How successful are social movements and left parties at achieving social and political change? How, if at all, can movements and parties work together to challenge existing hierarchies? Is the political left witnessing a revival in contemporary politics?
This book highlights some of the key achievements of left parties and protest movements in their goal of challenging different types of inequality – and considers the ways in which their challenge to authority and power could be intensified. It combines new theoretical ideas with rich empirical detail on the debates and concrete activities undertaken by left parties and protest movements over a broad historical period, from the early European labour movement to the recent anti-austerity global protests. The book will offer unique insight into the broad history and theory of emancipatory politics; as well as making an important contribution to ongoing debates between left-leaning academics, researchers and activists.
Introduction: From radical dilemmas to affirming disruption / Part I: Labour Movement Struggles / 1. The Russian revolution and ‘All Power to the Bolsheviks’ / 2. Anarchists and the Spanish Civil War: ‘Fighting Against All Sides At Once’ / 3. The Parliamentary Route to Socialism: Reformism, Revisionism and the ‘Third Way’ / Part II: Beyond Class: Pluralising Social Struggle? / 4. Civil Rights Movement: Disrupting Racism in the ‘Free World’ / 5. 1968: The emergence of a ‘New Left’ / 6. We’re starting our own movement: feminist challenges to left patriarchy / 7. Different struggle, same dilemmas? Environmentalism, the Fundis-Realos divide and the move towards Green expertise / Part III: Contemporary Struggles / 8. Contention when ‘there is no alternative’: anti/alter-globalization / 9. Contemporary protest movements: anti-austerity and pragmatic prefiguration / 10. Contemporary left parties: the turn of a new populist left? / Conclusions
David J. Bailey is lecturer in political science at the University of Birmingham. His first book, The Political Economy of European Social Democracy: a critical realist approach, was published in 2009. Since then he has published two co-edited books, European Social Democracy During the Global Economic Crisis: Renovation or Resignation? (2014) and The European Union and Global Governance: A Handbook (2011). He has also published articles in New Political Economy, Socio-Economic Review, Journal of Common Market Studies, Comparative European Politics, British Politics, Journal of European Social Policy, and the Journal of European Public Policy. He is the reviews editor of Comparative European Politics and of Capital and Class.
This rich introductory book takes us through key moments of resistance by protest movements and parties of the left. From the Russian Revolution to the Arab Spring, each of the ‘stories of disruption’ discussed in the book are proven to be both historically significant and presently relevant. The book is a must for students of political sociology and radical politics.
Bailey provides an impressive tour de force through the history of radical protest movements, their intellectual underpinnings, tactics and interlinkages with the statist Left. Written with such clarity and striking a perfect balance between a historical overview and refreshing new insights, the book is essential not only for students but also our collective memory of past and contemporary social struggles.
With the recent return of the left to the political stage, Protest Movements and Parties of the Left offers a timely and detailed account of the various modes of protest and struggle adopted by the left in its historical quest to disrupt anti-democratic domination, in all its forms. Notable especially in its refusal of pessimism, David Bailey’s book surveys the greatest moments of the left’s historical struggle, striving to catch the spark of revolutionary potential in each, where the impossible was somehow, suddenly, made possible. Adopting something of a ‘toolbox’ approach, students and advanced scholars alike will appreciate Bailey’s open-minded stance on left strategy, finding those sparks everywhere, from the early days of 1917 Bolshevik Revolution, to the anarchist movements of the Spanish Civil War, to the more recent Occupy movement, and the ‘Left Populist’ struggles in Latin America and Europe.