Social democracy in the age of austerity: the radical potential of democratising capital

Renewal - ISSN 0968-5211
Volume 20 Number 4 (2012)

Social democracy in the age of austerity: the radical potential of democratising capital
Joe Guinan, pages -

Abstract

Social democracy at a crossroads

Historians joke that, no matter what the period, the middle class is always rising. In the same vein, social democracy seems perpetually at a crossroads. This may not be surprising, given the revisionist origins and protean political tendencies of a tradition whose leadership has always been prepared to hedge and trim and accommodate to the prevailing political winds. But today, more than a hundred years after the first of the parties affiliated to the Second International won a plurality in a parliamentary election (in Finland in 1907; Anderson, 1992, 307), social democracy may finally be running out of rope. All the main European social democratic parties are facing a crisis, registering at long last endlessly postponed questions about their fundamental purpose and programme. The strategic choices they make now and in the next few years could determine whether social democracy survives as the principal political force on the left or finally gives up the ghost, expiring not with a bang but a whimper and with scarcely a mourner at the funeral.

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To cite this article
Joe Guinan (2012) Social democracy in the age of austerity: the radical potential of democratising capital, Renewal, 20(4), -

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