Inconsistent Anti-Imperialism and Selective Solidarity- London, 16 July

2nd Jul 2018

Haymarket Books invites you to the launch of Indefensible: Democracy, Counterrevolution, and the Rhetoric of Anti-Imperialism with author Rohini Hensman.

6pm, 16 July. Room G3, SOAS, University of London, WC1H 0XG. Sign up on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/events/1867877106606694/

With the Syrian war now raging for over seven years and geopolitical rivalries between major powers returning to the world stage, it is crucial that we have an adequate understanding of contemporary imperialism to carry into our anti-war and international solidarity movements. Yet the left has rarely been so divided on these basic issues of principle and action.

Indefensible offers an essential alternative to the ideology of those who claim to be anti-imperialists but oppose only Western imperialism and the despots it supports, falling into apologism for dictators like Bashar al-Assad and non-Western imperialist powers like Putin’s Russia in the process. Against this tendency, Indefensible powerfully argues for a genuine internationalism that supports mass struggles for freedom and democracy, no matter what regime they are fighting against.

Indefensible will be available on the day for a reduced price of £15 (RRP £20.95).

The event will be introduced and chaired by Gilbert Achcar.

More information on the book here: https://www.haymarketbooks.org/books/1164-indefensible

Rohini Hensman is a writer, independent scholar and activist working on issues including imperialism, feminism, minority rights and globalization. She has been published widely in outlets that include the Guardian and openDemocracy.

Gilbert Achcar is Professor of Development Studies and International Relations at SOAS. His most recent book is “Morbid Symptoms: Relapse in the Arab Uprising”.




“Too many so-called leftists support regimes that oppose freedom of expression and association; that imprison, torture and kill dissidents; that obstruct free elections; and that promote inequality, sexism, racism, nationalism and religious bigotry. These “leftists” do so in the name of “progress.” In her timely and very important book Rohini Hensman eloquently unmasks such “pseudo-anti-imperialists” who believe that the enemies of the West are always our friends and therefore deserve our solidarity. Against such anti-democratic attitudes she argues powerfully for a principled and enduring struggle against any form of authoritarianism and inequality in civil society, whether West, East, North or South. I hope that her work will be widely read and discussed.”—Marcel van der Linden, International Institute of Social History, Amsterdam

“In this highly stimulating work, Rohini Hensman shares her views on a vast number of issues lying at the heart of left-wing politics, from historical to contemporary. Brushing off all sorts of dogmatic beliefs, she does not shy away from thinking out of the box, guided only by her uncompromising dedication to the values of human rights and democracy.”—Gilbert Achcar, author of Marxism, Orientalism, Cosmopolitanism