Stuart Hall and political writing


Stuart Hall’s political writing, over a period of many years, provided immensely valuable political ideas and analysis. His notion of conjunctural analysis – exploring the nature of the specific shifts and currents that coalesce into a particular moment or settlement – is closely connected to the thinking of Antonio Gramsci, which offered a way of holding on to the dimensions of Marxism that he found of greatest value while rejecting the orthodoxies of economic determinism. In many ways Hall worked as an historian of the present, and this, combined with his very expansive view of what constituted the field of politics, enabled him to perceive very early on the break with the social-democratic consensus that was represented by Thatcherism; while his understanding of the importance of culture meant that he was also prescient in his understanding of the emergence of populist authoritarianism, and the central role played within this by race. 

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Soundings 65: Populism and alliances