Consciousness and Competition

Neil Davidson


Haymarket Books (2016, world English rights)

Trade Paper • ISBN-13: 9781608465682 • US $22 • 5 in x 8 in • 400 pgs.



In his latest collection of essays, Neil Davidson brings his formidable analytical powers to bear on the concept of the capitalist nation-state. Through probing inquiry, Davidson draws out how nationalist ideology and consciousness is used to bind the subordinate classes to “the nation,” while simultaneously using “the state” as a means of conducting geopolitical competition for capital.



“Davidson’s analysis of nationhood and its historical and contemporary realities is a triumph of non-dogmatic historical materialism”

Scottish Left Review


Praise for How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions?:

“I was frankly pole-axed by this magnificent book. Davidson resets the entire debate on the character of revolutions: bourgeois, democratic and socialist. He’s sending me, at least, back to the library.”

Mike Davis

How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? is a monumental work. Neil Davidson has given us what is easily the most comprehensive account yet of the ‘life and times’ of the concept of ‘bourgeois revolution,’ from its origins in seventeenth and eighteenth century political thought through its distillation in classical Marxism and onward to more recent debates and revisions. This would have been enough. However, Davidson has also provided us with a refined set of theoretical tools for understanding the often complex interactions between political revolutions which overturn state institutions and social revolutions which involve a more thorough-going transformation of social relations. Contemporary debates over the meaning of revolution, from 1989 in Eastern Europe to the Arab Spring, Davidson rightly insists, demonstrate that the past is far from dead nor is the revolution ever finally over. This deeply committed work of scholarship, succeeds magnificently in rescuing the idea of revolution ‘from the condescension of (bourgeois) posterity.’”

Colin Mooers


Neil Davidson is the author of The Origins of Scottish Nationhood (2000), Discovering the Scottish Revolution (2003), for which he was awarded the Deutscher Prize, and How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions? (2012). Davidson lectures in Sociology in the School of Political and Social Science at the University of Glasgow, Scotland.


As Radical as Reality Itself: Marxism and Tradition

Holding Fast to an Image of the Past: Essays on Marxism and History

How Revolutionary Were the Bourgeois Revolutions?

We Cannot Escape History: Marxism, Transitions, and Revolutions



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