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Call for Papers

Re-inventing the Lefts in Latin America: Critical Perspectives from Below

Issue Editors: Sara C. Motta and Laiz R. Chen

This edition seeks to bring to light ‘views from the underside’ about the reinvention of politics, power and political economy that is occurring in the region or what is often referred to as the Pink Tide.

The Pink Tide, or shift to the left in governments and politics in Latin America, can be many things, depending on the perspective one takes. The ‘perspective of power’ tends to see politics from the top, with a focus on political elites, the actions and decisions of political leaders, and the changing and making of policy. This perspective sometimes has a fear of the masses. Their creativity and politicization is often framed as irrationality and the governments that they elect such as Chavez in Venezuela and Morales in Bolivia are framed as the Bad Left in contradistinction to the Good Left to be found in the Concertación in Chile and the Workers’ Party Government in Brazil. Conversely, views from the underside are developed from, and in engagement with, the practices, imaginaries, political histories, cultures and projects of the subaltern, understood here as those excluded from the fruits of the liberal project of free markets and liberal democracy. They have a commitment to making visible and legitimate such practices and experiences as a means to develop an ethical critique of dominant forms of capitalist power and domination. This special edition seeks to contribute to this process of strengthening and legitimizing subaltern alternatives from below by opening windows to their diversity, complexity, creativity and vibrancy.

Many of the new forms of popular politics in the region, from the development of new forms of state power in participatory asembleas and decision making forum, to forms of self-government, expand the practice and theory of politics. They involve a politicization of community and social relations, the formation of new democratic subjectivities from the informal sectors, urban shanty town dwellers, landless peasants and unemployed workers and often an experimental and open practice of collective construction in the everyday of their projects of social transformation and political change. These new forms of subaltern politics are often outstripping conceptual and theoretical frameworks premised in representational understandings of political organization and theoretical production. We are faced with political practices that are recognized as leftist but which differ from many of the leftist theoretical traditions. There is therefore often a mismatch between old tools of analysis and the practices of new movements. Hence the desire and need for theoretical, conceptual and methodological reflection based on an engagement with, and participation in, these experiences of subaltern politicization.

Thus, the focus of this edition is to contest the perspective of power by developing analyses from, and in dialogue with, popular politics from below. This doesn’t merely mean micro-analysis but rather the development of  particular theoretical and normative orientations that engage with a multiplicity of spatial scales of analysis: the local ( community, everyday and subjective), the regional, the national and the transnational. We hope that these analyses can contribute to forging epistemological, theoretical and methodological categories and tools to bridge the gap between new movements and the academy. Thus as opposed to framing the Pink Tide as a homogenizing project, this issue aims to present the rich diversity of the many Lefts through their plural, experimental, creative, institutional, political, social, subjective, everyday and affective experiences. The distinct natures of these experiences (i.e. from popular education, autonomous movements, participatory assemblies, social programs, cultural politics, co-operatives, etc.) from different countries in Latin America will provide the diversity and creative energy that we want to capture.

This issue combines the re-thinking of power, political change and social transformation through the analyses of left politics from cultural workers, social movements participants, organic intellectuals, artists, popular educators and community activists – with different ways of seeing and learning to see all the lefts, in their contradictions, tensions but also resonances and connections. Therefore, in this issue, we welcome reflections about the use for example of story and song in constructing a cultural politics of resistance, as well as political economy and social movement research.

In sum, we invite papers that engage from below to produce theoretically rich, empirically embedded and politically enabling analyses that can contribute to the consolidation and development of subaltern left utopias – as an imagining and practice of impossibility made possible, not merely about reforming but radically transforming ‘what is’ – of the 21st Century. 

We recommend contacting the issue editors as soon as possible with a short abstract of proposed articles to avoid duplication.  We cannot guarantee consideration for this issue of manuscripts received after Jan. 31, 2011.  If you cannot meet this deadline but are interested in submitting, please contact the issue editors (contact information below) and the LAP Future Issues Coordinator, Rosalind Bresnahan at

We invite manuscripts including, but not limited to, the following key questions that are the focus of the issue:

-What are the projects, imaginaries and practices of new forms of subaltern politics?

-What is the role of political parties in these processes?

-Is the state a barrier or enabler of new forms of subaltern politics?

-What is the role of pedagogies of dissent and transformation, often based on experiences of popular education, in the formation of such new forms of politics?

-How do we develop conceptual, theoretical and methodological tools to engage meaningfully with such new forms of politics?

-What type of politics of knowledge is being developed and how can we as researchers, committed to developing politically enabling research, learn from and contribute to this?

-What role is there for movement relevant research?

-How are the lefts shaping and being shaped by emerging popular political cultures?

-What are the future prospects for grass-roots political organizing in Latin America when building up relationships at regional and transnational scales?

-What is the nature of the links between the Pink Tide and external politics (beyond Latin America)?


Manuscripts should be no longer than 25 pages (approximately 7,000-7,500 words) of double-spaced 12 point text with 1 inch margins, including notes and references, and paginated.  Please follow the LAP style guide which is available at under the “Submissions” tab.   Please use the “About” tab for the LAP Mission Statement and details about the manuscript review process. 

Manuscripts may be submitted in English, Spanish, or Portuguese.  If submitting in Spanish or Portuguese, please indicate if you will have difficulty reading correspondence from the LAP office in English. 

All manuscripts should be original work that has not been published in English and that is not being submitted to or considered for publication elsewhere in identical or similar form.

Please feel free to contact the Issue Editor with questions pertaining to the issue but be sure that manuscripts (including separate file with basic biographical information and e-mail and postal addresses) are sent to the LAP office in Word or rtf format by e-mail to: with the subject line – “Your name – MS for Reinventing the Lefts issue”

In addition to electronic submission (e-mail, or CD-R or floppy disk if unable to send by e-mail) if possible submit two print copies including a cover sheet with basic biographical and contact information to:

Managing Editor, Latin American Perspectives¸ P.O. Box 5703, Riverside, California 92517-5703. 

Editor contact information:  Sara Mota  – Laiz Chen –

Re-inventando las Izquierdas en América Latina: Perspectivas críticas desde la base

Editores: Sara C. Motta and Laiz R. Chen

Esta edición busca sacar a la luz “visiones desde la base” sobre la reinvención de la política, el poder y la economía política que está ocurriendo en la región, lo que usualmente es llamado la ola de izquierdización.

La ola de izquierdización en gobiernos y política en América Latina, puede ser varias cosas, dependiendo de la perspectiva con que se mire. La perspectiva del poder tiende a ver la política desde lo alto, centrada en las elites políticas, la acción y las decisiones de los líderes políticos, y en la formulación y cambios de políticas. Esta perspectiva usualmente tiene miedo de las masas. Su creatividad y politización es catalogada como irracional y los gobiernos que ellas eligen como Chávez en Venezuela o Morales en Bolivia son calificados como la “Mala Izquierda” en oposición con la “Buena Izquierda” que puede ser encontrada en la Concertación en Chile y en el gobierno del Partido de los Trabajadores en Brasil. En contraste, visiones desde la base son desarrolladas desde, y en concordancia con las prácticas, imaginarios, historias políticas, culturas y proyectos de los subalternos, entendiendo por estos a aquellos excluidos de los frutos de los proyectos liberales del libre mercado y la democracia liberal. Ellos tienen un compromiso para hacer visibles y legitimar esas prácticas y experiencias como medios para desarrollar una crítica ética de las formas predominantes de poder y dominación capitalistas. Esta edición especial busca contribuir con este proceso de fortalecimiento y legitimación de las alternativas desde abajo, del subalterno, por medio de la apertura de ventanas a su diversidad, complejidad, creatividad y vitalidad.

Muchas de estas nuevas formas de política popular en la región, desde el desarrollo de nuevas formas de poder estatal en asambleas participativas y foros resolutivos, hasta formas de autogobierno, expanden la práctica y la teoría de la política. Estas involucran una politización de la comunidad y sus relaciones sociales, la formación de nuevas subjetividades democráticas desde el sector informal, habitantes de las villas miseria, campesinos sin tierra y trabajadores desempleados, y con frecuencia prácticas abiertas y experimentales de construcción colectiva en el diario vivir de sus proyectos de transformación social y cambio político. Estas nuevas formas de política subalterna son sobrepasadas con frecuencia por premisas teóricas y conceptuales  basada en la representatividad como forma de organización política y producción teórica. Nos enfrentamos con prácticas políticas que son reconocidas como de izquierda pero las que difieren de muchas de las tradiciones teóricas de izquierda. Hay, por tanto, frecuentemente  una desigualdad entre las antiguas herramientas analíticas y las practicas de los nuevos movimientos. Por tanto, se hace necesario y deseable una reflexión teórica, conceptual y metodológica basada en el involucramiento con, y la participación de, estas experiencias de politización subalternas.

Así, el foco de esta publicación es hacer frente a la perspectiva del poder desarrollando análisis desde, y en dialogo con, políticas populares desde la base. Esperamos que estos análisis puedan contribuir a forjar categorías epistemológicas, teóricas y metodológicas y herramientas que unan la brecha entre nuevos movimientos sociales y la academia. Así como oposición a encuadrar la ola de izquierdización como un proyecto homogéneo, este volumen espera presentar la riqueza diversa de muchas izquierdas por medio de sus experiencias plurales, experimentales, creativas, institucionales, políticas, sociales, subjetivas, cotidianas y afectivas. La distintiva naturaleza de estas experiencias (por ejemplo, desde la educación popular, movimientos autónomos, asambleas participativas, programas sociales, políticas culturales, cooperativas, etc.) de diferentes países en América Latina proveerá de la energía creativa y diversa que deseamos capturar.

Este volumen combina el repensar del poder, del cambio político y de la transformaciones sociales a través del análisis de políticas de izquierda  de trabajadores culturales, movimientos sociales participativos, intelectuales orgánicos, artistas, educadores populares y activistas comunitarios, con diferentes formas de ver y aprender a ver todas las izquierdas, en sus contradicciones, tensiones, pero también en resonancia y conexión. Por tanto,  en este volumen, damos la bienvenida a reflexiones sobre, por ejemplo, el uso del relato y la canción en la construcción de políticas culturales de resistencia, como también a la economía política y al estudio de los movimientos sociales.

En resumen, invitamos a enviar artículos elaborados desde  la base para producir  análisis teóricos ricos, empíricamente vinculantes y políticamente útiles que puedan contribuir con la consolidación y desarrollo de las utopías de izquierda subalternas del siglo 21.

Las preguntas de esta edición están centradas en:

–          ¿Cuáles son los proyectos, imaginarios y prácticas de esta nueva forma de política subalterna?

–          ¿Cuál es el rol de los partidos políticos en este proceso?

–          ¿Es el Estado una barrera o un facilitador de nuevas formas de política subalterna?

–          ¿Cuál es el rol de las pedagogías del disenso y de la transformación, frecuentemente basadas en las experiencias de la educación popular, en la formación de estas nuevas formas políticas?

–          ¿Cómo desarrollamos herramientas conceptuales, teóricas y metodológicas para vincularse significativamente con estas nuevas formas políticas?

–          ¿Qué tipos de política del conocimiento está siendo desarrollada y cómo podemos, como investigadores, comprometernos a desarrollar políticamente un estudio facilitador , aprender y contribuir a esto?

–          ¿Cuáles son las izquierdas  formadas y que están siendo formadas por la emergencia de culturas políticas populares?

–          Cual es la posibilidad futura para organizaciones políticas de base en America Latina para que se fortalezcan a escala regional y transnacional?

–          Cuál es la naturaleza de las relaciones entre la ola de izquierdización y la política  de más allá de América Latina?

Re-inventando a Esquerda na América Latina: Perspectivas Críticas de Base

Editores: Sara C. Motta e Laiz R. Chen

Esta edição especial tenciona trazer para o centro do debate perspectivas críticas de base sobre a reinvenção da política, poder e economia política na América Latina – fenômeno já denominado ‘Pink Tide’.

Tal fenômeno, considerado como a ‘esquerdização’ nos governos e na política da América Latina, pode ser interpretado de diversas formas dependendo da perspectiva abordada. A ‘perspectiva do poder’ tende a ver a política a partir do topo, focalizando nas elites políticas, nas ações e decisões dos líderes políticos, nas mudanças e na formação das políticas de governo. Esta perspectiva normalmente teme o fazer popular das massas, cuja criatividade e politização são muitas vezes enquadradas como irracionalidade. Desta forma, governos como o de Chávez na Venezuela, e o de Morales na Bolívia são classificados como a ‘Má Esquerda’, enquanto que a ‘Concertación’ no Chile e o Governo do Partido dos Trabalhadores no Brasil são tidos como ‘Boa Esquerda’. Por outro lado, muitos pontos de vista com foco nos fazeres de base são desenvolvidos a partir do envolvimento com práticas, imaginários, histórias políticas, culturas e projetos dos ‘oprimidos’, ou seja, daqueles excluídos dos frutos do projeto liberal de mercado-livre e da democracia liberal. São estas perspectivas de base que muitas vezes assumem um compromisso de tornar visíveis e legítimas tais práticas e experiências como um meio para se desenvolver eticamente uma crítica das formas dominantes de poder e de dominação capitalista. A presente edição especial visa contribuir para tal processo de reforço e legitimação das alternativas de base, abrindo janelas para a sua diversidade, complexidade, criatividade e dinamismo.

Muitas das novas manifestações de política popular na região (desde o desenvolvimento de novas formas de poder do Estado em ‘assembléias’ participativas e fóruns de decisão, até certas formas de auto-governo) ampliam a prática e a teoria da política. Estes processos implicam numa politização da comunidade e das relações sociais, tal como na formação de novas subjetividades democráticas (dos setores informais, dos trabalhadores e moradores de favelas urbanas, dos trabalhadores rurais sem-terra, e dos desempregados). Além disso, implica também, frequentemente, numa prática diária aberta, experimental e de construção coletiva de seus projetos sociais de transformação e mudança política. Estas novas formas de política de base quase sempre superam referenciais teóricos e conceituais enraizados num entendimento representacional da organização política e da produção teórica. Estamos diante de práticas políticas que são reconhecidas como de esquerda, mas que diferem de muitas das tradições teóricas da mesma. Há, portanto, muitas vezes um desencontro entre antigas ferramentas de análise e as práticas de novos movimentos. Daí o intuito e a necessidade de reflexão teórica, conceitual e metodológica com base em um compromisso com, e participação em, tais experiências de politização de base.

Sendo assim, o objetivo desta edição é o de contestar a perspectiva do poder, através do desenvolvimento de análises que provenham, e que estejam dialogando com, as políticas populares de base. Isto não significa somente uma micro-análise, mas sim o desenvolvimento de certas orientações teoréticas e normativas que dialoguem com uma multiplicidade de escalas espaciais de análise: do local (comunidade, cotidiano e subjetivo), ao regional, nacional e transnacional. Esperamos que essas análises possam contribuir para forjar categorias teóricas, metodológicas e epistemológicas, bem como ferramentas para diminuir a distância entre os novos movimentos e a academia. Desta forma, em oposição à definição de ‘Pink Tide’ como um projeto homogeneizador, esta edição tem como objetivo apresentar a rica diversidade das muitas Esquerdas através das suas experiências plurais, experimentais, criativas, institucionais, políticas, sociais, subjetivas, cotidianas e afetivas. Os diferentes tipos dessas experiências (sejam elas de educação popular, de movimentos autônomos, ‘assembléias’ participativas, programas sociais, política cultural, cooperativas, etc.) de diferentes países na América Latina proverão a diversidade e a energia criativa que esta edição deseja capturar.

Esta edição alia novas formas de repensar o poder, a mudança política, e a transformação social através da análise de políticas de esquerda provindas de trabalhadores culturais, participantes de movimentos sociais, intelectuais orgânicos, artistas, educadores populares, e ativistas de comunidades – com diferentes formas de ver e de aprender a ver todas as Esquerdas, em suas contradições e tensões, mas também em suas ressonâncias e conexões. Portanto, nesta edição, convidamos reflexões sobre a utilização, por exemplo, de história e música na construção de uma política cultural de resistência, assim como reflexões sobre economia política e pesquisas de movimentos sociais.

Em suma, daremos preferência a trabalhos que provenham de engajamentos de base para produzir análises teórica e empiricamente sólidas, e politicamente transformadoras que possam contribuir para a consolidação e o desenvolvimento de utopias de base de esquerda no século XXI. Por ‘utopia’ entende-se o imaginar e o praticar da impossibilidade tornada possível, não somente reformando mas transformando radicalmente o que existe.   

Recomendamos entrar em contato com os editores o mais breve possível para evitar duplicação enviando-lhes uma sinopse do artigo proposto. Não garantimos que sejam considerados os artigos recebidos após 31 de janeiro de 2011. Caso não possa submeter até esta data e ainda tenha interesse em fazê-lo, por favor entre em contato com os editores (pelo e-mail abaixo) e com a Coordenadora de Edições Futuras da LAP, Rosalind Bresnahan através do e-mail

Convidamos artigos que incluam mas que não sejam limitados às seguintes questões que são o foco desta edição:

–        Quais são os projetos, imaginários e práticas de novas formas de política de base?

–        Qual é o papel dos partidos políticos nestes processos?

–        De que maneiras o Estado funciona como uma barreira ou facilitador de novas formas de política de base?

–        Qual é o papel das pedagogias de dissensão e transformação, muitas vezes baseadas em experiências de educação popular, na formação destas novas formas de política?

–        Como é possível o desenvolvimento de ferramentas conceituais, teóricas e metodológicas para se engajar de maneira significativa com essas novas formas de política?

–        Que tipo de ‘política do saber’ está sendo desenvolvida e como podemos, como pesquisadores comprometidos com o desenvolvimento de políticas que permitam a investigação, aprender e contribuir para isso?

–        Que papel desempenham as pesquisas relevantes de movimentos?

–        Como as Esquerdas moldam e são moldadas por culturas políticas populares emergentes?

–        Quais são as perspectivas futuras para a organização de políticas de base na América Latina tendo em vista a construção de relações em escalas regional e transnacional?

–        Qual é a natureza das relações entre o fenômeno ‘Pink Tide’ e a política externa (para além da América Latina)?

SUBMISSÃO de artigos

Os trabalhos não devem ter mais do que 25 páginas (de 7.000-7.500 palavras aproximadamente) em espaço duplo, com fonte 12, margens de 1 polegada, incluindo notas e referências, e com páginas numeradas. Por favor, siga o estilo da LAP que está disponível em na guia “Submissions”. Por favor use a guia “About” para ler a Declaração e Missão da LAP e ver os detalhes sobre o processo de revisão de artigos.

Os artigos podem ser submetidos em inglês, espanhol ou português. Caso envie em espanhol ou português, indique se há dificuldade em ler correspondência do escritório LAP em inglês. Todos os artigos devem ser trabalhos originais que não tenham sido publicados em inglês e que não estejam sendo submetidos ou considerados para publicação no mesmo formato ou em formato semelhante.

Por favor, sinta-se a vontade para entrar em contato com o Issue Editor acerca de questões relacionadas com a Edição, mas certifique-se que os artigos (incluindo um arquivo separado, com informações biográficas sucintas, e-mail e endereço postal) sejam enviados para o escritório da LAP em formato Word ou rtf por e-mail para: com o título do assunto – “’Seu nome’ – MS for Reinventing the Lefts issue”

Além da sumissão por via electrônica (e-mail ou CD-R ou disquete, se não puder enviar por e-mail), se possível envie duas cópias impressas, incluindo uma carta de apresentação com informações biográficas sucintas e informações de contato para:

Managing Editor, Latin American Perspectives, P.O. Box 5703, Riverside, California, 92517-5703, EUA. 

Contato dos Editores desta edição especial:

Sara Mota – Chen –


‘I believe in the afterlife.

It starts tomorrow,

When I go to work’

Cold Hands & Quarter Moon, ‘Human Herbs’ at: (recording) and (live)

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas:

MySpace Profile:

The Ockress:

Dave Hill


Statement and Education Policy Manifesto by Dave Hill

Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition Parliamentary Candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Details at:

I have spent my lifetime as a teacher in ‘challenging’ primary and secondary schools, in teacher ‘training’ and in universities trying to tackle inequalities in schooling: inequalities that result in millions of working class children having far less educational opportunities – and subsequently, usually lower paid jobs – than the children of richer parents; especially the 7% who go to private schools – and snap up most of the highest paid, elite, jobs.

The very choice of what and how it should be taught, how and what schooling should be organised, how it should be funded, and where and how the funding should be targeted, and a consideration of ‘who wins and who loses’ through all of the above, are all intensely political. And we want that politics to be in the interests of the millions not the millionaires!

I come from a working class family brought up in some poverty: for example on free School Meals (like a million others!) in St. Martins’ St., off the Lewes Rd., Brighton. I went to Westlain Grammar School, my brothers to under-funded secondary modern schools, such as Queens Park and Moulscoomb. Three times as much was spent on the education of grammar school students than on Secondary Modern students! My children went to local state schools. The inequalities I have witnessed – and lived – as a child, as a teacher and socialist political activist, have led me to spending my life fighting for greater equality in education and society, and against racism, sexism and against homophobia.

What an indictment of our divisive education system that students from private schools are 25 times more likely to get to one of the top British universities than those who come from a lower social class or live in a poor area! And that (in 2008) only 35% of pupils eligible for free school meals obtained five or more A* to C GCSE grades; compared with 63% of pupils from wealthier backgrounds.  This stark education inequality mirrors that in our grossly unequal society.

It is incredible, actually it is only too believable, in Britain today, that the richest section of society has 17 years of healthy life more than the least well-off in society. The minimum wage should be raised by 50%. How can people – decent hard working people like some in my own family, live on take-home pay of less than £200 a week! And there should be a maximum wage, too! Nobody, banker, boss, or buy-out bully, should be on more than £250,000 a year. This figure should reduce progressively so that within 10 years no-one is taking more than four times the average wage, nobody should be creaming off £27 million or £67 million a year for example! Certainly not when there are 4 million children living in poverty! I was once one of them. I was helped by the welfare state. We need our public services.  We need to improve them, not cut them; not attack them.

All three parties, New Labour, Lib Dem, and Tory, dance to the music of big business. All are promising cuts. Whatever they say, those cuts will hit schools, children, and the quality of education in our state schools. Already we are seeing staff cuts and course closures in universities up and down the country. In Brighton, for example, both Brighton and Sussex Universities are promising to cut out the nurseries, and Sussex to chop over 100 jobs. Brighton University is proposing to cut its Adult Ed art courses. Vandalism! Cutting popular and widely used public services!

And don’t believe cuts are necessary. They’re not! Cutting the Trident nuclear submarine replacement programme, bringing troops home from Afghanistan and Iraq, stopping the Identity Card programme, and collecting even some even of the £120 billion in taxes unpaid by the rich… yes, £120 billion!…would mean cuts are not necessary at all!

But you won’t hear that from the other parties, just from Socialists, like the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, and from Respect.

A Socialist Manifesto for Education is:

[1] Cut class sizes (they are currently some of the largest in the rich world- much larger than in private schools for example). According to OECD research Britain is 23rd out of 30 developed countries in terms of large class size. Other countries such as Finland have a maximum class size of 20. Finland is widely seen as providing an extremely high quality of education. For a maximum class size of 20 by 2020 in both primary and secondary schools!

[2] Abolish league tables and abolish SATS (some external testing is necessary, but SATS so very often restricts teaching to ‘teaching to the test’, and results in undue stress (and an increase in bedwetting, compared to the pre-SATS era, for example).

[3] Restore local democratic control of ‘Academies’. They should be run by the democratically elected local councils, and keep to national pay and conditions agreements. Why should rich businessmen and women take control of any of our schools? Let’s keep the added investment- but it’s the government that pays for that added investment anyhow! Let’s keep and enhance the added investment, but distribute it fairly between all schools. Our schools and the children in them are not for sale! Nor, through uneven funding for different types of school (e.g. Academies) should some schools be set up for success at the expense of others being set up (and under-funded) for relative failure.

[4] Private profiteering out of our schools! Bring the education services hived off to private profiteers back into either national or local private ownership! These include Ofsted, Student grants, school meals, cleaning and caretaking.

[5] Free, nutritious, balanced school meals for every child to combat poor diets, obesity, and… yes… for some children… hunger!

[6] Restore free adult education classes in pastime and leisure studies as well as in vocational training/ studies

[7] Restore free, state-funded residential centres and Youth Centres/Youth clubs for our children so they can widen their experiences of life in safe circumstances and enhance their education beyond the confines of the home or city.

[8] For a fully Comprehensive Secondary School system; so that each school has a broad social class mix and mix of ability and attainment levels. 

[9] For the integration of Private schools into the state education system – so that the goodies of the private school system are shared amongst all pupils/ students. All schools to be under democratic locally elected local council control. No to Private Schools. No to religious groups running schools. No to big business / private capital running our schools and children! 

[10] Free up the curriculum so there can be more creativity and cross-subject/ disciplinary work.

[11] Get Ofsted and their flawed tick-box system off the back of teachers. The results of Ofsted are to penalise even the best schools (outstanding in every aspect- other than in SATS attainments) in the poorest areas.

[12] Encourage Critical Thinking across the curriculum. Teach children not ‘what to think’, but ‘how to think’: including how to think critically about the media and politicians.

[13] Teach in schools for ecological literacy and a readiness to act for environmental justice as well as economic and social justice. Encourage children to ‘reach for the stars’ – and to work for a society that lets that happen – a fairer society with much more equal chances, pay packets and power, and about environmental and sustainability issues.  

[14] Proper recognition of all school workers, and no compulsory redundancies. For teachers, secretarial and support staff, teaching assistants, school meals supervisory assistants, caretaking staff, there should be workplace democratic regular school forums in every school. Regarding jobs (for example the threatened job cuts at Sussex University – and the ‘inevitable’ job cuts in every? school after the election – and no compulsory redundancies – any restructuring to be conditional on agreement with the trade unions.

[15] Setting up of school councils – to encourage democratic understanding, citizenship, social responsibility, and a welcoming and valuing of ‘student/pupil voice’.

[16] Ensuring that schools are anti-racist, anti-sexist and anti-homophobic – making sure schools encourage equality, welcoming different home and group cultures. As part of this, anti-bullying practices in every school must be fully implemented, to combat bullying of all sorts, including racism, sexism, homophobia, and bullying based on disabilities. And this should be not just in anti-bullying policies, but also be part of the curriculum too!

[17] An honest sex education curriculum in schools that teaches children not just ‘when to say no’, but also when to say ‘yes’; a programme that is focused on positives and pleasure and personal worth, not on stigmatising sex and sexualities.

[18] No to ‘Faith Schools’ and get organised religion out of schools. If Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus, Zoroastrians, or whichever religion wishes to teach religion, let them do it in their own time, places of worship (Saturday/Sunday schools) or in their supplementary or complementary schools. Teach ethics and spirituality by all means, and teach about religions. But no brainwashing. Teach a critical approach to religions.

[19] Broaden teacher education and training so that the negative effects of the ‘technicisation and de-theorising’ of teacher training (that were the result of the 1992/1993 Conservative re-organisation of what was then called teacher education- subsequently retitled teacher training). Bring back the study and awareness of the social and political and psychological contexts of teaching, including an understanding of and commitment to challenge and overturn racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of underexpectation and discrimination – such as discrimination against working class pupils.

[20] A good, local school for every child. No school closures! “Surplus places” should actually mean lower class sizes! And increased community use of school facilities.

[21] A completely fully funded, publicly owned and democratic education system from pre-school right through to university. Education is a right not a commodity to be bought and sold. So: no fees, like in Scandinavia, Cuba, Venezuela, Bolivia, where education up to PhD level is free. No to university or further education/vocational training fees! And bring in a living grant for students from less well-off backgrounds/ income.

In my jobs, firstly as a teacher, and now as a Professor of Education (and writer/editor of 17 books on education and equality) I have been round hundreds of schools. Many of them are brilliant. Schools in the poorest areas, schools in better off areas! Brilliant. But, with better funding, smaller class sizes, an end to the destructive competition between schools (if every school is a good local school) and with more professional judgement being allowed for teachers- then I look forward to a time when all state schools match the class sizes and results of the currently more lavishly funded private schools’. And working class kids – black, brown, white – get the fair deal currently trumpeted – but in actuality denied – by all three major parties.  

Professor Dave Hill, The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) parliamentary candidate for Brighton Kemptown

Professor Dave Hill teaches at Middlesex University and is Visiting Professor of Critical Education Policy and Equality Studies at the University of Limerick, Ireland.

The Brighton Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition blogspot is at:

Dave’s Wiki and Publications are at:

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1989-2009: The East European Revolutions in Perspective

Conference announcement and call for papers and panel proposals

“1989-2009: the East European revolutions in perspective”

Organised by “Debatte: Journal of Contemporary Central and Eastern  Europe”

Location and date: University of London Union, 17-18 October 2009

Keynote speakers: Boris Kagarlitsky, Caroline Humphrey, Gáspár Miklós Tamas, Peter Gowan, Alex Callinicos, Catherine Samary, Bernd Gehrke

Abstracts and panel proposals, by end June 2009, to:

For further info:



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