Palliating terminal social democratic decline at the EU level?
in European social democracy during the global economic crisis
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Economic integration across the territory of the European Union (EU) precludes the adoption of national-level redistributive measures. This chapter works with a conceptualisation of 'social democracy' as a political ideal and assumes that we are therefore able to evaluate the degree to which a particular political programme is social democratic or otherwise. EU social policy developments during the Great Recession fall into three key areas: labour market regulations, pro-employment policies and anti-poverty initiatives. Much debate within social democratic parties has focused on potential opportunities through which to achieve a 're-social democratisation' of social democratic party programmes, and especially the opportunities presented by the process of European integration. This debate provides us with an insight into the question of how we might understand social democratic parties' supranational-level responses to the Great Recession.

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