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Progressive Politics After the Crash: Governing from the Left

Progressive Politics After the Crash: Governing from the Left

Edited by: Olaf Cramme, Patrick Diamond, Michael McTernan

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Those who hoped the collapse of financial markets would usher in the end of neoliberalism and rehabilitate support for traditional social democratic policies programmes have been disappointed. It is not only the irrationality of markets which is the focus of public discontent, but the inefficiency of states and the inability of elected governments to humanise and control global market capitalism. So, in the aftermath of the 2008 crash prompted by the failure of US financial services conglomerate, Lehman Brothers, this book addresses a deceptively simple question: what is to be done? It makes the case for a new, post-crisis settlement harnessing the dynamic traditions of social liberalism and social democracy as the foundation for progressive reforms geared towards alleviating crisis aftershocks and addressing the deep-seated structural challenges afflicting western capitalist democracies.

Author Info

Olaf Cramme is Director of Policy Network and a Visiting Fellow at the European Institute of the London School of Economics. Previously, he worked as a Parliamentary Researcher at the Houses of Parliament. Patrick Diamond is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow at the University of Manchester, Senior Research Fellow at Policy Network and Gwilym Gibbon Fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford. He was formerly Head of Policy Planning in 10 Downing Street and Senior Policy Adviser to the Prime Minister. Michael McTernan is Deputy Director of Policy Network. He is editor of the Policy Network Observatory and the monthly State of the Left report.


'Instead of making sweeping generalisations and putting together unrealisable manifestos, the cast of contributors deliberately concentrate on providing cutting-edge, evidence-based analysis and workable solutions – on hard choices rather than hot air. Social democrats everywhere can draw both ammunition and even a measure of confidence from every single page. Highly recommended.'
Tim Bale, Chair in Politics, Queen Mary, University of London

'Progressive Politics after the Crash is a major contribution to ongoing debates about the future of the left. The onset of the “great recession” in 2008 seemed, for a moment, to promise a revival in the fortunes of the centre-left, but it has not yet happened. The argument made here is that the fortunes of parties of the centre-left will not improve until parties and thinkers on the left develop a model of governance premised on a deeper understanding of the nature of contemporary global capitalism, and of the constraints it places on the state and state finances and on traditional, social-democratic policies for growth and redistribution. Progressive politics on this reading requires not so much a new rhetoric or vision but rather novel approaches to creating a fair society – “social investment”, for example, and measures aimed at “predistribution” – as well as persistent efforts to create or recreate the institutional basis for centre-left politics. These finely crafted chapters will be essential reading for anyone who cares about the future of progressive politics.'
James Cronin, Professor of History, Boston College and affiliate of the Center for European Studies, Harvard University

'The Great Financial Crisis has raised major policy challenges for all advanced democracies. Yet, very few policy thinktanks have addressed these questions comprehensively and even fewer take the perspective of the centre-left. Progressive Politics after the Crash is a concise and highly readable collection of chapters that includes some of the world’s most stimulating and reflective academics. It is a very valuable contribution to a new centre-left agenda of establishing a political economy in the western world based on the reconciliation of economic development, equal access to assets and human capital, and redistribution.'
Anke Hassel, Professor of Public Policy, Hertie School of Governance

'Not only useful in developing specific policy proposals... it is also valuable as a contribution to a conversation about the future of left-wing politics that can reach beyond national boundaries, encompassing parties in Europe, North America and beyond.'

'If it is to win the battle of ideas, the centre-left urgently needs a new reform agenda. The essays in this book, drawing on the twin traditions of social liberalism and social democracy, begin to show the way forward.'
Andrés Velasco, Edward Larocque Tinker Visiting Professor at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs, and former finance minister of Chile

'We live in what is an extraordinary, unprecedented period. It poses a great challenge to the left. This [book] is up to that challenge because the usual critique is that the political responses are inversely proportionate to the scale of the challenge and I think this [book] actually corrects that and is commensurate with the scale of the task at hand. Therefore it has a key role in the intellectual renewal of the centre-left… I found it really thoughtful in terms of its breath and analysis.'
Jon Cruddas, Labour Party Policy Coordinator and MP

Bibliographic Info

Imprint: I.B.Tauris
Publisher: I.B.Tauris & Co. Ltd.
Series: International Policy Network Papers on Intellectual Property, Innovation and Health S.

ISBN: 9781780767642
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2013
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138

ISBN: 9781780767635
Publication Date: 29 Aug 2013
Number of Pages: 256
Height: 216
Width: 138
Illustrations: illustrations

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