‘Social Reproduction’ has re-emerged as a central idea in left-feminist analyses of contemporary power relations and institutions. What light can it shed on our situation in the post-pandemic era and how does it relate to the politics of work, life and care?
Helen Hester, Professor of Media and Communication, University of West London. Author of Xenofeminism
While mainstream commentators and far-right apologists insist that that the great political divide today is between different sets of cultural ‘values’, the fact is that nothing correlates with voting Tory as closely as being an outright homeowner with a secure pension. Is this coincidence, or is the social and generation divide between those with property and without it now the key structuring feature of British society, culture and politics?
Molly Broome, economist at the Resolution Foundation working on issues linked to intergenerational fairness and wealth inequality.
Joe Chrisp, Research Associate at the Institute for Policy Research, University of Bath, researching the political economy of the welfare state, comparative politics, labour markets, assets and ageing, and basic income.
Emergency Podcast! Once again Jeremy is joined by Professor Alan Finlayson at very short notice to discuss some very stupid action taken by the Labour Party leadership. This week the party has threatened Neal Lawson, Director of Compass with expulsion from the party. Why has this attracted headlines and outrage, and what does it mean? Have Neal and Compass gone too far in defending comrades on the left ? What is the ‘soft left’ of the Labour Party, where did it come from, and why is it now being attacked so viciously by the leadership? What is the history of political proscription and expulsion from the party, and what is distinctive about Labour politics now in 2023?
In this coronation year, we are visibly reminded that the trappings of the British state are overlaid with the legacies of its empire. But to what extent are current attitudes, legal frameworks and political arrangements really shaped by this imperialist and colonialist past? Did the very idea of a British ‘nation’ – a relatively novel concept in the post-war period – in fact represent a radical break with the idea of empire? What are the implications of these questions for understanding Britain in the 21st century?
The Conservative and Unionist Party of the United Kingdom has experienced a prolonged period of crisis and transformation, from pro-austerity technocrats under David Cameron to nationalist populists under Johnson. Current PM Rishi Sunak struggles to hold the different factions together amid the demographic and political fracturing of the UK. Can the Tory party reinvent itself once again, or is it in terminal decline? Can the Party still rely on media support or does the rise of digital media and a more volatile political-communicative landscape undermine their ability to set the media agenda?
Veganism (or, at least, consumption of “plant based” foods) has exploded in the last few years. But what is the relationship between veganism, the climate crisis and the politics of green social justice? Is veganism an inherently individualistic and moralistic form of political activity or a collective practice to resist the commodification of nonhuman animals and capital’s expropriation of nature? How and why has veganism become part of the online “culture wars”?
What are the philosophical and political coordinates of a contemporary eco-socialism? What are the political, economic, cultural and philosophical implications of current debates over ‘degrowth’ and its alternatives? Should we be looking for new forms of sustainable growth, new definitions of economic progress, or completely new ways of conceptualising the desirable future?
The pandemic exposed the insecurity and vulnerability of workers – from delivery riders to poorly paid culture industry freelancers – who struggled to access the protections afforded to workers on standard employment contacts. Can unions organise these precarious workers to fight for better conditions, or are their working lives simply too fragmented and isolated for collective action to work effectively?
The high point of Left electoral success represented by Corbynism, the Sanders campaign, Mélenchon and others seems to have passed. Meanwhile, the climate and broader ecological crises intensify and much of the mobilisation around these issues – from XR to the school climate strikes to Just Stop Oil – originates outside of the conventional Left. How should the Left engage with the climate movement, and vice versa, at a time when the cost-of-living crisis and the largest wave of strikes for 30 years are also urgent priorities?
Recorded Live at the Ridley Road Market Bar, Dalston, London, on May 3rd 2023
With Anthony Barnett, Founder of Charter 88 and open Democracy, author of many books including Taking Control: Humanity and America after Trump and the Pandemic and The Lure of Greatness: England’s Brexit and Trump’s America.
Laura Clancy, Lecturer in Media, Lancaster University. Author of Running the Family Firm: how the royal family manages its image and our money and the forthcoming What is the Monarchy For?