Transform is a new journal of the radical left as we face a surge to the right in world politics.
As we face a surge to the right in world politics, this new journal – linked to the transform! network of the European Left – seeks to help provide a theoretical basis to advance the left in this new political context. We welcome the submission of articles for publication which share our broad political framework as outlined in the founding statement below.
Transform: Founding Statement
Since the near-collapse of the global financial system in 2008, capitalism has plunged deeper and deeper into crisis. Governments have pursued austerity policies, ostensibly to reduce government deficits but in reality to destroy the social and economic gains working people have made over many decades, reducing wages and obliterating welfare states, further exposing populations to the brutality of neo-liberalism. The economic crisis has increasingly become a social and political crisis as many people face poverty, hunger, unemployment, homelessness, sickness and even death, as a result of the catastrophic and government-imposed failure of health systems and social services. The extremes of wealth and poverty have never been so great.
The early political response to the crisis emerged as a popular fight back, against austerity and establishment corruption in the streets and squares, workplaces, social and political institutions. Parties of the radical left built support across Europe, whilst the left governments of the anti-neoliberal ‘pink tide’ in Latin America built social and economic alternatives that defied decades of US domination and inspired millions. The Arab spring, with its upsurge across many countries, against political repression and extreme economic inequality brought hopes for democracy and social transformation in north Africa and the Middle East.
Yet whilst left and progressive forces have had some passing victories and brief moments in the ascendancy, it is now clear that right wing forces have emerged stronger from the crisis and we are facing a surge to the right in world politics. The Arab spring has turned overwhelmingly to war and repression, the Latin American left is under brutal attack and in retreat, and the far right in Europe is challenging and acceding to power in a number of countries. The Brexit vote in Britain can be understood as part of that political turn to the right – achieved on the back of a racist anti-immigration campaign, and consolidated by the May government. The disastrous election of Donald Trump has compounded and continued this trend – a radicalised right-wing victory based on a racist and xenophobic narrative.
The rise of the far right must be fought and defeated. Part of this is achieving absolute clarity about the nature of the reactionary forces we are confronting and totally rejecting any bending towards the false political narrative that condones racism in the supposed economic interests of a section of the working class. The Brexit/Trump trend is a huge defeat for the workers’ movement and democracy, and is a function of the partial or total capitulation to xenophobic anti-immigrant politics by liberal parties and social democracy.
This new journal of the radical left seeks to help provide a theoretical basis to advance the left in this new political context. It is informed by Marxism and also welcomes the contribution of other progressive political currents such as feminism and environmentalism. It seeks to theorise and critically analyse:
- The nature of the period and the character and composition of the key political and economic forces and factors
- The means and methods of political struggle and the organisation of working class and progressive forces to defeat the far right
- Left alternatives to capitalism and strategies for left political advance
- Working class unity and the politics of alliance building
Transform will work in solidarity with the transform! network of 29 European organizations from 20 countries, active in the field of political education and critical scientific analysis. transform! is the political foundation of the European Left Party. “Overcoming war, dominance of capital, social injustice, patriarchy, imperial rule and militarism as well as racism, working towards the establishment of an association in which the uninhibited development of each and every person is condition for the uninhibited development of all shall represent the highest goals of this undertaking. The equality of all people and their solidarity represent the most important values transform! is based on.” For details of the submission process and house style please contact the editor at [email protected]
The Transform Editorial Board
- Oscar Garcia Agustin Associate Professor, Aalborg University, specialising in populism
- Len Arthur retired economics lecturer and political activist in Wales
- Andrew Burgin bookseller and political activist
- Katy Day Senior Lecturer in Psychology, Leeds Beckett University, specialising in feminism, gender, class identities and intersectionality
- Nick Dearden Director of Global Justice Now
- Felicity Dowling writer and activist specializing in health, education and women’s rights
- Youssef El-Gingihy GP, writer and activist on the NHS
- Neil Faulkner archaeologist, author of A Marxist History of the World: from Neanderthals to Neoliberals
- Katerina Gachevska Principal lecturer in criminology at Leeds Beckett University specialising in critical security studies with a European focus
- Suresh Grover a founder of the Southall Monitoring Group, anti-racist and civil rights activist
- Joseph Healy expert on Eastern Europe, Chair of London Irish LGBT Network
- Phil Hearse writer and lecturer, specializing in culture and communication
- Tansy Hoskins journalist, broadcaster and author of Stitched Up: The Anti-capitalist Book of Fashion
- Kate Hudson historian, writer and peace activist
- Miguel Martinez Lucio Lecturer in Labour Studies, University of Manchester
- Paul Mackney former General Secretary of UCU and co-chair of the Greece Solidarity Campaign.
- Philippe Marliere Professor of French and European Politics, UCL
- Drew Milne poet and academic, Corpus Christi College, Cambridge
- Susan Pashkoff economist and writer on US and gender politics
- Marina Prentoulis Senior Lecturer in Media and Politics, University of East Anglia, specialising in European social movements
- Lasse Thomassen Senior Lecturer in Political Theory, Queen Mary, University of London, specialising in nationalism and multiculturalism
- Michael Wongsam activist and writer on black history and politics
- Jude Woodward journalist, activist and author of The US vs China in Asia: a new cold war?
- Dave Webb Emeritus Professor in peace & conflict studies at Leeds Beckett University, peace activist