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Vol 28 No 1 2020

Free downloadThe end of illusions

Editorial // George Morris, Emily Robinson, James Stafford, Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite

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.

Free downloadGetting the basics right

Commentary // Bridget Phillipson

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.

Free downloadHanging in the balance: the democratic economy after Corbyn

Feature // 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.

Free downloadWhere next for the Green New Deal?

Feature // Adrienne Buller

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.

The long road back for Labour in Scotland

Essay // Lina Nass

The UK Labour Party has been gesturing at the need to ‘win back Scotland’ since 2015. Only uniting behind positive left-wing policies and adopting a radical stance on the constitution will enable it to do so.

A Constitutional Convention for the Labour Party

Essay // Dan Hind

How can Labour claim to be able to transform Britain, if it cannot democratise its own opaque and moribund structures? A mass membership party should aspire to create new social, communicative and material capacities, and to do so at speed.

Why we don’t need a ‘strong leader’

Essay // Sue Goss

How can progressive parties develop forms of leadership that enable them to bring about transformative change in twenty-first century Britain? While media discourse largely focuses on ‘strength’ and entertainment value, academic research suggests that inclusiveness, flexibility and vision are the essential attributes.

Technology and inequality: can we decolonise the digital world?

Essay // Padmashree Gehl Sampath

Despite a dominant narrative that sees technology as a force for social progress, it is never neutral. Current ways of thinking about tech promote a coloniality of knowledge and create a new form of technoimperialism. Creating a fairer data economy requires us to think again about how we frame the debate.

The Green New Deal and global justice

Feature // Harpreet K. Paul

Proposals for a ‘Green New Deal’ focus on the ability of nation states in the global north to drive radical, investment-led change in their own economies. How can these be embedded within a broader agenda for global justice – one that recognises the historic legacies of colonialism and fossil capitalism?

Free downloadThe dog that didn’t bark: inflation and power in the contemporary capitalist state

Essay // Maximilian Krahé

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.

Ideas of England

Review // Nick Garland

In the aftermath of December’s general election, Alex Niven’s latest book, New Model Island, though a welcome contribution to an often tedious debate, feels like a product of another time.

Two new socialist manifestos

Review // Cain Shelley

Popular new books by Aaron Bastani and Bhaskar Sunkara, two leading figures in the new left media landscape, shine a revealing light on the potential – and limits – of the case for socialism in the twenty-first century.

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