[first published in The Times]
Wide-ranging political philosopher who was an unswerving enemy of tyranny and terrorism and found late fame as a blogger
Norman Geras was a penetrating political theorist who found fame in retirement as a pioneering blogger.
In his scholarly work he made substantial contributions to the study of Marxism and of international ethics. He served his entire academic career at the University of Manchester, where he was head of the Department of Government from 1998 till 2002, and ended as Professor Emeritus of Politics.
He then made skilful use of the new medium of the internet to inform and entertain a much wider audience. In dismay at what he considered their failure to defend Western democratic values against totalitarianism, he broke with many of his former comrades on the Left.
Leftwing theorist and pioneer blogger with a mission to take on political orthodoxy
[first published in the Guardian]
Norman Geras started Normblog in order to engage with a wider audience. It was a runaway success. Photograph: Graeme Robertson
Norman Geras—professor emeritus of government at Manchester University, philosopher, cricket fan, country music lover, Marxist, liberal socialist, democrat, political blogger behind the influential Normblog—has died of cancer aged 70. His interests were rich and varied, but his thought and writings form an integrated whole. He was centrally and always a man of the left, but one who became a scourge of those parts of left/liberal opinion which, in his view, had slid away from commitment to the values of equality, justice and universal rights, and in so doing ended up by excusing or condoning racism and terrorism.