Free to view books, chapters and articles
All Lawrence & Wishart free-to-view content is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. If you teach at a university please email us detailing use. Commercial media and libraries must contact us for permission and fees.
In the face of the immediate threat of the coronavirus, the struggle to establish a 'new normal' has begun. The left must make the case for deep structural changes towards a more just political economy, and must do so in the light of the broader crisis of climate breakdown.
The public health response to the pandemic has been shaped by rapidly shifting strategies and many years of underfunding and austerity. But the NHS has stepped up to the task and taken control. Many of the changes in organisation and management style that have taken place as a result are likely to be difficult to reverse.
Faced with crises, governments take emergency powers. While the suspension of normality is often necessary, the radical change in the relationship between citizens and the state poses dangers to civil liberties. Without consideration and accountability, temporary powers can have long-term, permanent effects.
Alyssa Battistoni, George Morris
A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (Verso, 2019) seeks to reframe left politics for an age of climate crisis. Renewal spoke to one of the book’s co-authors about the political project of the Green New Deal.
The coronavirus crisis has intensified the inequalities in our already fragile and unequal society. Labour must address these problems, through supporting universalist and poverty-reducing policies in the face of an increasing rhetoric of deserving and undeserving poor and soaring unemployment.
The 'redlining' of urban space was one of the many ways in which the US New Deal excluded millions of black Americans from its benefits. The concept also helps us to better grasp the operation of racialised inequality in Britain, not just in the neoliberal era but also under the aegis of post-war social democracy.
George Morris, Emily Robinson, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford
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.
Joe Guinan, Sarah McKinley
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.
Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford
Regardless of the outcome of the election on 12 December, there can be no turning back the clock on Labour’s transformation into a party of thoroughgoing economic radicalism.
Labour’s economic agenda combines radical redistribution with the construction of new institutions that hard-wire democracy and social justice into Britain’s political economy. But its ambition remains largely national in scope. What policies could bring about an ‘international institutional turn’?
In a world where progressive and conservative governments alike are clamping down on migrants, Labour must prioritise a radical commitment to justice for migrants.
Georgia Gould, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite
Deliberative democracy has the power to counteract division and lack of trust in politics, deliver more radical solutions to problems, and involve communities in tackling those problems. We talked to Georgia Gould, leader of Camden Council, about the transformative potential of deliberative democracy at a local level.
Bernie Sanders and the UK Labour Party have both committed to a radical new policy on worker share ownership: Inclusive Ownership Funds. By giving workers new rights over the wealth they create and the firms that they work for, IOFs can set us on the path to the democratic economy we need.
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.