085 Social Democratic Ideological Change in Times of Crisis

Tuesday, June 25, 2013: 4:00 PM-5:45 PM
A0.08 (Oudemanhuispoort)
The purpose with this session proposal is to reflect about theories and processes of change in social democratic parties, and in relation to a spectrum of contemporary challenges that should be expected to unsettle established parties of the left: A financial and economic crisis of historic magnitude, severe electoral setbacks in several countries, and the growth of populist contenders are among the most visible of those factors. Yet the translation into ideological reassessment – whether partial or more global – is evidently more complex than what the few theories in the field (e.g. Harmel and Janda) have purported. In this context, we believe it is important to study more closely the interplay of internal and external forces to provide more refined explanations of the dynamics of change or homeostasis. It also requires to recast the nature, saliency and role of ideology for contemporary party organizations. More generally, what kind of specific/relevant response parties of the social democratic family can devise - at the national level or beyond - to respond to this current state of crisis.

The session will bring together a set of scholars from four countries doing research in political science and history on various aspects of left parties in Europe. Our intention is to lay the ground for further collaboration among the participants in this field.

Pontus Odmalm
Frans Becker
From Social Democracy to Social Liberalism?.
Jonas Hinnfors, University of Gothenburg; Yohann Aucante, EHESS
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