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.
rendered viable. This debate, moreover, provides us with an insight into the
question of how we might understand social democratic parties’ supranationallevel responses to the current GreatRecession, and the kinds of outcomes that
have occurred as a result.
The optimists: cosmopolitan social democrats
As noted, for those optimistic about the prospects of a supranational re-social
democratisation of European social democratic parties, European integration
offers an important opportunity to circumvent the obstacles that have impinged
upon the social democratic project (i
Note: 1949–87: West Germany; 1990–2010: Germany including the former German
Source: Infratest Dimap
since the GreatRecession) to a fundamental contradiction in German politics.
Even though the welfare state is highly popular, its actual provisions are subordinated to world market success. Austerity is thus, however grudgingly, accepted
as necessary in order
deliberate planning, the result of
social and economic policies based on universal inclusion.
As a result of the quiet revolution, Europe has achieved postwar peace, prosperity for most Europeans, even in the crisis years following the GreatRecession of
2008, social justice, and ecological protection undreamed of in the US. In Europe
the homicide rate is only a quarter of that in the US, the literacy rate is higher,
and the lifespan of Europeans longer than their American counterparts. Europe
Europe versus America: a summing up
incarcerates far fewer of its
remain formidable, not least the scepticism of many national party actors, who remain consistently reluctant to embrace true transnationalism and concerned to preserve a critical function of TNPs as agents of national principals (Hanley, 2008 ).
A further contextual factor that must be borne in mind is the context of the GreatRecession, wherein the very concept of EU integration (even the EU itself) has faced not just electoral but even existential challenges (with the emergence of the debt crisis and the Greek tragedy being the most
Rethinking the state
Political language is designed to make lies sound truthful and murder respectful,
and to give an appearance of solidity to pure wind. — George Orwell
The United States spent more on its big bank bailout, which helped the banks to
maintain their generous bonuses, than it spent to help those who were unemployed
as a result of the recession that the big banks brought about. — Joseph Stiglitz1
The GreatRecession of 2008 and its aftermath alerted us once again to the dangers
of an unfettered and unregulated market. The US, followed by the UK
’s history. These outcomes follow a pattern seen across a number of Western
Europe’s established democracies in which the ‘deep crisis’ of the GreatRecession
has wreaked havoc on party systems (e.g. Hernández and Kriesi, 2015). The
objective of this book is to assess this most extraordinary of Irish elections both
in its Irish and wider cross-national context. With contributions from leading
scholars on Irish elections and parties, and using a unique dataset – the Irish
National Election Study (INES) 2016 – this volume explores voting patterns at
Ireland’s first post
capitalist nations. 23
The participation of the social-democratic parties in austerity, deregulation, and privatization across Western Europe was universal from the early 1980s through the GreatRecession of 2008–2009, emulating in only slightly modified form the direction set by Reagan and Thatcher and soon adopted by the Clinton Administration. While the stronger welfare states in Europe have held up better than the weaker New Deal/Great Society version in the United States, the direction of neoliberal policy in Western Europe, especially in Germany, France, and even
-hundred-year-old legacy of agitation and self-organization, under neoliberalism the working class in the UK and other liberal democracies has experienced the collapse of traditionally left-leaning political parties into mere creatures of hegemonic corporate interests. This process reached a transparently grotesque point when the 2008 GreatRecession hit. At this point, the lurid contrast between homeowners being evicted due to defaulting on their mortgage loans and bank CEOs (chief executive officers) netting millions of dollars in bonuses become socially explosive. The Occupy
The Eurozone crisis, Brexit, and possible disintegration
Peter J. Verovšek
and apply these resources to make very different arguments. However, these difficulties represent only one aspect of the problems facing the EU at the start of the twenty-first century. In addition to the continental divisions over memory, the global financial crisis brought on by the fall of Lehman Brothers, one of the world’s largest financial service providers, in September 2008 has opened new rifts in Europe.
In addition to the east–west fault lines created following the accessions of 2004, as a result of the GreatRecession the EU and its common currency