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Book Launch: The 1% and the Rest of Us

Peter Thomas, ‘Revolutions, Passive and Permanent’

by Adam David Morton on May 13, 2015

Peter Thomas (Brunel University), ‘Revolutions, Passive and Permanent’

This is the sixth and final seminar in the series for Semester 1, organised by the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney.

Peter Thomas, author of the prize-winning The Gramscian Moment, will reflect further on the political theory and practice of the Gramsci-Trotsky question.


This paper will explore similarities and divergences between the notions of passive and permanent revolution in the work of Antonio Gramsci and Leon Trotsky. Although Gramsci himself explicitly rejected Trotsky’s notion of permanent revolution as a reversion to a strategy of ‘war of movement’, he also claimed that his development of the theory of hegemony could be regarded as a contemporary form of Marx and Engels’s notion of the ‘Revolution in Permanence’. The paper will analyse the similarities and differences of the two seemingly divergent claims to inherit a central perspective of the classical Marxist tradition, and will argue that thinking the concepts of passive and permanent revolution together enables us to clarify and to make explicit dimensions that remain underdeveloped in each theorist’s respective work.

Date and Location:

28 May 2015, New Law Seminar Room 020, 4:00pm – 5.30pm

All welcome!


Adam David Morton
Adam David Morton is Professor of Political Economy in the Department of Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He is author of Unravelling Gramsci: Hegemony and Passive Revolution in the Global Political Economy (2007); Revolution and State in Modern Mexico: The Political Economy of Uneven Development (2011), recipient of the 2012 Book Prize of the British International Studies Association (BISA) International Political Economy Group (IPEG); and co-author of Global Capitalism, Global War, Global Crisis (2018) with Andreas Bieler. He co-edits Progress in Political Economy (PPE) with Gareth Bryant that was the recipient of the 2017 International Studies Association (ISA) Online Media Caucus Award for the Best Blog (Group) and the 2018 International Studies Association (ISA) Online Media Caucus Award for Special Achievement in International Studies Online Media.

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