Culpable ignorance, political humiliation, and their consequences: my revision of Lawrence Freedman’s first draft of the UK’s pandemic policy history

No.10 tweet from the day Dominic Cummings returned to work (now deleted, of course) As the fall-out continues from the UK's disastrous pandemic policy-making in the first quarter of 2020, which has led to date to 63,000 excess deaths, it is vital that British sociology and politics academics provide accurate critical analyses. Sir Lawrence Freedman,… Continue reading Culpable ignorance, political humiliation, and their consequences: my revision of Lawrence Freedman’s first draft of the UK’s pandemic policy history

‘Running hot’: the Tory priority remains to manage death, not minimise it. But will they get away with the unnecessary loss of life they have caused?

Pro-Johnson propaganda, London, 22 April 2020 “The debate is now between people who think we should suppress the virus completely and those who think we should run things quite hot, use the spare capacity in the NHS and aim to keep the R number just below one,” one official said. Another senior insider said: “You… Continue reading ‘Running hot’: the Tory priority remains to manage death, not minimise it. But will they get away with the unnecessary loss of life they have caused?

As many younger people die, why did the Government minimise the under-70s’ vulnerability to Covid-19?

Dr David Hepburn tells C4 News (3 April) ‘all our ICU patients are in their 50s or younger’ A central feature of the Government’s public health advice has been the idea that the over-70s, along with people with serious health conditions, are the ‘vulnerable’, ‘at risk’ group in the epidemic. Most younger people therefore believed… Continue reading As many younger people die, why did the Government minimise the under-70s’ vulnerability to Covid-19?

Jamaica flight: Johnson/Cummings believe that symbolic racist cruelty will send the ‘red wall’ voters the message that the Government is on their side

After a court judgment forced the government to remove more than half the people from the recent deportation flight to Jamaica, the prime minister’s press secretary said that the reaction to the case showed that 'certain parts of Westminster still haven’t learned the lessons of the 2019 election'. What this tells us is that for Johnson and… Continue reading Jamaica flight: Johnson/Cummings believe that symbolic racist cruelty will send the ‘red wall’ voters the message that the Government is on their side

Goodbye Corbyn, destroyed by the Brexit he evaded

In the German film Goodbye Lenin, a loyal supporter of East Germany’s Stalinist regime goes into a coma before the fall of the Berlin Wall and when she comes round, her son goes to extraordinary lengths to pretend that nothing has changed. In the story of the British Labour Party since 2015, a minor left… Continue reading Goodbye Corbyn, destroyed by the Brexit he evaded

Towards Another ‘Turkey Week’? The Threat of Strategic Racism in the UK General Election

Endemic racism in the two main parties is a serious problem, but could be dwarfed by the Tories’ strategic moves towards weaponising immigration and the fear of others, as in this new Facebook ad. Racism is widely recognised as a serious problem in the UK General Election, as shocking comments by individual candidates and party… Continue reading Towards Another ‘Turkey Week’? The Threat of Strategic Racism in the UK General Election

Dominic Cummings’ appointment reminds that whatever liberal gestures Johnson makes on immigration, he is focused on winning an early election – and will reach for whatever dirty, racist weapons he needs

Boris Johnson is making liberal gestures on race and immigration - appointing the largest number of cabinet ministers of BME (black and minority ethnic) background, refusing to commit to cutting immigrant numbers after Brexit, even repeating his support for the idea of an amnesty for irregular immigrants. Some liberal observers see Johnson’s position as more… Continue reading Dominic Cummings’ appointment reminds that whatever liberal gestures Johnson makes on immigration, he is focused on winning an early election – and will reach for whatever dirty, racist weapons he needs

Anatomy of a Genocide by Omer Bartov – review

Genocide is generally conceived of as violence by centralised perpetrators, usually states and regimes, towards whole population groups. In the last two decades, however, there has been more emphasis on the typical complexity of perpetrator forces, including the roles of ancillary states, paramilitaries and even civilians. Few, however, have looked unremittingly at genocide from the… Continue reading Anatomy of a Genocide by Omer Bartov – review

¿Qué es el Genocidio?

The Spanish translation of my What is Genocide? is now out from Prometeo Libros, Buenos Aires. Many thanks to Victoria Cacares Mauri, the translator, and to Daniel Feierstein, editor of the Colección Estudios sobre Genocidio, in which the book appears.¿Qué es el Genocidio? is based on the original English text published in 2007. I have now completed a Second… Continue reading ¿Qué es el Genocidio?

Global State Formation in the 21st Century

In 2000 I published a book, Theory of the Global State: Globality as Unfinished Revolution which revised the terms of the debate about the state, arguing that the dominant state form in today's world is a 'Western state conglomerate' led by the USA but combining many 'nation-states' and international organisations. Together with the 'global layer' of… Continue reading Global State Formation in the 21st Century