Second Thoughts on Capitalism and the State

This collection of essays highlights the need for sociological and political analysis of actual alternatives to capitalism and the existing system of so-called nation states. It challenges the conventional idea that capitalism can be successfully reformed to meet the needs of most people in the world, confronting it with the existential threats posed by the perfect storm of climate change and the Anthropocene, hyper-urbanization, and the Coronavirus pandemic. Written over a period of 50 years, it charts the ways in which capitalism and socialism have evolved as global systems, their successes and failures, to the point that “it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism”. It offers ways forward, community by community.


Leslie Sklair is Emeritus Professor of Sociology at the London School of Economics and Political Science. His work has been translated into more than 10 languages. He is the President of the Global Studies Association, UK, and, in 2016, the Czech Academy awarded him the František Palacký Medal for his contribution to Historical Sciences. His edited book The Anthropocene in Global Media: Neutralizing the Risk (2021) brought together a research team of 45 colleagues from around the world.

“This profoundly reflective book shows a pathway forward for academics and activists alike who are stymied by the disconnect between deep critical scholarship and emancipatory social change, yet who will still not give up the good fight.”
Diane E. Davis
Charles Dyer Norton Professor of Regional Planning and Urbanism, Harvard University

“An unusual combination of previously published articles and Sklair’s “second thoughts” offers a powerful and often insightful dystopian view of transnational capitalism with its obscenely widening inequality, obsessive consumerism, self-destructive Anthropocene, and iconic architecture in inhumane mega-cities. [It is a] must-read tract for the times.”
Michael Mann
Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of California Los Angeles.

“An important collection of essays from one of the most original and unorthodox sociological thinkers of our time.”
William I. Robinson
Distinguished Professor of Sociology, University of California at Santa Barbara

“An accessible and enjoyable collection, offering an impressive introduction to the literatures on several wide-ranging fields. Sklair’s studies succeed in being both authoritative and significant, whilst overcoming the fragmentation bedeviling our era of hyper-specialization.”
Bridget Fowler
Emeritus Professor of Sociology, University of Glasgow

“Viewed in its totality, Second Thoughts brilliantly demonstrates the indispensability of the famous aphorism popularised by Gramsci: ‘pessimism of the intellect, but optimism of the will’.”
Jeffrey Henderson
Professor Emeritus of International Development, University of Bristol

“With generosity and humility, Sklair challenges us to abolish the notion that scholarship can be neutral and to embrace the urgent ethical challenges posed by the Anthropocene.”
Jackie Smith
Professor of Sociology, University of Pittsburgh.

“Original, insightful, and thought provoking, this new collection highlights and expands the relevance of Sklair’s ideas for the twenty-first century.”
John Scott
Emeritus Professor, University of Plymouth, UK

Buy This Book

ISBN: 1-5275-8273-6

ISBN13: 978-1-5275-8273-6

Release Date: 9th May 2022

Pages: 305

Price: £77.99

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