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Alex Callinicos

Abstract

This intervention discusses Perry Anderson’s treatment of the European Union in The New Old World, tracing its origins in his intellectual and political history, and the ambivalences it reveals in his relationship to Marxism and to left politics. It identifies some of the key themes in a specifically Marxist analysis of the EU and explores the political possibilities implied by the present crisis.

Making History

Agency, Structure, and Change in Social Theory

Series:

Alex Callinicos

Making History is about the question - central to social theory - of how human agents draw their powers from the social structures they are involved in. Drawing on classical Marxism, analytical philosophy, and a wide range of historical writing, Alex Callinicos seeks to avoid two unacceptable extremes - dissolving the subject into an impersonal flux, as poststructuralists tend to - and treating social structures as the mere effects of individual action (for example, rational-choice theory). Among those discussed are Althusser, Anderson, Benjamin, Brenner, Cohen, Elster, Foucault, Giddens, Habermas, and Mann. Callinicos has written an extended introduction to this new edition that reviews developments since Making History was first published in 1987. This republication gives a new generation of readers access to an important intervention in Marxism and social theory.

Alex Callinicos

Abstract

The article addresses the divergent responses of the radical Left in Britain and France to the emergence of Muslims as a political subject in the advanced capitalist countries. It takes the case of a recent book by Daniel Bensaïd to illustrate the influence of a secular republican ideology that acts as an obstacle to French Marxists' recognition that assertions of Muslim identity should not simply be dismissed as reactionary but understood as potentially a rejection of the oppression suffered by Muslims in Western societies. The article calls for a recognition of the positive aspects of postcolonial theory and concludes that the Marxist interpretation of religion as a search for an other-worldly solution to real suffering and injustice should be applied consistently to all expressions of faith.

Alex Callinicos