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In the Name of Social Democracy: The Great Transformation: 1945 to the Present

The definitive study of the mutation of a political movement.

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.”


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    France Insoumise International Women's Day demonstration, March 2017. via Flickr.

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    We shouldn't underestimate the danger of Le Pen's result of 34.5%, even if she wasn't elected. This is a solid performance that makes her appear as a credible alternative for power, which means the slogan we have been hearing that says "Macron in 2017 equals Le Pen in 2022" has the potential to become true. This is one essential reason why against all odds the left should have been supporting a tactical vote for Macron for the second round. Abstention under these conditions was not an option.

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    Edwy Plenel, author of For the Muslims, calls for a vote against Le Pen and for Macron on May 7, not in order to endorse his programme, but for the sake of defending democracy as a space of free contestation, including in the face of the En Marche! candidate’s own policies. First published in Mediapart, which Plenel founded.  

    Marine and Jean-Marie Le Pen lead an FN march, 2014.

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