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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.

Open Access (free)
Humanitarianism in a Post-Liberal World Order
Stephen Hopgood

own societies, especially as reformists of the centre left and right (Clinton, Blair) came to dominate the party-political scene after Thatcher and Reagan embedded the neoliberal revolution of the 1980s. After the Cold War, in other words, the liberal world order was a fact of life. In Margaret Thatcher’s immortal words, ‘there is no alternative’. The consequences of this focus on private enterprise, mobile money, weakened unions, reduced state welfare and regulation and lower taxes are all too visible today in areas like wealth inequality and

Journal of Humanitarian Affairs
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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
Patchen Markell

belief in their justified character just amounts to thinking there is no alternative to them), that foreclosure can also happen in ways other than through the mediation of beliefs or reasons, whether explicit or tacit. It can happen when the institutions and practices that make up the world are so configured that this or that aspect of the social world does not show up to us – all of us, or some of us – as an object of attention and practical concern. It does not appear, or it appears only asymmetrically, in the space of reasons. It’s not that we accept these

in Toleration, power and the right to justification

Karl Polanyi (1886–1964) returned to public discourse in the 1990s, when the Soviet Union imploded and globalization erupted. Best known for The Great Transformation, Polanyi’s wide-ranging thought anticipated twenty-first-century civilizational challenges of ecological collapse, social disintegration and international conflict, and warned that the unbridled domination of market capitalism would engender nationalist protective counter-movements. In Karl Polanyi and Twenty-First-Century Capitalism, Radhika Desai and Kari Polanyi Levitt bring together prominent and new thinkers in the field to extend the boundaries of our understanding of Polanyi's life and work. Kari Polanyi Levitt's opening essay situates Polanyi in the past century shaped by Keynes and Hayek, and explores how and why his ideas may shape the twenty-first century. Her analysis of his Bennington Lectures, which pre-dated and anticipated The Great Transformation, demonstrates how Central European his thought and chief concerns were. The next several contributions clarify, for the first time in Polanyi scholarship, the meaning of money as a fictitious commodity. Other contributions resolve difficulties in understanding the building blocks of Polanyi's thought: fictitious commodities, the double movement, the United States' exceptional development, the reality of society and socialism as freedom in a complex society. The volume culminates in explorations of how Polanyi has influenced, and can be used to develop, ideas in a number of fields, whether income inequality, world-systems theory or comparative political economy. Contributors: Fred Block, Michael Brie, Radhika Desai, Michael Hudson, Hannes Lacher, Kari Polanyi Levitt, Chikako Nakayama, Jamie Peck, Abraham Rotstein, Margaret Somers, Claus Thomasberger, Oscar Ugarteche Galarza.

David Miller

moral arithmetic. In principle, it may be justifiable to inflict harm on a small number of people for the greater good of a much larger number – even to kill the few to save many more lives, if there is no alternative (Thomas is neither a strict deontologist nor a strict consequentialist). But the terrorists made no attempt to carry out this calculation. If they had, they would have seen immediately that the end they sought did not justify the means. The same is true of the Western response to terrorism: Western governments have never seriously tried to show that

in ‘War on terror’
Community engagement and lifelong learning
Author: Peter Mayo

In this broad sweep, Mayo explores dominant European discourses of higher education, in the contexts of different globalisations and neoliberalism, and examines its extension to a specific region. It explores alternatives in thinking and practice including those at the grassroots, also providing a situationally grounded project of university–community engagement. Signposts for further directions for higher education lifelong learning, with a social justice purpose, are provided.

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