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Published 10th September 2010



“A benchmark contribution to necessary radical thinking.” Goran Therborn

“Hugely rich and stimulating.” Adam Swift, Balliol College, Oxford

“Encyclopedic in its breadth, daunting in its ambition, this is the culmination of Erik Olin Wright’s revamping of Marxism … Only a thinker of Wright’s genius could sustain such a badly needed political imagination without losing analytical clarity and precision.” Michael Burawoy, UC Berkeley


As the economic and environmental crises compete to usher in the apocalypse, the perils of unfettered capitalism are increasingly thrown into sharp relief. Big oil, big money, endless war, and rising inequalities of income and power all make the search for alternatives more urgent than ever.

Many argue that the Left is adept at rehashing critiques of capitalism, yet unable to suggest concrete, viable alternatives. Inured to the new globalised neoliberal paradigm, analysts are quick to dismiss as utopian any attempts at a solution. As Fredric Jameson poignantly remarked, it is now easier for us to imagine the end of the world than an alternative to capitalism.

Renowned sociologist Erik Olin Wright fills the vacuum with a call for an emancipatory social science. After decades of examining the changing modes of class relations, Wright now turns his attention to the critique and diagnosis of capitalism—and in turn, its alternatives and possible transformations. Instead of yet another idealized blueprint, his transitional program is more like a compass, oriented to the goal of putting the ‘social’ back in socialism.

Wright’s vision is one of radical democratic egalitarianism; a society that is mutualist, communitarian, and liberates social power from its state and market counterparts. From worker owned cooperatives and Wikipedia to basic income and participatory city budgeting, his comprehensive case studies present inspiring examples of real utopias and emancipatory alternatives that are tangibly changing the world.

Erik Olin Wright has been elected President of the American Sociological Association from 2011-2012. He will choose the theme for the 2012 ASA symposium.


A special website has been set up for the book at Along with collections of Wright’s articles, book extracts and video lectures, the site contains a section detailing the other six books in the Real Utopias project, all of which are available from Verso. A set of supplementary materials discussing the development of the Real Utopias project and the process of writing the book will also be made available via the website shortly. 


ERIK OLIN WRIGHT is Vilas Distinguished Professor of Sociology at the University of Wisconsin. He is the editor of the REAL UTOPIAS series, which includes his DEEPENING DEMOCRACY (cowritten with Archon Fung), and is the author of many other books, including CLASS COUNTS, INTERROGATING INEQUALITY, THE DEBATE ON CLASSES AND CLASSES.


ISBN: 978 1 84467 617 0 / $26.95 / £16.99 / CAN$33.50 / Paperback / 412 pages

ISBN: 978 1 84467 618 7 / $95.00 / £60.00 / CAN$118.50 / Hardback / 412 pages


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Socialism and Hope


Socialist Studies: The Journal of the Society for Socialist Studies has just published its latest issue at:

This issue is a “re-launch” of the journal, featuring expanded content, a new design, additional reading and navigation tools, and an option to download or print the entire issue as a single file.  We hope these changes make the journal more useful, and welcome your comments.

We invite you to review the Table of Contents here and then visit our web site to review articles and items of interest.

Thanks for the continuing interest in our work,
Chad D Thompson & Elaine Coburn, Editors

Socialist Studies: The Journal of the Society for Socialist Studies
Vol 5, No 2 (2009)
Table of Contents

Volume 5, Number Two: Frontmatter
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Editorial Note
Re-Launching Socialist Studies
Elaine Coburn, Chad D Thompson

What is Socialism? What are Socialist Studies?
Elaine Coburn

Philosophy at the Service of History: Marx and the need for critical
philosophy today
Jeffrey Noonan

Alex Levant

Leninism: It’s Not What You Think
Paul Kellogg

Strategy, Meta-strategy and Anti-capitalist Activism: Rethinking Leninism
by Re-reading Lenin
Stephen D’Arcy

Lenin’s Aggressive Unoriginality, 1914-1916
Lars T Lih

Media, Arts, and Culture
Ipsographing the Dubject; or, The Contradictions of Twitter
Mark A McCutcheon

Review Essays
Social Science and the Afghan War: Canadian Perspectives
Jerome Klassen

The Political Economy of Food
Ian Hussey

Book Reviews
Aziz Choudry et al. Fight Back:Workplace Justice for Immigrants
Sheila Wilmot

G.A. Cohen. Why Not Socialism?
Frank Cunningham

Terry Gibbs & Garry Leech. The Failure of Global Capitalism: From Cape
Breton to Columbia and Beyond
Adam Belton

Roberto J Gonzalez. American Counterinsurgency: Human Science and the Human Terrain
Ryan Toews

Sean P. Hier et al. Racism and Justice:  Critical Dialogue on the Politics
of Identity, Inequality, and Change
Amanda Glasbeek

Jasmin Hristov. Blood & Capital: The Paramilitarization of Colombia
Henry Veltmeyer

Fuyuki Kurasawa. The Work of Global Justice: Human Rights as Practices
Elaine Coburn

Judy Rebick. Transforming Power: From the Personal to the Political
Tammy Findlay

Göran Therborn. From Marxism to Post-Marxism?
William K Carroll

Mark P Thomas. Regulating Flexibility: The Political Economy of Employment Standards
Bryan Mitchell Evans

Calls for Papers and Proposals

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