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School of Politics and International Relations

Futures of Socialism

When: Tuesday, July 4, 2023, 6:30 PM - 9:00 PM
Where: Central Hall Westminster, Storey's Gate, London


At this event in the heart of Westminster, Dr Colm Murphy will launch his new book on the 'modernisation' of the Labour Party, Futures of Socialism

The transformation of the Labour Party by 1997 is among the most consequential political developments in modern British history. Rocked by crushing defeats, bitter schisms, and ideological disorientation across the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s, the British left struggled to respond to a succession of existential challenges, including the remorseless pressures of deindustrialisation, the historic threat of neoliberalism, the acceleration of European integration, and the fraught politics of class, gender, race, and democracy. By Tony Blair's landslide election victory, the Labour Party and the wider left were both unrecognisable.

On Tuesday 4 July, the Mile End Institute is delighted to be hosting the launch of our very own Dr Colm Murphy's new book, Futures of Socialism. By reconstructing the institutional, intellectual, and political culture of the British left from the 1970s to the 1990s, this innovative book explores the left's different responses to these severe challenges. Murphy not only uncovers forgotten visions of 'modern socialism' and important roads not taken, but also sheds light on the roots of 'New Labour'. Futures of Socialism provides an essential analysis of social democracy in an era of market liberalism, and of a historic political reconstruction that remains deeply controversial today.

While Oscar Wilde reportedly said that 'the problem with socialism is that it takes too many evenings', the launch of this pioneering work of contemporary history is not to be missed! In addition to hearing from Dr Colm Murphy, we will be joined by a stellar panel to discuss the ideas behind a pivotal historical transformation that still shapes contemporary politics.


This event will be held in the George Thomas Room at the Methodist Central Hall in Westminster. It will be followed by a drinks reception which all attendees are welcome to join us for. There will also be discounted copies of Futures of Socialism available to purchase on the night.

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