The Sussex PM Group: Beyond the Transition Debate

Political Marxism has largely been developed in the context of a historical debate on the transition to capitalism. Many of the categories which have come to define this approach have been tied to the specific problematic of this debate. This has been a source of strength for the approach because it has offered a solid historical foundation for these theoretical categories. Yet it has also made it difficult to use the approach to examine issues that are far removed from its initial historical setting. One of the consequences of using the transition as a lens to analyse other social and historical development has been a certain drift towards a structural approach which tends to neglect the question of historical agency and specificity.

The aim of the research group at Sussex is to rearticulate the approach of political Marxism beyond the transition debate, using some of the key methodological and theoretical innovations of the first generation of political Marxist scholars in order to set the foundations for a broader agenda. In doing so, it seeks to place agency and historical specifity at the heart of Political Marxism and widen its possibilities as an analytical framework.

Roughly three times per term, members of the Political Marxist group at the University of Sussex meet in order to discuss theoretical issues and presentations by participants. Those interested in participating, please contact Samuel Knafo ( or Benno Teschke (

Past presentations by members of the Sussex PM group are listed chronologically in the news section.