Why the Left Loses: The Decline of the Centre-Left in Comparative Perspective

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Manwaring, Rob, Kennedy, Paul
Policy Press, 2018 - Political Science - 240 pages
Social Democracy is on the back-foot, and increasingly centre-left political parties are struggling to win office. Bringing together a range of leading academics and experts on social democratic politics and policy, Why the left loses offers an international, comparative view of the changing political landscape, examining the degree to which the centre-left project is exhausted and is able to renew its message in a neo-liberal age. Using case studies from the UK, Germany, Spain, France, Australia and New Zealand contributors argue that despite different local and specific contexts, the mainstream centre-left is beset by a range of common challenges. Analysis focuses on institutional and structural factors, the role of key individuals, especially party leaders, and the atrophy of progressive ideas in explaining why the centre-left is currently in retreat. Why the Left Loses is aimed at stimulating wider debate about the fortunes of the centre-left.
 

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Contents

back to the wilderness
25
four The soft target of Labour in New Zealand
53
capitalist constraints and the
69
the case of Australian state Labor
85
little hope in times of crisis
103
eight The Swedish Social Democrats and the new Swedish
123
the PSOE
137
from office to crisis
151
eleven The end of revisionism?
169
twelve Social democracy and the populist challenge
185
thirteen The dilemmas of social democracy
203
Index
219
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About the author (2018)

Dr Rob Manwaring is a senior lecturer at Flinders University, in South Australia. He researches into the areas of labour and social democratic politics, comparative politics, political parties, and democracy. Dr Paul Kennedy is Lecturer in Spanish and European Studies at the University of Bath. He is the author of The Spanish Socialist Party and the modernisation of Spain (Manchester University Press: 2013) and is co-author, with David Cutts, of Podemos and the Art of the Possible (Manchester University Press: forthcoming 2018).

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