From the Streets to the State

Changing the World by Taking Power

Edited by Paul Christopher Gray

Subjects: Political Science, Public Policy, Social And Cultural History, Women's Studies, Criminology
Series: SUNY series in New Political Science
Hardcover : 9781438470290, 292 pages, July 2018
Paperback : 9781438470283, 292 pages, January 2019

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Table of contents

Part I: Changing the World . . . and Ourselves: The Radical Left and the Problems of State Power

1. From the Streets to the State: A Critical Introduction
Paul Christopher Gray

2. D emocratizing the Party and the State: Transcending the Limits of the Left
Leo Panitch

Part II: Confronting Leviathan: Parties, Social Movements, and the Capitalist State

3. Building “Parties of a New Type”: A Comparative Analysis of New Radical Left Parties in Western Europe
Xavier Lafrance and Catarina Príncipe

4. Watching Over the Right to Turn Left: The Limits of State Autonomy in Pink Tide Venezuela and Ecuador
Thomas Chiasson-LeBel

5. Casting Shadows: Chokwe Lumumba and the Struggle for Racial Justice and Economic Democracy in Jackson, Mississippi
Kali Akuno

6. T he Radical Democracy of the People’s Democratic Party: Transforming the Turkish State
Erdem Yörük

7. T oward a Radical Politics of Rights: Lessons about Legal Leveraging and Its Limitations
Michael McCann and George I. Lovell

Part III: In, against, and beyond the Behemoth: Projects for “Democratic Administration”

8. Market Failures, Failing States: Challenges for Democratization Projects
Greg Albo

9. Forging a “Social Knowledge Economy”: Transformative Collaborations between Radical Left
Governments, State Workers, and Solidarity Economies
Hilary Wainwright

10. Femocratic Administration and the Politics of Transformation
Tammy Findlay

11. Beyond Service, beyond Coercion? Prisoner Co‑ops and the Path to Democratic Administration
Greg McElligott


Blends academic and activist perspectives to explore recent emancipatory struggles to win and transform state power.


For decades, emancipatory struggles have been deeply influenced by the slogan "Change the world without taking power. " Amid growing social inequalities and the return of right-wing authoritarianism, however, many now recognize the limits of disengaging from government and the state. From the Streets to the State chronicles many diverse and exciting projects to not only take state power but to fundamentally change it. A blend of scholars and activists explore issues like the nonsectarian relationships between new radical left parties, egalitarian social movements, and labor movements in Greece, Germany, Spain, Portugal, and Turkey. Contributors discuss municipal campaigns based in popular assemblies, solidarity economies, and independent political organizations fighting for racial, gender, and economic justice in cities such as Jackson, Vancouver, and Newcastle. This volume also studies the lessons learned from the Pink Tide in Latin America as well as the social movements of racialized and gendered workers transforming human rights across the United States. Finally, the book offers case studies from around the world surveying the role of state workers and public sector unions in radically democratizing public administration through coalitions between the providers and users of public services.

Paul Christopher Gray teaches political science and labor studies at Brock University, Canada.