Across Europe, social democratic (or more broadly center-left) parties are a shadow of their former selves.
Most treatments of the center-left's decline stress economic factors like globalization or the decline of manufacturing or social factors, like the decline of the traditional working class. While such factors are important, they alone cannot explain the center-left’s decline if only because such factors do not correlate well with the fortunes of center-left parties across either time or space. This talk will accordingly focus on the political causes of the center-left's decline, in particular its shift to the center on economic issues and the dilution of its class-based political appeals during the late 20th century. This transformation had a variety of unintended and detrimental consequences for center-left parties, played a significant role in the rise of the populist right, and contributed to reshaping the dynamics of western democracies more generally.
ABOUT THE SPEAKER
Sheri Berman is a professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University. Her research interests include the development of democracy and dictatorship, European politics, populism and fascism, and the history of the left. Her latest book is Democracy and Dictatorship in Europe: From the Ancien Régime to the Present Day. In addition to her scholarly work, she has published in a wide variety of non-scholarly publications including The New York Times, the Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, Foreign Policy, VOX, The Guardian and Dissent. She is on the boards of The Journal of Democracy, Political Science Quarterly, Dissent and Persuasion.
The REDS Seminar Series aims to deepen the research agenda on the new challenges facing Europe, especially on its eastern flank, and to build intellectual and institutional bridges across Stanford University, fostering interdisciplinary approaches to current global challenges.
REDS is organized by The Europe Center and the Center on Democracy, Development and the Rule of Law, and co-sponsored by the Hoover Institution.
This event is co-sponsored by