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[book cover] Social Democracy After the Cold War

edited by Bryan Evans and Ingo Schmidt

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June 2012

9781926836874 (Paperback)
9781926836881 (PDF)
9781926836898 (ePub)


Business & Economics / History / History: Canada / Political & International Studies



About the Book

Despite the market triumphalism that greeted the end of the Cold War, the collapse of the Soviet empire seemed initially to herald new possibilities for social democracy. In the 1990s, with a new era of peace and economic prosperity apparently imminent, people discontented with the realities of global capitalism swept social democrats into power in many Western countries. The resurgence was, however, brief. Neither the recurring economic crises of the 2000s nor the ongoing War on Terror was conducive to social democracy, which soon gave way to a prolonged decline in countries where social democrats had once held power. Arguing that neither globalization nor demographic change was key to the failure of social democracy, the contributors to this volume analyze the rise and decline of Third Way social democracy and seek to lay the groundwork for the reformulation of progressive class politics.

Offering a comparative look at social democratic experience since the Cold War, the volume examines countries where social democracy has long been an influential political force—Sweden, Germany, Britain, and Australia—while also considering the history of Canada's NDP, the social democratic tradition in the United States, and the emergence of New Left parties in Germany and the province of Québec. The case studies point to a social democracy that has confirmed its rupture with the postwar order and its role as the primary political representative of workingclass interests. Once marked by redistributive and egalitarian policy perspectives, social democracy has, the book argues, assumed a new role—that of a modernizing force advancing the neoliberal cause.


About the Editors

Bryan Evans is an associate professor in the Department of Politics and Public Administration at Ryerson University. Prior to joining Ryerson in 2003, he held senior policy advisory and management positions in the Ontario Legislature and Government.

Ingo Schmidt is an economist and the coordinator of the Labour Studies Program at Athabasca University. He has taught in Germany as well as Canada and was formerly staff economist with the metalworkers union, IG Metall, in Germany.



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Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND 2.5 CA). It may be reproduced for non-commercial purposes, provided that the original author is credited.


Download the entire book

Select a Chapter

DownloadFront Matter


DownloadTable of Contents

The New Social Democracy
Bryan Evans

DownloadIt’s the Economy, Stupid!
Theoretical Reflections on Third Way Social Democracy
Ingo Schmidt

DownloadFrom Protest Movement to Neoliberal Management
Canada’s New Democratic Party in the Era of Permanent Austerity
Bryan Evans

DownloadAmerican Social Democracy
Exceptional but Otherwise Familiar
Herman Rosenfeld

DownloadThe British Labour Party
In Search of Identity Between Labour and Parliament
Byron Sheldrick

DownloadSocial Democratic Parties and Unions in a Globalized World
The Australian Experience
Dennis Woodward

DownloadSwedish Social Democracy After the Cold War
Whatever Happened to the Movement?
Kjell ?stberg

DownloadThe Social Democratic Party in Germany
Caught Between the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the Rise of The Left
Ingo Schmidt

DownloadThe Québec Turn
Roger Rashi






Social Democracy After the Cold War (Book Launch)

Recorded 19 Sept. 2012 at Ryerson University, Toronto. Guest speaker: Leo Panitch.


John Warnock, professor at the University Regina and regular contributor to Canadian Dimension magazine has posted a review of Social Democracy After the Cold War on his blog.