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IIRE Fellows are busy: addressing the UN, writing new books & explaining history

4 November 2010

The IIRE's latest newsletter spotlights some impresisve accomplishments by the Institute's fellows. The lastest Asian edition of the Global Justice School (GJS), and the Youth School in Amsterdam are also reported. The newslatter also highlights the plans for our upcoming GJS in Amsterdam and other developments. The IIRE's successful contribution to the European Social Forum, also reported in this issue, is one of the reasons why we are extending our fundraising partnership with the SOWS, a Dutch foundation for scientific research.


News from Fellows

New book from Cinzia Arruza
Cinzia Arruzza, Member of the IIRE Board and Assistant Professor in Philisophy at the New School for Social Research in New York, has written a short overview of the relations between the Marxist and feminist movement in practice and theory from the nineteenth century to the present day. Entitled Le relazioni pericolose, Matrimoni e divorzi tra marxismo e femminismo (Dangerous relationships: Marriage and divorces between Marxism and feminism), this book has already been translated into Spanish and Portuguese, German and Turkish translations are under way and an English edition is planned for publication by the IIRE in 2011. For a brief review read more here

Eric Toussaint speech at the UN General Assembly
“Despite the fact that the millennium goals are exceedingly modest, they will not even be achieved”, said IIRE Fellow Eric Toussaint in a speech given at the special General Assembly session of the United Nations in New York on 15 September 2010. In his speech, Eric Toussaint fires a convincing broadside against the policies of the World Bank and IMF, which he considers to be at the root of the crisis, since they have weakened the countries that have accepted such policies. These policies have been based on dogmas about development through debt, free trade and market access. In closing his speech, Toussaint outlines a number of concrete alternative policy proposals, which can be implemented either by the international community or by sovereign states. Read or see Eric Toussaint’s entire speech here

Pierre Rousset on the crisis in Thailand
The violent repression against the Red Shirts is a declaration of war from the elite against all sectors of opposition, according to Asia specialist and IIRE Fellow Pierre Rousset co-writing with Danielle Sabaï. In their article, Rousset and Sabaï argue that the future of Thailand is very uncertain and that the stakes are very high. The country has undergone several deep crises concerning the role of the army and the royal family, divisions within the bourgeoisie, class relations and integration into the world economy. The current crisis is, according to Rousset and Sabaï, about redefining the political regime. Thai activists and the Red Shirts deserve our political solidarity in their struggle against a repressive regime, which is supported by the US and to a lesser extent by Europe. Read more here (French only)

Arabs and the Holocaust
IIRE Fellow Gilbert Achcar’s book The Arabs and the Holocaust, originally published in French, has now appeared in an English translation*. It has received favourable reviews, including one in the 14–20 August issue of the Economist, a mainstream publication that usually promotes the establishment. The review concludes by characterising the book as “a refreshing and original study, showing clearly that Muslim anti-Semitism is neither universal, nor inevitable, nor subject to pat explanations”. Achcar has been invited to present his book at a number of venues in London, including one organised by the Jewish Socialist Group. *The Arabs and the Holocaust: The Arab-Israeli War of Narratives, Saqi Books, London Read more here

Succesful second Asian Global Justice School

Hosting education sessions and research projects for its third year now, IIRE Manila hosted a succesful second Asian Global Justice School on 2 – 21 August.

With participants from Bangladesh, Indonesia, Japan, the Netherlands, the Philippines, Sri Lanka and Pakistan, and from a wide array of leftist traditions, this session was broader than last year geographically as well also politically. The participants came from a variety of revolutionary organisations and parties with different traditions, engaging in different areas of national struggle. Some were peasant organisers, labour and women’s activists while others worked on rural issues or conflict areas.

Covering 16 key topics, the school was inspiring and rich in content, consolidating progressive ideas and putting the pieces of world’s problems together into alternative perspectives and posing socialist solutions. Among the speakers at this year’s school were the renowned Filipino sociologist, and founding director of Focus on the Global South, Walden Bello.

Topics at the school were broken into three categories: the Asian context of the struggle in the the global political and economic situation, the movement of struggle, and organising for change.

Youth School: Young activists reflect and learn

“This was a unique opportunity to take the time to reflect. I have learned enormously in a short time.” That was the final evaluation of one of the 22 participants in the Youth School at the IIRE in Amsterdam. The annual 10-day residential school provides young activists with an introduction to critical social theory, and is a unique meeting point for activists from around the world. This year’s school, conducted in English, French and Spanish, had participation from Belgium, Brazil, Denmark, France, Morocco, the Philippines, Spain and Sweden. The school covered a variety of topics including the economic crisis, women’s oppression and current, strategic debates in Latin America. A new topic this year touched upon the rising far right and Islamophobia in Europe; the young scholar Miguel Urban (Madrid) gave a well-informed talk about current developments in the new far right. The IIRE team would like to thank the interpreters, lecturers and other volunteers who made the school possible. All talks at the school were recorded and can be downloaded here

The IIRE at the European Social Forum

The IIRE was present at the sixth European Social Forum (ESF) in Istanbul on 1–4 July. The IIRE sponsored a seminar on the Economic crisis and had its own stand, which served as a meeting point for networking at this, the most significant gathering of social activists in Europe. IIRE Executive Co-director Bertil Videt gave a talk on anti-capitalist answers to the crisis. He argued that liberal ideology has lost much legitimacy and that the economic crisis is turning into a political crisis. There is, however, a decline in social resistance, partly linked to the reconfiguration of the division of labour, which makes organisation at the workplace more difficult. This raises the necessity of building new alliances and linking the economic crisis to the climate crisis. Since 2002, the ESF has been an open space where civil society groups and movements opposed to neo-liberalism and imperialism come together to pursue their thinking, to debate ideas democratically, to formulate proposals, to share their experiences freely and to network for effective action. All publications on the IIRE stand were sold out.

Appeal for donations for the Global Justice School, Amsterdam


The Global Justice School in August in Manila was a real success, partly thanks to the €2,000 of donations we were able to send to the organisers in Manila. The money was spent mainly on travel expenses for participants from Asia. This leaves us with €1,000 to finance the school in Amsterdam, where we are expecting participants from Asia, Africa and Latin America. We are now calling for donations from friends, sympathising and sympathetic organisations to help us ease the travel expenses of participants from the South.
Donations can be paid online here.

Bank transfers (free within the European Union) can be made to:

Address: Postbus 1962
1000 BZ Amsterdam
Account number: 1039161 (name of bank: ING)
IBAN: NL55INGB0001039161

Thank you so much for your support!

Global Justice School in Amsterdam, November-December


Preparations for the Global Justice School in Amsterdam are in full swing. Participants from countries of the Global South and Europe are signing in. The programme has been finalised and all lecturers have been confirmed.
This school is divided into three modules: the Global economic crisis, the Ecological and climate crisis, and Strategies for change. The active and collective involvement of all participants in discussions and exchanges, as well as in collective life at the Institute, always make this school a unique experience.
Potential participants can contact for more information. The maximum number of participants is 25. Taking part in only one or two of the three modules is also possible. Participants needing visas should be aware of the likely long delays and contact the IIRE about this as soon as possible.

News from the Library

The IIRE is pleased to announce that it has received a generous donation of the complete Karl Marx-Friedrich Engels Gesamtausgabe (MEGA) collection. This scientific edition (in German) of the works of Marx and Engels will be a great help for many scholars visiting our Institute. We have also received a number of books that will be available on our second-hand book shelves. Other donations include:
– Peter Thomson, Glendyr Sacks (ed.) The Cambridge Companion to Brecht (Cambridge 1994)
– Gundula Ludwig, Tom Pappritz (ed.) Liebes Verhältnisse (Berlin 2007)
– Darko Suvin, Pour une Poétique de la Science-Fiction (Montréal 1977)

We are grateful to sympathisers who make donations to our library.

Trotsky on MP3

IIRE Treasurer and Commission member Joost Kircz digitalised one of Leon Trotsky’s speeches in English, in three parts. In this very special recording, the anti-Stalinist Bolshevik leader speaks about the Left Opposition, human progress and revolution. You can listen to the recording direct from our MP3 site.
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3

Farewell Camarada General

IIRE staff were saddened to receive the news that General Alberto Müller Rojas passed away on 14 August this year. Vice President of the United Socialist Party of Venezuela (PSUV), Müller Rojas (1935) started his military career at the age of 15 and as a dedicated socialist became a central figure in the ideological formation of the Bolivarian Revolution. In June 2008, the General visited the IIRE, donated some books to our library and shared some time with co-directors Bertil Videt and Antonio Carmona Báez. The IIRE salutes General Alberto Müller Rojas’ family, friends and those who in his country came to know his very human example.

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