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 Robin Murray articles & media

On this page a shortlist of titles is followed by a detailed list, with notes and links to sources

Shortlist of titles

In date order . .

  • May Day manifesto (1967-68) - sections

  • UCS - The anatomy of bankruptcy (1971)

  • London and the Greater London Council - Restructuring the capital of Capital (1985)

  • The London industrial strategy (1985) - Introduction

  • Benetton Britain - The new economic order (1985)

  • Public sector possibilities (1986)

  • State enterprise, a review of Abel Aganbegyan (1988)

  • Life after Henry (Ford) (1988)

  • The state after Henry (1991)

  • Creating wealth from waste (1991)

  • Zero waste (2002)

  • Danger and opportunity - Crisis and the new social economy (2009)

  • Social venturing (2009) - co-authored

  • Cooperation in the age of Google (2010)

  • The open book of social innovation (2010) - co-authored

  • The next ten years (2011) - video, talk at Coop Congress

  • Global civil society and the rise of the civil economy (2012)

  • Post-post-Fordism in the era of platforms (2014)

  • Democratic Money and Capital for the Commons: Reflections (2015)

  • Taking stock, looking forward (2015) - in The Cooperative Advantage

  • Late Environmental Economist Robin Murray's Views on Creating a New Economy (2016) - podcast interview

  • Robin in dialogue, video (2017)

Detailed list with links & notes

In date order. Multiple authors appear after single author.

  • Robin Murray (1971), UCS - The anatomy of bankruptcy, Spokesman offprints #19, pp22.


This article was submitted as a paper in evidence on behalf of The Spokesman to the Committee of Inquiry into the proposed run-down of Upper Clyde Shipbuilders, commissioned by the Scottish Trades Union Congress, under the chairmanship of Professor Raymond Illsley.


  • Robin Murray (ed) (1981), Multinationals beyond the market: Intra-firm trade and the control of transfer pricing, Harvester studies in development.


  • Robin Murray (1983), Brighton on the Rocks, Queenspark Books.


Brighton on the Rocks incorporates a collection of interviews, photographs and statistics, which are used to analyse how monetarism affected the economic policies that were pursued by the city’s local authorities in the 1980s. When local councils imposed financial cuts from 1980 onwards, they argued that the cuts were necessary because of overspending. This text takes the view that monetarist policies are implicated in the decline in public services and critically evaluates the effects of monetarism on working people’s lives, organisations and throughout the welfare state. It poses the question as to whether a different kind of economics was needed that was geared to need rather than to monetarist philosophy?



Summary: London — still one of the world's major imperial capitals — is facing a severe economic crisis, with 400,000 people unemployed, mass poverty, and large scale de-industrialisation. This is partly the result of London's changing place in the international division of labour, particularly within the EEC. Equally important is the widespread restructuring of its service and industrial base induced by the international crisis of profitability, and deepened by British monetarism. The metropolitan council of London, the GLC, has been implementing an economic strategy which counters market restructuring with what it calls ‘restructuring for labour’.


  • Robin Murray (1985), Introduction, The London industrial strategy, London: Greater London Council, 1-64.



Keynesianism doesn’t work any more. But what to put in its place?



There has been a sea-change in attitudes towards public ownership. On the Left it is now given a low priority. It is true the old Morrisonian model is now redundant. But pragmatism is no substitute. We need a new model.



In recent years Western economists have grappled with a new concept, 'market-socialism'. Robin Murray reviews The Challenge: Economics of Perestroika by Soviet economist Abel Aganbegyan which presents a fresh new approach to the future of socialist economics.



At the heart of New Times is post-Fordism. Robin Murray explains what it is and what it means.



Britain has had an impure form of Fordist state. Thatcherism tried to turn it into a fully-fledged Fordist state. Robin Murray argues we need a post-Fordist state.



As a pollutant, waste demands controls. As an embodiment of accumulated energy and materials it invites an alternative. The one is a constraint to an old way of doing things. The other opens up a path to the new.



This pamphlet argues that the early years of the 21st century are witnessing the emergence of a new kind of economy that has profound implications for the future of public services as well as for the daily life of citizens. This emerging economy can be seen in many fields, including the environment, care, education, welfare, food and energy. It combines some old elements and many new ones. I describe it as a ‘social economy’ because it melds features which are very different from economies based on the production and consumption of commodities.



The past thirty years have seen a remarkable growth of social ventures in both the developed and developing worlds. Sometimes referred to as the Third Sector, they in fact operate across sectors, in parts of the state, the grant economy, the collaborative household economy and in the market as social enterprises. While there is a long-standing economic and managerial literature on the market economy, and methods of operating within it, as well as a complementary body of work on public finance and public sector management, there is remarkably little on the distinctive character of social ventures and the social economy. Yet this economy and its ventures are set to play a critical role in addressing many of the most urgent contemporary problems, from climate change to chronic disease, and from social welfare to new forms of consumption. This volume focuses on how to establish and grow a social venture. The authors have done a remarkable job in scouring the landscape of entrepreneurs and campaigners, organisations and movements – in the UK and internationally – to present a rich set of accounts of how social innovation actually happens.. More than an inspiring set of stories, it is a guide.



What is the way forward for the co-operative sector? Commissioned by Co-operatives UK, Robin Murray – a co-operative innovator and key thinker behind Fairtrade, Twin Trading and much more besides – has produced a radical vision of the how the co-operative sector can expand in the 21st Century. Co-operation in the age of Google shows that we are living at a time of profound transformation. The information and communication revolution, widespread concerns about private sector greed, public sector finances and impending climate chaos present a wide range of possibilities for co-operative expansion. But Robin says the co-operative sector is not yet in a position to make the most of these opportunities. It needs to be more innovative, more integrated, more internationalist, to get better infrastructure and to find ‘the idea’ that can mobilise support for co-operation. The review proposes a series of practical initiatives for 2011 and 2012 to strengthen the co-operative sector.




Based on Cooperation in the age of Google, 2010.




One of the UK’s leading radical economists discusses the history of post-Fordism as both a concept and a set of economic practices, with specific reference to his role as an innovative municipal policy-maker at the GLC in the 1980s and subsequently. The interview explores the ways in which post-Fordism has mutated since the 1980s, before moving on to discuss the attention economy and the death of the brand. It then looks at the future of co-operatives and ideas of co-operation in the age of social media, before investigating in more detail the politics of platforms and the democratic possibilities opened up by peer-to-peer technologies. Murray makes a convincing case that we have now entered the epoch of ‘post-post-Fordism’: the era of platforms. The discussion is framed with reference to Deleuze’s ‘control societies’ hypothesis, which is the subject of the themed journal issue in which the interview appears.



These reflections were shared by Robin Murray following the Commons Strategies Group Deep Dive on Democratic Money and Capital for the Commons.



Interview at Schumacher College. Evolutionary, contingent story of “What we can refer to as 'an economy'” and looking at things as Adam Smith did when capital was the new economy. Story of money as a servant. Relational services story. Story of land, rent, enclosure, stewardship and Land Lock. Story of practice-and-theory - even reading groups! And Robin’s own story. Nary a mention of Marxism or socialism, deeply pragmatic and observational, deeply contingent, no hint of dogma!

Resources | Main page


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