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The Lawfare Podcast: Crack-Up Capitalism with Quinn Slobodian

Jen Patja, Tyler McBrien, Quinn Slobodian
Thursday, May 18, 2023, 12:00 PM

Think about the world. You might be picturing a globe in a classroom, with its patchwork of multi-colored nations. But what if that’s only part of the story?

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Think about the world. You might be picturing a globe in a classroom, with its patchwork of multi-colored nations. Or perhaps you have an image of a 2-D map in your head, the famous Mercator projection, a static jigsaw puzzle of borders and countries. From elementary school classrooms to the Olympic stage, the globe and the map tell a story of how the world works, one in which state sovereignty reigns supreme, from the Treaty of Westphalia until now. 

But what if that’s only part of the story? As Quinn Slobodian writes, “The modern world is pockmarked, perforated, tattered and jagged, ripped up and pinpricked. Inside the containers of nations are unusual legal spaces, anomalous territories and peculiar jurisdictions..”

Lawfare Managing Editor Tyler McBrien spoke with Quinn, Professor of History at Wellesley College, to discuss his new book, “Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy.” They talked about some of these sites of exception—the city-states, havens, enclaves, free ports, high-tech parks, duty-free districts, and other spaces Quinn calls zones; why states give up these slivers of sovereignty; and how the world actually works, as Quinn sees it. 

 


Jen Patja is the editor and producer of The Lawfare Podcast and Rational Security. She currently serves as the Co-Executive Director of Virginia Civics, a nonprofit organization that empowers the next generation of leaders in Virginia by promoting constitutional literacy, critical thinking, and civic engagement. She is the former Deputy Director of the Robert H. Smith Center for the Constitution at James Madison's Montpelier and has been a freelance editor for over 20 years.
Tyler McBrien is the managing editor of Lawfare. He previously worked as an editor with the Council on Foreign Relations and a Princeton in Africa Fellow with Equal Education in South Africa, and holds an MA in international relations from the University of Chicago.
Quinn Slobodian is a Professor of History at Wellesley College and author of "Crack-Up Capitalism: Market Radicals and the Dream of a World Without Democracy."

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