ABSTRACT

Karl Marx died in 1883. Yet, the fact that the political ideology that was to bear his name endured through the twentieth century and continues, 125 years after his death, to shape political movements, ideas and academic disciplines in the twenty-first is testimony to the scope and depth of the work of Marx. Contrary to expectations of writers like Francis Fukuyama (1992), the political revolutions that swept across the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe from 1989 did not consign Marxism to the proverbial dustbin of history. Indeed, the disintegration of the Communist Bloc, far from heralding the ‘end of history’, has merely paved the way for a new phase of war, crises and instability in what is now commonly referred to as the new global disorder (Amin, 2004). In response, a new spirit of radicalism has emerged on a mass scale. The development of the anti-globalization/capitalist/ war movements and the electoral successes of radical parties in Latin America have posed serious political challenges to the hegemony of neo-liberal ideology and economics. It’s a challenge that is reflected in the academy in the waning intellectual dominance of postmodernism, and what has been referred to as the ‘return to Marx’ (Rees, 1998b). This ‘waning’ of postmodernism and the ‘return’ of Marx have rippled out to disciplines cast on the outer rings of the academy, such as the sociology of sport.1