Socialism has made a dramatic comeback in the 21st century. In the wake of financial crisis, mounting inequality and social decay, it seems more relevant than ever. Nobody who seeks to understand contemporary politics can ignore it.
In this book, leading scholar Peter Lamb identifies the key ideas and principles of socialism and explores different (often conflicting) interpretations that have appeared in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Americas, from the early nineteenth century until today. He explores the different ways that socialist thinkers have conceptualised community, equality and liberty and shows how, despite overlap with other traditions, socialists have combined these ideas in common and distinct ways that make the socialist tradition uniquely valuable. Lamb goes on to trace the recent re-emergence of these ideas, and explain what will be required for such a revival to be popular, powerful and sustained.
This book will be invaluable to any student or scholar interested in political theory, socialism, communism or political ideologies, as well as to general readers striving to understand contemporary politics throughout the world.

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  • December 2019
  • 148 pages
  • 143 x 219 mm / 6 x 9 in
Available Formats
  • Hardback $59.95
  • 9781509531608
  • Paperback $19.95
  • 9781509531615
  • Open eBook $9.99
  • 9781509531639
Table of Contents


1. Introduction

2. Freedom, equality and community

3. The state and economy

4. Political and social change

5. Blueprints for a Socialist Society

6. Conclusion
About the Author
Peter Lamb is Associate Professor of Politics and International Relations at Staffordshire University
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‘Peter Lamb's Socialism is an excellent overview of how the socialist idea has evolved and been applied in the modern era.  Clearly written and thematically organized, the book's global perspective provides general readers as well as specialists with food for thought about socialism's past and its prospects for the future.’
William Smaldone, Williamette University

 ‘Well-researched and accessible, the great strength of this book is the judicious balance it strikes between demonstrating the diversity of the socialist tradition while also insisting on its fundamental coherence.  Particularly impressive is the nuanced consideration of associational and democratic strands too often confined to the margins.’
Madeleine Davis, Queen Mary, University of London

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