Book

09/10/2014

Progressive values for the 21st century

“Progressive Values for the 21st century” is the 4th Volume of the popular“Next Left” book series, which since 2009 features noteworthy contributions to the pan-European debate on the renewal of social democracy. Having provided a critical assessment of the reasons of the electoral defeats and historical decline in the first one, the subsequent tomes delivered respectively: a collection of visionary responses to the crisis from the side of the parties’ leaders; and an assortment of proposals for future agenda, which arose from academic deliberations. This new Volume represents a bold attempt of the Next Left Focus Group to offer a progressive ideological framework that would adequately shape the policy agenda and our movement in modern times.

The articles gathered mirror the results of a one year long academic debate. In its course, respective members of the Focus Group deliberated on what the progressive values are, how they are explained and what their meaning is in both party internal, but also societal context.

The diverse profiles, fields of expertise and origins accumulated in the Group, ensured that the endeavour upheld an interdisciplinary character and had been representative for different streams of social democracy. This debate on substance was accompanied by a solid work that provided a suitable methodology for such a research, which gives the collection exceptional potential to become the first step towards establishing a new, progressive European school of thought. While striving for it, authors enjoyed revisiting concepts that may have been taken for granted, as also reclaiming notions that may have been unjustly monopolised by other political families.

What makes this Volume unique is that it succeeds in translating the complex, philosophical, and hence relatively abstract deliberations into audacious policy recommendations. Herewith authors enact a new character of the ideological dispute, which impose leaving a safe haven of internal discussions and placing it in the heart of societal debate. Challenges to frame the next social deal and new socio-economic paradigm, as also to build potential for strategic alliances to establish a prevailing progressive majority remain therefore the integral part of the respective contributions.

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