Launched in January 2017, the Combination aims to think through politics, locally and globally, from a progressive viewpoint.

The Combination is so named in tribute to those who combined, over the last few centuries, to demand democratic empowerment, social justice, and an equitable share in the economy. The principles informing our thought include social justice, equality, democracy, nonviolence and sustainability.

Our goal is not to provide a set of ready answers, a blueprint for Utopia. It is to address a question:

How do we learn to live together, for all our differences, as nonviolently as possible, on this our one world and in this our corner of it?

We will explore these ideas chiefly in writing (see the home page), but also in occasional podcasts and videos (‘Listen’ and ‘Watch’ pages respectively).

We launch this site now in the belief that 2016 marked an epochal change in politics, a moment as significant, in its way, as 1945 or 1989. The tectonic plates of the global political economy have shifted. It is the urgent task of those of us who believe in equality, democracy, nonviolence and sustainability to sharpen our thinking, and redouble our efforts to see these principles embodied, and put into practice in this our global neighbourhood.

We’re based in Northern Ireland – the place where the UK and Ireland overlap – but believe that to understand how we got to where we are today we need to think globally, digging into the economic and social roots of our currently dominant political-economic system.

Our cover image, showing an Indian carpet, symbolises these historical and global dimensions, as well as the strength and beauty that, we believe, comes from the interweaving of many different threads.

Maurice Macartney
25 December 2016


Stephen Baker
Tanya Jones
Maurice Macartney
Jenny Muir (Emeritus)