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Social welfare for the twenty-first century

Social democracy has made a political comeback in recent years, especially under the influence of the ‘Third Way’. Not everyone is convinced, however, that ‘Third Way’ social democracy is the best means of reviving the Left's project. This book considers this dissent and offers an alternative approach. Bringing together a range of social and political theories, it engages with some contemporary debates regarding the present direction and future of the Left. Drawing upon egalitarian, feminist and environmental ideas, the book proposes that the social democratic tradition can be renewed but only if the dominance of conservative ideas is challenged more effectively. It explores a number of issues with this aim in mind, including justice, the state, democracy, new technologies, future generations and the advances in genetics.

Responses to crisis and modernisation

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.

point in mind we can proceed to a brief overview of Bauman’s account of globalisation, since Bauman captures very succinctly TZP3 4/25/2005 54 4:51 PM Page 54 After the new social democracy the kind of social and spatial polarities that are crucial to understanding the security state and so to understanding recent developments in the US and UK. I will be assuming that globalisation is an economic, political and social reality, but one that can accommodate a much wider range of ideological trajectories than those proposed by conservatives and new social

in After the new social democracy

11 The continuing relevance of Croslandite social democracy Kevin Hickson The aim of this chapter is to argue that as social democrats look for an alternative to the New Labour/Third Way approach, as they inevitably must do given the rather moderate nature of many areas of domestic policy since 1997 and given the current economic crisis (leaving aside the disastrous foreign policy adventures of the Blair years, notably of course Iraq), we could find a number of relevant ideas in the British social democratic tradition, specifically in the work of Tony Crosland

in In search of social democracy
Towards a third way and back?

7 The modernisation of German social democracy: towards a third way and back? Hartwig Pautz The German Social Democratic Party (SPD) has undergone a number of revisions since its birth in the nineteenth century. This chapter will explore the latest debate about what the SPD stands for. As a programme party, the debate about long-term objectives, values and ideological principles has been of particular importance to party members, its leaders and the public. Hence the focus of this chapter: it will document and analyse the programmatic discourse of the SPD

in In search of social democracy
Germany, Sweden and Australia compared

1 Explanations for the neo-liberal direction of social democracy: Germany, Sweden and Australia compared Ashley Lavelle Several explanations have been put forward as to why social democrats have adopted neo-liberal policies since at least the 1980s. Ideological trends, the consequences of globalisation and European integration, and electoral factors, all get a strong mention in the literature. This chapter suggests that a more persuasive explanation for social democrats’ embrace of neo-liberalism lies with the end of the post-war boom in the early 1970s. Not

in In search of social democracy

6 A new Swedish model? Swedish social democracy at the crossroads Dimitris Tsarouhas Introduction Sweden has for a long time been viewed as a paradigmatic case for progressive politics. Swedish social democracy, to which the progressive character of such politics was attributed, could legitimately claim to have mastered the historic task of the revisionist Left: building a societal coalition around the goal of enhancing social welfare for all, while safeguarding the profitability of business and delivering economic growth. When economic crisis hit home in the

in In search of social democracy
Open Access (free)

Introduction John Callaghan, Nina Fishman, Ben Jackson and Martin McIvor The search for social democracy has not been an easy one over the last three decades. The post-war ‘golden age’, characterised by strong economic growth, full employment and narrowing income inequality, came to an unceremonious end with the global economic slowdown of the 1970s. Sluggish growth, rising unemployment and rampant inflation were all hammer blows to the credibility of the broadly social democratic outlook that had hitherto dominated post-war policy-making in the West. The

in In search of social democracy
The crisis of British social democratic political economy

associated with the left, and repudiated by the right . . . The fact that the political battle today is waged mainly on ground chosen by the left is remarkable evidence of the change in national ideology . . . (C. A. R. Crosland, The Future of Socialism, 1956: 28–9, 61) While it may be read in other ways, The Future of Socialism can be seen as a paean to the ascendancy of Keynesian social democracy. In Crosland’s view of things, demand management had delivered full or near-full employment; affluence was on offer to a growing proportion of the working population with class

in In search of social democracy
Open Access (free)

ego creep back into the following pages, perhaps as compensation for the fact that writing is a lonely business, but mainly because when addressing the contemporary state of social democracy, and trying to point out where you think it’s going wrong, some soapbox oratory is impossible to avoid. But hopefully the egoism does not get in the way of the book’s main purpose: to make connections. The world is a frightening place at the moment (though when was it not?) filled with people who seem to imagine that what it is really missing is another set of fundamentalist

in After the new social democracy