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Key indicators for participation in political parties are at an all-time low. Much of the energy that once went into parties now finds itself in cause-based campaigns. This article asks how and if political parties can renew themselves.
This issue of the journal, as well as publishing two more instalments in the Soundings Manifesto, carries articles that engage with and extend its arguments in a number of different directions.
The language we use to discuss the economy shapes the way we think about it, and thus reinforces neoliberal values as common sense. The vocabulary of customer, consumer, choice, markets and self interest moulds both our conception of ourselves and our understanding of and relationship to the world.
This essay is primarily concerned with the kinds of relationship with others on which individuals depend for their well-being, through the various phases of their lives. It focuses particularly on the quality of our social institutions – in the spheres, for example, of health, education, work, criminal justice or citizenship – and argues that their quality depends substantially on what qualities of human relationship they facilitate.
The role of young people and horizontal movements in the crisis in Egypt is discussed. More than fifty per cent of Egypt’s population are under twenty-five, and they have formed a strong centre and identity within the opposition movement.
Neoliberalism and how to end its dominance has been a central concern in Soundings since its inception. In this issue, we carry the framing statement for our online manifesto, After Neoliberalism?, written by the journal’s three founding editors, Stuart Hall, Doreen Massey and Michael Rustin.
Stuart Hall, Doreen Massey, Michael Rustin
Drawing on Gramscian concepts such as conjuncture and hegemony, this framing statement argues that the economic underpinnings of the current settlement are unravelling, but the broader political and social consensus is still largely in place.
Jo Littler, Susanna Rustin, Natalie Bennett
An interview with Natalie Bennett, the leader of the Green Party, who argues that her party occupies the large political space that was vacated when New Labour shifted to the right. Other areas discussed include Greens and austerity in Brighton, energy policy, globalisation, ethical consumerism, and electoral reform.
We are witnessing a global revolt against neoliberalism, especially from young people who believe that the system has failed to secure their future. This has been aided by the communications revolution, which assists the development of horizontal and networked groups.
John Major’s 1993 railway privatisation was driven purely by ideology; the railways at that time were by and large well-run and efficient, while privatisation has seen a rise both in subsidies from the tax-payer and costs to the traveller, as well as failures of safety and maintenance, while money is siphoned off instead of invested.
Varun Uberoi, Tariq Modood
The authors argue that it is almost always misunderstandings of the meaning of multiculturalism that have been responsible for the view that it is in retreat.
This article explores accusations that feminism only speaks to the concerns of middle-class women, and the possibilities for democratic renewal. It argues that the narrative of linear progress for women and broad arguments for ‘gender equality’ risk reaffirming the current economic and political model, and can obscure feminism as a set of transformative political demands that tackle the underlying structure of opportunities for women and men.
Since the last election the main argument from the Labour leadership about its future agenda on welfare has been a call for a more ‘contributory’ system. This aspiration could form the basis for a rich policy agenda and a powerful political strategy.
Julie Froud, Sukhdev Johal, Mick Moran, Karel Williams
This article focuses on the problems of worsening regional inequalities and the problems of ex-industrial regions, mainly in the UK but with some reference to the broader West European experience.
Jonathan Rutherford, Sally Davison
The issue opens with a discussion between Douglas Alexander and Gerry Hassan, in which they tease out some of the more interesting questions that lie behind what Gerry calls the loud voices and self importance of each camp in the battle between unionism and independence in Scotland.
Gerry Hassan, Douglas Alexander
Can there be a politics that embraces both equality and identity? A conversation between Douglas Alexander and Gerry Hassan. Douglas to Gerry: Before we get to where we’re going, I think it makes sense to be clear where we come from ...
Sarah Baker, Clare Coatman, David Floyd, Ben Little, Shiv Malik
A roundtable discussion with Sarah E. Baker, Clare Coatman, David Floyd, Ben Little and Shiv Malik on generational politics.