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The Crisis of Social Democracy in Europe$
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Michael Keating and David McCrone

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780748665822

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748665822.001.0001

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Class Politics and the Social Investment Welfare State

Class Politics and the Social Investment Welfare State

(p.156) Chapter 10 Class Politics and the Social Investment Welfare State
The Crisis of Social Democracy in Europe

Colin Crouch

Edinburgh University Press

The author argues that it is increasingly difficult to maintain the old social democratic synthesis, as the globalisation of the economy, the decline of the organised industrial working class, and the growing dominance of neoliberal ideas were shifting the balance of power against those forces on which social democracy depended. ‘Third Way’ social democracy responded by longer regarding capitalism and corporate power as problematic and reshaping their programme around them. Such a stance involved overlooking several major problems. This, however, is to ignore the power of the business corporation, which has reached deeply into public services and is not necessarily to be identified with the free market. Crouch argues that the corporation must be regulated and advocates the ‘social investment welfare state’ practised as an alternative formula. He also believes that, given the weakness of political parties, social movements may be a better way to realise social democratic goals, confronting corporate power directly.

Keywords:   Neo-liberalism, Globalisation, ‘Third Way’, Social investment welfare state

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