Friday, 28 June 2013

"Marxism and social movements" published

Colin Barker, Laurence Cox, John Krinsky and Alf Nilsen, eds., (2013), Marxism and social movements. Leiden: Brill (Historical Materialism book series). ISBN 9789004211759.

Release date June 21 2013

Marxism and Social Movements is the first sustained engagement between social movement theory and Marxist approaches to collective action. The chapters collected here, by leading figures in both fields, discuss the potential for a Marxist theory of social movements; explore the developmental processes and political tensions within movements; set the question in a long historical perspective; and analyse contemporary movements against neo-liberalism and austerity.

Exploring struggles on six continents over 150 years, this collection shows the power of Marxist analysis in relation not only to class politics, labour movements and revolutions but also anticolonial and anti-racist struggles, community activism and environmental justice, indigenous struggles and anti-austerity protest. It sets a new agenda both for Marxist theory and for movement research.

This book will be of interest to researchers and postgraduates studying social movements or Marxism within disciplines like sociology, history, anthropology or political science, as well as to movement activists and laypeople interested in popular politics.


·  “Marxism and social movements: an introduction”. Colin Barker, Laurence Cox, John Krinsky, Alf Gunvald Nilsen

Part I: theoretical frameworks

Marxism and social movements
·  “Class struggle and social movements”. Colin Barker
·  “What would a Marxist theory of social movements look like?” Alf Gunvald Nilsen and Laurence Cox

Social movement studies and its discontents
·  “The strange disappearance of capitalism from social movement studies”. Gabriel Hetland and Jeff Goodwin
·  “Marxism and the politics of possibility: beyond academic boundaries”. John Krinsky

Part 2: How social movements work

Developmental perspectives on social movements
·  “Eppur si muove: thinking ‘the social movement’”. Laurence Cox
·  “Class formation and the labor movement in revolutionary China”. Marc Blecher
·  “Contesting the postcolonial development project: a Marxist perspective on popular resistance in the Narmada valley”. Alf Gunvald Nilsen

The politics of social movements
·  “The Marxist rank-and-file / bureaucracy analysis of trade unionism: some implications for the study of social movement organisations”. Ralph Darlington
·  “Defending place, remaking space: social movements in Oaxaca and Chiapas”. Chris Hesketh
·  “Uneven and combined Marxism within South Africa’s urban social movements”. Patrick Bond, Ashwin Desai and Trevor Ngwane

Part 3: Seeing the bigger picture

Comparative-historical perspective
·  “Thinking about (new) social movements: some insights from the British Marxist historians”. Paul Blackledge
·  “Right-wing social movements: the political indeterminacy of mass mobilisation”. Neil Davidson
·  “Class, caste, colonial rule, and resistance: the Revolt of 1857 in India”. Hira Singh
·  “The Black International as social movement wave: CLR James’ history of pan-African revolt”. Christian Høgsbjerg

Social movements against neoliberalism
·  “Language, Marxism and the grasping of policy agendas: neo-liberalism and political voice in Scotland’s poorest communities”. Chik Collins
·  “Organic intellectuals in the Australian global justice movement: the weight of 9/11”. Elizabeth Humphrys
·  “’Disorganization’ as social movement tactic: re-appropriating politics during the crisis of neoliberal capitalism”. Heike Schaumberg
·  “’Unity of the diverse’: working class formations and popular uprisings from Cochabamba to Cairo”. David McNally

This is the library version; books in this series will appear in an affordable edition with Haymarket next year. If you know a sympathetic librarian with a decent budget, the list price is €129 / $179 (discount €96.75 / $134.25) - it is 482 pages hardback! Order via using discount code 50555 until 31.12.2013. Some chapters will be available on authors' websites in the near future, free.

About the editors

Colin Barker is honorary lecturer in sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. He co-organizes the annual international conferences on Alternative Futures and Popular Protest. He has published many books and articles on social movements and revolutions and is an active socialist.

Laurence Cox co-directs the MA in Community Education, Equality and Social Activism at Maynooth. He co-edits the social movement journal Interface and has also published Understanding European Movements (Routledge 2013, with Cristina Flesher Fominaya).

John Krinsky is associate professor of political science at The City College of New York. He co-edits the journal Social Movement Studies, and published Free Labor: Workfare and the Contested Language of Neoliberalism (Chicago 2007).

Alf Gunvald Nilsen is associate professor of sociology at the University of Bergen. He co-edits the  journal Interface and has published widely on social movements. He is the author of Dispossession and Resistance in India (Routledge 2010).