Social democracy and the working class with Jonas Pontusson

Video FEPS Talks #146

🔊 Available on Spotify and Apple Podcast

Professor Jonas Pontusson is sharing his views about the need for a “social democratic renewal”. There is no simple recipe for this, and one needs to research political economy as well as sociology for a proper assessment of the dynamics of progressive politics today. But the discussions on the decline of social democracy already started in the early 1990s, after which the rise of the “Third Way” created a feeling of revival for a while. In the long run, a most critical relationship is the one between social democracy and the working class.

The assumption that the working class automatically supports socialists was probably never true, but today the relevance of the social democratic programme is highlighted by the growing inequalities and the rise of the so-called precariat. Sweden offers an example for a more resilient social democratic organisation and representation. Nevertheless, it also applies there that the offer must stress better the economic agenda: improving redistribution and finding ways to strengthen economic democracy. In various countries, new forms of workers’ activism give hope for revitalising the labour movement and social democratic politics as well.

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