Renewing Socialism

Transforming Democracy, Strategy and Imagination, New edition

By Leo Panitch  

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This new edition adds an in-depth interview to seven key essays. The interview asks: What impact is American imperialism having on left strategies in various parts of the world today? What common interests work for solidarity and against divisions of race, gender and class? As Green parties turn towards market socialism, what space is left for a red-green anti-capitalist coalition? Can new socialist parties avoid mistakes of communist and social democratic parties in the twentieth century? The essays address key questions of left strategy: rethinking revolutionary and reformist practices, the strengths and weaknesses of the old and new left; the fall of communist regimes (with personal observations from 1990); the dialogue between democracy and Marxism; Marx’s Manifesto in contemporary perspective; class analysis and new strategies for labour in the context of globalization; and the role of hope and imagination in envisioning a socialist future.

Reviews of the first edition: “A wonderful writer who bridges the disjuncture between theory and political praxis. This is an important book in both scholarly and political terms.”

— John C. Berg, Suffolk University

“Panitch’s work is consistently characterized by intelligence, rigor, and commitment. A highly original contribution.”

— David Abraham, University of Miami

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  • Preface
  • Introduction—Rethinking Revolution and Reform in Capitalist Democracies
  • Observations on Communism’s Demise
  • Liberal Democracy and Socialist Democracy
  • The Political Legacy of The Communist Manifesto Today
  • Globalization and Left Strategies
  • Bringing Class Back In: Reflections on Strategy for Labour
  • Transcending Pessimism: Rekindling Socialist Imagination
  • New Directions for the Left: An Interview


  • Leo Panitch

    York University

    Leo Panitch was a Distinguished Research Professor, renowned political economist, Marxist theorist and editor of the Socialist Register. He received a B.A. (Hons.) from the University of Manitoba in 1967 and a M.Sc.(Hons.) and PhD from the London School of Economics and Political Science in 1968 and 1974, respectively. He was a Lecturer, Assistant Professor, Associate Professor and Professor at Carleton University between 1972 and 1984. He was a Professor of Political Science at York University since 1984. He was the Chair of the Department of Political Science at York from 1988-1994. He was the General Co-editor of State and Economic Life series, U. of T. Press, from 1979 to 1995 and is the Co-founder and a Board Member of Studies in Political Economy. He was also the author of numerous articles and books dealing with political science including The End of Parliamentary Socialism (1997). He was a member of the Movement for an Independent and Socialist Canada, 1973-1975, the Ottawa Committee for Labour Action, 1975-1984, the Canadian Political Science Association, the Committee of Socialist Studies, the Marxist Institute and the Royal Society of Canada. He was an ardent supporter of the Socialist Project.

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