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Dr Ed Rooksby
Associate Lecturer




The Department of Politics is deeply saddened to announce that Dr Ed Rooksby, Associate Lecturer, has passed away.

Ed was awarded a PhD in political theory at the University of York in 2008 and returned to York in September 2019 to take up a post as Associate Lecturer. Ed was a wonderful colleague and outstanding teacher who will be remembered for his kindness, his passion for teaching, and his immense intelligence.

Ed was a most talented thinker and writer. His new book which set out a creative rethink of socialist strategy was a work of love and thorough scholarship. His pieces in political magazines such as Jacobin and his own blog were knowledgeable, learned, wise, and urgent. For Ed, socialist political theory was beyond a mere academic pursuit - it represented a lifelong commitment to the pursuit of justice.

Everyone in the Department of Politics is shocked and saddened by the untimely departure of such an all-round good man. Ed will be deeply missed by all of us.


Prof Nina Caspersen

Head of Department



I was awarded a PhD in political theory at the University of York in 2008 and returned to York in September 2019 to take up a post as an Associate Lecturer. In between I lectured and taught across a range of social science disciplines - including political theory, sociology and economic history - at several different universities in the UK. I have taught previously at the University of Southampton, the University of Portsmouth, Leeds Metropolitan University (now Leeds Beckett) and, most recently, from 2012 to 2019 I was Tutor in Politics at Ruskin College in Oxford.

I am particularly interested in Marxism and socialist political theory more broadly. My main research focus at the moment is on the preparation of a monograph on historical and current theoretical debates in relation to socialist and social democratic strategy.

Beyond my academic writing, I publish frequently in political magazines such as Jacobin and on my blog.



I have three major (intertwining) research interests – all of them in political theory. My first interest centres on the question of socialist (and social democratic) political strategy. My second area of interest is state theory. My third area of interest is in the historical, conceptual and normative relationship between socialism, liberalism and conservatism. I have journal publications in all three areas.

My main focus, currently, is on the production of a monograph – which I have been contracted to write as part of Brill’s Historical Materialism book series. The book, provisionally entitled Taking Power: Reform, Revolution and Socialist Strategy, will set out a creative rethinking of socialist strategy, taking as its starting point the strategic impasse faced by socialists in advanced capitalist countries, compounded by fetishistic thinking about the reform-revolution dichotomy. It proposes to traverse the historical traditions of the Marxist and social democratic left in this respect, the better to formulate a strategic perspective more adequate to the conditions of late capitalism. The argument is situated within a tradition of strategic thought often termed ‘structural reform’ and associated particularly with the theorist Andre Gorz and the French Parti Socialiste Unifié with which he was closely connected in the 1960s and 70s. It also draws heavily on the later thought of Nicos Poulantzas.



What is Politics? - POL00008C

Introduction to Political Theory - POL00004C


Selected publications

  • Rooksby, E. (2018) ‘“Structural Reform’ and the Problem of Socialist Strategy Today’, Critique 46: 1 (February 2018), pp. 27 – 48
  • Rooksby, E. (2017) ‘Class Analysis and the Thatcherite Offensive’ (review-article), Capital & Class, Vol. 41, Issue 3, October 2017, pp. 567-571
  • Rooksby, E. (2013) ‘“Left Reformism” and Socialist Strategy’, International Socialism, 140, Autumn 2013, pp. 83-102
  • Rooksby, E. (2012) ‘The Relationship Between Liberalism and Socialism’, Science & Society, Vol. 76, No. 4, October 2012, pp. 495-520
  • Rooksby. E. (2012) ‘Cyprus and the West: a Critical Perspective on British and US Foreign Policy and Strategic Interests in Cyprus’, in Bozkurt, U and Trimikliniotis, N (eds.) Beyond a Divided Cyprus: a State and Society in Transformation (Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan), pp. 83-98
  • Rooksby, E (2012) ‘Capitalist Realism by Mark Fisher’ (review-article), Historical Materialism, 20: 1, pp. 21-30
  • Rooksby. E (2012) ‘Blue Labour and the Limits of Social Democracy’, Renewal: Journal of Social Democracy 19: 3/4, pp. 104-117
  • Rooksby. E (2011) ‘Towards a Revolutionary Reformist Strategy: Within, Outside and Against the State’, Critique 39: 1 (February 2011), pp. 27-51
  • Rooksby, E (2010) ‘Towards a Better Theory of the Capitalist State’, Studies in Marxism, Vol. 12, 2010, pp. 73-99

Contact details

Dr Ed Rooksby
Associate Lecturer
Department of Politics
University of York
Heslington Lane
YO10 5DD

Tel: 01904 323306