For those unfamiliar with previous postings on the subject, my research basically involved interviewing individual Socialist Party and Socialist Workers' Party activists about their lives, how and why they got involved with their respective parties, and have remained committed during a time that wasn't exactly bountiful for any kind of socialist politics (the final interviews took place in summer 2007). These were then analysed in relation to key theoretical contributions to social movement scholarship, and I then developed value-added constructs to make sense of processes around political recruitment and commitment.
Sadly, the meat of this analysis will have to wait to be worked up for publication in a seldom-read sociology journal, or perhaps a book if I can ever find the time to sort it out. But a little bit will soon be available. One chapter was given over to the key features of the Militant/SP and International Socialism/SWP tradition and their political history since the final collapse of the Revolutionary Communist Party (1944-49). A lot of this will be rewritten for a collection of essays on Trotskyism since 1956 due to be published soon, and this is what my contribution will look like:
Marching Separately, Seldom Together: The Political History of the Two Principal Trends of British Trotskyism, 1956 – 2012Left watchers, nerds, and trainspotters will know there are a small amount of journalistic and scholarly books out there (John Callaghan's two books, and the hatchet pieces by Michael Crick and Blake Baker spring to mind), but none are what you would describe as up-to-date. Therefore my piece will focus on how the two organisations have developed since the Cold War. Unfortunately, a certain violence will be done to the convoluted roots of shifts in strategy, fallings out, and splits because of the tight word count - so apologies to the nitpickers in advance!
Abstract: The Socialist Party and Socialist Workers Party and their antecedent organisations have, since 1956, proved to be the most durable and high profile of all of Britain’s Trotskyist tendencies. This paper is concerned with providing a political history of their development within the context of the changing fortunes of the British labour movement and the significant reconfiguration undergone by British capitalism. It will argue that both organisations’ history can be divided into ‘open’ and ‘closed’ periods of work that were/are conditioned by the traditional vanguardist political practice of Trotskyism and the changing political opportunities open to the two traditions.