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Which Socialism?: Marxism, Socialism and Democracy

Which Socialism?: Marxism, Socialism and Democracy

Norberto Bobbio

ISBN: 978-0-745-60128-1

Jan 1991, Polity

248 pages

Select type: Paperback

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Can democracy provide a path to socialism? Can civil rights and democratic institutions be protected and developed in a socialist society? Does our view of the nature and value of democracy affect our understanding of socialism itself? In a world with regimes which profess to be socialist, which socialism is worth defending today?

In this powerful and provocative volume, Norberto Bobbio re-examines the uneasy relation between socialism and democracy. He argues that Marxist theory has failed to provide an adequate account of the nature and role of the state in socialist society and defends the concept of representative democracy. Bobbio's arguments sparked off a lively debate in Italy; this volume includes a reply by Antonio Negri. The volume also includes an essay by Bobbio on Marxism and international relations, and his classic text on Gramsci's conception of civil society.


1. A socialist democracy?.

2. Is there a Marxist doctrine of the state?.

3. What alternatives are there to representative democracy?.

4. Why democracy?.

5. Which socialism?.

6. Is there a Marxist doctrine of the state?A reply by Antonio Negri.

7. Gramsci and the conception of civil society.

8. Marxism and socialism.

9. Marx and classics.

10. Marxism and international relations.



'...the excellent introduction sets the stage for readers unfamiliar with Italian politics... Bobbio's intelligence and clarity hold their own and this publication can only enhance his growing reputation.'
New Statesman
1. Discusses highly topical issues concerning the relations between socialism and democracy. 2. Presents a forceful but sympathetic critique of Marxism, arguing that it lacks a theory of politics and of the socialist state. 3. Bobbio is the leading political theorist in Italy today and the volume also includes a response to Bobbio by Toni Negri.