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CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS ISSUE
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE’s
novel Purple Hibiscus (4th Estate) was shortlisted for the 2004 Orange prize
is a former editor in chief of New Scientist is a science writer
Issue one hundred and eighteen January 2006
NICHOLAS BARR is professor of public economics at the LSE NOAM CHOMSKY
was voted the world’s top public intellectual in October
MARK COUSINS is the author of The Story of Film (Pavilion Books) MICHAEL COVENEY
A Chinese homecoming
is a theatre critic
is writing a book on metaphysics and the mind is the author of The Bull Raid (Egmont Books) is director of
is a contributing editor
is a writer living in France
A railway contract brought my family to Manchuria 110 years ago. An invitation to lecture in Shanghai brings me back to China, and with the country’s European past unfreezing, I am welcomed back like a long-lost son to my birthplace, Harbin.
works for London Underground is a former adviser to No 10 Downing Street presents BBC4’s Art Safari
JULIAN LE GRAND
10 Immature democrats
20 John Krebs
was a minister and PPS at the foreign office, 1997-2005
JAMES P PINKERTON
is a fellow at the New America Foundation and a columnist for Newsday
British politics has been unable to withstand the assault of naive individualism.
The former head of the Food Standards Agency on the role of experts in a hyperdemocratic age.
12 Buckley at 80
JAMES P PINKERTON
is a writer and analyst specialising in international affairs
TOM PORTEOUS MICHAEL PROWSE is an associate of the LSE Centre for Economic Performance HARRY REID
William F Buckley’s National Review helped create the modern Republican party, rooted in the south.
24 Reading Iran
is a former editor of the Glasgow Herald
13 Too little choice
JULIAN LE GRAND
The summer election of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iranian president is creating new conﬂicts among the networks that control the state.
is the author of Carnage and the Media: The Making and Breaking of News about Violence (Penguin)
David Lipsey thinks New Labour may be planning too much choice in public services. I say there’s not enough.
30 The RSC showdown
is professor of political economy at Warwick University
ROBERT SKIDELSKY IAN STEWART
15 We are all complicit
is professor of mathematics at Warwick University
GERRY STOKER works at the Institute for Political and Economic Governance, University of Manchester AATISH TASEER
The world’s top public intellectual responds to Oliver Kamm’s accusations of dishonesty.
After years of decline, the RSC is staking it all on a cycle of the complete works. But is it too late to regain the principle that gave the RSC meaning?
is a freelance journalist travelling in the middle east book A Royal Affair (Chatto) will be published in 2006
44 Broken Hearts?
How can we have a “knowledge economy” if no one is learning mathematics or physics?
The rise and possible fall of Heart of Midlothian is a morality tale of modern soccer.
2 PROSPECT January 2006
48 Turner gets it right on pensions
Adair Turner’s pensions commission rightly considers greater longevity not as a problem but part of the solution.
61 Private view
52 Women in black
The horrors of contemporary art.
Since my bereavement I have come to appreciate the old uses of black.
Youssef Chahine, Egyptian genius.
70 Musical notes
8 Tillyard’s tales
Italy’s robust anti-clericalism.
72 Cultural tourist 18 Washington watch
Dan Brown second-guessed. Plus under the radar.
77 Smallscreen 35 France profonde
TIM KING DAVID HERMAN
Grudgingly, highlights of 2005. WEB EXCLUSIVES Prospect online reports on the Iraqi election, the WTO conference and the EU budget summit as they happen
The British invasion, third wave.
56 Tomorrow is too far
CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE
42 Lab report
Only your cousin Dozie knows who killed your brother Nonso.
Building Schrödinger’s cat.
51 These islands
64 No, ambassador
Why can’t I throw away a horseshoe?
54 Brussels diary
Aside from the gossip, does Christopher Meyer’s Washington memoir tell us anything useful about British foreign policy?
FORTHCOMING Alison Wolf on women and public services Chakravarthi Ram-Prasad on eastern philosophy Stephen Vizinczey considers Mark Twain’s legacy
THE NEXT ISSUE OF PROSPECT IS PUBLISHED ON 26TH JANUARY
80 Notes from underground
65 From lad-lit to lit
Love on the underground.
Despite Nick Hornby’s popularity in Britain and credibility in the US, serious critical appreciation of his literature of self-doubt is still overdue.
4 Letters 6 News & Curiosities plus Enigmas & puzzles IAN STEWART 13 Numbers game THE CRUNCHER 78 The generalist DIDYMUS 79 The list
68 Return of the Turk
Neither truly European nor middle eastern, Turkey’s real afﬁnities lie with other Turkic peoples.
POLITICAL PUBLICATION OF THE YEAR 2004
Political Studies Association
PROSPECT January 2006 3