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The Conservatives, Devolution, and Nation Building

Sam Pallis weighs up Conservative attempts to launch a project of national refounding, and suggests how Labour might respond.

Labour Together’s Election Review

Hannah O'Rourke reports on Labour Together's cross-party commission examining Labour's loss of the 2019 General Election.

Lessons from Labour in the European Parliament

As Labour develops its international agenda, John Chowcat suggests that the 40-year history of the European Parliamentary Labour Party offers a rich resource of practical lessons.

Opportunity Knocks: The case for a plural left

Three recent events, Mark Perryman argues, could be the making of a plural, post-factional Left.

How Nigerian debates about transparency can help public scrutiny of the UK’s Covid 19 response

As the details of the government's pandemic procurement emerge, Portia Roelofs argues that we've been thinking about transparency all wrong, and could learn a great deal from debates in Nigeria, which focus on transparency in terms of people and their connections, rather than in data.

COVID 19 and the Child Trust Fund

Young people are likely to bear much of the economic fall-out from COVID 19. Rajiv Prabhakar argues that maturing of Child Trust Funds from September 2020 provides an opportunity to target emergency payments towards a generation of 18 year olds.

Knighthoods for the rich, sanctions for the poor: time for a new settlement

In a post-crisis world, society should take an equity stake in firms that benefit from government payouts, writes Stewart Lansley.

COVID 19: The Need for a New Global Compact

The COVID-19 crisis demonstrates that health and economic wellbeing are inter-connected on a global scale. Padmashree Gehl Sampath argues for bold initiatives for international cooperation based on the principle of universality: a new Global Compact that restructures trade and international relations in a more humane way.

Food for thought

Sixteen hours on an all-day food banks collection has Mark Perryman asking what this means for how the Labour Party organises.

Timing the strike: The temporalities of industrial action

Cathy Elliott argues that the disruption to our usual experience of daily life - whether in times of industrial action or lockdown - demonstrates to us that our experience of time is not natural but produced, and highly political. Crisis should challenge us to think about how we collectively change the timing of our society.

‘Our People’

Jon Wilson reflects on who Labour was, is and should be for.

Workers of the world, self-isolate!

Class structures experiences in the current pandemic and how different groups are responding to it. Recognising this will be vital to building a different and better world once the crisis begins to pass, argues Craig Berry.

Lockdown Labour

The Labour Party that emerges from the coronavirus crisis needs wholesale change of its organisational culture. Mark Perryman explains why and how.

This crisis is revealing which businesses really matter – the ‘rooted firms’

The Covid-19 crisis has demonstrated the importance of the 'foundational economy', and the significance of 'rooted firms' which have longstanding relationships with their customers and broader communities. Will Brett argues that economic policy should be reoriented to prioritise such rooted firms.

The Socialist Case for Elizabeth Warren

Thad Williamson argues that Elizabeth Warren is the presidential candidate best placed to transform the argument on economic justice in the United States.

Across a (very) crowded room

CLPs should be at the heart of developing a labour movement of ideas - not 'political education' but a collective culture of thinking, engaging, learning and doing - argues Mark Perryman.

The Post-Election Woes of the Labour Left

Renewal Contributing Editor Christine Berry argues that the premature leadership contest is preventing the Labour left from learning the lessons of defeat in 2019, and building a winning coalition in communities across Britain.

On Labour, leadership, and the Labour leadership (part III): And the winner is …

Whoever wins the leadership contest, Labour needs to be talking about, and championing, towns.

On Labour, leadership, and the Labour leadership (part II): Painting towns red

Craig Berry argues that the 'towns' narrative encapsulates both some of the main causes of Labour’s electoral defeats, and some of the key building blocks of how the Labour Party can be reoriented.

On Labour, leadership, and the Labour leadership (part I): Storytelling is only half the story

Craig Berry argues that Lisa Nandy has constructed the most compelling account of Labour’s 2019 defeat – and a set of intellectual resources through which it might be reversed. Whoever is Labour's next leader, they must make use of this.

A period of reflection

In the aftermath of the General Election, we're compiling a reading list from our archive on the topics of most significance in the debate about the future of Labour politics.

Rediscovering social democracy in the post-Corbyn ruins

Richard Douglas argues for a synthesis of Corbynomics – which is more social democratic than it has usually been painted – with a centrist approach to doing politics and to relating to the electorate that is more intellectually and culturally pluralist.

Lessons from 2019: democratic disillusionment and community organising

Christine Berry argues that the long-term erosion of trust in politics and democracy itself has made politics more difficult for the left. Community organising and ‘movement politics’ could help to counter this, if done right.

We need to talk about villages

Labour's 'towns problem' shouldn't blind us to the existence of a longstanding problem in the villages and countryside: Penny C.S. Andrews on smaller units of analysis.

The Lives of Others

Camilla Schofield argues the election was less the end of progressive politics in Labour’s ‘heartland’ and more a symptom of an ongoing tension within British socialism between liberal internationalism and protectionism.

A Do-It-Yourself Labour Party

After Corbynism, Mark Perryman argues Labour’s radical left needs to jettison a one-size fits-all politics to embrace the plural and the local.

The 2019 Election and the left in London

Lise Butler analyses the intellectual and political roots of Corbynism in a political project which sought to represent not a metropolitan elite, but the capital’s multicultural and working-class communities.

Corbynism without Corbyn? A View from the 2019 Election

In the aftermath of defeat, Paul Thompson argues the Corbynite hegemony within the party should be broken up, but that much of the radical energy and ideas generated in the Corbyn years can and should be retained – within a more pluralist Labour project.

When second choice isn’t the worst choice

In the Tory/Lib Dem and Tory/SNP marginals Corbyn-supporting Mark Perryman argues Labour voters’ second choice is one worth having.

The nature of ‘Corbynomics’ – and four key questions it faces

On a chilly night in November, over 200 people gathered at Queen Mary University of London to hear about Corbynism's new political economy. Here, two of its organisers report on the discussion and questions raised for the future of 'Corbynomics'.

The International Institutional Turn

David Adler argues that a radical Labour government should work to construct new institutions of global economic order, transcending and extending a national 'institutional turn'.

The Unbearable Lightness of Politics

The left must avoid the 'pendulum fallacy' and pay attention to how political change has come about in the past if our current political deadlock is to be broken with a shift to the left, and not towards new forms of right-wing nationalism and nativism.

Social Licensing for the Common Good

Julie Froud and Karel Williams argue for a new approach to corporate regulation, based on the idea of 'social licensing'.

On Mondragon - Solidarity, Democracy, and the Value of Work: an interview with Ander Etxeberria

Martin O'Neill talks to Ander Etxeberria, Director of Cooperative Dissemination at the Mondragon Corporation, about cooperativism, economic democracy, and what we can learn from Mondragon.

Political unrest in Georgia: on the 20 June Events in Tblisi

Tornike Chivadze of the Georgian Social Democrats (SDD) examines the political significance of the events of 20 June 2019 in Tblisi, and Georgia's growing political unrest.

For a socialist Chile beyond neoliberalism: an interview with Fernando Atria

Martin O'Neill talks with Fernando Atria, Professor of Law at the Universidad de Chile, and the candidate of the left for the presidential nomination of the Socialist Party at the last election, about the past, present and future of socialism in Chile.

Say No to a Customs Union

Our Editors on why a compromise with Theresa May won't solve Labour's Brexit problem.

Politics for the twentieth century: Chuka Umunna’s third way

Nick Devlin reviews Chuka Umunna's recent pamphlet, 'What Are Progressives For?'

Transport, Social Justice, City Governance, and Left Populism - an interview with Andrés Lajous

Martin O'Neill talks with Andrés Lajous, new Secretary of Mobility in the city government of Mexico City, about the role of transport policy in creating more just societies, strategies for overcoming inequalities of wealth and power, and the emergence of a new left populism within Mexico.

A New Hope for Mexico?- an Interview with Sergio Silva-Castañeda

Martin O'Neill talks with Sergio Silva-Castañeda, of the Mexican Ministry of the Economy, about the political earthquake that has brought President Andrés Manuel López Obrador to power, and the ambitions of AMLO's new leftist administration in tackling corruption and inequality in Mexico.

A Commonwealth of Speech: Communications and the Constitution of Local Government

Dan Hind writes on the role of a new approach to local media in the digital age, as a way of contributing to the creation of a more democratic society.

Time to stop creating jobs? Giving up our growth maximization reflex

We reflexively see unemployment as a lack of jobs; but it may also be possible to manage labour demand as well as supply. If we upend the view that economic growth must be the core goal of economic policy, John Marlow argues, other routes forward appear on the horizon.

The Local Future of Socialism: Five Key Ideas

James Hickson reflects on five key ideas from the "Equality and Democracy in Local & City Government" conference that took place at the University of York on 7 January 2019.

Time’s up for misogynistic attitudes in the Lords?

The Lord Lester case shows that antiquated and misogynistic attitudes persist in parts of the House of Lords. Charlotte Proudman argues that our Upper Chamber needs culture change and reform.

African Socialism in Theory and Practice - an Interview with Zitto Kabwe - Part II

The second part of Martin O'Neill and Joe Guinan's interview with Tanzanian opposition MP Zitto Kabwe, leader of the democratic socialist ACT-Wazalendo Party.

Realising Economic Justice in Tanzania - an Interview with Zitto Kabwe - Part I

Martin O'Neill and Joe Guinan interview Zitto Kabwe, a democratic socialist opposition MP in Tanzania, and leader of the ACT-Wazalendo party.

Socialism, Multilateralism and Democracy

At last month's Labour conference, James Stafford met Luke Cooper and Marina Prentoulis of Another Europe is Possible to discuss the group's campaign for a new Brexit vote, and the prospects for 'Remain and Reform'.

An Australian Turn to the Left? - Radical Prospects for the next Australian Labor Government

Martin O'Neill talks with Senator Jenny McAllister (Labor, NSW) of the Australian Labor Party, about Australia's economic and political trajectory since the Great Financial Crisis, and prospects for a turn to the left with the next ALP government.

Hard-wiring the Economy for Justice: A Conversation about the IPPR’s Commission on Economic Justice

Michael Jacobs talks to Florence Sutcliffe-Braithwaite about the IPPR's Commission on Economic Justice: theories of change, identifying your enemies, and the policies that have the potential to bring about a transformation in our economy.

Conference conversations: Alexandra Rojas, Executive Director of the Justice Democrats

Alexandra Rojas on organising, internationalism and the new American left

Labour’s Mini Meidner Plan

Tom Powdrill on the consequences of Labour's Inclusive Ownership Funds policy for corporate governance, and why it should appeal to the party's moderates as much as the left.

The left’s next political economy, devolution, and industrial policy

Andrew Carter argues that Labour has bold ideas for the renewal of local democracy, and they must be combined with a willingness to embrace the opportunities offered by the devolution agenda. But the party needs to marry the radicalism of its democratic platform with an industrial policy that looks to the future - and that means focusing on the 'everyday economy'.

Korea Moves Left - on South Korean social democracy

Martin O'Neill interviews Seungsoo Cho of the Korean Justice Party

The Not-So-Neoliberal University

'The neoliberal university' is a common term of abuse, but, James Freeman asks, are our universities really driven by neoliberal ideology, or does such rhetoric mask an older technocratic corporatism?

Spectacle, spaces and political change: reflections then and now

Fifty years on from 1968, Alex Campsie asks what we can learn from the activism of the 1960s and 1970s about the value of spectacle and the use of space in the production of political change - and whether we can now move 'beyond the fragments'.

Understanding Solidarity as an Emotion

Thomas Dixon asks whether we should see solidarity as an emotion, and how it's been viewed in history.

Women on the picket lines: some lessons from Women Against Pit Closures

During the miners' strike of 1984-5 many women from mining areas worked tirelessly to support the strike, organising support for miners and their families, campaigning and standing on picket lines. This blog looks at the ways intersections of class and gender worked in the building of solidarity during the strike.

How good are universities for women?

How good are universities really for women? And how can they be improved? Natalie Thomlinson tackles these questions in a UCU teach-out.

Universities on Strike: Why ‘consumer rights’ don’t feel like solidarity

A striking historian explains why many UCU members feel uncomfortable with students demanding refunds for missed teaching hours.

What Ed Miliband Did Next: Part III - on Ideas for the Future of the Left

In Part III of our Renewal interview, Ed MIliband and Martin O'Neill pass the time on a railway journey from Leeds to Preston, discussing ideas for the future of the left, touching on the case for non-reformist reforms; the Preston Model; Streeck, Atkinson, Piketty, Polanyi and, of course, A-ha.

Brexit reflections: Building a space for progressive politics

The Cambridge political economist Jeremy Green reflects on Renewal's recent coverage of Brexit.

What Ed Miliband Did Next: Part II - On Facebook and Standard Oil: Regulating the Tech Industry

In Part II of our Renewal interview, Ed Miliband and Martin O'Neill discuss the politics of the tech industry, the case for democratizing Facebook, and the lessons to be learned from the history of progressive responses to excess market power.

What Ed Miliband Did Next: Part I - “What’s Inside the Enchilada?” - on Universal Basic Income

Ed Miliband has recently launched a new podcast series, Reasons to be Cheerful, looking at big ideas for the future of the left. Renewal caught up with him for a chat about some of these ideas. In Part I of this conversation we discuss the case for Universal Basic Income.

Embracing a serious analysis: a response to Nicol

Andy Tarrant and Andrea Biondi respond to Danny Nicol's critique of their report on Labour's 2017 manifesto and the European Single Market

Kiss goodbye to nationalisation if we stay in the Single Market

Professor Danny Nicol argues that Biondi and Tarrant's case for the single market misses the centrality of state monopolies to a democratic socialist economy

Conference conversations: Li Andersson, leader of the Finnish Left Alliance

Li Andersson, leader of Finland's Left Alliance, talks to Renewal about what the British Labour Party and the Nordic Left can learn from one another.

Conference conversations: Monique Charles on Corbyn and Grime

Renewal talks to Monique Charles about her research into grime music, Grime for Corbyn, and the Labour Party.

EU law is no barrier to Labour’s economic programme

In a preview of our forthcoming issue, two senior European lawyers detail their assessment that Labour's radical 2017 manifesto is fully compatible with membership of the European single market.

Corbynism, the single market, and political traditions

Colm Murphy examines debates over the single market within Labour and what these tell us about policy and myth in shaping political constituencies.

GE 2017 - the world turned upside down?

Our former editor Paul Thompson looks to the future: what does Labour need to do to build on the gains in the 2017 General Election?

Progressive alliances and the missing Lib Dems

In our fifth post on GE17, Richard Douglas critiques Compass' account of a 'progressive alliance', and suggests that the key to Labour’s winning the next election may lie in Tory voters swinging behind the Liberal Democrats.

Are we there yet?

In the fourth of our General Election responses, Amina Lone reflects on a volatile and inconclusive election, and the need for Labour to further broaden its appeal in order to break Britain's political stalemate.

The Politics of the Labour Manifesto

In our third post-General Election analysis, Ben Jackson analyses the social democratic offer contained in Labour's election manifesto, and how it connected with voters.

Facing the Future with Jeremy Corbyn

In our second response to the General Election result, Lise Butler argues that Labour's gains were the result of a message and policy platform that is confidently delivered, concrete and forward-looking.

Election 2017: No More ‘Back to the 1970s’?

In the first of a series of responses to the 2017 General Election, Emily Robinson suggests that it marked a shift in patterns of political memory, as Tory myths about the 1970s and 1980s lost their grip on public discourse.

Labour, Brexit and political leadership

The pro-Brexit stance taken by many of Labour's MPs is not leading the party to victory in by-elections. The party needs to show political leadership and go after May's hollow posturing as a 'tough negotiator'.

Where do we go now the ‘good old days’ are gone?

Renewal joins partners Anglia Ruskin University and the University and College Union for a seminar series on trade unionism's past and future

The world as we know it never existed

Craig Berry, Deputy Director of the Sheffield Political Economy Research Institute, writes that Donald Trump’s election reminds us that world order is based on American imperial power, not liberal ideals. The American empire’s unravelling will now be accelerated.

Devolution and identity in Greater Manchester

'Devo Manc' opens opportunities for the left, and Labour should be arguing for more metro-devolution, not as an alternative to a national strategy, but as an accompaniment to it. And Labour can learn something from Greater Manchester about how a sense of place, past and patriotism can form part of a progressive narrative.

Corbynism isn’t a social movement, and Labour shouldn’t be one

Paul Thompson analyses the confused and contradictory conceptions of Labour, as a party and a movement, that lie at the heart of the summer leadership campaign.

Place-based health - some critical questions

Steve Iliffe responds to Jessica Studdert's call for more local control within the NHS, but asks whether the pressures of an ageing population are really the critical issue, and what a move towards localism in the NHS would really look like.

Voting, Violence and Division

After the Brexit vote, Cathy Elliott challenges three common myths: that elections and referenda are express our pre-existing identities; that the outcome of a referendum or election is sacrosanct because it is democratic; and that democracy is always a peaceful way of resolving difference.

A progressive, human rights-oriented foreign policy for our time: Responsibility to Protect

Jo Cox was a staunch advocate of 'Responsibility to Protect' as a central element of a progressive foreign policy. The ideals Jo stood for are more important than ever now and must be remembered and fought for. Yasmine Nahlawi outlines what R2P should mean for Labour now.

The psychological limits of Corbyn’s moral authority

Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour leadership campaign was based on his moral authority, in turn said to be the key to renewing the party’s appeal in its traditional heartlands. Deploying recent research on the psychological basis of morality, and its relationship to political views, Bill Blackwater suggests that this view was always misguided.

After Brexit: British democracy in crisis

Leading historian Helen McCarthy argues that representative democracy in Britain is in a crisis worse than that of the 1930s, and calls for an end to partisan disengagement.

Can liberal democracy be rescued?

Commissioning Editor Claudia Chwalisz argues that, in an age of technocracy, referenda and populism, participatory and deliberative mechanisms are crucial to the survival of pluralist, tolerant democracies.

Against ‘Lexit’

Our co-editor, James Stafford, sets out his critique of the 'left' case for leaving the European Union. 'Lexit' is tactically, strategically and ethically flawed.

Universal Credit, Ideology and the Politics of Poverty

In a piece we’ll be publishing in the journal later this year, George Morris examines Universal Credit's Thatcherite lineage and asks whether it could be transformed by a Labour government into a system that worked to truly counter poverty.

Common People, Saturday’s Kids, and Happy Meals

Social historian Ewan Gibbs asks what 'class politics' should mean for Labour in a largely post-industrial context. Too often, 'culture wars' over hummus and McDonalds take centre-stage, obscuring the realities of structured social and economic inequality.

‘The New Economics’ in Norwich: a revival of radical left-wing economic thinking?

Alan Finlayson reports from Norwich. The 'New Economics' series of lectures and discussions has echoes of left-book club discussion groups or WEA classes. But they may also be something newer.

Panama, Corbyn and Piketty

In the wake of the Panama tax avoidance revelations, James Stafford asks if Labour should focus on corruption, rather than injustice or inequality, as the defining attribute of Tory rule.

Welcome to the Renewal blog

The editors on what we're doing in the first issue of our new co-editorship of Renewal, the big themes and questions we'll be looking at in future issues and in our all-new blog ...

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