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Anthony Painter considers whether the left's ‘institutional turn’ will extend freedom and empower individuals and communities, or tend towards bureaucracy and paternalism.

Jon Burke and Mika Minio-Paluello discuss climate transition, local government, and the potential for a geographical and ecological rebalancing of Britain’s economy.

Three recent books engage with the challenges of building institutions that can deliver real social security and empower people as workers and citizens.

In political campaigns in the UK, US, Canada and elsewhere we are seeing the importance of big politics – ideas radical enough to tackle the vast challenges we face – and big organising – building social movements and empowering volunteers to drive campaigns at scale.

Renewal meets Professor Mary Kaldor to discuss her support for left campaigns against Brexit, and to ask what remains of projects for a left-liberal globalism in our current age of revived national power-politics.

Joe Guinan and Martin O’Neill discuss Labour's new twenty-first century socialist political economy.

Thomas M. Hanna argues for democratised and decentralised forms of public ownership.

A review of Rachel Reeves, The Everyday Economy, 2018.

Monique Charles and Natalie Thomlinson respond to Charlotte Proudman's critique of the Labour leadership’s engagement with the feminist tradition.

Article

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford

Spring 2018

With the left in a strengthened position and the Labour party enjoying something of an internal truce, this issue takes the opportunity to investigate the normative foundations for a twenty-first century social democracy.

The automation revolution demands an active state: one that promotes investment in new technologies while securing good jobs for all workers.

Nick Srnicek in conversation with Lise Butler

What is the story of the economy in Britain? Who gets to shape public opinion about what it’s for, how it’s broken and how it can be fixed? And how can progressive forces tell a new story to help accelerate the shift to a new economic system?

There is a growing recognition that decentralisation and localism should play a key role in a future Labour manifesto. Where should Labour look for lessons about effective localism? The party’s own past provides valuable lessons about how to forge a progressive localism.

Peter Lee offers an example of Labour politics rooted in a local community and founded on finding practical solutions to local problems. To follow his example today, Labour needs to work to localise power, build an industrial strategy based on the needs of the everyday economy and democratise the way our economy works.

Article

Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite, James Stafford

Autumn/Winter 2017

Labour transformed the electoral map in June. Though the Conservatives form the largest party in the House of Commons, Labour has turned many safe Tory seats into marginals, loosening Theresa May’s grip on her own parliamentary party. Labour now needs a relatively small swing – just 3.57 per cent – to win a majority of one at the next election.

Since the Brexit referendum, cultural and identity explanations for the polarisation of British society have saturated public debate. A comparison between students’ and Brexit voters’ attitudes to economic insecurity, however, reveals surprising similarities between these supposedly opposing groups. Reforms to higher education and the welfare state could be the key to winning a governing majority for Labour.

It’s commonly assumed that the Brexit referendum exposed pre-existing faultlines in British society. But we need to take seriously the idea that voting produces divisions and identities, rather than simply measuring them. If we consider the sorts of subjects and identities our current modes of voting in elections and referendums produce, we might be prompted to embrace more reflective, and more deliberative, democratic practices, in order to bridge rather than entrench divisions in British society.

Few living figures can match Stuart Holland’s range of experience and insight into both British and continental European politics. As an advisor to Harold Wilson, Willy Brandt, Jacques Delors and António Guterres, Labour MP for Vauxhall 1979-89, and as a leading light behind Labour’s economic programmes in the 1970s and early 1980s, he has profoundly shaped the political economy of the Labour left and the case for a ‘Social Europe’. With the left now ascendant within Labour, the EU locked in permanent crisis, and the UK struggling to come to terms with Brexit, Renewal caught up with Stuart Holland in Coimbra, Portugal.

The international political environment will inevitably affect the UK government’s ability to pursue its trade policy goals after Brexit. Global trade politics is marked by significant institutional fragmentation, creating a difficult environment for a ‘middle power’ like the UK. In order to safeguard progressive policy objectives, the UK should pass a Trade Bill that would bring trade policy under domestic public scrutiny.

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