‘A compelling book … this is an invaluable resource for those of us determined to build a different society.’ Owen Jones
‘This incisive and compelling analysis of the current historical conjunction is a must read for theorists, activists and anyone interested in contemporary struggles.’
Marina Prentoulis, Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics, University of East Anglia
Íñigo Errejón, Political Secretary of Podemos, discusses with political theorist Chantal Mouffe the political strategy that underpinned the development of Podemos in Spain, and explores the possibilities for a new left politics that might emerge out of these developments.
The rise of Podemos in Spain is part of a wave of European left political initiatives that are putting forward new ideas for change and innovative ways of thinking about politics. The traditional left in Europe has been in difficulties for some time now: the communist tradition is a shadow of its former self, while social democracy seems unable to meet the challenge of the financial crisis. The thinkers and activists of Podemos have been at the forefront of rethinking based on moving away from orthodoxies, bringing new hope to the left.
In this book Íñigo Errejón of Podemos and political theorist Chantal Mouffe discuss the emergence of these new movements, and in particular of Podemos. They critically engage with both the older traditions and the newly emerging parties and movements. They explore new ways of creating collective identities, and building majorities, while also reflecting on the major political challenges facing the left. The conversation between them is an intervention from two people who are ideally placed to draw on the seminal earlier theoretical work of Mouffe with Ernesto Laclau, and to link it directly into the practice of the new politics.
This book is therefore important reading for those interested in the state of the contemporary European left in general, and specifically in the strategic issues facing Podemos in Spain. It makes an essential contribution towards the creation of a new left politics.
This book is a Soundings publication, and is a translation of the Spanish publication Construir Pueblo. We are grateful to the the Barry Amiel and Norman Melburn Trust for funding the translation into English, and to Sirio Canos for her translation.