This book considers the underlying causes of the end of social democracy's golden age. It argues that the cross-national trend in social democratic parties since the 1970s has been towards an accommodation with neo-liberalism and a corresponding dilution of traditional social democratic commitments. The book looks at the impact of the change in economic conditions on social democracy in general, before examining the specific cases of Germany, Sweden and Australia. It examines the ideological crisis that engulfed social democracy. The book also looks at the post-1970 development of social policy, its fiscal implications and economic consequences in three European countries. It considers the evolution of the Spanish Socialist Workers' Party (PSOE) from its re-emergence as a significant political force during the 1970s until the present day under José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero. The book also examines the evolution of the Swedish model in conjunction with social democratic reformism and the party's relations to the union movement. It explores the latest debate about what the German Social Democratic Party (SPD) stands for. The SPD became the role model for programmatic modernisation for the European centre-left. The book considers how British socialist and social democratic thought from the late nineteenth century to the present has treated the objective of helping people to fulfil their potential, talents and ambitions. It aims to contribute to a broader conversation about the future of social democracy by considering ways in which the political thought of 'third way' social democracy might be radicalised for the twenty-first century.
surprisingly durable, particularly in France and Germany. In the final chapter of Part I, Noel Thompson examines the ideological crisis that engulfed social democracy during the 1980s. Thompson focuses on the debate about economic strategy on the British left and traces how social democratic politicians and economists responded to the dethroning of Keynesianism by neo-liberalism as the dominant model of economic policy-making. Thompson argues that this period sees the defeat of a distinctively social democratic economic strategy in Britain, since it was ultimately rendered
democracy; or, at least, the basis for one. It can be argued too that it has opened up actual and potential avenues of social democratic advance, even if it does not provide the overarching theoretical framework and meta-narrative furnished by Fabianism or Keynesian social M1738 - CALLAGHAN TEXT.indd 67 3/8/09 12:13:33 68 Social democracy in crisis democracy. This political economy may not entirely resolve the ideological crisis of contemporary social democracy but it may be seen as providing the lineaments of such a resolution. It is beyond the remit of this
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of Gush Emunim when, following the detection of the Jewish Underground, it became subject to a deep ideological crisis, indicating the downfall of the radical constructivist perspective. The void left by the decline of Gush Emunim was quickly filled by even more extreme hawkish elements which, at the time of the peace process spearheaded by the second Rabin administration, cast serious doubt on the government’s legitimacy and launched a campaign of de-legitimisation against the incumbent leader of that administration. Surprisingly, both these movements, and