Alex Callinicos bigraphy, stories - Critics

Alex Callinicos : biography

24 July 1950 -

Alexander Theodore Callinicos (born 24 July 1950) is a Zimbabwean-British political theorist and activist. In an academic capacity, he serves as Professor of European Studies at King's College London. An adherent of Trotskyism, he is a member of the Central Committee of the Socialist Workers Party (SWP) and serves as its International Secretary. He is also editor of International Socialism, the SWP's theoretical journal, and has published a variety of books.


Callinicos is a descendant, through his mother, of the 19th century English historian Lord Acton. During World War II his Greek father was active in the Greek Resistance to Nazi occupation, whilst his mother, the Hon. Ædgyth Bertha Milburg Mary Antonia Frances Lyon-Dalberg-Acton, was the daughter of the 2nd Lord Acton. He was educated at St George's College, Salisbury (now Harare).

Callinicos himself first became involved in revolutionary politics as a student at Balliol College, Oxford, from which he received his BA and where he knew Christopher Hitchens. His first writings for the IS were an analysis of the student movement of the period. In 1977, Callinicos married Joanna Seddon, a fellow Oxford doctoral student. He received his DPhil at Oxford. His early writings focused on southern Africa and the French structuralist-Marxist philosopher Louis Althusser.

Callinicos participated in the Counter-Summit to the IMF/World Bank Meeting in Prague, September 2000 and the demonstration against the G8 in Genoa, June 2001. He has also been involved in organising the Social Forum movement in Europe. He was a contributor to Dictionnaire Marx Contemporain (2001),J. Bidet and E. Kouvelakis, eds., Dictionnaire Marx Contemporain Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 2001 and has written articles in New Left Review.

He was Professor of Politics at the University of York before being appointed Professor of European Studies at King's College London in September 2005. He succeeded the late Chris Harman as editor of International Socialism in January 2010 and is a British correspondent for Actuel Marx. Callinicos joined the central committee of the SWP in the late 1970s; he retains this position.

In January 2013, in the context of an serious internal crisis in the SWP associated with the party's response to an allegation of rape against a leading member of the party and with the demand for changes to the existing form of the system of democratic centralism within the SWP, he wrote a defence of Leninism and 'Democratic Centralism'. Callinicos disagreed with those who argued for the need to change the existing system.Alex Callinicos Socialist Review, February 2013, posted on 28 January 2013

Callinicos has taken a prominent position in the arguments about another issue which has divided the Socialist Workers Party (SWP), the use of the internet in disagreements concerning internal and confidential party issues. He has complained about "the dark side of the Internet" in which individuals have "used blogs and social media to launch a campaign within the SWP". Callinicos referred to the SWP rape case as a "difficult disciplinary case" shortly after the party's January 2013 annual conference, a comment for which socialist feminist Laurie Penny thought he had managed "to mistake a plea for some basic respect for women's sexual autonomy as an attempt to undermine the revolution from within."Laurie Penny , The Guardian, 12 March 2013

In order to disentangle the Historical Materialism conference in Delhi from the SWP crisis, his invitation to a conference in Delhi was withdrawn in March 2013.Hugh Muir , The Guardian, 27 March 2013



  • 1976: Althusser's Marxism (London: Pluto Press) ISBN 0-904383-02-4
  • 1977: Southern Africa after Soweto (with John Rogers) (London: Pluto Press), ISBN 0-904383-42-3
  • 1981: Southern Africa after Zimbabwe (London: Pluto) ISBN 0-86104-336-7
  • 1982: Is there a future for Marxism? (London: Macmillan). ISBN 0-333-28477-1
  • 1983: Marxism and Philosophy (Oxford Paperbacks) (Oxford: Clarendon). ISBN 0-19-876126-0
  • 1983: (London: Bookmarks). ISBN 0-906224-09-8
  • 1985: South Africa: the Road to Revolution (Toronto: International Socialists). ISBN 0-905998-55-3
  • 1985: The Great Strike : the miners’ strike of 1984-5 and its lessons (London: Socialist Worker) ISBN 0-905998-50-2
  • 1986: The Revolutionary Road to Socialism (London: Socialist Workers Party). ISBN 0-905998-53-7
  • 1987: The Changing Working Class: Essays on Class Structure Today (with Chris Harman) (London: Bookmarks) ISBN 0-906224-40-3
  • 1988: South Africa Between Reform and Revolution (London: Bookmarks). ISBN 0-906224-46-2
  • 1988: Making History: Agency, Structure, and Change in Social Theory (Ithaca, N.Y.: Cornell University Press). ISBN 0-8014-2121-7
  • 1989: Marxist Theory (editor) (Oxford: Oxford University Press). ISBN 0-19-827294-4
  • 1990: (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press). ISBN 0-8166-1904-2
  • 1991: The Revenge of History: Marxism and the East European Revolutions ISBN 0-271-00767-2
  • 1991: Against Postmodernism: a Marxist critique (Cambridge: Polity Press). ISBN 0-312-04224-8
  • 1992: Between Apartheid and Capitalism: conversations with South African socialists (editor) (London: Bookmarks). ISBN 0-906224-68-3
  • 1994: Marxism and the New Imperialism (London ; Chicago, Ill. : Bookmarks). ISBN 0-906224-81-0
  • 1995: Theories and Narratives (Cambridge: Polity Press). ISBN 0-7456-1201-6
  • 1995: Race and Class (London: Bookmark Publications). ISBN 0-906224-83-7
  • 1995: Socialists in the trade unions (London: Bookmarks) ISBN 1-898876-01-0
  • 1999: Social Theory: Historical Introduction (New York: New York University Press). ISBN 0-8147-1593-1
  • 2000: Equality (Themes for the 21st Century) (Cambridge: Polity Press). ISBN 0-7456-2324-7
  • 2002: Against the Third Way (Cambridge: Polity Press). ISBN 0-7456-2674-2
  • 2003: An anti-Capitalist manifesto (Cambridge: Polity Press). ISBN 0-7456-2903-2
  • 2003: New Mandarins of American Power: the Bush administration’s plans for the world (Cambridge: Polity Press). ISBN 0-7456-3274-2
  • 2006: The Resources of Critique (Cambridge: Polity). ISBN 0-7456-3160-6
  • 2009: Imperialism and Global Political Economy (Cambridge, Polity). ISBN 0-7456-4045-1
  • 2010: Bonfire of Illusions: The Twin Crises of the Liberal World (Polity). ISBN 0-7456-4876-2
  • 2012: The Revolutionary Ideas of Karl Marx (Haymarket) ISBN 978-1-6084-6138-7


  • (1983)
  • , International Socialism, 108, Autumn 2005.
  • , International Socialism, 120, Autumn 2008.
  • Callinicos A. (2007), , Cambridge Review of International Affairs, 20(4), pp. 533–549.
Living octopus

Living octopus

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