This special issue, although small, seeks to respond to the dilemma of the Left and the challenges it faces, also to provide a way for the Left to be ontologically and practically re-appropriated and reinvigorated so that it can inform, critique and respond to current political, social and environmental crises. The contributors reveal tensions within universalism, in tandem with the problems of globalisation. They grapple with how the nation-state can be reinvigorated within a globalised context in spite of the chaos this might involve. Important ontological ideas the Left could employ are highlighted. By both critiquing the Left and challenging it to stand back and survey current political and social landscapes, contributors suggest that the Left still has much to offer.