Soundings

Articles from No. 48, May

A Left Communitarianism? What about Multiculturalism? A More Plural Approach Can Help to Heal Breaches Both within the 'Multicultural Community' and Beyond
Ejected from power, the centre left is once again a place of thinking. Old antagonisms that marked the ways in which its fractions conceived of culture, identity, difference and equality are being reconsidered. Recent discussions that put at the centre...
Berlusconi of the Left? Does the Rise of Nichi Vendola in Italy Offer New Hope for the Left?
While the international media have reported in great detail the sex and prostitution scandals engulfing the beleaguered Silvio Berlusconi, they seem to have completely missed the rise of a potential new leader of the left - one who may be finally capable...
Editorial
The neoliberal revolution began in the 1970s, as an - extremely successful - attempt to roll back the gains of the post-war welfare state, reverse the gains of liberation movements and restore the dominance of business interests across the world. Stuart...
Ideology and Economics in the Present Moment: Battling Our Way out of the Neoliberal Terrain Requires New Thinking on Ideology as Well Economics
As I understand it, the conjunctural analysis we have been discussing in recent issues of Soundings is about deep structural movements. (1) It is not particularly about parliament and parties, though actions and events there may well be the spark that...
Reframing Child Poverty: What Lessons Can We Learn from the Limitations of Labour's Efforts to End Child Poverty?
The experience of poverty in the UK is the struggle to make ends meet, the frustration and debilitation of dealing with inflexible and unsympathetic bureaucracies, employers, landlords and creditors, and, for many, the shame and alienation that can...
Relational Welfare: The Welfare State Is Based on an Outdated, Transactional Model, and Needs to Be Replaced with Something That Is Shared, Collective and Relational
The current parameters of the debate around welfare reform are inadequate. A relentless focus on finance and costs has obscured the systemic challenges facing our post-war welfare institutions. Although exacerbated by the current financial crisis,...
The Community of Things: Why Progressive Politics Needs to Recognise the Social Side of Materialism
"Shopping is usually a collective act. Most of the time it is done in groups, in families or with friends. Much of our consumption is for other people; or we have other people in mind when we're doing it. In the supermarket, we buy for our families....
The Crisis of a Social System: Is the Current Political Settlement Sustainable?
The persuasive view that Stuart Hall has set out in his article in this issue is that the Coalition is the most radical government since Thatcher. He describes its ferocious programme to further subjugate Britain to the hegemony of neoliberalism as...
The EU Crisis: Integration or Gradual Disintegration? the Only Way the EU Can Avoid Disintegration Is to Move towards Greater Integration
Two - seemingly diametrically opposed - conclusions have been drawn from the outline European Union agreement to reform the governance of the Euro-area following the crises which have recently hit Greece, Ireland and Portugal. The first is that the...
The Neoliberal Revolution: Thatcher, Blair, Cameron - the Long March of Neoliberalism Continues
How do we make sense of our extraordinary political situation: the end of the debt-fuelled boom, the banking crisis of 2007-10, the defeat of New Labour and the rise to power of a Conservative-Liberal-Democratic Coalition? What sort of crisis is this?...
The Privatisation of Stress: The Numerous Pathologies Generated by Neoliberalism Can Only Be Cured within a Revivified Public Sphere
Ivor Southwood tells the story of how, at a time when he was living in a condition of underemployment - relying on short-term contracts given to him at the last minute by employment agencies - he one morning made the mistake of going to the supermarket....
When the Party Is Over: Labour in Scotland and Britain: Labour Needs New Thinking on the Future of Social Democracy, and of Twenty-First Century Nation States - Both in Scotland and Britain
Scottish Labour has a long, proud history. It is one of the original and most influential parts of what we used to call 'the British labour movement'. It has a lineage of having contributed to the birth of British Labour, while also having a distinct...
'You Don't Talk about Love in Government': A Roundtable Discussion on Sure Start and the First Three Years of Life
Tessa Sure Start was conceived as a nurture programme that focused on reinforcing the intimacy of the early relationship between mothers and their tiny babies. It was based on the growing body of evidence of the importance of the first three years...
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