The changes and challenges of the Left in contemporary Europe - An introduction

Ristić, Irena (2021) The changes and challenges of the Left in contemporary Europe - An introduction. In: Resetting the Left in Europe : Challenges, attempts and obstacles. Series Edited volumes . Institute of social sciences, Belgrade, pp. 14-23. ISBN 978-86-7093-245-6

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Left-wing parties in Europe have been faced by a crisis for more than three decades. What in the 1970s started as a challenge by conservative political elites to the post-war constellation characterized by a welfare state and an institutionally regulated market, was, from 1989 onward, strengthened by the Fall of the Berlin Wall and the subsequent acceleration of economic globalization throughout the 1990s. Most social democratic parties in Europe did not only fail to question this emerging model of deregulated capitalism, but also went so far as to embrace it, thus triggering a ground-breaking ideological, political and also structural shift in themselves. The consequence was a loss of their traditional constituency, which, to a not insignificant extent, turned to right-wing populist parties. New Left movements, challengers of the established social democratic parties, started once again after the global economic crisis to garner support in countries in which economic deprivation had hit hardest, mostly in Southern Europe. Their examples showed that there is not only a strong need, but also a huge demand, for leftist policies. But being scattered between different countries, these movements also showed that without a united, transnational and solidary front of leftist movements throughout Europe, the chances of achieving a sustainable impact and paradigm shift of the dominating economic model will remain low.

Item Type: Book Section
Uncontrolled Keywords: Left, crisis, change, critical mass, internationalization
Institutional centre: Centre for political research and public opinion
Depositing User: Vesna Jovanović
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 20:04
Last Modified: 11 Aug 2021 06:13

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