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Hirst, Paul Quentin 1946–2003

PERSONAL: Born May 20, 1946, in Plymouth, England; died from a brain hemorrhage, June 16, 2003, in London, England; married; wife's name Penny; children: Jamie. Education: University of Leicester, B.A., 1968; University of Sussex, M.A., 1969. Politics: "Socialist—Labour party."

CAREER: Educator and writer. University of London, Birkbeck College, London, England, lecturer, 1969–78, cofounder of the School of Politics and Sociology, 1972, reader in social theory, 1978–85, professor of social history, 1985–2003, academic director of the School of Politics and Sociology, beginning 1995. Also cofounder of the humanities and cultural studies graduate programme for the London Consortium, a collaboration between Birkbeck College, the Architectural Association, the Institute of Contemporary Arts and the Tate; chair and cofounder of the constitutional reform movement Charter 88 and chair of the Political Quarterly editorial board.

WRITINGS:

Durkheim, Bernard, and Epistemology, Routledge & Kegan Paul (Boston, MA), 1975.

(With Barry Hindess) Pre-Capitalist Modes of Production, Routledge & Kegan Paul (Boston, MA), 1975.

Social Evolution and Sociological Categories, Holmes & Meier Publishers (New York, NY), 1976.

(With Barry Hindess) Mode of Production and Social Formation, Humanities Press (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1977.

(With Barry Hindess, A.J. Cutler, and S.A. Hussain) Marx's Capital and Capitalism Today, Routledge & Kegan Paul (Boston, MA), Volume I, 1977, Volume II, 1978.

On Law and Ideology, Humanities Press (Atlantic Highlands, NJ), 1979.

(With Penelope Woolley) Social Relations and Human Attributes, Tavistock Publications (New York, NY), 1981.

Law, Socialism, and Democracy, Allen & Unwin (Boston, MA), 1986.

After Thatcher, Collins (London, England), 1989.

(Editor, with Jonathan Zeitlin) Reversing Industrial Decline?: Industrial Structure and Policy in Britain and Her Competitors, Berg (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor) The Pluralist Theory of the State: Selected Writings of G.D.H. Cole, J.N. Figgis, and H.J. Laski, Routledge (New York, NY), 1989.

(Editor, with Anthony Barnett and Caroline Ellis) Debating the Constitution: New Perspectives on Constitutional Reform, Blackwell Publishers (Cambridge, MA), 1993.

Associative Democracy: New Forms of Economic and Social Governance, University of Massachusetts Press (Amherst, MA), 1994.

(Editor, with Sunil Khilnani) Reinventing Democracy, Blackwell Publishers (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

(With Grahame Thompson) Globalization in Question: The International Economy and the Possibilities of Governance, Blackwell Publishers (Cambridge, MA), 1996.

(Editor and author of introduction) Collected Works of Harold Laski, Routledge (New York, NY), 1997.

From Statism to Pluralism: Democracy, Civil Society, and Global Politics, UCL Press (Bristol, PA), 1997.

(Editor, with Veit Bader) Associative Democracy: The Real Third Way, Frank Cass (Portland, OR), 2001.

Space and Power: Politics, War and Architecture, Polity (Malden, MA), 2005.

Editor of Economy and Society, 1972–74, and Politics and Power, beginning 1981.

SIDELIGHTS: A renowned political and social theorist who greatly influenced the New Labour movement in England, Paul Quentin Hirst was initially an ardent Marxist but eventually became less avid about Marxism, though he retained leftist leanings. Hirst had an interest in almost every subject his mind touched, and his books reflect his ability to write on many topics, including sociology, politics, and the law. For example, in his book Globalization in Question: The International Economy and the Possibilities of Governance, which he wrote with Grahame Thompson, the author and his colleague explore the issue of what globalization really means and then focus on its economic and political impact. Richard L. Merritt, writing in the Political Science Quarterly, noted that the authors "effectively challenge the popular view of the international economy as victim of an overweening predator running rampant to swallow up nation states and supranational trading blocs alike." In a review in the Journal of Development Studies, Stuart Corbridge called the effort a "generally excellent book" and also wrote that it "offers a persuasive critique of the 'fatalistic globalism' so loved by the Right (markets and only markets rule)."

Hirst's book From Statism to Pluralism: Democracy, Civil Society and Global Politics looks at the political-social state that falls between the ideas of state socialism and laissez-faire capitalism. John Gray, writing in the New Statesman, noted: "Nobody who is serious about reforming market capitalism can afford to ignore this book." Gray went on to comment: "Its fifteen closely reasoned chapters contain a host of good things, including an incisive critique of Fukuyama. Its core is a defence of associative democracy against the threat of market globalisation." At the time of his death from a brain hemorrhage, Hirst was working on a monograph about the politics of space and was planning to get a master's degree in international security. His monograph was published posthumously in 2005 as Space and Power: Politics, War and Architecture.

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Building Design, November 15, 2002, Ellie Duffy, "Dirty Rotten Scoundrels: Paul Hirst's Lecture on 'Modernism's Fear of Dirt' Accused Modernist Architects and Planners of Attempting to Clean Up the Dirt That Gives a City Its Spirit," p. 14.

Business History Review, spring, 1992, Alan Cawson, review of Reversing Industrial Decline?: Industrial Structure and Policy in Britain and Her Competitors, p. 225.

Journal of Development Studies, August, 1996, Stuart Corbridge, review of Globalization in Question: The International Economy and the Possibilities of Governance, p. 951.

Monthly Review, October, 2001, William K. Tabb, review of Globalization in Question, p. 56.

New Statesman, January 9, 1998, John Gray, review of From Statism to Pluralism: Democracy, Civil Society and Global Politics, p. 43.

New Statesman & Society, February 23, 1996, Denis MacShane, review of Globalization in Question, p. 44.

Political Science Quarterly, spring, 1997, Richard L. Merritt, review of Globalization in Question, p. 169.

OBITUARIES:

PERIODICALS

Guardian (London, England), June 20, 2003, p. 25.

Independent (London, England), June 19, 2003, p. 16.

Times (London, England), June 23, 2003, p. 26.

ONLINE

Birkbeck, University of London Web site, http://www.bbk.ac.uk/news/prarchive/hirst.html (June 18, 2003).

Hirst, Paul Quentin 1946–2003

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