Signs of the Times is a London-based discussion group. The group was formed in early 1992 when the magazine Marxism Today closed and sought to continue to develop the debate around the magazine’s ‘New Times’ analysis; especially post-Fordism, postmodernism, globalisation and the politics of identity.
Since 1992 Signs of the Times has organised conferences on the legacy of Foucault, theories of postmodernism, the revival of the city state, and the long-term significance of Labour’s 1997 landslide. Speakers have included Anthony Giddens, Doreen Massey, Charles Jencks, Sadie Plant, Ed Soja, Nikolas Rose and Elizabeth Wilson. The core activity of the group is a twice-yearly seminar series. These run over a six week period on Monday evenings. Recent themes have included a critique of the Third Way, the rebranding Britain debate, how governments can affect the cultural industries and the basics of good governance.
Signs of the Times has published three books, all with the publishers Lawrence & Wishart. The latest is The Moderniser’s Dilemma : Radical Politics in the Age of Blair. A wide-ranging exploration of both new Labour, and oppositional, models of modernisation: contributors include Andrew Gamble, Stephen Twigg, Anne Showstack Sassoon and Michael Gove.