Left Populism in Europe: Lessons From Jeremy Corbyn to Podemos

with author Marina Prentoulis

joined in conversation with Populism European editor  David Broder

This book evaluates the transformational process of left populism across grassroots, national and European levels and asks what we can do to harness the power of broad-based, popular left politics. While the right is using populist rhetoric to great effect, the left’s attempts have been much less successful. Syriza in Greece and Jeremy Corbyn’s Labor Party in Britain have both failed to introduce socialism in their countries, while Podemos has had better fortune in Spain and is now in government with the Spanish Socialist Workers’ Party.

Bringing a wealth of experience in political organizing, Marina Prentoulis argues that left populism is a political logic that brings together isolated demands against a common enemy. She looks at how egalitarian pluralism could transform economic and political institutions in a radical, democratic direction.

But each party does this differently, and the key to understanding where to go from here lies in a serious analysis of the roots of each movement’s base, the forms of party organization, and the particular national contexts. This book is a clear and holistic approach to left populism that will inform anyone wanting to understand and move forward positively during this bleak time for the left in Europe.

“It’s been a dramatic decade for left-wing political projects in Greece, Spain, and the UK. Through personal experience, a wealth of interviews and analysis, Prentoulis pulls together an assessment which is vital for anyone who wants to understand the post-crash upsurge of radical politics in Europe.”  —Nick Dearden, Director of Global Justice Now

“Rigorously reflecting on the choreography of contemporary left-wing experiments flirting with left populism in crisis-ridden Europe, Prentoulis offers a challenging first assessment of its political advances, limitations and potential for left strategy.” —Yannis Stavrakakis, Professor at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece

Marina Prentoulis is Associate Professor in Politics and Media at the University of East Anglia. She has been the UK spokesperson of Syriza and has given numerous interviews on British and International media including BBC’s Newsnight and the Andrew Marr Show as well as CNN and Sky News.

David Broder is a Rome-based writer and translator. He is the European editor for Jacobin and regularly writes with a focus on Italy, including in the journal Internazionale. David is also the author of First They Took Rome: How the Populist Right Conquered Italy (Verso).


Books will be available on June 24.

All events are sliding scale. No one is denied participation for inability to pay. Events and classes are free for those who write to info@marxedproject.org


The Last Years of Karl Marx: A new reading group

An Intellectual Biography by Marcello Musto

an eight-week reading and discussion group with The Capital Studies Group of The MEP

In the last years of his life, Karl Marx expanded his research in new directions—studying recent anthropological discoveries, analyzing communal forms of ownership in pre-capitalist societies, supporting the populist movement in Russia, and expressing critiques of colonial oppression in India, Ireland, Algeria, and Egypt. Between 1881 and 1883, he also traveled beyond Europe for the first and only time. Focusing on these last years of Marx’s life, this book dispels two key misrepresentations of his work: that Marx ceased to write late in life, and that he was a Eurocentric and economic thinker fixated on class conflict alone.

With The Last Years of Karl Marx, Marcello Musto claims a renewed relevance for the late work of Marx, highlighting unpublished or previously neglected writings, many of which remain unavailable in English. Readers are invited to reconsider Marx’s critique of European colonialism, his ideas on non-Western societies, and his theories on the possibility of revolution in non-capitalist countries. From Marx’s late manuscripts, notebooks, and letters emerge an author markedly different from the one represented by many of his contemporary critics and followers alike.

MARCELLO MUSTO is Associate Professor of Sociology at York University. His most recent books are Another Marx: Early Manuscripts to the International (2018) and, as editor, The Marx Revival: Key Concepts and New Critical Interpretations (2020).

All events and classes at The MEP are sliding scale. In addition, no one is every denied participation because of inability to pay. If you are unable to contribute to offset our costs at this time, please write to info@marxedproject to receive codes for entrance to this session or any other activity you would like to attend.

The special book and class offers are for US and Puerto Rico only as the books are sent via Media Mail with the US Post Office.