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    Social democracy: objectives, options and agencies

    Kelly, John (2013) Social democracy: objectives, options and agencies. Renewal: A Journal of Social Democracy 20 (4), pp. 70-72.

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    What’s Left of the Left is a collection of authoritative and wide-ranging essays whose authors aim to grapple with the prospects for social democracy in hard times: the aftermath of the long post-war boom; the collapse of the East European command economies; and the growth of multinational corporations in a globalised economy. Whilst none of the contributors echoes Perry Anderson’s millennial remark that ‘the only starting point for a realistic left today is a lucid registration of historical defeat’ (2000, 16), the general tone of the volume is both sober and modest. According to the editors, ‘the alternative to actually existing capitalism is not socialism, but a better and more just capitalism’ (Cronin, Ross and Shoch, 2011a, 8). This overarching theme certainly provides the book with a degree of coherence, notwithstanding the differences between the contributors, yet it also raises a number of key questions: what should we now understand by the term social democracy? To what extent are the strategic options for social democratic parties subject to the severe social and economic constraints described by many of the contributors? And what is the relationship between social democratic parties and that other, traditional component of the labour movement, the trade unions?


    Item Type: Article
    School: Birkbeck Faculties and Schools > Faculty of Business and Law > Birkbeck Business School
    Research Centres and Institutes: Birkbeck Centre for British Political Life
    Depositing User: Sarah Hall
    Date Deposited: 23 Sep 2014 11:03
    Last Modified: 02 Aug 2023 17:12


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