Soundings

Articles from No. 46, September

Can Trade Unions Become Environmental Innovators? What Can We Learn from the Lucas Aerospace Workers?
The celebrated attempt by workers at Lucas Aerospace in the 1970s to develop a plan to convert production in their company from weapons to socially useful goods has recently been invoked in debates on creating low-carbon societies. (1) As Hilary Wainwright...
Deng Xiaoping and John Maynard Keynes: China's Economic Success Is Continuing Testimony to the Efficacy of Keynesianism
The present international importance of China's economy is twofold. Firstly there is the significance of the scale of China's economic achievement, its global impact, and the consequences for the improvement of the social conditions of China and the...
Editorial
The current thinking on civil society and its contribution to the common good, even if their Big Society mantra is little more than a cover behind which they are going about the business of seriously laying waste to state provision. The Big Society...
Europe's Periphery: The Economies of Central and Eastern Europe Have Become Peripheral Dependencies of the Core EU States
The European Union now consists of 27 states. No fewer than 10 of these are former states of the Eastern Bloc, and this proportion is set to grow with the impending accession of the former Yugoslavian republics. Europe's centre of gravity is shifting....
Is India Having a Good Crisis? If India Has Weathered the Financial Crisis, It Is Largely Because of the Remnants of Its Old Developmental State Model
It would appear that India is having a good crisis. Despite initial appearances to the contrary, the Great Recession turned out to be anything but 'global'. While the advanced industrial countries, pre-eminently the US, were hardest hit, growth in...
Italy's Moral Crisis: Italy's Weak Left Is Unable to Challenge the Collapse of Public Morality Being Presided over by Berlusconi
Italy today is facing a large number of problems, many of them chronic and long-standing. These include intractable economic and social issues; but there is also, perhaps more worryingly, a moral crisis, which is interwoven with all the others. Much...
Labour as a Radical Tradition: Labour's Renewal Lies in Its Traditions of Mutualism, Reciprocity and the Common Good
The Liberal Conservative coalition government, self-consciously progressive in orientation, while appropriating Labour's language of mutual and cooperative practice, raises a fundamental question as to what distinctive gifts Labour can now bring to...
Labour's Good Society: The Conservatives' Big Society Is an Attempt to Move in on Ground Vacated by New Labour, but a Good Society Requires More Than Rhetoric about Volunteering
I moved to the street I live in back in 1983. The recession had begun to have a devastating impact. The homeless were sleeping in the park over the road. For several years the house next door was inhabited by an unsteady procession of squatters, junkies...
Perversity and Finance: Sue Gerhardt, the Selfish Society: How We All Forgot to Love One Another and Made Money Instead, Simon & Schuster 2010
In this book Sue Gerhardt attempts to provide a diagnosis for a particularly sick patient. The patient is scornful of close relationships, gets paranoid about depending on anyone, likes to be in control and finds money and material things more reliable...
The Dynamics of Public Sector Transformation: Is It Possible to Reverse the Tide?
Neoliberal ideology has driven public sector transformation over the last three decades, with the aim of reconfiguring services and the welfare state. This transformation has been constructed in three ways. Firstly, service users have been encouraged...
The Left and Reciprocity: Reciprocity, Properly Understood, Is a Natural Part of Social-Democratic Politics
One of the emerging themes of Labour's post-election discussion is the need to ground social policy in the value of reciprocity. Labour politicians have voiced worries that, in government, the party adopted an approach to welfare that was too focused...
The Media Market and Young People: Mike Wayne, Julian Petley, Craig Murray, Lesley Henderson, Television News, Politics and Young People: Generation Disconnected? Palgrave 2010
This book is one of the outcomes of a three-year research project funded by the Art and Humanities Research Council to explore contemporary UK television news and current affairs programming. The researchers have contextualised their empirical work...
The Pension Problem: Pensions Are Best Understood as Coming from the Preceding Generation's Investment in the Future
The UK currently has a pension problem, but the debate on how to solve it gives little attention to the underlying question of what should be the basis for a pension contract within any society. A pension contract is, fundamentally, one between the...
Three Lions Ate My Shirt: Beyond the Din of the Vuvuzelas What Was the Impact of World Cup 2010?
Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Table Mountain, Zola Budd, Ladysmith Black Mambazo, er, Kevin Pietersen, wildebeest, Ernie Els, Jacob Zuma, giraffes, Charlize Theron, springboks, Jody Scheckter and that girl runner who looks like a bloke ......
Will Women Rise Again? A Roundtable Discussion on Women's Lives Today
Sally Let's start with a bit of context. In the forty years since the rebirth of feminism in the 1970s there has been a wide range of developments, some good, some bad. One way of understanding them is to see the ways in which feminism and market processes...
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