Towards a left-libertarian conception of freedom

This book presents a new left-libertarian conception of liberty, ‘freedom as Marxian-autonomy’, which is explored above all in terms of its organisational contours. The project brings together in theoretical dialogue Karl Marx’s (1818–83) critique of capitalism, certain ideals adapted from the guild socialist writings of G.D.H. Cole (1889–1959) and the sub-schools of social anarchism. In doing so it contributes towards the healing of a major historical schism in socialist theory. The outcome is a newly formed anarchist constitution, ‘associational anarchism’. In offering something important to the recent outpourings in current anarchist discourse, the book contends that liberty can be attained without passing through the mediation of self-interested employers, career politicians or state planners. The foundational claim is that a condition of freedom requires equal and democratic access to the material means of life, where self-mastery is attained in both the productive and consumptive spheres. Negative (non-coercion) and positive (self-direction, self-development) ideals are combined congenially in a conceptual framework that does not frame them in perpetual contradiction. This specific protection of a set of individual liberties, of which the political liberties are of equal value, effectively challenges the ideological belief that only liberalism safeguards negative liberty. As the book unfolds, an argument is developed that hard market forces must lose their ascendancy in much the same way the socialist state must be stripped of its unaccountable authority. The associational anarchist configuration of social planning with a guild-regulated market system is offered as the necessary corrective.

Abstract only
Leisure, culture and politics from Morocco to Yemen

This book offers a unique look at the young generations in the wake of the Arab Spring a decade ago. It is a calm, lively and sometimes disconcerting look that moves away from clichés. Young Arabs cannot be reduced to the figures of the potential terrorist, the eternal migrant or the exotic icon of the ‘revolution’. Coming from both sides of the Mediterranean and sharing the daily life of this generation, the researchers who wrote this book decided to go off the beaten track by telling how young Arabs spend their free time: a time of freedom and leisure where one can reflect, grow and build oneself – this ‘empty’ time too, where one can sometimes drift, get lost and break. From Morocco to Yemen, from Algeria to Syria, from Tunisia to Lebanon, via Iraq, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Palestine, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, these specialists draw up with sensitivity, humour and concern an exceptional portrait of a generation that is much talked about but too rarely listened to. This book gives a voice to young men and women who, heirs of plural traditions, animated by new ideas and influenced by various cultural movements, started inventing the future of societies in the midst of radical change.

From hope to despair to where?

The Liberal Democrats: From hope to despair to where? offers crucial insight into the rise, fall and future prospects of the Liberal Democrats – who threatened to break the mould of British politics, entered national government and suffered electoral calamity as a consequence. It analyses the Liberal Democrats’ path to government and near oblivion, and examines the relationship between the party and the electorate in the post-coalition, post-Brexit and post-pandemic eras. It assesses the electoral strategy that enabled growth but precipitated failure, explains how and why the party got the coalition so wrong and the consequences of that failure, and plots a potential future for a party coming to terms with its own political identity. The book evaluates the dynamic relationship between the party and voters, showing the spatial and contextual foundations of Liberal Democrat campaigning and performance in the search for credibility and viability. The Liberal Democrats remain contradictory: a minor party with ambitions to break the status quo; a party whose fortunes depend on firm and decisive leadership but that relies on grassroots activism to remain relevant; a party desperate for its own identity but reliant on others to reach its potential. From hope to despair to where? helps unravel these apparent contradictions.

Histories, rhythms and ruptures
Editors: and

This edited volume discusses the topic of urban violence from a new spatiotemporal perspective. It is built on the idea that spatial and temporal theoretical perspectives must be combined to truly understand the particular urban quality of violence in cities. By looking at the different ways in which the spatial and temporal configurations of cities produce and shape violence, it offers important insights into the dynamics of urban violence and how it affects everyday urban spatial practices and rhythms. In this book, violence itself is characterised as a spatiotemporal practice with destructive, transformative and generative potential. Some chapters focus on how violence reconfigures spatialities and temporalities in cities in the long term, changing the physical and social space as well the rhythms of a city. Others concentrate on memories and imaginations of violence that are imbued in the city-space, often in several temporal layers, and can lead to new violence by politicised practices of commemoration. The novel spatiotemporal perspective is applied by authors from different academic disciplines in nine case studies based on original material generated by ethnographic field research and the study of archival sources. The chapters cover cities in different world regions and historical phases, also offering translocal and transregional perspectives. With this approach, the book challenges assumed binaries of cities in the global north and south and contests the alleged difference between violence in the past and in the present.

This monograph provides an innovative methodology for investigating how China has been conceptualised both at home and abroad historically by tracing the development of four key cultural terms (filial piety, face, fengshui and guanxi) between English and Chinese. Centrally, it addresses how specific ideas about what constitutes the uniqueness of Chinese culture influence the ways users of these concepts think about China and themselves. Adopting a combination of archival research and mining of electronic databases seldom employed in Asian studies, this monograph traces the history of translation exchanges between Chinese and English, showing how the translation process has been bound up in the production of new meaning, not just the transmission of ‘old wine in new bottles’. In uncovering how both sides of the translation process stand to be transformed by it, the study demonstrates the dialogic nature of translation and its potential contribution to cross-cultural understanding. It also aims to develop a foundation on which other area studies might build broader scholarship about global knowledge production and exchange.

Sex, pop music and British youth culture, 1950s–80s

Let’s spend the night together explores how sex and sexuality provided essential elements of British youth culture in the 1950s through to the 1980s. It posits that the underlying sexual charge of rock ’n’ roll – and pop music more generally – was integral to the broader challenge embodied in the youth cultures that developed after the Second World War. Drawing from scholarship across a range of disciplines, the Subcultures Network explore how sex and sexuality were experienced, presented, conferred, responded to and understood within the context of youth culture, popular music and social change in the period between the Second World War and the advent of AIDS. We ask: how was the relationship between sex and youth-orientated cultures mediated? How did pop music transmit sexual desires? How and where was sex experienced by people coming of age amid new sounds and styles? Did youth cultures challenge or reinforce sexual mores; how did they reaffirm or reimagine notions of gender and sexuality? Was youth culture shaped by broader socio-cultural and economic changes or did it help drive the change? No definitive conclusions will be offered. Rather, we hope to open up the field, positing questions and raising possibilities for future study.

Stuart Brisley’s cuts in time

Stuart Brisley is a pioneering English multimedia and performance artist who developed performance as a form of social action in the 1960s and 1970s. This book assesses Brisley’s seminal influence on British art through a focus on his lifelong engagement with the histories and imaginaries of revolution. It links together key aspects of revolutionary history with material gathered from a critical dialogue established between the author and Brisley over many years. Viewing revolution as a rupture in time, this book uses the ‘trope’ of the French Revolution to investigate Brisley’s own engagement with the idea of revolution as an ongoing, potentially permanent, process. Brisley’s work thus becomes a fascinating stage for addressing the relations between art, politics and historical discourse today. This book shows how to value political art even when the idea of revolution has supposedly died or is no longer deemed possible. It also provides a new historical model for situating the ‘afterlives’ of performance art, demonstrating how they can used to reveal latent aspects of the past, including the historical experience of revolution.

Challenging scales and making relations

Accounts of development and humanitarianism, including its critiques, have long been preoccupied with its institutional forms, driven by governments and international organisations. Such emphasis often attributes significance to the large-scale. The book argues that engaging with the informal and local manifestations of aid disrupts this assumption. It draws on ethnographic research with practitioners in Cambodia, who run their privately funded aid projects. They include Cambodians and foreigners, from Asia and the Global North, who undertake these projects of their own initiative. The book demonstrates how they make their own scales, offering radically different understandings of what actions are significant, and who counts. Such a perspective queries core humanitarian beliefs, and theories of social change more generally. It suggests that everyday practitioners operate with multiple, interlinking scales of their own making. Rather than being dismissed as ‘small scale’, they demonstrate how they render people and causes meaningful, regardless of numbers or size. They question the role of distance for aid, and reveal a nuanced interplay of proximity and distance to those in need. Such unsettling of the valorisation of the large-scale extends to social relations. The ‘distant stranger’ as the archetypal object of humanitarianism is replaced by a desire to get to know others through the act of assistance, often through idioms of kinship. Critically nuancing the trope of the ‘white saviour’, everyday aid is characterised by multiple affinity ties between actors from the Global North and South, which direct and motivate development and humanitarian action.

Abstract only
Power behind the scenes

The Conservative Private Members (1922) Committee is an important but elusive force in British politics. Despite becoming almost a household name during the leadership crises of 2022, it remains little understood beyond the corridors of Westminster. Established in 1923 by a group of Conservative MPs elected the year before, the Committee offers backbenchers an opportunity to discuss their views and coordinate independently of the front bench. Over time it has become the kingmaker of the Conservative Party, overseeing leadership elections and confidence votes such as that faced by Boris Johnson over ‘partygate’. How did the Committee come together? How is it structured and how much power does it really wield? These are among the questions the book considers. Providing unprecedented insights into this long-standing institution, it is essential reading for anyone who cares about the integrity of our political system.


A practical, critical and personal guide to the craft of crime writing by novelist and professor of creative writing, Henry Sutton. Drawing on exceptional experience and resource, the mystery of creating crime fiction which moves with pace and purpose, menace and motivation, is forensically and engagingly uncovered. The work of the genre’s greatest contributors, and that from many lesser known names from around the world, past and present, is explored with both practical acumen. Sutton also mines his own fiction for lessons learnt, and rules broken. Personal creative successes, struggles and surprises are candidly addressed. In nine entertaining chapters the key building blocks for crafting pertinent and characterful crime fiction, are illustrated and explained. The genre’s extraordinary dynamism, with its myriad and ever-evolving sub-genres, from the cosy to the most chilling noir, the police procedural to the geopolitical thriller, is knowingly captured. However, the individual and originality are given centre stage, while audience and inclusivity continually considered and championed. This is an essential guide for those interested in writing crime fiction that gets noticed and moves with the times, if not ahead of the times.