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About Jamie Mackay

Jamie Mackay (@JacMackay) is a writer and journalist based in the UK and Italy. He is a contributing editor to openDemocracy and a co-founder of Precarious Europe (@precariouseur

Articles by Jamie Mackay

This week's editor

Dawn Foster, Co-Editor

Dawn Foster is Co-Editor at 5050 and a freelance journalist.

Constitutional conventions: best practice

“The EU is a first step”: an interview with Federico Campagna

Jamie Mackay talks to the writer and philosopher about the UK election result, the forthcoming referendum on EU membership and historic ideas of Europe that are at stake today. 

The Expo is a dark window into Italy's future

Mafia, McDonalds and youth exploitation: The Milan World Expo, opening on May Day, prepares a new generation for the years to come.

"Foreigner in my own nation": the politics of Italian hip-hop

As a new generation struggles to overcome the cultural legacy of Berlusconismo, rap remains one of the most important forms of Italian protest. 

Beyond our shores: Europhobia and the BBC

The BBC has been attacked from all sides about its European coverage. How it responds will have consequences far beyond the newsroom.  

Is Die Linke a Syriza of the north?

The German left are now rallying behind Tsipras. It is an alliance that might shape the future of the European left.

Syriza is a nightmare for the Italian government

Matteo Renzi has his back to the wall. If he doesn’t make a deal with Tsipras in Europe there will be open revolt within his party

The Italian social strike is a landmark event for the precariat

Last week the Italian precariat took a step beyond primitive rebellion and began to constitute itself as a politics. As its arguments take shape those involved must work to engage with communities outside of the activist world.

The children of Augusta

Two abandoned schools in a Sicilian port town raise uncomfortable truths around how Europe is treating its ‘native’ and ‘migrant’ children.

Matteo Renzi’s jobs act is an affront to Italy’s youth

Renzi’s Jobs Act, a package of policies designed to instill greater flexibility in the Italian labour market, is based on shaky economic foundations and could even lead to further economic decline.

Palermo is a laboratory for the precariat

We meet the young people drawn to the Sicilian capital by its anarchic appeal and opportunities for a new politics.

Who am I without Britain?

For as long as I can remember I've been wrestling with a deep and personal resentment of Britain. As a new emigrant with no immediate plans to return to the UK the Scottish referendum has got me sick with hope. I'm paralysed, mad with the weighty question: "who am I without Britain?"

Rome’s rebel lake is a parable of the contemporary commons

Earlier this summer activists in Rome won the right to self-manage a vast lake in the city’s capital, effectively expropriating a private company from prime real estate. From marches and public debates to concerts and open dinners their campaign is an inspiring example of a rebel city at work.

We, the precariat

Unemployed, part-time, underpaid, zero-houred, redundant. An increasing proportion of Europeans live uncertain lives, battling against poverty and seething with anger at the political elite. If this precarious class is to avoid the siren song of right wing populisms, it must confront its own divisions and work to build a democratic conversation across national borders. 

Italy can no longer ignore its clandestine past

The Five Star Movement owes much of its success to Beppe Grillo's ahistorical populism. This tactic, though, is unsustainable. As anarchist and fascist groups re-stage old conflicts the movement must situate itself more explicitly or face an imminent split. 

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.

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