Theory

Yearbook

    The ‘National Question’ and European Integration
  • Europe is experiencing radical change. The civil war in Ukraine shows just how quickly events can take a dramatic and negative turn. That issues of domestic and foreign policy are to blame for this outburst of violence is just as true as the fact that this conflict is one between national...
    Europe – Nations: The Missing People and the Crisis of Legitimacy
  • What I would like to discuss here is the possibility of resolving the crisis of Europe in a European way – in my opinion this is the only conceivable solution if the crisis is to be truly resolved, given the impossibility of returning to national and therefore nationalistic economic-political...
    Elements of a Concept of Socialist Transformation
  • For the last few years the term transformation has been in the ascendant once again. About a hundred years ago it was used by Nikolai Bukharin to describe the transition to soviet socialism/communism (Bukharin 1990).
    Class Struggle and Class Compromise in the Era of Stagnation and Crisis
  • In the decades following WWII, Social Democracy (broadly understood)2 built and consolidated three main achievements: A system of various forms of publicly supported social insurance to deal with a range of risks people experience in their lives, especially around health, employment, and income.A...
    The Impossibilities of Reformism
  • Introduction We would like to use this text to begin a dialogue with those comrades within social democracy who contend that the last 25, 15 or 5 years of bleak development is the result of a series of coincidences – poor leadership, international pressure, mistakes, cunning opponents, etc. – and...
    Thoughts on a Timely Narrative for the Left
  • "Without a story every battle is lost”, formulated the authors of the Wu Ming group, whose name demonstrators in Rome had on their shields which protected them from the police clubs. With the naming of great authors and narratives of world literature on their book shields they were indicating that...
    Left Strategy
  • Conjunctural analysis is useful in many fields but has special theoretical and practical significance for critical political economy and left strategy. For the pursuit of politics as “the art of the possible” depends heavily on correct conjunctural analysis and is practised by most successful...
    Crash as Cash Can – Crises, Bubbles, Speculators – 1929 and Today
  • In autumn 2008 the world experienced a financial crash, which brought the financial markets to the outer edge of collapse. Then peace returned (or more accurately: organised pacification), until another issue gave new cause for worry. Now it was the nation-states – because they (allegedly or really)...
    "Transformation": Antonio Gramsci and Karl Polanyi
  • “It may be ruled out that immediate economic crises of themselves produce fundamental historic events; they can simply create a terrain more favourable to the dissemination of certain modes of thought, and certain ways of posing and resolving questions involving the entire subsequent development of...
    Modern Times: The New Attack on Working Time in Europe
  • “Time is the delimiter of human development. A person who has no free time at his disposal, whose whole lifetime – aside from the mere physical interruptions of sleep, meals and so on – is taken up by his work for the capitalists, is less than a beast of burden. He is a mere machine for the...
    Europe in the Great Crisis
  • For years the EU-Commission has been complaining about society in the Euro-zone being divided into two classes. The gap between those Euro-states able successfully to compete, with Germany as the market leader, on the one hand, and, on the other hand, those countries with high deficits, in southern...
    On the Relationship Between Precariety and State Power
  • As you will see, I am not offering a theory of state power, but wish to focus on certain dimensions that I hope you will find of interest. Although we usually think of the study of media as separate from the question of state violence, I want to suggest that recent efforts on the part of states such...
    Are We Capable of "Reading" the World as it Really is?
  • Since the collapse of the Berlin Wall, most of the discussion about the world has been structured by two theses emerging from American neo-conservatism: Francis Fukuyama’s “End of History” and Samuel Huntingdon’s “Clash of Civilisations”. The fact that these two ideological theses of the 1990s were...
    History and the Critique of Capitalism
  • I. The far-reaching transformation of the world in recent decades has dramatically indicated that contemporary critical theory must be centrally concerned with questions of temporality, of historical dynamics and large-scale structural changes if it is to be adequate to our social universe.1 The...
    Precarisation and Financialisation
  • I would like to develop two theses suggested by Rosa Reitsamer – precarisation and financialisation – in order to examine their consequences for the way we act, work and – last but not least – live. The first thesis is that precarisation is one of the consequences of the so-called “Great...
    On Economic Democracy
  • Throughout the world there is consensus around the idea of democracy as the one and only viable concept of a good order. However, that consensual view remains restricted to the realm of politics. A good society today is conceived as a mix of political democracy and … a capitalist market economy.
    Roundtable on the Concept of "Communism" Today
  • Three critical intellectuals, Patrice COHEN-SÉAT, Roger MARTELLI and Jean-Louis SAGOT-DUVAUROUX, talk about the word and the concept “communism”. This term is the object of much controversy and passion, being as it is historically and politically highly charged and remaining an important reference...
    Hegemony, Nonviolence and Transformation
  • Gramsci certainly did not disdain the conquest of power via an assault on its palace. But his idea of revolution perhaps became a “revisionist” one as it was understood by the founding fathers, though it conceded nothing to reformism. 
    General Intellect: The Left and the new Workforce
  • Capitalism transforms itself in order to control crises and instability and in order to secure the functioning of market mechanisms, and these transformations involve all functions of society, institutions, property, work and the different forms of wealth.  
    The Scandinavian Model and the Labour Market
  • The Scandinavian countries play a key role in the European social harmonisation process. Within the social representation at the European level, there is a sort of informal division of labour, with Denmark serving as the point of reference in terms of employment and Sweden as the model for consideration of different retirement systems. Why are European institutions so infatuated with the development of the Scandinavian model?
    The Impact of Finance on the European Social Models
  • 1. Introduction The purpose of this article is to present some empirical data (section 2) and a conceptual framework (3) for the development of finance during the last three decades, to shed some light on the main groups of financial investors as the central actors in finance-led capitalism (4)...
    Capitalism's Crisis of the Century
  • There is still no end in sight to the global financial crisis that has been raging for over a year. The potential for crisis will continue to preoccupy financial markets and investors until well into 2009 and hover over the stock markets like the sword of Damocles. The capitalist world system is being shaken by the most severe turbulence in the financial system since the world economic crisis of 1929.  

Focus


Blog

    On the European Social Model
  • Since the beginning of the 1990s the concept of the “European Social Model” has characterised the position and perspective of official EU policy. What is the meaning of this concept? The European Commission defines the European Social Model (ESM) as “characterised by democracy and rights of the...
    From Neoliberalism to Global Social Democracy
  • Speech at the First Plenary Session of the Left Forum, Pace University, New York, April 17, 2009 Good evening. I would like to thank the organizers of the Left Forum for inviting me to join the distinguished members of this panel. I have just arrived from Asia, where the global economic...
    Integral socialism and today's left
  • Once upon a time, in a far away country, Austria, a long time ago, socialists called themselves "socialists", because they wanted to bring about a new society which was called "socialism". In Austria these socialists belong nowadays to a very rare species, however they have developed in their...