For something so often described as essential, political organisation remains a surprisingly under-theorised field.
Nunes redefines the terms of organisational theory, and argues that organisation must be understood as always supposing a diverse ecology of different initiatives and organisational forms. Drawing from a wide array of sources and traditions Nunes develops a grammar that eschews easy oppositions between ‘verticalism’ and ‘horizontalism’, and offers a fresh approach to enduring issues like spontaneity, leadership, democracy, strategy, populism, revolution, and the relationship between movements and parties.
“This is an exciting, innovative book. Rodrigo Nunes has utterly revitalised the stale theory of political organisation with new evidence, new thinking and new strategic concepts. All of the suffocating clichés of both horizontalists and vanguardists are briskly overturned here. Everyone can learn something from this book.”
“This is the book we’ve been waiting for: Rodrigo Nunes systematically assesses the problems the left has faced since the Occupy movement and its failure. A must-read for the activists of our time.”
“How is to be done? With whom? With what? Soberly reckoning with the limits of a decade of mass movements against austerity and authoritarianism, and writing in the harsh glare of our warming condition, Nunes enjoins us to revisit the theory of organisation beyond the party as fetish or bogeyman. Drawing on a rich trove of sources—from Spinoza to Bogdanov, cybernetic theory to contemporary activism—Neither Vertical nor Horizontal is an indispensable critical and clinical intervention into the principal political problem of our time.”
“A timely contribution not only to theoretical debates around organisation, but also to a global collective memory of political struggles.”