Organized as a series of tightly linked, comparative assessments, Mapping the West European Left provides a guide to the state of the left in Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Germany, Britain, France, Italy and Spain. While all the essays are detailed historical compositions—setting recent crises and dilemmas in a longer perspective reaching back into the postwar settlement—they articulate original insights into the contemporary political conjuncture.
Why did Swedish social democracy lose hegemony and direction while its Norwegian counterpart showed unexpected resilience? What was the background to the Danish rebellion against Maastricht? What are the prospects for the SPD and the Greens in post-unification Germany? Should the British Labour Party embrace electoral reform? What propelled the French Socialist Party from triumph to disaster? And why did the Italian left fail to fill the vacuum created by the collapse of the Christian Democrats?
Behind the questions explored by the contributors to Mapping the West European Left lie deeper issues concerning the future of radical politics in Europe after the repudiation of Keynesianism and the end of communism. With the individual country analyses synthesized by the editors in a concise and comprehensive introductory essay, this book provides key pointers to the social forces and ideological platforms that offer lines of advance to the left today.