All Colours Under the Sun: British social democracy at time of crisis

Tuesday, June 25, 2013
A0.08 (Oudemanhuispoort)
Eric Shaw , Dept of History and Politics, Universiy of Stirling
Eric Shaw, Senior Lecturer, PhD, Division of Politics, Department of History and Politics, University of Stirling, Scotland

Social democratic ideological change in times of crisis: The British Labour partyIn a period of less than two decades the  British Labour party has undergone two phases of major ideological change, which can be summarized as the rise and demise of New Labour. For many commentators the transformation of the party into ‘New Labour’ represented a process of modernisation, that is to say a process of accommodation to  deep-rooted social, cultural, electoral and economic trends . Little though was given to the possibility that the conjuncture of forces  to which New Labour was a response was in itself unstable and ephemeral. The financial crisis and the rash of  severe economic and political  disturbances it has caused  has rendered problematic many of the assumptions, beliefs and axioms upon which ‘Third Way’ social democracy was grounded. Recently we  seen the emergence of  Ed Miliband-sponsored ‘One National Labour.’ But in an age of allegedly abating ideology how significant are these changes? How do they inter-relate with institutional, cultural  and global forces? And is there any possibility for the rejuvenation of a distinctively  social democratic project?

  • Eric Shaw All the Colours under the sun CES.doc (304.5 kB)