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Table of Contents
Megalomania is a subject on many people’s minds these days, but it takes different forms in different places, and has had various expressions over the centuries. This issue explores its permutations across politics, culture, architecture, policy, and other areas.
Castles Made of Sand: How London lost on Boris Johnson’s extravagant pet projects
Douglas Murphy examines the architectural pet projects of former London mayor Boris Johnson.
War of Words: Rodrigo Duterte’s violent relationship with language
Glenda M. Gloria considers how Rodrigo Duterte would be seen in the Philippines if people began to take what he says seriously.
Femme Fascista: How Giorgia Meloni became the star of Italy’s far right
Barbie Latza Nadeau looks at the rise of Giorgia Meloni, a fascist politician in Italy, and how she’s been helped by the legacy of Mussolini.
The Generals in Their Labyrinths: The rise of Egypt’s military celebrities
Mona Abo-Issa reports on how, in the age of President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, Egypt’s faded war heroes have become national celebrities.
Anatomy: Money Moves
WPJ examines what the richest people—and the sources of their wealth—in given countries suggest about the consolidation of money and global flows of finance.
Don’t Look Now: Can Norway reckon with the reality of right-wing extremists?
Sindre Bangstad considers a mass shooting in Norway several years on, and how the country’s insistence on classifying the perpetrator as an outlier fails to acknowledge a growing far-right presence.
Wrinkles in Time: A Swiss watchmaker tries to reset the world’s clocks
Adam Jasper looks at Swatch’s failed attempt to replace time zones with a proprietary model, and considers why governance is best left to governments rather than private companies.
Reading Between the Lines: The slow reveal of Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s grandiose vision
Kaya Genç reads a new biography of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and considers the increasingly autocratic leader’s motivations and lodestars.
Anatomy: A Royal Offense
WPJ looks at the countries that still have lèse-majesté laws on the books, and the lengths of the prison terms that offenders can face.
Killing for Airtime: How Boko Haram’s Abubakar Shekau manipulates media
Adaobi Tricia Nwaubani writes how Nigerian terrorist group Boko Haram promotes media narratives—such as opposing female education—in order to control its story and win international coverage.
The Other Battle of Algiers: Overcoming an architecture of oppression
Using cinema as a lens, Natasha Marie Llorens examines how the legacy of colonialism shaped the architecture and urban design of Algiers, and has continued to affect society today.
Crashing the Party: The radical legacy of a Soviet-era feminist
Kristen R. Ghodsee celebrates the legacy of Alexandra Kollontai, a Soviet-era activist whose involvement with the “woman question” revolutionized gender equality in Russia and Eastern Europe.
WPJ compiles excerpts from University College London’s The Global Encyclopaedia of Informality, a glossary of the under-the-table ways people get things done in countries around the world.
Show Me a Hero: Brazil’s political disillusionment and the rise of a strongman
Joel Pinheiro da Fonseca writes about the outlandish Brazilian congressman Jair Bolsonaro, and reflects on what the populist leader’s success suggests about the country’s relationship to political disappointment.
Triumph of the Till: The organic food movement’s Nazi past
Corinna Treitel examines the entangled history of Nazi party initiatives and the organic food movement.
Publish and Perish: Lessons in literature and revolution from a sycophantic Mongolian dictator
Daniel Kalder discusses the literary output of communist dictators, and how the brutal Mongolian leader Khorloogiin Choibalsan contributed to this tradition.
A History of Violence
As Venezuela drifted toward economic catastrophe, Adriana Loureiro Fernández spent several years documenting the changing nature of violence in the streets of Caracas.
Atossa Araxia Abrahamian and Yascha Mounk discuss the rise of global populism and the disillusionment with democracy.
Home in Honduras: Snapshots of life after deportation
Amelia Frank-Vitale looks at the lives and circumstances of three former migrants who were deported back to Honduras from the United States.
Privacy Please: The controversial approach to ending open defecation in India and Nepal
As India and Nepal encourage their populations to use toilets, Sophie Bader looks at the controversy that surrounds open-defecation shaming, and the methods by which success for being “open defecation free” is determined.
Provocations: Reflections on a Revolution
Slavoj Žižek considers the legacy and gains of the 1968 sexual and social revolution, and considers what we’ve learned—and forgotten—as we experience our own moment of change.
Drink Special: He Loved His Country
For our megalomania-themed issue, Cocktail Editor Eben Klemm presents “He Loved His Country,” a sangria spinoff that blends the preferred tastes of Saddam Hussein, Benito Mussolini, and Idi Amin.
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