Essays

For all their importance, human rights have become ineffectual in the face of market fundamentalism, writes historian Samuel Moyn. In order to confront material inequality, human rights must overcome their individualist and anti-statist origins.

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Is an independent artistic statement at all possible in today’s Russia? Political scientist Sergei A. Medvedev ponders the fate of art and artists in a country where most cultural production is heavily state-dependent, and where artists and writers in the provinces are under especially strict supervision.

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The International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia has found Bosnian Serb military leader Ratko Mladić guilty of genocide for his part in the 1995 massacre at Srebrenica, among other atrocities. Slavenka Drakulić reflects on a photograph from the first days of the Bosnian conflict, and what it tells us about the nature of evil.

The ‘Irish slaves meme’– assertions that Irish immigrants to the US were once slaves – has been mobilized by the alt-right to promote a white nationalist agenda based on claims of victimhood. Yet its popularity cannot simply be blamed on the online propaganda of white supremacist groups, argues Bryan Fanning.

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Understanding Brexit means understanding the history of English exceptionalism, writes Maurice Earls, editor of ‘Dublin Review of Books’. Anti-Catholicism, maritime expansionism, wartime heroism: the myth of splendid isolation is the common thread. With a hard Brexit looming, however, England may yet come around to the benefits of team-play.

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The situation in Catalonia is unresolved. The Spanish region’s autonomy has been revoked, pending a new regional election in December. Meanwhile, the region’s now-ex-president, Carles Puigdemont, is in Belgium, where he styles himself ‘head of a government in exile’. Daniel Gascón examines where all this leaves the rights of Catalonia’s residents.

Only in en

One of Russia’s most significant contemporary writers, Sergei Lebedev, describes the work of Gulag researcher Yuri Dmitriev in a place that both men know well: the far North. Eurozine presents Lebedev’s essay for the first time in English, translated by Antonina W. Bouis.

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