ACES workshop Social Democratic Parties in the 21st Century. Caught between a Rock and a Hard Place?

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventConferenceAcademic


Social democratic parties are experiencing trying times, as is for example evidenced by the dramatic losses experienced by the Dutch PvdA and the French PS in 2017, and the decline in seat share of the S&D group in the 2019 EP elections. At the same time social democratic parties in Denmark, Finland, and Spain attracted more support in recent national elections, making the decline of social democratic parties far from uniform across Western Europe. This workshop explores the challenges and opportunities West European social democratic parties face in the 21st century. Building on Kitschelt (1994)’s seminal work on the strategic interaction between demand – societal transformations impacting on citizens attitudes - and supply – changes in the competitive environment such as the emergence of new parties and dimensions of conflict – the conference examines what trade offs social democratic parties experience when they seek to build cross ‘class’ alliances. It investigates which group identities are relevant when studying social democratic electorates, focusing on conceptualisations of the new working and middle classes, but also looking at other new identities emerging around age, gender, or ethic and cultural background. Moreover, it surveys how strategic position taking by social democratic parties impacts on electoral success and the possibilities for generating cross ‘class’ alliances. The conference will explicitly address the competition between social democratic parties, on the one, and new(ish) parties such as social liberal parties, social populist parties, radical right-wing populist parties, and green parties.
Period28 Nov 201929 Nov 2019
Event typeWorkshop
LocationAmsterdam, NetherlandsShow on map