Social Democracy

A Comparative Account of the Left Wing Party Family

By Hans Keman

© 2011 – Routledge

208 pages

Purchasing Options:
Paperback: 9780415574075
pub: 2016-05-01
Hardback: 9780415574068
pub: 2016-05-01
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About the Book

Social democratic parties and the system of social democracy are a central part of political life in the West. This book focuses on social democracy as a party and a broad movement as well as a unique political force in the industrialised world. It provides a critical comparative survey of when, where, how and why social democracy developed within established capitalist democracies.

It explains the electoral successes and failures of social democratic parties, the influence of the party system and the nature of competition and co-operation between parties. It also examines the ideological tensions within social democratic parties between socialists and reformists.

It features a broad range of case studies including Australia, Austria Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Greece, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom as well as comparisons with the United States, Canada and Japan.

Table of Contents

Power to the People 1. From movement to party 2. The struggle for political participation and representation 3. Cooperation or conflict? To be or not to be in government Power to the Party 4. Making society by government participation 5. State intervention and welfare statism 6. Policy performances and electoral backlash Power to be lost? 7. Votes and offices. Stateness of Social Democracy 8. Third Ways as alternative project 9. Party of the People or of what?

About the Author

Hans Keman is Professor of Comparative Political Science, VU University Amsterdam (Netherlands). He is a former editor of the European Journal of Political Research and the current editor of Acta Politica.

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