Amidst this era of political chaos, marked by the convergence of multiple economic, political, health and ecological crisis, the question of political organisation has come back as a matter of great urgency. The sheer scale of the challenges we face makes the basic logic of all forms of organisation - namely uniting the force of individuals in pursuit of a collective cause – key to the major mobilisation efforts that are required to address contemporary social problems.
When the hope for something else and better perishes, the alternative dies with it [...]. However, belief is necessarily accompanied by doubt. Without doubt belief turns into conviction and blindness. Conversely, without belief doubts very easily develop into cynicism and dejection. The alternative thinker, writer, speaker and practitioner is one who is full of faith but far from faithful. (Schreven et al., 2008: 136)
Since the decline of classical Marxist theory and the concomitant proliferation of ‘new social movements’ from 1968 and onwards, two opposing lines of thought have dominated leftist thinking: One that could be called ‘horizontalist’ and one that could be called ‘verticalist’ (Prentoulis and Thomassen, 2013). While both lines of thought identify with the label of post-Marxism – sometimes even without apologies – their approaches to radical politics differ profoundly.
Issue Editors: Emil Husted, Martin Fredriksson, Mona Moufahim, and Justine Grønbæk Pors
Most contemporary analyses resist studying parties for what they obviously are: organizations. (Panebianco, 1988: 3).
As an organizational species, political parties seem to face impending extinction. No matter what yardstick we use to measure their vitality, political parties currently display an undeniable image of terminal crisis. Party membership is approaching rock bottom in most corners of the world, particularly in countries like France and the UK where less than two percent of the population are registered as rank and file (van Biezen et al., 2012). Similarly, voter turnout has plummeted worldwide since the middle of the twentieth century, currently reaching a level well below 70 percent (Solijonov, 2016). Voters' tendency to identify with specific parties is likewise declining due to the reconfiguration of class-consciousness and the emergence of more ‘liquid loyalties’ in the electorate (Ignazi, 2017:... more