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Space to Think, a new book celebrating ten years of the Dublin Review of Books More Information 

Housing Crisis

Ireland is dependent on inward investment, which is hostile to regulation of the market. At the same time our history is one of above average social integration and consensus. With the housing crisis, which will not be solved without huge state intervention, these two elements are headed for a clash.
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What about us?

In an international survey of outstanding cultural achievement, can the author make judgments about what is excellent and must be included and what can be left out? Or should criteria of proportionality, even-handedness and, above all, inclusivity come into play?
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Running on Empty

Asked why they are leaving, the Venezuelans crossing into Colombia reply that it’s because at home there is nothing – non hay nada. Venezuela’s collapse was not caused, as some have claimed, by the US, yet perhaps it is US backing for the opposition that most stands in the way of resolution.
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Winding Back the Clock, Part II

Right-wing politicians have always liked to tell women where their place is - at home with babies at their feet. Mussolini wanted them to breed soldiers, while his political inheritors today want European women to produce white babies, rendering immigration unnecessary.
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Winding Back the Clock, Part I

Hungary proposes tackling population decline by offering tax-free status to mothers who produce four or more children. Is this a practical idea? Or is the thinking that underscores it perhaps just another facet of the conservative social vision of a defiantly confident traditionalist politics?
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Let’s Hear it for Rousseau

In the wake of the death of a young American missionary, whose good news was apparently unwelcome to the tribesmen of a small island in the Bay of Bengal, might it be time to give up on the monotheistic imperative, a compulsion to root out the false gods of ‘primitive peoples’?
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Appalling Vista

The UK may be currently on the back foot, but there are conceivable circumstances where we might witness a weak Europe being manipulated from the east by Russia and China and from the west by Britain, with enthusiastic cousinly assistance from the US.
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The Tenth Circle of Hell

European Council president Donald Tusk wondered if there should be a special place in the infernal regions for those who promoted Brexit without any idea of how it had to be negotiated. In the long run, the fools seem unlikely to be pardoned.
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If you gotta do it do it right

The newspapers have gone to the dogs completely. No one can spell or punctuate and the young people working there now obviously think grammar is just some kind of weird obsession of elderly fascists out to oppress them. But hold on, is it really as simple as all that?
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How Out is Out?

Britain, it still seems likely, will soon be leaving the EU: the question is how. But what will happen after that? And is there not a form of supporting Europe and its values, for those who want to, that can be open to individuals from the UK, or Turkey, or Belarus, or indeed Russia?
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Mind The Language

Austria became a republic in late 1918, but its democracy collapsed in the 1930s. The director of Vienna's new contemporary history museum, asked what can be learned from the First Republic, says its history teaches us that democracy is a perishable good and can be fatally weakened by a coarsening of public language.
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If Brexit became ‘Lexit’

Jeremy Corbyn, who dreams of a left-wing Brexit - a ‘Lexit’ - may not share the imperial nostalgia of the Tory Brexiters but his thinking belongs to an age when the white male working class was the basis of progressive politics. That age has passed and the history that made it possible has also gone
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Liberalism Under Threat

If politics continues on its present path discourse will become entirely populist and practice increasingly totalitarian, the charismatic leader ubiquitous, elections irregular, their outcomes predictable and the concept of society invoked only in terms of security rather than social justice.
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In the Beginning was the Word

Frank Hugh O’Donnell’s 'The Ruin of Education in Ireland', published in 1902, interpreted the Catholic church’s control of education as a British conspiracy to keep the Irish intellect stunted.
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Out with the old, in with the new

The Irish Party, being purely a vehicle to obtain Home Rule, was much more circumscribed than a modern political party, free to champion a diversity of issues. All its eggs were in one basket. From 1900 that gave it an appearance of intellectual jadedness and left it open to competition.
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Chained to the Magus

If the threat that president-elect Jair Bolsonaro poses to democracy is as grave as Workers Party leaders claim, one wonders why they did not back someone who had a good chance of defeating him? In refusing to do so Lula has helped deliver up Brazil to Bolsonaro, his bastard heir.
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Getting Wasted

A 1997 book, written as the memoir of a ‘Gen X Drunk’, apparently without literary merit and now out of print, might have given members of the US Senate an idea of who might or might not be suitable to sit on the Supreme Court, particularly in its portrayal of the author’s boozy friend ‘Bart O’Kavanaugh’.
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The Day All Hell Broke Loose

Fifty years ago today a police attack on a peaceful civil rights march in Derry initiated the latest phase of that long-running Irish phenomenon ‘the Troubles’. Was everything that followed inevitable or might things have developed differently?
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A Killer for President

Brazil, the world's fourth largest democracy, faces the prospect of electing a violent and threatening military man as president. He can be stopped, but only if the other parties come together to save the situation.
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A Mission for the Führer

In May 1940, the German spy Hermann Goertz parachuted into Ireland, his mission to induce the IRA to hinder the British war effort by mounting attacks in Northern Ireland. He remained at large for a surprisingly long time, with many protectors, among whom women featured particularly strongly.
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