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The Left Alternative

A manifesto that engages a vital question: where should the Left go from here?
Confronting the major debates in the world today—about national alternatives and alternative globalizations—Unger shows that there is a set of initiatives that we can begin to develop with the materials at hand. Fully updated with a new preface, The Left Alternative equips the Left with the ideas that it needs to overthrow the dictatorship of no alternatives.


  • “A good book to stir up leftists.”
  • “Roberto Mangabeira Unger's book may someday make possible a new national romance ... a hitherto undreamt-of national future.”
  • “A restless visionary.”
  • “A philosophical mind out of the Third World turning tables, to become a synoptist and seer of the First.”
  • “Brazil's answer to John Stuart Mill ... a political philosopher extraordinaire.”
  • “This book has influenced how I think and what I do. It sets out the principles for a future Left and crucially challenges us to think not just about how we spend revenues but how we might create them.”


  • Roberto Unger visits London

    The renowned Brazilian social theorist, philosopher and politician Roberto Unger visits London this week for a series of public events and broadcast appearances. 

    On Wednesday 13th November Unger will appear at the Royal Society of Arts to discuss “Freedom, equality and a future political economy: the structural change we need” with Anthony Painter, director of the Independent Review of the Police Federation.

    Unger will then appear at the London School of Economics on Thursday 14th November as part of a public conversation to be broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

    Roberto Unger is a powerful and influential voice in the political landscape of South America. He served as a minister under President Lula from 2007-2009, and was an important figure in the creation of the Critical Legal Studies movement. Some of his transformative ideas around reshaping the Amazonian economy are discussed in his 2009 profile in the New York Times, where he puts forward his proposals for decentralised support infrastructure and credit for small enterprises to pull in the millions of workers from Brazil's informal economy into a regulated economy.

    Unger made waves internationally in 2012 where he dropped his support for Barack Obama, a former student of his, in his campaign for the US presidency. "President Obama must be defeated in the coming election," Unger said, in a YouTube video where he laid out his criticisms of the first Obama administration. He expands on his position on Obama in an interview with CounterPunch.

    Roberto Unger regularly features on lists of the world's most prominent and influential thinkers. More information on this provocative philosopher and theorist can be found in his profile for the Guardian and an extended piece for Lingua Franca.
  • Roberto Unger - Visions for the Future

    Roberto Unger features in the first of a series of documentaries by Visions for the Future.

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  • Roberto Unger speaks out against former student Barack Obama

    Roberto Unger, author of The Left Alternative, is speaking out against the Democratic Party and President Barack Obama, his former student at Harvard Law School. In a YouTube video recently featured in the Huffington Post, Unger speaks about the necessity of defeating Obama in the upcoming Presidential Election in order to advance the progressive cause in the long run.

    "The government bribed, placated, and finally abandonned the people," he says of the Democratic Party's response to the financial crisis, adding that the Party "proposes no new directions." "He has delivered the politics of democracy to the rule of money" and "has evoked a politics of handholding, but no one changes the world without a struggle," says Unger of Obama. While he admints that a Republican presidency will come with a cost, he thinks that this cost will be minimal and that the risk of "military adventurism" will be high no matter which candidate wins in November. 

    Watch the full interview here:

Other books by Roberto Mangabeira Unger