“The success of a renewal process depends on in how far social democracy will be able to emancipate itself from outdated myths and images about itself. Regaining credibility neither depends on renouncing ideological betrayals that were the costs of governing nor on pledging the return to historical values” said Dr. Ania Skrzypek, FEPS Senior Research Fellow, in the introduction of this article. Based on the empirical study “A comparative analyses of core values of PES member parties and the ideological evolution within the PES” this particular article aims at assessing the state of the ideological consciousness among social democratic parties in Europe.
The original research was completed in the context of searching answers on how to renew social democracy in times of multilevel crisis of democracy and calamity of its building elements, such as legitimacy of political representation, and provides a panorama of the values that are recognized as core values and their respective interpretations. The complete study contrasts the findings from the national level with the European level. For the purpose of this article the part which solely deals with the programmatic evolution of the Party of European Socialists from 1992 to 2009 has been excluded. Here the focus lies on the comparative analyses of PES member parties and their respective programmes and should provide a selection of interesting guidelines, which once formulated may pave the path for social democracy into a new century.
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