The Ideological Connection: Party ideologies & what they stand (or stood) for
Reminders: • Paper topics due Tuesday, February 3rd • These should contain: • A brief statement of the topic as you propose to define it • A preliminary bibliography of sources you are likely to use • Including a brief annotation of what you expect to find in them or how you expect to use them
Recap: Ways of distinguishing parties: • Size or strength • Role • By their ideology or ideological family • By the ways in which they are organized
The European Experience: Ideological families: • Socialism (including Communism, Socialism and Social Democracy) • Christian Democracy • Liberalism • Conservatism
The Party Spectrum Today • (ex-)Communists • Greens, left-libertarians • Social Democracy • Christian Democracy • Liberalism (Radicalism) • Conservatism • The new right
How strong is the ideological connection? • Should we think of parties as members of ideological families? • If so, are parties • carriers of political ideologies? OR • bearers of ideological labels?
What is a political ideology? • A political ideology is a a set of beliefs • more or less constrained or inter-related • about society, economy & what has been or can be achieved through politics • Typical components: • Rights and duties • View of the economy • A vision of the future
Specificity & constraint • However, ideologies vary: • Some are more clearly stated than others: • e.g. Socialism, Communism, classical liberalism • Others are less clearly defined: • Conservatism • Some variants of Christian Democracy • Populism • The contemporary new right
Conservatism • What is Conservatism? • Conservatism according to Sir Edmund Burke • Conservatism in practice: • One nation conservatism in the UK • Thatcherism • Social v. fiscal conservatism
Christian Democracy • Origins: • Response to godless Communism? • Response to “the social question” • Characteristics: • Wholistic or organic world-view: see society as a fabric, with upper and lower strata • Centre-right v. centre-left variants • Italy, Germany, Netherlands, Austria
Liberalism • What is it about? • Classical v. ‘reform’ liberalism • The government which governs least governs best v. • state intervention to ensure equal rights, equal opportunity • American usage • Thatcherism
Ideological change • Do parties today stand for the same things that they stood for 50-150 years ago? • Suppositions: • There has been a decline or disappearance of political ideology (end of ideology thesis) vs. • Ideological change: parties retain earlier commitments, but their understanding of what can be done and how it should be done has changed • Or no change at all?
Socialism, social democracy & Communism • Origins: Marx and non-Marxist • Early socialism: orthodoxy • 19 & 20th century splits • Revisionism and social democracy • Democratic socialism & socialism • Communism
What divides them? Strategy and tactics: • What do you do while you wait for an inevitable revolution? • Can you involuntarily push history along? • Can you achieve socialism via the ballot box and parliamentary democracy? • How much public ownership of the means of production?
Social Democracy today: What is left of the left? • Building socialism or managing capitalism? • Backing off from public ownership • The Keynsian welfare state: • Managing the welfare state • Full employment • Generous safety net – insurance against risks of life in industrial and/or capitalist economies • The cold war and its impact
Third way politics • Tony Blair’s New Labour Party • Old v New Labour • More links with capital – e.g. public-private partnerships • Tougher stance on the administration of justice • The SPD in Germany • The PvdA (Dutch Social Democrats) Social Democracy today?
Other party families • Do green or left liberatian parties share a common ideology set of beliefs? • Do new right (sometimes called new right populist) parties share a common ideology or set of beliefs?