Colin Leys


Before coming to Queen’s in 1975 Colin Leys taught at Balliol College, Oxford; Kivukoni College in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania; Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda; and the Universities of Sussex, Nairobi, and Sheffield. His work has primarily been on the theory and politics of development, with particular reference to Africa and the UK. His publications include European Politics in Southern Rhodesia; Underdevelopment in Kenya;The Political Economy of Neocolonialism; Politics in Britain; Namibia’s Liberation Struggle: The Two-Edged Sword (with John S. Saul and others); The Rise and Fall of Development Theory; The End of Parliamentary Socialism (with Leo Panitch); and Market Driven-Politics: Neoliberal Democracy and the Public Interest.

  • The Socialist Register 2022

    New Polarizations, Old Contradictions: The Crisis of Centrism

    Edited by Greg Albo, Leo Panitch and Colin Leys     December 2021

    The word “polarization” is on the lips of every commentator today, from mainstream journalists to the left, but the significance of this widely recognized phenomenon needs far more scrutiny than it has had.

  • The Socialist Register 2010

    Morbid Symptoms: Health Under Capitalism

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     November 2009

    Health care rights are fought over between commercial forces that seek to make health into a commodity (for those who can pay), and popular forces that seek to reduce gross inequalities and try to make (or keep) health as a public service.

    These essays analyze the global health industry: the corporations that sell pharmaceuticals and insurance and push to expand the consumption of goods and services, making health care everywhere a field of capital accumulation.

  • The Socialist Register 2009

    Violence Today Actually Existing Barbarism

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     January 2009

    Violence in every possible form dominates current headlines and people’s fears. Understanding it has never been more urgently needed. This volume offers an insight into contemporary violence that the mainstream media – and even mainstream cinema – shrinks from providing on state violence, on violence in inner cities and prisons, and on the violence committed almost everywhere by men against women. In this book, consideration is given to the sources of imperialism and globalized capitalism, the legacies of habituation, insecurity and hatred, the dynamics of politically motivated violence and terror, and the conditions in which the superabundance of weapons exist.

  • The Socialist Register 2008

    Global Flashpoints Reactions to Imperialism

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     January 2008

    Socialist Register 2008 takes a look at the forces at work in opposition to the American Empire and analyzes their nature–are they reactionary or progressive? Further, what are the prospects for the Left, in the Islamic world, in Latin America and in the capitalist north? The contributors seek to identify the distinguishing features of neoliberalism today and point out its emerging contradictions.

  • The Socialist Register 2007

    Coming toTerms with Nature

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     January 2007

    Can capitalism come to terms with the environment? Can market forces and technology overcome the ‘limits to growth’ and yet preserve the biosphere? What is the nature of oil politics today? Can capitalism do without nuclear power, or make it safe? What is the significance of the impasse over the Kyoto protocol?

  • The Socialist Register 2006

    Telling the Truth

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     January 2006

    How do people acquire knowledge and understanding of the world they are in? Who has access to the resources and maps facilitating research and debate? How is power mobilised to shape ideas and ideologies? Socialist Register 2006 considers contemporary debate, policy-making, research, education, and scientific practice generally as it relates to the role of the state in intellectual life, the press and the media.

  • The Socialist Register 2005

    The Empire Reloaded

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     January 2005

    In the Socialist Register 2005, the contributors examine, through a multitude of lenses, how the American Empire works. They take a comprehensive look at who holds the balance of power and how this affects stability. What is most interesting is the way these essays look at the impact that the new American Empire has had and is having throughout the world. The topics discussed include how the shift in global political relations has influenced gender relations, the media and popular culture.

  • The Socialist Register 2004

    The New Imperial Challenge

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     January 2004

    The essays in this fortieth volume of The Socialist Register analyze the unique nature of the new U.S. empire and challenge the left to develop a better theory of imperialism and its relation to globalized capitalism.

  • The Socialist Register 2003

    Fighting Identities–Race, Religion and Ethno-Nationalism

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     January 2003

    What are the roots of “fundamentalism”? Why have ethnic and religious conflict become so prevalent? Are racism and national oppression inevitable parts of global capitalism? How should the Left address the issue of refugees and mass migration? What are the meanings and implications of “the war on terrorism”?

  • The Globalisation Decade

    A Critical Reader

    Edited by Colin Leys and Leo Panitch     January 2003

    Over the past decade the contributors to The Socialist Register have been widely recognised as providing the Left’s most distinctive investigations on the contradictions of globalisation, the internationalisation of the state, progressive competitiveness, the new imperialism and mobilisations against it.

    Providing political and economic analyses, this anthology looks at the cultural contradictions of globalisation. It includes a set of readings on the role of states–especially that of the United States–in making globalisation happen. It examines the problems these states now confront in trying to keep it going.