Tuesday 15 December 2009

Social democratic futures

The journal Social Europe are running a series of contributions from around Europe on the future of social democracy, responding to the Jon Cruddas and Andrea Nahles paper on The Good Society. (PDF file).

My piece can be read here.

Social democrats are clear that this ought to be a social-democratic moment. But for this to be the case it remains necessary to convince broad public and electoral coalitions.


So what’s missing?

Firstly, the ability to articulate the core social-democratic mission positively, and in terms accessible to a broad public. The third-way era was about defining modern social democracy in terms of what it was not. There are many things to be said both for and against the compromises of the 1990s. Often, within the constraints which were accepted, a good deal was done. What was missing was a theory of change which sought to shift the longer-term environment within which political choices were made.

Secondly, a viable political economy ...

Thirdly, a viable politics of support for social democracy ...

So there is some work to do.

More contributions here.

The Good Society debate is being organised in association with the Friedrich Ebert Stitung, Compass and the journal Soundings.


FEPS, the Foundation of European Progressive Studies, have picked up the theme of 'Next Left' and published a new book which collects essays addressing the challenge of renewing social democracy from several of the European partner think-tanks involved in FEPS' work.

There may again at this stage be as many questions as answers. Former Austrian Chancellor Alfred Gusenbauer sums up the direction of travel with ten challenges for social democrats in his introduction to the book.

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