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Social Democracy and the Challenge of European Union

Robert Ladrech
 
ISBN: 978-1-55587-902-0
$49.95
2000/170 pages/LC: 00-024782
"[Ladrech] traces with commendable clarity ways in which an ideology (in this case social democracy) has sought to minimize the potentially adverse effects, and exploit the advantages of a new political landscape....Tthe more durable achievement of the book will be its enrichment of the literature on Europeanization by moving the debate beyond the mere erosion of borders towards a more sophisticated discussion of ways in which components of the state (here political parties) are compelled to reconfigure their defining attributes (e.g. interest aggregation, aspiration to govern, etc.) and avoid redundancy."—Edward Moxon-Browne, Journal of Common Market Studies

DESCRIPTION

The shift in executive power from the European Union's member states to Brussels raises profound questions for Europe's social democratic parties as they seek to remain relevant within an integrated "Euro-polity." This book analyzes the response to this challenge: an entirely new organizational form of party politics emerging at the European level.

Ladrech shows how social democratic parties are retaining their influence on EU policymaking through a continuing process of adaptation and the evolution of an innovative party network. This network was manifested in the establishment in 1992 of the Party of European Socialists, which went on to play an important role in shaping policies at the 1996-1997 IGC.

Ladrech also explores what this new form of political activity means for European politics, arguing that the traditional positions of left and right may be becoming increasingly significant within the EU's evolving, transnational political culture.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robert Ladrech is senior lecturer in The School of Politics, International Relations, and the Environment at Keele University (UK).

CONTENTS

  • Introduction.
  • THE CHALLENGE OF EUROPEAN UNION.
  • European Integration and Party Relevance.
  • European Integration and the Social Demoratic Dilemma.
  • ADAPTATION AND INNOVATION BY SOCIAL DEMOCRATIC PARTIES.
  • Europeanizing Social Democratic Parties.
  • Party Networks and European Union Governance.
  • The Party of European Socialists and European Union Agenda Setting.
  • Toward a European Social Democracy.