The Three Worlds of Social Democracy

The Three Worlds of Social Democracy : A Global View

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Social democracy is clearly at a dead end, but is it actually dead? The Three Worlds of Social Democracy explores the historical and theoretical path of the social democratic parties from their inception to the present day through a series of essays by high-profile experts in the field.

Looking at the international picture, the book highlights the movement's spread to the postcolonial and post-communist countries of the Global East and South such as Eastern Europe, Latin America, India, and South Africa at the time it was considered past its prime in the West, a shift which is often ignored by mainstream analyses. However, the authors are not optimistic about its future - despite the rise of popular parties such as Greece's Syriza, a combination of international economic stagnation combined with an overall weakening of popular left-wing movements and a terrifying rise of extreme rightist parties paints a gloomy picture for the future of social democracy.

This is one of the first truly global explorations of the methods, meanings, and limits of social democracy. This book will be of lasting value to students of politics and will further the ongoing debate about the future of social democratic politics across the modern world.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 304 pages
  • 135 x 215 x 20.32mm | 385.55g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 0745336086
  • 9780745336084
  • 442,300

Table of contents

1. Introduction: Social Democracy and Uneven Development - Theoretical Reflections on the Three Worlds of Social Democracy - Ingo Schmidt


2. France - Who Wants to be a Social Democrat? - Fabien Escalona

3. Social Democracy in Norway - Knut Kjeldstadli and Idar Helle

4. British Social Democracy Without the Labour Movement, 1997-2015 - Max Crook


5. Till Death Do Us Apart? Kirchnerism, Neodevelopmentalism and the Struggle for Hegemony in Argentina, 2003-2015 - Mariano Feliz

6. Whither Social Democracy in Chile? - Ximena de la Barra

7. Does Social Democracy Hold Up Half the Sky? The Decline of PASOK and the Rise of SYRIZA in Greece - John Milios

8. Social Democracy in Romania - Lucian Vesalon

9. Slovenian Social Democracy: Long March Towards Irrelevance - Anej Korsika

Regional Powers:

10. The Workers Party in Brazilian Governments: From Left Neoliberalism to Left Austerity - Joerg Nowak

11. Politics of Social Democracy in a Communist-ruled State in India - Arup Kumar Sen

12. South Africa's Pseudo Social Democracy: Tokenistic Nuances Within Neoliberal Nationalism - Patrick Bond

13. Conclusion: Limits to Social Democracy, Populist Moments, and Left Alternatives - Ingo Schmidt

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Review quote

'Wide-ranging ... interesting' -- International Studies Review 'An excellent read' -- Chartist 'Timely, focused and extremely well organised, this volume offers a comprehensive assessment of the state of social democracy worldwide ... drawing out the diversity of its concrete manifestations in a series of rich case studies' -- Andreas Bieler, Professor of Political Economy, University of Nottingham 'Under the editorship of one of the most informed and profound analysts of contemporary social democratic parties and policies, this book's remarkably broad and up-to-date comparative coverage and analysis by an impressive range of authors makes an enormous contribution to understanding the contemporary political conjuncture' -- Leo Panitch, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, Political Science, York University and co-editor, The Socialist Register
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About Ingo Schmidt

Ingo Schmidt is academic co-ordinator of the Labour Studies Program at Athabasca University, Canada. His research focuses on international political economy and labour movements. His recent books include Reading 'Capital' Today (Pluto, 2017), The Three Worlds of Social Democracy (Pluto, 2015) and Rosa Luxemburg's Accumulation of Capital (VSA Verlag, 2013).
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