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With the growth of #BlackLivesMatter, the widespread racism in US universities is once more being challenged.

The second of a new series of articles, Soundings Futures, which sets out to develop programmatic alternatives to the system of neoliberalism.

In introducing a series of articles that explore positive and programmatic alternatives to neoliberalism, Michael Rustin points to its links with After Neoliberalism: the Kilburn Manifesto, the main focus of which was to analyse and expose the workings of neoliberalism.

Housing is an area where neoliberalism has been successful in shifting attitudes away from the notion that it is the business of the state to make provision for adequate homes for all, and towards the idea that housing should be seen as a market: i.e. the state has no business in subsidising the poor through providing affordable housing, or in regulating the private sector.

Chantal Mouffe and leading Podemos strategist Íñigo Errejón here discuss the rise of Podemos, and the ways in which the party has drawn on the theoretical contribution made by Laclau and Mouffe.

Identity politics is often misrepresented as undermining our ability to forge a sense of our collective humanity, leaving us trapped in single-issue debates and unable to develop meaningful connections outside of our group. Roshi Naidoo argues that the opposite is true: it is through, rather than in spite of, identity that we can find solidarity, connection and a more profound sense of humanity that embraces rather than suppresses difference in the name of a greater good.

Soundings has been arguing for a long time that Labour should ‘take a leap’, that it should challenge the dominant terms of debate: that, rather than accepting the established political terrain, it should be marking out distinctive territory of its own. [...]

Article

Jo Littler, Mandy Merck, Hilary Wainwright, Nira Yuval-Davis, Deborah Grayson

Winter 2015

A roundtable discussion on socialism and feminism with Mandy Merck, Hilary Wainwright, Nira Yuval-Davis and Deborah Grayson, chaired by Jo Littler.

This article looks at the ways in which structures of racism underpin the workings of neoliberal culture and society, both within the UK and internationally.

Platform, a group which campaigns on the social, economic and environmental impacts of the global oil industry, here analyses how deeply embedded the industry is within the structures of neoliberalism, especially the City, where BP and Shell between them make up 20 per cent of the value of the FTSE 100.

For most of us the election result was a shock, but in some ways it didn’t substantially change the nature of the tasks we face. We still need to find new ways of battling against an environmentally destructive and aggressively unequal capitalism - and the common sense that sustains it.

Article

David Featherstone, Deborah Grayson, Ben Little

Spring 2014

If the election on 7 May allows David Cameron to continue as prime minister it will be a disaster for the UK, but especially for the poorest and most vulnerable in society. Moreover it will sink any medium-term prospect of transition to a just and sustainable economy.

This article analyses the May 2015 UK general election from the perspective of conjunctural analysis – which seeks to understand how the deep structural movements in economy, society and culture are articulated together to shape any given political settlement.

Jo Littler’s interview with Nancy Fraser explores her approach to the hegemony of a liberal feminist model that allows privileged women to lead lives that she argues are socially male.

This article takes a critical look at the role of resilience in an age of austerity, from the meanings and practices it encompasses for grassroots groups to its rise to prominence across diverse policy fields.

As a further instalment of the Kilburn manifesto, Rustin and Massey extend their arguments on neoliberalism to the realm of international relations and emphasise Britain’s key role in supporting the spread of global neoliberalism.

New spaces of debate have opened up that are challenging the dominant narrative and informing new movements for change. Some of these spaces and alternatives are discussed in this issue.

Further developing the arguments of anthropologist and activist David Graeber’s article ‘On the Phenomenon of Bullshit Jobs’ this article takes Graeber’s insight as a starting point, using the concept of ‘bullshit jobs’ to draw out a central contradiction in neoliberal rhetoric.

This article recontextualises the way we think of the state, and asserts its continuing importance for the left. It argues that we need to re-imagine the state as a site of contestation and compromise, not a monolithic entity.

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