1st Edition

The Politics of Social Democracy Issues, Dilemmas, and Future Directions for the Centre-Left

By Rob Manwaring Copyright 2021
    310 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    310 Pages 47 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book addresses the meaning of contemporary social democracy and how the centre-left is navigating through its current identity crisis, through a series of cases of social democratic and labour parties across Europe and the Anglosphere.

    The book examines the ideological, policy, electoral and organisational dilemmas facing the centre-left. Taking in cases including those from the UK, Austria, France, Germany, Scandinavia, Australia, and New Zealand, it outlines and explores the current and future trajectories of the family of centre-left parties.

    This text will be of key interest to students, scholars and interested readers of labour and social democratic politics, centre-left political parties, trade unions, the future of the centre-left, and more broadly to those studying political parties, European and comparative politics.

    1. The Meaning of Social Democracy

    2. The Ideology of Social Democracy

    3. Ideological Dilemmas

    4. Social Democracy and Policy Change

    5. Dilemmas of Political Economy

    6. Dilemmas of Welfare and Social Policy

    7. Dilemmas of Immigration

    8. Electoral Dilemmas

    9. Dilemmas in Office

    10. Organisational Dilemmas

    11. The Next Wave of Social Democracy?


    Rob Manwaring is Senior Lecturer in Politics and Public Policy at Flinders University, Australia.

    "The Politics of Social Democracy is an important contribution to the growing literature on social democratic parties. It traces the ideological, policy and organizational evolution of centre-left parties over the past decades and explicitly addresses questions about social democracy's future. Scholars of social democracy, European politics and party politics more generally will find this book of immense value."

    Sheri Berman, Barnard College, Columbia University, USA.

    "This book is a major contribution to scholarship on the fate of social democratic parties across the western democracies. It charts the rise and fall of centre-left politics, the structural forces that have undermined the electoral strengths of social democracy, and the major ideological and organisational dilemmas these parties now confront. A must-read for academics and practitioners alike."

    Patrick Diamond, Queen Mary, University of London, UK.

    "Manwaring analyses both the key academic literature and crucial comparative data, successfully integrating the two in the process. A brilliant and insightful book that is essential reading for anyone who wishes to understand contemporary social democracy and the electoral and policy dilemmas it faces."

    Carol Johnson, University of Adelaide, Australia.

    "Manwaring’s book is an extremely well-researched and thorough account of social democracy. Theoretically inspired and wide-ranging in its outlook, it is a must-read for all who seek a better understanding of the social democratic party family."

    Kristian Steinnes, Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway.