess, collapsing under its own weight of gooey jam, meringue, and cream. It is something sickly and wet that makes your fingers sticky. The cupcake is none of these…

Sovereignty Regained? Ireland Exits the EU-​IMF Bailout


The bailout will soon be over. No longer will Ireland have to be subjected to the interference of external powers in its affairs. No more humiliating conditionalities imposed by mild-​mannered Troika functionaries with a stern economic vision. Instead, thanks to the credit facilities supplied by KfW Entwicklungsbank, which is mostly owned by the German federal government, Ireland will…

The Law of the Commons: Climate Change Protest in Buckfastleigh


On Thursday 17 October the community of Buckfastleigh, South Devon, heard the fate of their town, their livelihoods, the protection of their immediate environment and surrounding ecosystems, presented to them in the much awaited decision of a planning appeal inquiry that took place over the heat of the summer, 25 June – 19 July 2013.1 The planning inquiry was an…

Human Bodies in Material Space: Editorial of the Journal for Human Rights and the Environment

Embodiment by Eric Franklin

This edition of the Journal of Human Rights and the Environment is dedicated to the greatest struggle of our era – the ongoing – and increasingly urgent – struggle to confront the entrenched and growing violence (both epistemic and physical) of a global order that is rapidly entrenching both human and environmental vulnerability. ‘Business as usual’ is still obdurately committed to the…

Adjunct, Class, Fear


The biggest obstacle to organizing adjunct (part-​time and full-​time non-​tenure-​track) professors, who now comprise 75% of the faculty in higher education, with part-​timers working for $2700 per course on average — is fear. Most people assume that adjuncts fear retribution for boat-​rocking of any kind. That worry is not unfounded, since examples of such retaliation abound. However, many adjuncts feel paralyzed by a deeper, unspoken…

Immigration Manhunts and British Post-​Colonial Identity

No I will not show you my papers

Last week the British government’s Border Agency (UKBA) pushed its new and controversial “go home” campaign into full effect along with an accompanying, and highly criticized immigration stop and search at several London tube stations. The vast majority of the criticism to UKBA’s campaign has been largely focused on the basic premises that the Tories are…

Cypriots Discover the Debt Jubilee

ATM Out of Service

Come again? Cypriots discover the debt jubilee? Well yes actually, that is basically how depositors at Cypriot banks have been treated by the Troika, even if the decision to grab up to 9.9% of cash deposits to finance a bail out of the finance sector is being presented as a tax or levy. To understand this we…

An Ungovernable Italy: Interview with Bifo


Amador Fernández-​Savater: What is the context in which the Italian elections have taken place? Bifo: The political disintegration of Europe. Europe was born as a project of peace and social solidarity, taking up the legacy of the socialist and internationalist culture that opposed fascism. In the 90s, finance capital’s major centres of power decided to destroy the European…

On the Right to Peace and the Environment

War and Destruction / Kuwait

Peace and the environment are two equally wide-​reaching topics, and consequently they could be studied separately and from a variety of perspectives. In this article, we will endeavour to demonstrate the relationship between peace and the environment starting with the idea that the preservation of both is significantly compromised by the current economic system. Our central…

The Amazon Archipelago

Amazon facility Bad Hersfeld

On Wed­nes­day night prime Ger­man tele­vi­sion chan­nel ARD broad­cast under­cover report­age con­cern­ing the treat­ment of for­eign work­ers at Amazon’s huge dis­tri­bu­tion ware­house near Bad Hersfeld in cent­ral Ger­many. State par­lia­ment­ari­ans called the report “unspeak­able”, “shock­ing”, “bey­ond the pale”, and the Left Party spokes­per­son stated:

“We call on the state gov­ern­ment to carry out promptly and with all at its dis­posal checks of the complainant’s social secur­ity fraud, the use of an appar­ent neo-​Nazi secur­ity com­pany through Amazon and the inhu­mane place­ment in a so-​called ‘resort’”.

Bad Hersfeld backs up against the old bor­der with East Ger­many at the point, the Fulda Gap, which the US determ­ined was the prime stra­tegic entry point for Soviet forces in any inva­sion of Europe. As a con­sequence this wooded up-​country became a back­wa­ter of barbed wire and check­points after the war. It is here that Amazon has had built one of its massive dis­tri­bu­tion centres for Ger­many, and it is here that under­cover report­ers infiltrated.

The Wealth Clock

Wealth Clock

A group of German trades unions, academics, and militants have attempted to seize back the clock as a powerful mode of political expression with their “Wealth Clock”. It seems to be a direct response to the relative success of the US’s National Debt Clock, instituted in the late 80s by property developer Seymour Durst, in impressing into the public consciousness the claimed urgency of dealing with the US national debt, as a route to neoliberal austerity measures. Leaving aside the many arguments that can be levelled against Durst’s fears, the image of a constant up-​ticking of a national debt has had its echoes in European states, not least Britain and Germany as flag-​bearers for austerity.

Slovenians Demand Radical Changepr

Slovenia Dec 2012

During the closing months of 2012, Slovenia has seen a series of mass popular protests. Thirty thousand demonstrators gathered on November 17 for the first protest, organised by trade unions, students, and organisations of retired people and artists. Dozens of protests followed, large and small, taking place in virtually all of the urban settlements of Slovenia,…