from democratic socialism and socialdemocracy as to be worth studying as
distinct ideological movements.
The collapse of the USSR and its
empire in Eastern Europe during 1989–91 is often hailed by Western
conservatives as vindicating their belief that Marxism is a failed
ideological system, unrealistic and of no value as a political movement or
an ideological tool. However, for many Western Marxists the demise of the
peculiarities of historical processes as they are recorded in
the complexities of historical evidence.
Unless indicated, the place of publication is London.
Adelman, P. (1972) The Rise of the Labour Party, 1880–1945
Bealey, F. and Pelling, H. (1958) Labour and Politics, 1900–1906. A History of the Labour Representation Committee
Black, L. (1999) ‘Socialdemocracy as a way of life: fellowship and the Socialist Union,
1951–9’, Twentieth Century British History, 10:4
Chun, L. (1993) The British New Left, Edinburgh
Alastair J. Reid
Class cultures, the trade unions and the Labour Party
institutions of the State,
including its ‘ideological apparatus’. ‘Outside the realm of social services or nationalized industries the visitor would not have observed a socialdemocracy’, with the
result that the political settlement of 1945 depended on the physical survival of the
industrial working class, rather than the diffusion within civil society of socialdemocracy as an ideology (1998: 535–6).
If our understanding of a party cannot fail to depend on our understanding of the
social classes which form its main constituency, Labour history must be
, London , Demos .
Frazer , E. ( 1999 ) Problems of
Communitarian Politics: Unity and Conflict , Oxford , Clarendon
Giddens , A. ( 1997 ) ‘ Anomie of the
people ’, Guardian , 31 July .
Giddens , A. ( 1998 ) The Third Way: The
Renewal of SocialDemocracy , Cambridge , Polity
claims made for it. Policy considerations, while acquiring the label
‘pragmatic’ or even ‘common-sense’, can be
ideological in their underlying assumptions, in a sense that is associated
with socialdemocracy. From the wartime coalition government until the early
1980s all the major parties, both in and out of government, largely agreed
on the basics of government policy. These included the following:
a commitment to full
democratization in International Political Economy tend to
pit the kind of neomedievalist, fragmentation-of-governance
thesis presented above against what is often seen to be the
more idealist ‘cosmopolitan democracy’ thesis (Archibugi
and Held 1995). There is also a third position – that the
ability of states to reconstruct governmentality is still strong
and that socialdemocracy can be reconstituted along more
familiar statist lines by incorporating some neoliberal features (Hirst and Thompson 1999; Giddens 1998). Nevertheless, the task of globalizing the
of a capitalist project to exploit the working classes; in the
late 1980s, when Jacques Delors led the European Commission, there was a shift towards seeing it as a potential source
of socialdemocracy; and now, although the mainstream
of the Labour Party remains relatively pro-European, the
EU’s failure to develop its competences in social policy has
triggered a return to Euroscepticism on the left.
The way forward: towards deliberative democracy?
There are of course various positions taken about the way
forward. Communitarians often argue that EU
collaborators anticipated this emphasis when they outlined how far parties
can shape, rather than react to, voter attitudes.127 Yet, if parties enjoyed
more freedom to influence electors than has been previously assumed,
this autonomy was only relative, as none could react to events in a purely
‘pragmatic’ manner. Thus, in his study of European socialdemocracy,
Herbert Kitschelt noted how far a party’s ideological tradition could
influence what members took to be ‘acceptable arguments and ideas’
and so restrict how they might respond to change.128
Few argue that Labour was
since 1945 (Leicester:
Leicester University Press, 1993), and Keohane, Security in British
Politics, 1945–99 (London: Macmillan, 2000).
David Howell, British SocialDemocracy: A Study in Development and
Decay (London: Croom Helm, 1976), pp. 144–9 and 267–74.
Michael Gordon, Conflict and Consensus in Labour’s Foreign Policy
1914–1965 (Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1969); Kenneth
Miller, Socialism and Foreign Policy: Theory and Practice in Britain to
1931 (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1967); John Naylor, Labour’s
International Policy: The Labour Party in the
for their own fate: this underscores the need to create a
favourable climate for wealth creation, not simply emphasizing distribution. To Giddens, this points the way to a
‘third way’ distinct from statist socialdemocracy and neoliberalism, a new path most closely associated with the
Democratic Party in the US and Britain’s New Labour. He
argues that the ‘third way’ is not just about a concern with
economic development, but also with community issues,
and stresses the vital importance of social solidarity and
basic social institutions like the family. Right