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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

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

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’.

This article revisits debates about agency: what and where are the forces and agents that might bring about change? In the past liberals and socialists broadly shared a belief in social enlightenment and progress, but liberals believed that this could be achieved gradually, through education, while Marxists believed that self-organisation by the working class was the way forward.

Article

David Featherstone, Lazaros Karaliotas

Summer 2019

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.

A discussion of the recent gilets jaunes revolt in France, reflecting on the dynamics of contemporary populist social movements.

Imagine being in the midst of a political mass rally, the first in many years, right in the centre of your home country’s capital. Imagine people from all walks of life with their banners, slogans and demands, asking for a little bit more life and dignity not only for themselves but for the whole of society.

Article

Antje Scharenberg, Nick Beech, Simon Peplow

Summer 2019

Antje Scharenberg reviews Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolò Milanese, Citizens of Nowhere - How Europe Can Be Saved from Itself, Zed 2018 Johny Pitts, Afropean - Notes from Black Europe, Allen Lane 2019 Nick Beech reviews Stuart Hall and Paddy Whannel, The Popular Arts, with an introduction by Richard Dyer, Duke University Press, Durham NC and London 2018 Simon Peplow reviews Shirin Hirsch, In the Shadow of Enoch Powell: Race, Locality and Resistance, Manchester University Press

Article

Antje Scharenberg, Nick Beech, Simon Peplow, John Clarke

Summer 2019

Antje Scharenberg reviews Lorenzo Marsili and Niccolò Milanese, Citizens of Nowhere - How Europe Can Be Saved from Itself, Zed 2018 and Johny Pitts, Afropean - Notes from Black Europe, Allen Lane 2019 Nick Beech reviews Stuart Hall and Paddy Whannel, The Popular Arts, with an introduction by Richard Dyer, Duke University Press, Durham NC and London 2018 Simon Peplow reviews Shirin Hirsch, In the Shadow of Enoch Powell: Race, Locality and Resistance, Manchester University Press John Clarke reviews Kristóf Szombati, The Revolt of the Provinces: Anti-Gypsyism and Right-Wing Politics in Hungary, Berghahn Books, 2018

Alison Winch, Kirsten Forkert and Sally Davison introduce this special issue of Soundings.

Economic decisions - such as where investment is increased and or withdrawn, which services will flourish and which will be run down, whose living standards will be protected or boosted and whose reduced - are not gender neutral. Neoliberal policies in particular have disproportionately affected women, particularly low-income and BAME women, through their lack of interest in social investment and the cuts they are making to the resources and public services that sustain life.

This article explores neoliberal feminism in relation to Africa, with a particular focus on Nigeria.

'It would be so lovely to think that, if I were a man, I could explain the law and people would listen and say "OK." That would be so restful.' Laura, Certain Women (Kelly Reichardt, 2016)

Article

Tamsyn Dent, Jannat Hossain, Katharine Harris, Peter Ridley

Spring 2019

Tamsyn Dent, Jannat Hossain, Katharine Harris, Peter Ridley

1960s counterculture offered a fleeting glimpse of an alternative form of civil society, and the spirit of ’68 continues to inspire the quest for a more open, participatory and democratic society. Some see it as having prepared the way for neoliberal consumerism and individualism, others regard it as the great disseminator of popular and anti-authoritarian politics.

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