Essays


The dawn of commons politics

17 September 2017 As supporters of the new 'commons politics' win office in a variety of European cities, Stacco Troncoso and Ann Marie Utratel chart where this movement came from – and where it may be going

Essay: After neoliberalism, what next?

6 August 2017 There are economically-viable, socially-desirable alternatives to the failed neoliberal economic model, writes Jayati Ghosh

Shock doctrine of the left: a strategy for building socialist counterpower

3 December 2016 Graham Jones proposes a framework for a diverse movement to flourish

Essay: Labouring through birth and death

29 October 2016 Jenny Nelson says that if we get the beginning and ending of life right, we might have a better chance of getting the bit in the middle right too

Occupations, assemblies and direct action – a critique of ‘body politics’

22 August 2016 Joseph A Todd examines the widespread belief that bringing bodies together in occupations, assemblies and other actions is enough to create change

The resistible rise of urban dispossession in Europe

30 May 2016 Stuart Hodkinson traces the effects of the housing crisis across Europe in light of a new report, 'Resisting Evictions Across Europe'

Balancing Britain: the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ and the search for alternatives

24 February 2016 Despite concerns over the government’s devolution plans, there is a broad consensus that localism is a good thing. Craig Berry examines the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ narrative – and what an alternative might look like

Democracy is dead, long live democracies!

23 January 2016 In this essay, Hilary Wainwright argues that building a real democracy in the face of corporate and financial power will require a rethinking of power and agency

The case for radical modernity

12 January 2016 The left should embrace technological innovation and new class alliances as part of a strategy for 21st-century socialism, writes Jeremy Gilbert

Butter, bacon and fire: reclaiming the two Great Charters

15 June 2015 Magna Carta is only one of the two Great Charters of English Liberty, writes Peter Linebaugh – and we should reclaim them both from the conservatives and neoliberals

A new Magna Carta

21 April 2015 Scotland’s radical independence movement should be a wake-up call for the British left, argues Anthony Barnett. The time is ripe for a return to the call for constitutional reform

Essay: The death of international development

25 February 2015 ‘Development’ has failed to deliver. The reason, Jason Hickel argues, is that development organisations have failed to address the structural drivers of poverty

Defending rights against the right

22 February 2015 The rights of those who have least are under concerted attack, says Nina Power. We must organise to protect them

Maidan over: The balance of power in Ukraine

8 September 2014 While Ukraine’s oligarchic elite aspires to become a ruling class in its own right, it is also the object of an ongoing competition between Russia and the west to draw it into their respective transnational capitalist classes, writes Marko Bojcun

Essay: Dealing with debt

10 August 2014 The global justice movement of the 1990s and early 2000s focused on national debt. Its heirs should join forces with the nascent movements against micro-debt to present a challenge to the whole debt economy, argues George Caffentzis

Step backward, leap forward

19 January 2014 Around the globe, new forms of governance are being sought to counter-balance the hyper-empire of global capitalism. Scotland is developing its own resistance, writes Tom Nairn, and England could follow suit

Colonial oversight

16 November 2013 As they colonised the world, European governments invented techniques for tracking the people they conquered. Elia Zureik reveals how domestic spying has roots in imperial history

The local is not enough

10 August 2013 Greg Sharzer argues that movements have to confront the contradictions of capitalist crisis, and not simply try to carve spaces away from that crisis. Below, Hilary Wainwright responds

Back to the fragments

3 May 2013 Lynne Segal, one of the authors of the seminal 1979 socialist-feminist text Beyond the Fragments, reflects on its lessons for today

Yield of dreams

11 April 2013 Nick Hildyard investigates the rise of private equity investment infrastructure funds in overseas development, and how they are turning public infrastructure into a new ‘asset class’

Essay: Europe’s hard borders

16 December 2012 Matthew Carr investigates the brutal border regimes of our ‘gated continent’ and suggests the possibility of a different politics of solidarity

Unleashing the creativity of labour

16 October 2012 Hilary Wainwright calls for policies that release workers’ creative potential, not just in waged work but beyond

Austerity for the people, welfare for the banks

24 August 2012 Andrew Bowman and Leigh Phillips look at how central banks have used the crisis to carve out a new role – from propping up bankers to toppling governments

Peer-to-peer production and the coming of the commons

19 July 2012 Michel Bauwens examines how collaborative, commons-based production is emerging to challenge capitalism. Below, Hilary Wainwright responds

A different way of doing things

20 May 2012 Robin Murray explores the potential of co-ops to form the basis of an alternative economy

Banking’s groundhog day

13 April 2012 Adam Leaver turns the spotlight on elite power, democratic disconnects and the failure of financial reform in the UK. With a response by Jonathan Stevenson

Oligarchy of the unelected

7 December 2011 David Beetham examines the growing dominance of unaccountable corporate and financial interests

Relax: alternative hedonism and a new politics of pleasure

20 August 2011 Kate Soper on re-imagining fulfllment

The revival – and the retreat – of the state?

7 June 2011 Ha-Joon Chang on the state response to the neoliberal crisis. But it’s the movement that matters, responds Oisín Gilmore

After the spring

1 June 2011 Sami Ramadani considers the response to the popular uprisings from the region’s dictators and other reactionary forces, as well as the role of imperialism

Crack capitalism or reclaim the state?

15 April 2011 John Holloway and Hilary Wainwright debate strategy and tactics for social change

Degrow or die?

30 November 2010 John Bellamy Foster opens a debate on ‘degrowth’, climate crisis and capitalism

Response: A constructive dialogue for change

30 November 2010 John Bellamy Foster's critique of capitalism's ecologically destructive nature is sound, writes Ted Benton, but we need to think less vaguely about bringing together a coalition for change

The Bolivian Road to Socialism

27 September 2010 Mike Geddes argues we can learn from the Bolivian experiences of working in and against the state

Dealing with the devil

26 September 2010 Bertie Russell is sceptical as to whether states can ever be used to move beyond capitalism

Identity canards

25 July 2010 There is nothing inherent in any racial category or gender that makes it necessarily more radical - or reactionary - than another. But difference does make a difference, argues Gary Younge, and the left needs to re-examine its approach to issues of diversity, equal opportunities and representation

Feminism: now for the good news

16 June 2010 Women's oppression remains a major feature of British society, even if it sometimes looks rather different than it did during that last big wave of feminism in the 1970s. But the good news, argues Catherine Redfern, is that feminism is alive and kicking too

Reclaiming the revolution

29 May 2010 It is right to celebrate the re-emergence of feminism, says Laurie Penny, but we need to build a broad movement that has a clear analysis of the economic basis of women's oppression

Climate indebted

14 December 2009 While climate change is an environmental problem, the way we deal with it will have a massive impact on economic development and inequality on a global scale. Tim Jones argues that a transfer of wealth and power from the global North to South is essential to averting climate catastrophe