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Title : Hard Choices: Social Democracy in the 21st Century
Author : Christopher Pierson
Edition : Paperback
ISBN : 9780745619859
Pages : 169p.
Year of Pub : 2001
Price : Rs 1,299.36 779.62
   
 
 
As the twenty-first century dawned, social democratic parties across Europe and beyond found themselves newly, and rather surprisingly, in the ascendant. Britain`s New Labour was only the most spectacular in a whole series of political restorations. For many, this renewal only became possible when `modernizing` social democratic parties jettisoned thair old ideological and institutional baggage, setting off down a `third way` that rejected the outmoded ideas of both left and right. The argument of Hard Choices is that this view is doubly mileading: it misrepresents the past and misunderstands the present. The first half of the book restores some of the complexity to social democracy`s past and shows that it was much more subtle, varied and intelligent than its latter-day critics suppose. Turning to the present, the second half of the book shows how a few contemporary half-truths - relating to globalization and demographic change - have been used to justify the abandonment of the defining core of a social democratic politics. The book does not argue that `nothing has really changed`. In fact, a great deal has changed and policy0makers have to adjust to a range of new circumstances, constraints (and opportunities). But those who exhort us simply to abandon the `traditional` terrain of the centre-left are wrong. Social democracy remains just what it always was- a politics of messy compromises and hard choices.

 

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