About Jamie Mackay

Jamie Mackay (@JacMackay) is a researcher in Comparative Literature at the University of Warwick and a contributing editor to OurKingdom

Articles by Jamie Mackay

This week's guest editors

A violent education: Dizzee Rascal and the fears of British neoliberalism

Dizzee Rascal’s new music video is a thinly veiled defence of a failing British state. As new forms of solidarity emerge between students and workers, this anxious portrayal of the street raises real questions about the violence of the constitutional settlement. Universities are at the frontline of resistance.    

Not just 4 lulz: Anonymous vs mass surveillance

Anonymous yesterday organised a simultaneous protest around the world against the revelations of mass surveillance by our own governments. Ignored by the media, this was an important event: "the beginning is near".

Vote Yes for the multitude: a non-nationalist argument for Scottish independence

Is nationalism the sole reason for a 'yes' vote in the Scottish Referendum, or is the argument too restricted in its approach?

The scapegoats of Empire: racism and resistance in the city of romance

As the citizens of Venice propagate myths about the city’s expanding 'oriental' workforce they humiliate members of their own community and allow the island’s true invaders to escape justice. 

When a fire starts to burn: who wants to be national?

In this concluding piece of the re-birth of the nation series, the editor asks what these articles tell us about the left’s troubled relationship with ‘the nation’. How might these arguments inform efforts to develop a thinking politics?

The torture machines: poetic space and the urgency of non-work

In 1977 the autonomist collective A/Traverso were violently arrested by the Italian state. While the majority of their literature was lost or destroyed, fragments remain that provide vital context to democratic struggles in Europe today.

Nationhood and the multitude: a new form of political subject?

In the frantic search to find an agreed name for emerging forms of collective agency, ‘the nation’ is frequently presented as an outdated inconvenience. This hasty generalisation fails to acknowledge the term’s continuing role in propping-up ‘invisible’ forms of state domination and, more importantly, its potential function as part of a critical biopolitics.   

Postmodern populism: the cultural logic of the MoVimento 5 Stelle

Beppe Grillo's Five Star Movement has often been called a shake-up for Italian politics. But what if 'M5S' really obeyed an established paradigm that is far from the revolutionary ideas it claims to convey?

Re-birth of the nation? A new series challenging all ‘global citizens’

The ‘death of the nation’ is a fallacy. As austerity erodes national sovereignty, the logic of globalization is experiencing a backlash, with new publics being forged and old identities renewed. Today OurKingdom launches a new series to explore this re-birth, introduced here by its editor.

'Another world is possible': nationhood and global justice

Globalisation has depended upon a unitary idea of progress. Now it's time to look again at national space and its role in formulating a democratic world interest. The first piece in the new OurKingdom series,     Re-birth of the nation? Challenging 'global citizens'.

The far right beyond the stereotype: monetarism, media and the middle classes

Daniel Trilling, author of the new book Bloody Nasty People, talks to Jamie Mackay about the prevailing myths surrounding the far right in Britain, the demographic of its leadership and support, and the forms of resentment that such movements cultivate at their core. 

ourBeeb podcast 3: Richard Eyre on "the most important cultural institution in Britain"

Richard Eyre joins ourBeeb for a fascinating discussion of the BBC's unique role in British culture.

Canon fodder: how the BBC can get beyond the Bard and define the future of fiction

When the BBC fixates on a narrow literary canon, and presents classic novels in straightforward adaptations, it wastes its own potential. Why not follow up Radio 4's extraordinary and unusual 'Bloomsday' celebration to use fiction as a creative springboard to a radical new kind of broadcasting?

Empire for the entrepreneurs: London’s Shard is officially ‘open to the world’

The forces of spectacle were effervescent at last week’s Shard opening. In an immoderate display of vogue technology the arcane powers of London revealed their despotic claim to our future. 

Britain from above: blue sky topography in the second age of synergy

Over 16,000 aerial photographs capturing history dating from near the beginning of the last century were made freely available last week as part of the project 'Britain from Above'. Jamie Mackay explains how these images of our collective past can inspire discussions on the long-term fate of our shared spaces.

From 'special interest' to public interest: minority programming and the BBC’s democratic mandate

One of the BBC's most lauded strengths is its ability to tailor programming for its audiences' special interests. The future DG should attempt to harness the ethos of this diverse and high quality output with a view to rebuilding the institution's democratic vision. 

Welcome to the “Great British Summer”

The arrival of the ‘Great British Summer’ has been marked by relentless propagandising and shocking displays of military hardware. But what is at stake is more than mere inconvenience - these official procedures pose a real challenge to public space, voice and identity across the UK. 

Hooligans, hacks and highbrows: addressing the disconnect between Britain’s media and universities

The UK's media and universities have for too long fostered a destructive antagonism. But in a context in which both institutions are facing vast structural changes, establishing a more productive co-operation is urgently needed to prevent these vital democratic bodies becoming mere instruments of capital. 

Mad Men blowing smoke rings: financial advertising and the political imagination

The highly acclaimed return of Mad Men to British TV brings the ethics of advertising back into the cultural foreground. Much of the humour in the series relies on the gullability of consumers in the 1950s. But, with advertising companies now attempting to reformulate the causes and nature of the current financial crisis we continue to run the risk of being duped. 

‘Epic Win’ for Anonymous? Hacktivism and the 99%

The Anonymous 'V for Vendetta' mask is an icon of the Occupy movement. But how does this band of deviant web pirates fit with the Occupiers ethics of responsibility, transparency and democracy? Cole Stryker's new book goes some way to deconstruct the generalisations.

Occupy London and the unions: brothers in arms or a marriage made in hell?

Occupy London came out in support of the N30 public sector strike over pension reform - but there was disagreement among the ranks. Can Occupy support Britain's unions, and what can the unions learn from the movement?

Church, city, media: how the message of #OccupyLondon is being disrupted

OccupyLondon's encampment is facing eviction from outside St Paul's cathedral. The Church of England and City of London Corporation are in turmoil. Meanwhile, the media frenzy is in danger of drowning out the message of the occupation.
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