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As we were going to press the December general election was announced. During the campaign Boris Johnson looks set to continue his impersonation act as tribune of the people and embodiment of the popular will. For this reason Bill Schwarz’s analysis in this issue of Johnson’s role in attempting to reconfigure the Conservative Party as a party of the populist right is essential reading. As Schwarz argues, the incorporation of right-wing populism potentially marks a new period in the history of the old party. The continuously intensifying condensation of meanings into the deadly Brexit meme, which began long before the referendum took place, has offered the right an historic opportunity to link together a set of populist ideas that may be capable of re-ordering the political landscape of Britain.
Boris Johnson’s newly adopted persona as embodiment of the people’s will represents another step along the road towards a very English populism
Deborah Grayson, Tamanda Walker
How do different ideas about religion and the secular shape the building of solidarities and alliances?
In the midst of the 2018 Labour Party Conference in Liverpool, a group of comrades under the banner of Artists4Corbyn made a journey to the wind turbines just off the coast. The grey pillars of the generators that march across the horizon are visible from the northern parts of the city. Our intention was to gain a visceral experience of the Green Industrial Revolution being launched at the Conference. The following day at ‘The World Transformed’ we retold the story of our voyage.
A feminist reading of Rethinking Democracy Karen Celis and Sarah Childs Andrew Gamble and Tony Wright (eds), Rethinking Democracy, Political Quarterly Monograph Series, 2019 Trump and trade with the East: the continuing story Marc Reyes Andrew C. McKevitt. Consuming Japan: Popular Culture and the Globalizing of 1980s America, University of North Carolina Press, 2017
The article provides a critical overview of the latest phase of scholarly engagement with Eurocommunism, firstly, by pointing out the resilience of a ‘Cold War framing’ in many of the new studies of the phenomenon, secondly, by stressing the resulting blind spots in the assessment of its geographical scope (e.g., the lack of attention paid to Spain, scarce contributions on Eurocommunism’s ramifications beyond West Europe).
Helena Sheehan, Navigating the Zeitgeist: A Story of the Cold War, the New Left, Irish Republicanism, and International Communism, New York: Monthly Review Press, 2019, (pb) 308pp., ISBN 978-1-58367-727-8.
Not just Peterloo: Remembering the Anti-Apartheid protest against the Springboks, Manchester, 26 November 1969
Michael J. Braddick (ed.), The Oxford Handbook of the English Revolution, Oxford University Press, Oxford 2015; 636 pp.; ISBN 9780199695898, £95.00, hbk
About this issue’s cover: Herbert Read Commemorates Emma Goldman
While anarchists continue today to debate whether or not to support national liberation movements, discussion of the issue often refers back to French anarchists’ experience during the Algerian war (1954–62).
Steve J. Shone, American Anarchism Leiden-Boston: Brill, 2013; 297pp; ISBN 97804251946 Terrance Wiley, Angelic Troublemakers: Religion and Anarchism in America London: Bloomsbury, 2014; 208pp; ISBN 978162356601
Advocates of Corbynomics will need to decide on the place of decentralisation and democratisation within their overall vision of economic transformation.
The fall of Theresa May has ushered in a new phase in the UK’s never-ending Brexit crisis. Energy is once again behind a hard-Brexit right led by Nigel Farage and Boris Johnson.
Elizabeth Anderson, Daniel Chandler
Elizabeth Anderson interviewed by Daniel Chandler.
Matthew Bishop, Tony Payne
Neoliberal globalisation is in crisis – but it’s an illusion to believe that we can turn back the clock on forty years of international economic integration. The left urgently needs to discover the ideas and agency necessary to resist the disaster capitalists of the right, and build a progressive reglobalisation.
Sally Davison, Kirsten Forkert
Kirsten Forkert and Sally Davison introduce this special issue of Soundings.
The slogan ‘take back control’ can be seen as an expression of protest at the hollowing out of democracy. The Brexit referendum has caused many problems, but it has also opened up the possibility for a sense of re-empowerment - the renewed possibility for discussion of ‘substantive politics’.
Populism refers to forms of politics that put ‘the people’ at their centre, but the way ‘the people’ is understood varies widely. Questions of left populism have gained significant traction and engagement in the last decade - and this is a key focus of this article.