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Renovation or resignation?

This book makes an important contribution to the existing literature on European social democracy in the wake of the 2008 financial crash and ensuing recession. It considers ways in which European social democratic parties at both the national and European level have responded to the global economic crisis (GEC). The book also considers the extent to which the authors might envisage alternatives to the neo-liberal consensus being successfully promoted by those parties within the European Union (EU). The book first explores some of the broader thematic issues underpinning questions of the political economy of social democracy during the GEC. Then, it addresses some of the social democratic party responses that have been witnessed at the level of the nation state across Europe. The book focuses in particular on some of the countries with the longest tradition of social democratic and centre-left party politics, and therefore focuses on western and southern Europe. In contrast to the proclaimed social democratic (and especially Party of European Socialists) ambitions, the outcomes witnessed at the EU level have been less promising for those seeking a supranational re-social democratization. In order to understand the EU-level response of social democratic party actors to the Great Recession, the book situates social democratic parties historically. In the case of the British Labour Party, it also identifies the absence of ideological alternatives to the 'there is no alternative' (TINA)-logic that prevailed under the leadership of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

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The Labour Party and the new crisis of capitalism
Philippe Marlière

a new leader eager to turn the page on the New Labour era seem to have opened up the possibility for a renewal of ideas and policy in the Labour ranks. Now in opposition, the Labour Party has a chance to reflect on the meaning of the crisis. The current situation also offers an opportunity to seek an explanation for the financial meltdown and assess New Labour’s responsibility in the debacle. ‘There is no alternative’ – TINA – was the sound bite which Margaret Thatcher, the Conservative Prime Minister, once famously used. This acronym has come to signify that

in European social democracy during the global economic crisis
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David J. Bailey, Jean-Michel De Waele, Fabien Escalona and Mathieu Vieira

The historical relationship between economic crisis and social democracy is both intrinsic and far from straightforward. In terms of electoral performance, an overview suggests that social democratic parties have fared badly as a result of the global economic crisis. The crisis of neo-liberalism creates the potential to consider a shift towards an alternative socio-economic model and set of ideas. This introduction presents an overview of the key concepts discussed in the subsequent chapters of this book. The book discusses the relationship between social democratic parties and what they claim were two 'Faustian pacts' entered into: one with European integration, and the other with the knowledge-based economy. In the case of the British Labour Party, the book further identifies the absence of ideological alternatives to the 'there is no alternative' (TINA)-logic that prevailed under the leadership of both Tony Blair and Gordon Brown.

in European social democracy during the global economic crisis
Power, accountability and democracy

Does European integration contribute to, or even accelerate, the erosion of intra-party democracy? This book is about improving our understanding of political parties as democratic organisations in the context of multi-level governance. It analyses the impact of European Union (EU) membership on power dynamics, focusing on the British Labour Party, the French Socialist Party (PS), and the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The purpose of this book is to investigate who within the three parties determines EU policies and selects EU specialists, such as the candidates for European parliamentary elections and EU spokespersons.

The book utilises a principal-agent framework to investigate the delegation of power inside the three parties across multiple levels and faces. It draws on over 65 original interviews with EU experts from the three national parties and the Party of European Socialists (PES) and an e-mail questionnaire. This book reveals that European policy has largely remained in the hands of the party leadership. Its findings suggest that the party grassroots are interested in EU affairs, but that interest rarely translates into influence, as information asymmetry between the grassroots and the party leadership makes it very difficult for local activists to scrutinise elected politicians and to come up with their own policy proposals. As regards the selection of EU specialists, such as candidates for the European parliamentary elections, this book highlights that the parties’ processes are highly political, often informal, and in some cases, undemocratic.

Peter Dorey

her to them. ‘There is no alternative’: Thatcher’s use of logos Because of her logos, Thatcher appealed to a much wider audience while also enhancing her own credibility as a party leader and prime minister. She proved particularly skilful at marshalling an array of empirical evidence, philosophical premises and arguments to attack the policies of her opponents, and thereby elicit support for her particular version of conservatism. Many of her speeches, both to Conservative audiences and in the Commons, were broad-ranging and cited a plethora of statistics, yet they

in Conservative orators from Baldwin to Cameron
Will Leggett

processes are treated as agents in their own right rather than uneven and contested processes deeply influenced by the decisions and strategies of social actors. 10 However, although it is important to demystify overblown claims that ‘there is no alternative’ to the trajectory laid out by uncontrollable social forces, the effect of those forces still needs to be kept in mind

in The Third Way and beyond
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Oratory and rhetoric in Conservative Party politics
Richard Hayton and Andrew S. Crines

-liberal economic experiment during the 1980s. Pathos is used to legitimate neo-liberalism (Crines, 2014) whilst simultaneously using negative emotions to attack Labour’s economic record and arguments. Consequently, emotional rhetoric tends to use fear to imply the dangers of another (collectivist) course of action, encapsulated by Thatcher’s mantra that ‘there is no alternative’ (Chapter 7). Logos All politicians like to claim that ‘the facts’ are on their side, and that their arguments are grounded in ‘reality’ (or at least a version of it). Indeed, the construction of reality

in Conservative orators from Baldwin to Cameron
Paul Cammack

derived exclusively from the logic of capitalist accumulation and exploitation. In contrast, neo-liberalism looks to an active state first to restore and then to maintain and extend the conditions within which the logic of capitalist reproduction can work to the full. In this context, an essential component of its project – reflected in the claim that ‘there is no alternative’ – is

in The Third Way and beyond
A short account of the Revolutionary Communist Party
Michael Fitzpatrick

drew attention to the absence of ‘a clear divide between left and right, or between parties representing different social classes’: There is no great clash of competing visions of the future for humanity. Instead, all shades of opinion within mainstream politics now appear to agree that there is no alternative. That general lack of belief in the possibility of changing things for the better has itself become the central issue of our times.54 In the 1980s, the RCP had run candidates in elections as a focus for campaigning and party-building activities. Now, in the

in Waiting for the revolution
Monsters of post-Celtic Tiger Ireland
Kieran Keohane and Carmen Kuhling

); Emile Durkheim calls it a cult of egotistical individualism, amoral and self-­destructive (Durkheim 1966, p. 209); while in the words of Adorno and Horkheimer further aspects of the beast involve stupefied ‘mass consumers’ deceived and manipulated by the ‘culture industry’; and ‘authoritarian personalities’ looking to the strong master (Adorno and Horkheimer 1992 p. 120). The purportedly ‘objective and self-­regulating laws of the market’, and the ‘value-­neutral’ ‘science’ of economics; the ‘fact’ that ‘there is no alternative’ to a society organized on neo

in From prosperity to austerity