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Ernest Mandel

14 January 2016

Ernest Ezra Mandel, also known by various pseudonyms such as Ernest Germain, Pierre Gousset, Henri Vallin, Walter etc. (b. Frankfurt April 5, 1923 - d. Brussels July 20, 1995), became known as economist, activist and humanist through his important contributions to contemprorary marxist economy and his active participation in a decade of struggles.

In 1982 Ernest Mandel was a central person in the founding of this institute and became its first chairman. He contributed invaluable lectures and studies during his time as chairman and fellow. Besides giving lectures Ernest Mandel have also wirtten two Notebooks for Study and Research (see below). After his death, the institute established the Ernest Mandel Study Centre in his honour.


Ernest Mandel

Until the publication of his massive book Marxist Economic Theory in French in 1962, Mandel's Marxist articles were written mainly under a variety of pseudonyms. He resumed his university studies (cut short by the german occupation of Belgium) and graduated from what is now the École Pratique des Hautes Études in Paris in 1967. Only from 1968 did Mandel become wellknown as public figure and Marxist politician, touring student campuses in Europe and America giving talks on socialism, imperialism and revolution. 

Although officially barred from West Germany (and several other countries at various times, including the United States, France, Switzerland, and Australia), he gained a PhD from the Free University of Berlin in 1972 (where he taught some months), published as Late Capitalism, and he subsequently gained a lecturer position at the Free University of Brussels. In 1978 he delivered the Alfred Marshall Lectures at the University of Cambridge, on the topic of the long waves of capitalist development.

In total, he published approximately 2,000 articles and around 30 books during his life, which were translated into many languages. In addition, he also edited or contributed to many books, maintained a voluminous correspondence, and went on speaking engagements worldwide. He considered it his mission to transmit the heritage of classical Marxist thought, deformed by the experience of Stalinism and the Cold War, to a new generation. And to a large extent he did influence a generation of scholars and activists in their understanding of important Marxist concepts.


His life and work are the specific study of our partnershiporganization The Ernest Mandel Foundation, who are digitalizing severeal articles, books and pamphlets by Mandel, their website can be found here.

Selected bibliography of Ernest Mandel's main books

  • Marxist Economic Theory (2 vols.).
  • The Formation of the Economic Thought of Karl Marx, 1843 to Capital
  • Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory
  • Europe versus America: Contradictions of Imperialism
  • The Second Slump
  • Revolutionary Marxism Today
  • Trotsky: A Study in the Dynamic of his Thought
  • From Stalinism to Eurocommunism
  • Late Capitalism
  • Long Waves of Capitalist Development
  • Introduction to Marxism
  • Delightful Murder: A social history of the crime story
  • De la Commune à Mai 68: Histoire du mouvement ouvrier international
  • Karl Marx: die Aktualitat seines Werkes
  • La Crise
  • The meaning of the Second World War
  • October 1917: Coup d'état or Social Revolution? [Notebook]
  • Trotsky as Alternative
  • Power and Money: A Marxist Theory of Bureaucracy
  • The Place of Marxism in History [Notebook]


Books (co-)edited by Ernest Mandel

  • 50 Years of World Revolution 1917-1967: an International Symposium
  •  Arbeiterkontrolle, Arbeiterrate, Arbeiterselbstverwaltung
  • Ricardo, Marx, Sraffa: the Langston Memorial Volume
  • New Findings in Long-Wave Research


Biography of Ernest Mandel

  • Jan Willem Stutje, Ernest Mandel: Rebel tussen Droom en Daad. Antwerpen: Houtekiet/Amsab, 2007. [In Dutch]
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