Through the years, the IIRE has used different venues to develop and diffuse left-wing ideas. Aside from our courses, an important pillar of our work is our publication program. We have published over 50 issues of our Notebooks for Study and Research, currently in cooperation with left-wing publisher Merlin Press. We have also produced Working Papers: working documents that often form the basis of future publications and serve to stimulate discussion for newer drafts. A third outlet is our website on which we publish audio- and video-recordings of our courses.

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Notebooks for Study and Research

The results of the IIRE's work are made available to a larger public in large part through our publication series, the Notebooks for Study and Research. Since 1986 we have published dozens of issues of the Notebooks. The Notebooks focus on themes of contemporary debate or historical or theoretical importance, sometimes based on lectures given in sessions in our Institute. Since 1998 they were published as a book series in collaboration with Pluto Press in London and since 2010 in cooperation with Merlin Press. Different issues of the Notebooks have also appeared in languages besides English, including French, German, Dutch, Arabic, Spanish, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Turkish, Swedish, Danish and Russian.

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Working papers

The Working Papers of the IIRE are designed to announce works in progress and circulate early drafts and materials, an important stage in preparing them for possible later publication – whether as a Notebook for Study and Research, one or several articles in a magazine, a book, etc. They represent in particular reworked transcripts of oral educational reports.

The circulation of the WPIIRE is deliberately limited and may vary depending on the topic at hand. Their main purpose is to help the author by stimulating comments, suggestions and criticisms. These may concern the content as well as the form, the sources as well as the analysis. We hope the WPIIRE will enhance international exchanges and contribute to a better collectivization of current theoretical, historical and political thinking.

The studies presented in this format generally retain an unfinished character. They are circulated to insure some exchange prior to completion and possible publication. It is therefore requested that they not be quoted or referred to in public without the formal authorization of the author.

All Working Papers are available in PDF.

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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)

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 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).

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Market, Plan and Democracy:

The Experience of the So-Called Socialist Countries

Catherine Samary

IIRE Notebook for Study and Research no. 7/8 (64pp. €2.75, £2, $3.25)

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 The collapse of the USSR highlighted the dead-end of the sort of planning practised under Stalin, Khrushchev and Brezhnev. But is the only alternative to bureaucratically planned 'command economies' the 'free market'. Rejecting this false choice, Catherine Samary explains that the debate is meaningless unless it is linked to the goal of emancipation. 'We must reject not only dogma', she writes, 'but also the intellectual terrorism that would have its totally acritical view of the market pass for creative innovation; we must lift the veil on both the market (whether dubbed "socialist" or not) and the bureaucratic plan, and expose every exploitative and oppressive social relation associated with them.' Plan, Market and Economy explains convincingly why every attempt to reform East Bloc economies by adding doses of the market or self-management ultimately failed, and why Samary believes that thorough-going economic democracy remains a real alternative.

Catherine Samary is an economist, specialist on Balkans and Eastern Europe. She has been active in several internationalist associations since the sixties. Founding member of Espaces Marx and member of the scientific council of the French association ATTAC. She teaches at the Université Paris-Dauphine, where she is also involved as researcher in the IRISSO (Inter-disciplinary Institute of Research in Social Sciences) ; she is also associated to the Institut d'Etudes Européennes at Université Paris 8 where she makes lectures on Eastward enlargement of the European Union. An IIRE Fellow, Samary is also the author of no.19/20 The Fragmentation of Yugoslavia - An OverviewBesides her studies on Yugoslavia, she does ongoing research on the (ex-) Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, and theoretical and historical questions concerning transitional economies and societies.

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Populism in Latin America

Adolfo Gilly, Helena Hirata, Michael Löwy , Carlos Vilas and the PRT (Argentina)

IIRE Notebook for Study and Research no. 6 (40 pp. €3.25, £2, $3.25)

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 In most Latin American countries, workers have not formed independent political parties and trade unions. During much of the twentieth century large sections of the worker and peasant masses remained attached to populist parties, which at one point governed half the countries of the continent. But populist regimes' vulnerability to military coups, their inability to stop the drain of the foreign debt and the collapse of the 'economic miracles' they had presided over shook their power in one country after another. Many populist parties have subsequently sought closer links with the Socialist International. What kind of future is open to these parties in or after the triumph of democracy and neoliberalism in Latin America? The essays in Populism in Latin America analyze what made populism attractive and made its rule possible in three main countries of Latin America, and provide a basis for considering its future.

Adolfo Gilly is author of The Mexican Revolution, widely acclaimed as a major Marxist historical work. Helena Hirata is a Marxist sociologist and member of the Brazilian Workers Party. Michael Löwy is director of research in sociology at France's National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) and an IIRE Fellow. Carlos M. Vilas is an independent Argentinian Marxist and former economic adviser to the Nicaraguan Sandinista government. The Argentinian PRT (Revolutionary Workers Party) pamphlet was written in 1972-73, at a time when the party was led by people like Roberto Santucho and Daniel Pereyra and embodied their generation's identification with the Cuban revolution.



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Class Struggle and Technological Innovation in Japan since 1945

Muto Ichiyo

IIRE Notebook for Study and Research no. 5 (48 pp. €2.75, £2, $3.25)

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In the 1980s, free enterprise ideologues often presented Japan as a model of social harmony and economic dynamism. The essays included in this Notebook describe the real situation of postwar Japanese workers and unravel the mechanisms of the apparent Japanese consensus, in many cases akin to authoritarian suppression of independent thinking. Moto Ichiyo explains how the strategic choices made by the labour movement in the 1950s and '60s laid the basis for the later rightward shift. In the framework of a Marxist analysis, he deals in original and dialectical fashion with the changing relations between the US and Japan, the links between the Liberal Democratic Party and the masses, and the effects of Japanese-style rationalization (gorika) on workers' power on the shop floor.

Moto Ichiyo is a collaborator of the English-language periodical AMPO: Japan-Asia Quarterly. As both participant in and witness of the rise, decline and crisis of the Japanese New Left, he has written many articles about the situation in Japan: the politics of the regime, various popular struggles and the labour movement.


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Revolutionary Strategy Today

Daniel Bensaïd

IIRE Notebook for Study and Research no. 4 (36 pp. €3.25, £2, $3.25)

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 Since the rise of capitalism, socialists have faced certain deep-seated obstacles: the hostility of the bourgeois state, the fitful curve of proletarian class-consciousness, and the inertia or active opposition of apparatuses originally built by the workers for struggle. Daniel Bensaïd reviews the answers to these problems given in the 'classical' period of the Marxist movement. He then examines them in light of events in Southern Europe and Latin America in the 1960s and 1970s, including the growth and diversification of the state, growing aspirations to self-management, multiple forms of dual power and the experience of left reformist governments.

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 taught sociology at the University of Paris and was an IIRE Fellow until his death in 2010. 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) and Strategies of Resistance (2009).


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The Chinese Revolution

I: The Second Chinese Revolution and the shaping of the Maoist Outlook

II: The Maoist Project Tested in the Struggle for Power

Pierre Rousset


IIRE Notebook for Study and Research no. 2 (32 pp. €1.75, £1.50, $2.25) & no. 3 (48 pp. €2.75, £2, $3.25)

The Chinese revolution of 1949 was one of the most important experiences in the history of twentieth-century national liberation movements. It triggered wide-ranging debates among, and often inside, revolutionary currents around the world. The Chinese regime's turn towards the market since the death of Mao Zedong make it all the more important to understand the revolution's distinctive origins and strange destiny. The first part of Pierre Rousset's study deals with the 1920s: the second Chinese revolution of 1925-27, its lessons, the evolution of the Communist movement, the emergence of Maoism and the beginning of the antagonism that developed between the Chinese CP leadership under Mao and the Soviet leadership under Stalin. The second part examines the 1930s and '40s: the anti-Japanese united front, the revolutionary strategy pursued during the third Chinese revolution, and the foundations of the regime established

in 1949. Rousset invites readers to join in collective reflection on the historical constraints that revolutions face and the means of coping with them.

Pierre Rousset was born in 1946. He has been active on the French left since the 1960s and participated in many solidarity campaigns with national liberation struggles, particularly with Indochina and other Southeast Asian countries. He has produced several studies on Vietnam, in-cluding two books, Le Parti communiste vietnamien (1975) and Nationalisme et Communisme au Vietnam (1978), and the essay 'The Peculiarities of Vietnamese Com-munism' in The Stalinist Legacy (1984). He has travelled extensively in East Asia and regularly contributes articles on the region to several periodicals. He is an IIRE Fellow and former director.


To download this book in PDF-format, click the following links:

English: Part 1 , Part 2

French: Part 1 , Part 2  



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Some Notebooks are available for download, click on the desired Notebook to get a description. Citing from notebooks are completely allowed as long as the source is mentioned.

We sell the hard copies of the Notebooks. If you are interested in buying a Notebook please contact us via the contact form to the right or visit our online shop.

Click on the Notebook for a summary.


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Recent books




  • The Transitional Program for Socialist Revolution,
    Leon Trotsky, Daniel Bensaïd, John Riddell.
  • Fascism and the far right in Europe,
    Piers Mostyn, Alf Filer, Dave Rosenburg.
  • Dangerous relationships, Marriage and divorces between Marxism and feminism, Cinzia Arruzza, Penelope Duggan.
  • Palestine in Crisis,
    Camile Dagher, Cinzia Nachira, Roland Rance.
  • Returns of Marxism,
    Sara Farris, Joost Kircz.
  • The thought of Leon Trotsky,
    Denise Avenas, Michael Löwy, Jean-Michel Krivine.
  • Introduction to Marxist Economic Theory (Third Edition),
    Ernest Mandel, Özlem Onaran, Raphie de Santos.

Other Notebooks in progress include volumes on:

  • LGBT strategies
  • A introductory Marxist reader
  • Women and the crisis
  • China in transition
  • Struggles of Indigeneous People in Latin America
  • Ernest Mandel's Argent et le pouvoir (in French)
  • Ecology and socialism
  • Daniel Bensaïd.
On the occasion of the publication of the biography 'Ernest Mandel. Rebel tussen droom en daad'.

The International Institute for Social History (IISH) and the International Institute for Research and Education (IIRE)

request the pleasure of your company on
Thursday May 10th at 16.00 at the IISH (Adama van Scheltema zaal), Cruquiusweg 31, Amsterdam

Lectures by Dr. Jan Willem Stutje, author van Mandels biography, and Dr. Michael Krätke, Associate Professor of Political Economy and Political Science at the University of Amsterdam on Mandels Marxism.

The main language during the event will be Dutch.

The book launch will be followed by a reception
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