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Simon Tormey

Simon Tormey is Professor of Politics at the University of Sydney. His many books include Anti-Capitalism: A beginner’s guide, revised in 2013 for Oneworld, and most recently The End of Representative Politics (Polity Press, 2015). His new book, Populism: A beginner’s guide (Oneworld) will appear in 2019.

Simon Tormey reviews 'Whiteshift: Populism, immigration, and the future of white majorities' by Eric Kaufmann

April 2019, no. 410 25 March 2019
In the wake of the unexpected Brexit and Trump votes in 2016, academics and commentators have been scratching their heads trying to work out what these extraordinary events represent. The dominant narrative is that in the wake of recession and financial crisis, those doing it tough have punished the political élites, leading to all manner of populist insurgencies. Compelling though such an accoun ... (read more)

Simon Tormey reviews 'My Life, Our Times' by Gordon Brown

November 2018, no. 406 26 October 2018
It is a cliché to note that Gordon Brown is an enigma as far as contemporary British politics is concerned. A fundamentally decent man of high moral standing, Brown forged with Tony Blair arguably the most successful political partnership the United Kingdom has known. Between them they won three elections (two of them landslides) on a platform of ‘modernising’ Britain, deploying a mantra of f ... (read more)

Simon Tormey reviews ‘Adults in the Room: My battle with Europe’s deep establishment’ by Yanis Varoufakis

August 2017, no. 393 23 July 2017
The blurb on the back of the book describes Varoufakis as ‘the most interesting man in the world’. It is a wonderful epithet and might even be true considering the interest that Varoufakis excites in the press and media. On another reading, he is also the luckiest man in the world given the extraordinary nature of his leap from talented if unheralded academic economist to Greek finance ministe ... (read more)

Simon Tormey reviews 'Comrade Corbyn' by Rosa Prince

November 2016, no. 386 28 October 2016
In an extraordinary year for British politics the gloriously unexpected triumph of Jeremy Corbyn in the Labour Party’s leadership election in September 2015 probably ranks just behind ‘Brexit’ on the political Richter scale. To recall, Corbyn is known for his far-left political sympathies, his total indifference to fashion, and his propensity to rebel against his own party while Blair was in ... (read more)

Simon Tormey reviews 'Chronicles: On our troubled times' by Thomas Piketty

August 2016, no. 383 22 July 2016
Thomas Piketty is of course the French economist who shot to fame, somewhat improbably, on the back of an 800-page tub thumper Capital in the Twenty-First Century, published in 2013. Notwithstanding the exorbitant length of the book, one that defeated all but determined professional readers, the message was handily clear. While economic growth is making societies richer, they are also becoming mor ... (read more)

Simon Tormey reviews 'To Save Everything, Click Here' by Evgeny Morozov

August 2015, no. 373 29 July 2015
What are the implications of the ever-accelerating revolution in information communication technology on our lives? Is the Internet a force for good, for increased freedom and democracy? Or are we so in thrall to the prophets of Silicon Valley that we have lost sight of the perils that lie in ‘big data’, the extension of algorithms and quantification into every nook and cranny of our lives? F ... (read more)