Following the locust years of the neo-liberal revolution, social democracy was the great victor at the fin-de-siècle elections. Today, parties descended from the Second International hold office throughout the European Union, while the Right appears widely disorientated by the dramatic “modernisation” of a political tradition dating back to the nineteenth century.
The focal point of Gerassimos Moschonas’s study is the emergent “new social democracy” of the twenty-first century. As Moschonas demonstrates, change has been a constant of social-democratic history: the core dominant reformist tendency of working-class politic notwithstanding, capitalism has transformed social democracy more than it has succeeded in transforming capitalism. Now, in the “great transformation” of recent years, a process of “de-social-democratization” has been set in train, affecting every aspect of the social-democratic phenomenon, from ideology and programs to organization and electorates. Analytically incisive and empirically meticulous, In the Name of Social Democracy will establish itself as the standard reference work on the logic and dynamics of a major mutation in European politics.
“This excellent book maps out the profound doubts about social democratic identity at a time when the parties in question appear resigned to choosing between different forms of inequality. Always perceptive in its criticisms, it has a genuine non-polemical feel about the current predicament of the European Left. A lively, energetic and intelligent analysis.”
“One of the most outstanding recent works on social democracy. Moschonas analyses with extreme accuracy the ‘great transformation’ of this major political force through its multiple dimensions.”