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Socialist Register 2018: Rethinking Democracy


For years, intellectuals have argued that, with the triumph of capitalist, liberal democracy, the Western World has reached “the end of history.” Recently, however, there has been a rise of authoritarian politics in many countries. Concepts of post-democracy, anti-politics, and the like are gaining currency in theoretical and political debate. Now that capitalist democracies are facing seismic and systemic challenges, it becomes increasingly important to investigate not only the inherent antagonism between liberalism and the democratic process, but also socialism. Is socialism an enemy of democracy? Could socialism develop, expand, even enhance democracy?

While this volume seeks a reappraisal of existing liberal democracy today, its main goal is to help lay the foundation for new visions and practices in developing a real socialist democracy. Amid the contradictions of neoliberal capitalism, the responsibility to sort out the relationship between socialism and democracy has never been greater. No revival of socialist politics in the twenty-first century can occur without founding new democratic institutions and practices.


  • Dennis Pilon: The struggle over actually existing democracy
  • Sheila Rowbotham: Women: Linking lives with democracy
  • Martijn Konings: From Hayek to Trump: The logic of neoliberal democracy
  • James Foley & Pete Ramand: In fear of populism: Referendums and neoliberal democracy
  • Adam Hilton: Organized for democracy? Left challenges inside the Democratic Party
  • Natalie Fenton & Des Freedman: Fake democracy, bad news
  • Tom Mills: Democracy and public broadcasting
  • Nina Power: Digital democracy?
  • Ramon Ribera Fumaz & Greig Charnock: Barcelona en comú: Urban democracy and ‘the common good’
  • Sharryn Kasmir: Cooperative democracy or competitiveness? Rethinking Mondragon
  • Leandro Vergara-Camus & Cristobal Kay: New agrarian democracies? The pink tide’s lost opportunity
  • Michelle Williams: Practicing democratic communism: The Kerala experience
  • Pauol Raekstad: From democracy to socialism, then and now
  • Ian McKay: Challenging the common sense of neoliberalism: Gramsci, Macpherson, and the next left
  • Alex Demirovic: Radical democracy and socialism

Rethinking Democracy: Socialist Register 2018 is comprised of fifteen erudite, informative, and thought-provoking articles by experts. The result is an unreservedly recommended addition to community and academic library Contemporary Political Science collections and supplemental studies reading lists.

—Midwest Book Review

Praise for the Socialist Register:
The Socialist Register has been the intellectual lodestar for the international left since 1964.

—Mike Davis

I know the Register very well and have found it extremely stimulating, often invaluable.

—Noam Chomsky

Compulsory reading for people who refuse to be resigned to the idea that there can be no alternative to our unacceptable society.

—Daniel Singer

Leo Panitch and Greg Albo are professors in the Department of Political Science at York University, Toronto.

eBook ISBN: 978-1-58367-672-1

Number of Pages: 336

Publication Date: January 2017

Paperback ISBN: 978-1-58367-671-4