Issue 102 of INTERNATIONAL SOCIALISM JOURNAL Published Spring 2004 Copyright © International Socialism
When right wing French prime minister Raffarin introduced a law banning the wearing of Muslim headscarves in schools, he fanned the flames of a debate with implications that stretch far beyond the borders of France. Most of the French left supported the ban on the basis of protecting 'secularity' and the values of the republic. Antoine Boulangé argues that they mistakenly put an abstract idea of equality above the civil rights of Muslims in an Islamophobic post-9/11 world.
François Chesnais is a member of the Scientific Council of Attac France. His paper 'Globalisation Against Development', was written as a contribution to the World Social Forum in Mumbai. He charts the devastating effects of neo-liberal policies on the Third World, and explores the role of the state in a globalised world. While not written within a Marxist framework, his piece is a call to arms for academics to reject the Washington consensus and begin to develop a radical critique of capitalist globalisation.
Chris Harman, author of A People's History of the World, seeks to explain why and how capitalism developed in the first place. Why did the once great feudal empires of the Middle East and Japan stagnate and fall behind? How did northern Europe leap ahead of the rest of the world? He seeks to show that there is one world history-a total story which can't be understood in fragments.
Fausto Bertinotti is a leader of Communist Refoundation, which was a central driving force in the anti-capitalist protests in Genoa in 2001. He talks to Tom Behan about his own political history, from the FIAT strikes of 1980 to his involvement today in the 'movement of movements'.
Jane Hardy looks at the latest books by Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman. Judy Cox rounds up recent books on US imperialism from authors including Alex Callinicos and David Harvey. Rebecca Pitt argues that Jean-Paul Sartre can be reclaimed for a new generation of socialists.