Contested spaces of hegemony: left alliances after the crisis. Is it possible to construct alliances in the new landscape of the left?

Summer 2016

This reflects on the insights that geography can bring to bear on discussions of hegemony. It draws heavily on the work of Doreen Massey, for whom this essay is a form of tribute. It shows how Massey was able to make a very specific contribution to discussions about the politics of a given moment (the conjuncture) through her insistence on including the specificities of place into the many overlapping levels that constitute a political moment. This can be seen in her work on London, in which she drew attention to its role as a city in shaping the emergence of neoliberalism, or her work on de-industrialisation, which showed how unequal regional development is driven by specific interest groups - as seen in the strikingly different kind of help offered by successive governments to the bankers of the City as compared with the steel workers of the de-industrialised regions. Drawing on this work, David Featherstone draws on this work to discuss the current political situation in the devolved nations, the Northern Powerhouse, and relationships between nationally based parties and the Labour Party.

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Soundings 63: Spaces of resistance