Social Democracy After the Cold War

Social Democracy After the Cold War

by Bryan Evans, Ingo Schmidt

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Despite the market triumphalism that greeted the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet empire seemed initially to herald new possibilities for social democracy. In the 1990s, with a new era of peace and economic prosperity apparently imminent, people discontented with the realities of global capitalism swept social democrats into power in many Western countries. The resurgence was, however, brief. Neither the recurring economic crises of the 2000s nor the ongoing War on Terror was conducive to social democracy, which soon gave way to a prolonged decline in countries where social democrats had once held power. Arguing that neither globalization nor demographic change was key to the failure of social democracy, the contributors to this volume analyze the rise and decline of Third Way social democracy and seek to lay the groundwork for the reformulation of progressive class politics. Offering a comparative look at social democratic experience since the Cold War, the volume examines countries where social democracy has long been an influential political force—Sweden, Germany, Britain, and Australia—while also considering the history of Canada’s NDP and the emergence of New Left parties in Germany and the province of Québec. The case studies point to a social democracy that has confirmed its rupture with the postwar order and its role as the primary political representative of working-class interests. Once marked by redistributive and egalitarian policy perspectives, social democracy has, the book argues, assumed a new role—that of a modernizing force advancing the neoliberal cause.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781926836898
Publisher: Athabasca University Press
Publication date: 06/01/2012
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 340
File size: 3 MB

About the Author

Bryan Evans is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University. Prior to joining Ryerson in 2003, he held senior policy advisory and management positions in the Ontario Legislature and Government.
Ingo Schmidt is an economist and the coordinator of the Labour Studies Program at Athabasca University. He has taught in Germany as well as Canada and was formerly staff economist with the metalworkers union, IG Metall, in Germany.

Table of Contents

Introduction: The New Social Democracy Bryan Evans It’s the Economy, Stupid! Theoretical Reflections on Third Way Social Democracy Ingo Schmidt From Protest Movement to Neoliberal Management Canada’s New Democratic Party in the Era of Permanent Austerity Bryan Evans American Social Democracy Exceptional but Otherwise Familiar Herman Rosenfeld The British Labour Party In Search of Identity Between Labour and Parliament Byron Sheldrick Social Democratic Parties and Unions in a Globalized World The Australian Experience Dennis Woodward Swedish Social Democracy After the Cold War Whatever Happened to the Movement? Kjell Ostberg The Social Democratic Party in Germany Caught Between the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Rise of the Left Ingo Schmidt The Québec Turn Roger Rashi References Contributors Index

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