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In the face of the immediate threat of the coronavirus, the struggle to establish a 'new normal' has begun. The left must make the case for deep structural changes towards a more just political economy, and must do so in the light of the broader crisis of climate breakdown.

The public health response to the pandemic has been shaped by rapidly shifting strategies and many years of underfunding and austerity. But the NHS has stepped up to the task and taken control. Many of the changes in organisation and management style that have taken place as a result are likely to be difficult to reverse.

Faced with crises, governments take emergency powers. While the suspension of normality is often necessary, the radical change in the relationship between citizens and the state poses dangers to civil liberties. Without consideration and accountability, temporary powers can have long-term, permanent effects.

Article

Alyssa Battistoni, George Morris

Summer 2020

A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal (Verso, 2019) seeks to reframe left politics for an age of climate crisis. Renewal spoke to one of the book’s co-authors about the political project of the Green New Deal.

The coronavirus crisis has intensified the inequalities in our already fragile and unequal society. Labour must address these problems, through supporting universalist and poverty-reducing policies in the face of an increasing rhetoric of deserving and undeserving poor and soaring unemployment.

The 'redlining' of urban space was one of the many ways in which the US New Deal excluded millions of black Americans from its benefits. The concept also helps us to better grasp the operation of racialised inequality in Britain, not just in the neoliberal era but also under the aegis of post-war social democracy.

Francis King introduces issue 57 of Socialist History

In the context of the British labour movement’s current disassociation from European socialism and socialist organisations, this paper seeks to provide a chronological narrative of the comparatively strong relationship of British radicals and socialists to European republicans between 1789 and 1914.

lara Zetkin (1857–1933) founded the Socialist Women’s International and was a regular Social Democratic Party (SPD) delegate to the congresses of the Second International.

Article

Jo Littler, David Featherstone, Sally Davison

Spring 2020

Editors Jo Littler, David Featherstone and Sally Davison introduce issue 74 of Soundings.

Hilary Wainwright talks to Jo Littler.

New municipalism as space for solidarity.

'I am haunted by this history bit I also haunt it back': two poetry collections.

Understanding the multiple forces shaping the ‘Johnson bloc’ may enable a strategic focus on its potential lines of fracture and failure.

Article

Michael Rustin, Jeremy Gilbert, Sally Davison

Spring 2020

Michael Rustin talks to Sally Davison and Jeremy Gilbert.

Article

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

Spring 2020

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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