Hugh McDermott for Prospect


Pages tagged "social democratic theory"

ALP must look to primary system

By: Sam Dastyari

On June 22, 1891, the leaders of the newly formed Labor Party in NSW woke to read, in a daily Sydney broadsheet, of the end of their political party. The Labor Party, the editor noted, "must necessarily be neutralised or eliminated in the end". Since that first article 120 years ago, claims about the death of the Labor Party have been greatly exaggerated.

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Winning Elections and losing their Identity – Parties in Modern Politics

By Gabor Gyori


When you talk about party organisation these days it sounds fairly simple. You get yourself a young (or youngish) candidate with a few novel (or seemingly novel) ideas, compile a team of professional campaigners, energise on-the-ground activists and undecideds and sweep the elections. Then everyone is sent home, the technocrats come in and four years later the previously revolutionary challenger repackages himself as the seasoned moderate candidate against the “extremist” candidate from the other party.

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How to Fulfill the Promise of Opportunity for All

by Isabel V. Sawhill, Senior Fellow, Economic Studies, Policy Network

Centre-left governments face a number of critical domestic challenges. This memo is written primarily from a US perspective and with a recognition that the problems differ from country to country. Indeed, in some areas the United States has a lot to learn from our friends in other advanced countries.

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Adapting Social Democratic Parties to the Facebook Age

By Neal Lawson



Form follows function. What are social democratic party’s for and therefore how should they be structured? In the era of what we could call social democracy 1.0 when unions were big, production was bigger and the state and power heavily centralized the goal was the administration of power from the top down. War socialism meant an elite and hierarchical form.

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The Job of Political Parties – Transforming Society in a Changing World

By Milos Pick

In recent decades, the main long-term trends in world development have intersected.

Since the 1970s, the gradual suppression of the previous post-war reforms has led to the restoration of extremely deregulated capitalism (the Washington Consensus) and its global, neo-colonial expansion (the unipolar world). This has resulted in the extreme polarization of income and wealth and poverty verging on a genocidal scale (in the poorest countries), the depletion of extensive sources of further sustainable development, constrained natural population growth in developed countries combined with overpopulation in developing countries, and in particular the excessive depletion of scarce natural resources and environmental degradation. Capital exploits not only labour, but also, increasingly, nature.

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How Social Democratic Parties can find the Electoral ‘Sweet Spot’

By Steven Hill

The role of political parties in a representative democracy is a complicated subject that has been analyzed for years by legions of scholars who usually have the benefit of hindsight. Yet that body of research is not always helpful to real-time political practitioners, because each election cycle is faced with new circumstances, so looking in the rearview mirror often doesn’t reveal much about what lies ahead. The challenge is to renew and reinvent political organizations for the current moment.

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Cut to the chase: 15 political truths for the centre-left

by Andrés Velasco and Francisco Diaz

The world has just experienced the biggest financial crisis since the Great Depression. Over 80 million jobs were lost worldwide. The United Nations estimates that as many as 145 million more people are living in poverty. Scores of countries have emerged from the crisis with weakened financial systems and huge public debts. These nations may be condemned to slow growth and insufficient job creation for years to come.

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Taking Social Democratic History Seriously


By Martin Albers

Social democracy has arguably been more aware of historical change than any other political movement. Liberals tend to believe that historical change is something that cannot and should not be influenced, beyond the creation of a minimal state. Conservatives might be interested in history but the idea that mankind could consciously make its own history is rather alien to their view. Orthodox communists on the other hand could blindly rely on an interpretation of all history that promised them final victory or they could on the contrary attempt to force their vision of the future upon societies unwilling to create the preconditions for the predicted revolution.

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Australian liberalism: the rocky road ahead

By Chris Lewis

Forget silly arguments that Australia (and the world) should embrace complete free trade and/or open national borders to immigrants, as suggested by one of Australia's most read libertarians, Chris Berg.

While libertarians offer some useful points within their wishful thinking, common sense demands more sensible commentary that reflects the reality that we do live in a competitive world still struggling for resources and the influence of certain ideas.

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Is ‘Social Justice’ enough for Social Democrats?

By Dimitris Tsarouhas

Our debate on equality is useful and necessary.

Useful because it allows progressives to step a little bit back and seriously debate whether they have not succumbed to the temptations of contemporary capitalism a bit too easily. Necessary because the rejuvenation of social democracy goes through critical reflections on the past and present of its political practice.

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