In the 1970s, Cockshott was a member of the British and Irish Communist Organisation, but he and several other members became unhappy with B&ICO's position on Workers' control. Cockshott and several other B&ICO members resigned and formed a new party, the Communist Organisation in the British Isles. During the 1980s when studying for his PhD in Edinburgh he was recruited to the CPGB along with fellow computer science student Muffy Calder.
He has made contributions in the fields of image compression, 3D television, parallel compilers and medical imaging, but became known to a wider audience for his proposals in the multi-disciplinary area of economic computability, most notably as co-author of the book Towards a new socialism, advocating for more efficient and democratic planning of a complex economy.
- What is the Communist Organisation in the British Isles? in Proletarian, No. 1, c. 1974.
- Cottrell, Allin. "Towards a new socialism". Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- Video interview with Paul Cockshott about his book "Towards a new socialism" on YouTube
- Towards a new socialism, complete book download
- Review Essay to Towards a New Socialism? by Allin F. Cottrell and W. Paul Cockshott by Len Brewster
- A Reply to Brewster „A response to the critique of Towards a New Socialism by the right wing economist Brewster" by Paul Cockshott