New publication: Marxism and Social Movements

New publication from Brill

Marxism and Social Movements

eds. Colin Barker, Laurence Cox, John Krinsky and Alf Nilsen

Leiden: Brill (Historical Materialism book series). hardback; ISBN 9789004211759

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

Further information and how to order can be found here

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