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
, while socialdemocracy claims that needs will vary in accordance with the
available resources and the existing standards of need in a society. In
Western societies this element of justice is identified with the equality of
basic needs fulfilled by welfare states.
Other thinkers base claims for social
justice on different criteria. Jeremy Bentham and the Utilitarians, for
example, claimed that social justice was associated with
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
nationally specific, but similar phenomena could be observed in comparable countries such as Italy (where
the entire post-war party system collapsed under the weight of political
corruption), Germany (where the ‘new politics’ prospered on the failure
of traditional socialdemocracy) and Britain (where the electoral swing
of 1997 broke all post-war records).
To achieve a just measure of the balance between party stress and
party stability, we can learn from longitudinal historical and cross-national
The French party system
comparison. Longitudinal comparison suggests
Discontinuities (London: Longman, 2001), 246–272.
Donald Niewyk, Socialist, Anti-Semite and Jew: German
SocialDemocracy Confronts the Problem of Anti-Semitism, 1918–1933
(Baton Rouge: Louisiana State, 1971).
David Bankier, ‘German Social Democrats and the
Jewish Question’ in David Bankier (ed.), Probing the Depths of German
number of younger revisionists who were unhappy with their government’s apparent lack of interest in redistributing power from Whitehall.
As one of that number, David Marquand, later claimed, they questioned
the assumption ‘that outcome was all and process irrelevant’, and began
to consider that socialdemocracy should be about political as much as
economic and social equality.2 Thus, Mackintosh believed ministers were
captive to a Fabian tradition committed to the ‘conviction that welleducated well-disposed people’ working in London were ‘more likely to
rule of litigious companies and captured regulators. Note that
Norway practises an advanced form of Scandinavian socialdemocracy,
supported by strong and independent bureaucracy and government, a social
compact between companies and society, and economic growth fuelled by
North Sea oil wealth. It is an atypical example.
Netherlands and Slovenia
In mid-June 2011 the
’, Critical Social Policy , 18:55 (1998), pp.
A. Giddens, The Third Way: The Renewal of SocialDemocracy (Cambridge, Polity Press, 1998), pp. 102–3.
Giddens, The Third Way , p. 104.
Giddens, The Third Way , p. 101
uncertainty’ and are reflexively managed, 25 in the sense that every action
is undertaken in the light of some knowledge concerning its
While Giddens embraces socialist values of solidarity,
community and social responsibility, he believes that the
changes wrought by globalisation render the centralised socialist
state redundant. He characterises post-war socialdemocracy