Germany: modernising the left by stealth

S.A. Padgett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

7 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The structural crisis of the German economy faces the parties of the left with a three-fold challenge. Programmatically they have to reconcile liberalising economic reform with the principles of social justice and environmental sustainability that motivate left politics. This means an electoral reorientation away from traditional voting groups, towards more reform-minded constituencies. Endowing party leaderships with the strategic flexibility to execute these manoeuvres may entail relinquishing long cherished organisational principles. This article examines the readiness of left parties in Germany to embrace these reform agendas. Whilst eschewing a decisive breach with programmatic tradition, both the Social Democratic Party (SPD) and Alliance 90/the Greens are nevertheless absorbing the liberal agenda. Both parties display signs of gradual organisational metamorphosis. The electoral profile of the SPD is slowly but unmistakably shifting. Almost imperceptibly, it is concluded, the parties of the German left are undergoing a process of modernisation by stealth.
LanguageEnglish
Pages38-57
Number of pages19
JournalParliamentary Affairs
Volume56
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2003

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Alliance 90/ The Greens
structural crisis
organizational principle
social democratic party
reform
economic reform
social justice
voting
modernization
flexibility
sustainability
leadership
economy
politics
Group

Keywords

  • german politics
  • liberalisation
  • german elections
  • economic reform

Cite this

Padgett, S.A. / Germany: modernising the left by stealth. In: Parliamentary Affairs. 2003 ; Vol. 56. pp. 38-57.
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Germany: modernising the left by stealth. / Padgett, S.A.

In: Parliamentary Affairs, Vol. 56, 2003, p. 38-57.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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