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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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Labour Markets, Welfare States and the Dilemmas of European Social Democracy

Labour Markets, Welfare States and the Dilemmas of European Social Democracy

(p.140) Chapter 9 Labour Markets, Welfare States and the Dilemmas of European Social Democracy
The Crisis of Social Democracy in Europe

Martin Rhodes

Edinburgh University Press

The author surveys contrasting models of political economy and social democratic efforts to reform labour markets and welfare states. The paradoxical conclusion is that social democratic parties have lost less electorally in countries where welfare states have been weaker and labour markets less regulated - the liberal welfare state countries. The severest challenges are faced by those social democratic parties that, historically, were builders or co-builders of large, highly decommodifying welfare states, as in the Nordic and continental-conservative countries. In Germany, social democrats have lost votes to the Greens and the Left Party while in the Nordic countries they have been outflanked by the mainstream conservatives, while losing to the populist right, both of whom have embraced welfarism.

Keywords:   Left-libertarianism, Challenges to social democracy, Welfare state regimes, Social investment state

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