Episode 32 – Murray Bookchin, Municipalism, Popular Democracy and Left Politics

In this podcast we discuss the work of Murray Bookchin, relating it to the experiences and debates around municipalism and wider left political practices and theory. With our guests (Blair, Hilary and Kate) we focus the discussion on the recent edited collection of Bookchin’s work: The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso), edited by Debbie Bookchin and Blair Taylor. 

Reflecting, but going beyond, the broad range of topics addressed by Bookchin in the book, we cover a lot of ground, such as the role of the state in left politics, sources of transformative change, ‘reason’, ‘knowledge’ and politics, popular democracy, the new municipalism in Barcelona and municipal socialism in 1980s London.

Blair Taylor

Program director of the Institute for Social Ecology, a popular education center for ecological scholarship and advocacy founded in 1974. He holds a PhD in Political Science from the New School for Social Research, and has written on U.S. social movements, contemporary far-right politics, political ecology, and the history of the left. His work has been featured in Les Temps Modernes, American Studies, and City: analysis of urban trends, culture, theory, policy, action. He is co-editor of the Murray Bookchin anthology The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy (Verso, 2014). He lives outside Seattle, Washington, and is active with West Sound Democratic Socialists of America.

Hilary Wainwright

Co-editor, Red Pepper: www.redpepper.org.uk (if you don’t yet subscribe why not look at the RED PEPPER PAY-AS-YOU-FEEL SUBSCRIPTION? go to the website and click ‘subscribe’ for an unmissable offer) Fellow, Transnational Institute:www.tni.org http://www.tni.uk tel 00447973 215351 Twitter hilarypepper

Kate Shea Baird

Political advisor at the Province of Barcelona. She currently serves on the Executive Committee of Barcelona En Comú, where she is responsible for communication and participation.


The Next Revolution: Popular Assemblies and the Promise of Direct Democracy: https://www.versobooks.com/books/1777-the-next-revolution

Institute for Social Ecology Newsletter: http://social-ecology.org/wp/2020/06/ise-newsletter-spring-summer-2020/