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Michael Rustin, Jeremy Gilbert, Sally Davison

Spring 2020

Michael Rustin talks to Sally Davison and Jeremy Gilbert.


George Morris, Emily Robinson, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford

Spring 2020

Labour’s strong performance at the 2017 general election demonstrated that policy ambition need not be a barrier to electoral success for parties of the left. Yet it also allowed all of us – including this journal – to sidestep hard and necessary reflection about the work needed to build a social democratic majority in twenty-first century Britain. After last year’s electoral rout, the future is uncertain. We must face it without illusions.

Labour needs to win big in 2024. It’s time for the party to re-learn the art of professional leadership and communication, and to accept the limits of its existing electoral coalition.

Under Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell, a space was created for left thinkers and activists to advance a detailed and intellectually coherent alternative to our plutocratic, extractive and environmentally devastating economic model. After Labour’s defeat, we need to hold our nerve and build a broader, more durable movement for radical change.

Keeping the Green New Deal alive in the face of opposition, and finding routes to develop it while out of power, will be a key task for the left in the coming years.

More than a decade after the global financial crisis, inflation in major capitalist economies remains very low. This tells us something important – and disturbing – about the weakness of social democracy in the twenty-first century.


David Bennett, Carolyn D'Cruz, Glenn D'Cruz, Julia Vassilieva

This article is published as a tribute to the late Hungarian philosopher Agnes Heller, who died earlier this year.

How is it possible to profit from protecting the environment, rather than through deepening its terminal crisis? In recent years, a growing group of investors, economists and governments have answered this question with a range of market-based instruments designed to facilitate the commodification and trade of everything from carbon to wetlands.

This paper charts emerging scholarship on what I conceptualise as ‘compensatory cultures’; cultures that are, in essence, compensatory responses to crisis, but are presented and received as desirable, even preferable ways of organising life.

The aim of this article is two-fold. Firstly, it identifies and maps out a new presence in race discourse in the UK arts and higher education, under the heading of ‘US Black Critical Thought’. Secondly, it seeks to situate ‘US Black Critical Thought’ and its growing impact upon intellectual and aesthetic discourses on race in the UK through the lens of the longer-term project of ‘Black British Cultural Studies’.


Shahidha Bari , Jacob McGuinn , Elliot Ross, Claire Finch

Reviews: The Insistent Poetics of Relation Shahidha Bari An Historically Conjunctural Phenomenon Jacob McGuinn New Narrative Maternity Claire Finch Booknote: An Indomitable Humanism Elliot Ross

This issue of Twentieth Century Communism features a selection of papers presented at a symposium at the University of Manchester, UK in November 2018. The symposium considered new trends in the history of communist anti-colonialism and internationalism in the twentieth century.

This article looks at the relationship between Claudia Jones, the pioneering black Marxist feminist, and the border regime of the United States.

This article explores the place of ‘Ireland’ in the political imagination of the nascent Australian Communist movement between its fractured formation in 1920 and the end of the Irish Civil War in 1923.

We will only be able to survive as a species if we can find ways to limit the exercise of all forms of coercive power, to unleash the multiplier effect of social power, and to distribute power-to as widely as possible. To achieve these goals, it is necessary to reconceptualise the nature of power itself.

Ben Roberts and Patrick Crogan introduce this special issue of New Formations.

This article discusses the cyclical nature of automation anxiety and examines ways of thinking about the recurrence of automation debates in culture, particularly with reference to the 1950s, 1960s and today.

Contesting binaries that tend to underlie claims about automation, this article seeks to complicate arguments that are made about digital technology and the processes and practices of automation essential to it.