Course offerings: an overview
The subjects studied at the IIRE have also evolved. Present from the beginning, feminist and ecological concerns have gained in importance. More recently issues such as economic globalization, lean production, international financial institutions, and new forms of North-South solidarity have become important focuses.
In addition to our most recent sessions - Globalization schools, Women's Schools, Youth Schools, LGBT Strategy Seminars - specific sessions held at the IIRE in recent years include:
In 1988, for the first time, a full week of a session was devoted to ecology. Activists in this field gathered later at the IIRE for an international ecology seminar.
Latin American Schools
In 1990 we held our first one-month session conducted in Spanish and attended almost exclusively by Latin Americans. These sessions address e.g. problems posed by NAFTA and Mercosur, the changing role of liberation theology and the decline of Latin American populism.
Palestine Solidarity Seminars
In 1990 we held our first one-month School on the Arab Region, in Arabic, addressing such issues as Islamic fundamentalism, the legacy of the Gulf wars and the dynamics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Our work on the Middle East continues in September 2004 with a Palestine Solidarity Seminar, bringing together experienced peace activists from Israel/Palestine, Europe and other parts of the world to discuss recent developments and possible roads to peace.
Eastern European School
This one-month school in 1990 was attended by participants from Poland, East Germany, Hungary and other countries. Discussions of Eastern Europe in transition at later IIRE sessions benefitted considerably from this course.
In 1993 we brought together leaders of social movements from Asia, Africa and Latin America for a one-month session. This and later Third-World Schools have studied in particular changing patterns of world trade, the debt crisis, the role of national minorities and trans-border disputes, and the US role in the Third World since 1989.
Title: Take the Power to Change the World
Date: Sunday 5 August, 5 pm Amsterdam, 4 pm London, 11 am Eastern, 8 am pacific.
Location: Skypecast, via Internet. ONLY CYBERSPACE!
Take the Power to Change the World, is the latest IIRE publication, published jointly with Resistance Books in Britain.
The Bourgeois RevolutionsRobert Lochhead
IIRE Notebook for Study and Research no. 11/12 (72pp. €6, £3.75, $6)
The current political relevance of the history of past revolutions is revealed in the ongoing polemics over the meaning of the French revolution of 1789 and the English revolution of 1640-60. The comparative study of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century revolutions is also indispensable to analyzing the particularities of the various Western European states to which these revolutions gave birth. It is a necessary reference point, finally, for the study of revolutions in the Third World. The idea that they were 'bourgeois revolutions' is central to the Marxist analysis of contemporary society. Robert Lochhead's study presents their general features and examines two case studies (the Low Countries and England) in depth to illustrate the complexity of the classes, parties and leaders who made these revolutions. It concludes with an overview of various interpretations of the nature of these revolutions, showing the diversity of the Marxist tradition in this regard.
Robert Lochhead was born in 1950 in Bern, Switzerland. He teaches biology and has been an activist in the public services union and a city councillor elected on the Socialist Alternative/Green slate in Nyon, Switzerland. He is the author of many articles published in the newspaper La Brèche, notably on ecology.
To download this book in PDF-format, use the following links:
The Formative Years of the Fourth International (1933-38)Daniel Bensaïd
IIRE Notebook for Study and Research no. 9 (48 pp. €2.75, £2, $3.25)
A new problem was posed to the movement for socialist democracy in the 1930s. To its fight against capitalism, it now had to add a fight against Stalinist bureaucracy in the USSR. In The Formative Years of the Fourth International, Daniel Bensaïd outlines the arguments that led part of this movement to found an independent international organization. He unravels the historical reasons, conjunctural prognoses and organizational choices behind the decision, showing in particular that the foundation of the Fourth International in 1938 concluded a prolonged attempt to regroup many anti-Stalinist, anti-fascist and anti-imperialist currents, beginning in 1933. Due to the concrete conditions of the 1930s, however, the regroupment failed to broaden the Fourth Internationalist current significantly.
Daniel Bensaïd was born in 1946. He was active in the French student and anti-imperialist movements that led up to May 1968. Drawing the lessons of the failure of the general strike, he emerged as one of the main advocates of building an independent radical left. He is an IIRE Fellow and teaches sociology at the University of Paris. His many published works include: Portugal: la révolution en marche (1975), Mai si! rebelles et repentis (with Alain Krivine, 1988), Le pari mélancolique (1997) and Les irréductibles: théorèmes de la résistance à l'air du temps (2001).