Call for Papers

HM Stream on Strategy

8th May 2018

Taking on the Right

Historical Materialism Fifteenth Annual Conference – Call For Papers

School of Oriental and African Studies, Central London, 8-11 November 2018

All queries to:


HM Stream on Strategy – Call for Papers

All queries to:

Abstract submissions:

Deadline: 1 June 2018


In early 2007, Daniel Bensaïd made an important intervention on the need to return to the politico-strategic question, after a long period marked by the absence of such debates within the anti-capitalist Left. More than ten years later this question remains more than pertinent. From the closing of an historical cycle of experiments in left-wing governance in Latin America, to the Syriza debacle, the Podemos impasse, the open questions regarding a future Corbyn government, and the necessity of grasping the relative weight of state coercion made clear in Catalonia, there are many instances that call for a reopening of the debate on strategy. While studiously avoiding tired and predictable factional disputes on the Left, Historical Materialism conferences in years past have provided a venue for discussion of conjunctural political developments, and socialist strategy has been an underlying thematic of the conference from the outset. However, this year we want to make such discussions more systematic by proposing a special stream on strategy. To this aim we welcome paper and panel proposals on subjects such as:

• The assessment of attempts of radical left governance

• The end of a cycle and new contradictions thrown up by Latin American experiences

• The possibility (or impossibility) of combining the aim of governance and revolutionary strategy

• The form, content, and direction of transitional demands and the notion of a political programme today that moves beyond redistribution towards transformation of the social relations of production

• The potential resistances to state coercion

• The relevance of ‘dual power’ today