The “Next Left” Research Programme was launched by FEPS with the support of Renner Institut in the aftermath of the European Elections 2009 with an aim to provide a pan-European platform for a debate on the state of social democracy. Since the beginning the programme has been chaired by Dr. Alfred GUSENBAUER (former Chancellor of Austria). It has been developing in subsequent phases, evolving from a critical analytical phase, through a comparative analysis, reaching at this very point the stage in which ambition is to provide tangible proposals on how to shape the progressive movement and its agenda adequately for the 21st century.
Within the course of the three years of its existence, the programme has been built upon several pillars, which ensure its interdisciplinary character and equip it with expertise from both the European and national levels. Through high level seminars in Brussels, Focus Group Meetings in Brussels and Vienna, through number of national round tables (held in cooperation with respective national foundations), as also through the fringe meetings at the major European political gatherings (such as respective PES Congresses and Councils) and international ones (such as 5th Progressive Latin American Forum), the programme attracted more than 2000 academics, politicians, experts and journalists. Their respective inputs are reflected in diverse publications, among them: Next Left Book Series (volumes 1-4)
More information please email Ania Skrzypek at ania.skrzypek(at)feps-europe.eu.
Next Left vol.V
Next Left: Building New Communities. Notes from the Transatlantic Dialogue of Dialogues
“Next Left: Building New Communities. Notes from the Transatlantic Dialogue of Dialogues” captures the leading threads of the inspiring debate on the future of progressivism from three continents. Being an outcome of a high level workshop, which was held in April 2012 at Harvard Law School and which marks the establishment of cooperation between FEPS, Renner Institut and IGLP – Institute for Global Law and Policy of HLS, this book constitutes an important reading for all those seeking a progressive alternative worldwide.
The contributions gathered in this 5th volume of the Next Left book series mirror a new focus of the renowned FEPS research programme. The two year intellectual exchange with academics at the Watson Institute of Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island) and the new dialogue built upon that with the IGLP HLS, subsequently led to founding of the “Next Left – Dialogue of Dialogues”. This scholarly framed conversation reflects a common aspiration to contribute to framing a new, prevailing global narrative.
The volume encompasses 6 sections. The first one features prefaces of Professor David KENNEDY, Director of IGLP HLS and of Professor Michael KENNEDY of Watson Institute at Brown University – both of whom played a fundamentally important role in making this Dialogue possible. Their introductory remarks are followed by the introductory words of the Dialogue’s initial architects, Dr. Alfred GUSENBAUER (former Chancellor of Austria and Chair of the Next Left Research Programme) and Dr. Ricardo LAGOS (former President of Chile and Head of Chilean Fondación Democracia y Desarrollo). Their remarks frame the tone of the debate, offering diagnoses of the contemporary times and naming the principal challenges ahead. The next four chapters: A New Progressive Vision, A New Cosmopolitan Movement, A New Socio-Economic Paradigm, and A New Approach to Work and Employment include 14 articles by outstanding academics and experts from both sides of the Atlantic. What makes this collection especially recommendable is the exceptional quality of the contributions, which are anchored in the multilayer analytical framework. They feature interdisciplinary analyses and argue for innovative policy proposals from the local up to the global levels. Their strong embedding in the assessment of the crisis aftermath and the climate of the new social mobilisation exposes the vacuum that authors argue to use for a new intellectual construct and new quality politics.
Next Left vol.IV
Progressive values for the 21st century
“Progressive Values for the 21st century” is the 4th Volume of the popular “Next Left” book series, which since 2009 features noteworthy contributions to the pan-European debate on the renewal of social democracy. Having provided a critical assessment of the reasons of the electoral defeats and historical decline in the first one, the subsequent tomes delivered respectively: a collection of visionary responses to the crisis from the side of the parties’ leaders; and an assortment of proposals for future agenda, which arose from academic deliberations. This new Volume represents a bold attempt of the Next Left Focus Group to offer a progressive ideological framework that would adequately shape the policy agenda and our movement in modern times.
The articles gathered mirror the results of a one year long academic debate. In its course, respective members of the Focus Group deliberated on what the progressive values are, how they are explained and what their meaning is in both party internal, but also societal context.
The diverse profiles, fields of expertise and origins accumulated in the Group, ensured that the endeavour upheld an interdisciplinary character and had been representative for different streams of social democracy. This debate on substance was accompanied by a solid work that provided a suitable methodology for such a research, which gives the collection exceptional potential to become the first step towards establishing a new, progressive European school of thought. While striving for it, authors enjoyed revisiting concepts that may have been taken for granted, as also reclaiming notions that may have been unjustly monopolised by other political families.
What makes this Volume unique is that it succeeds in translating the complex, philosophical, and hence relatively abstract deliberations into audacious policy recommendations. Herewith authors enact a new character of the ideological dispute, which impose leaving a safe haven of internal discussions and placing it in the heart of societal debate. Challenges to frame the next social deal and new socio-economic paradigm, as also to build potential for strategic alliances to establish a prevailing progressive majority remain therefore the integral part of the respective contributions.
Next Left vol.III
Towards a new strategy
“Towards a New Strategy” constitutes the 3rd Volume of the “Next Left” Books’ Series, of which the previous two: “Renewing Social Democracy – Contributions to a pan-European Debate” and “The Leaders’ Visions for Europe’s Future” were enthusiastically received respectively in 2009 and 2010. Presenting a handful of stimulating ideas, this book part represents a decisive shift of the focus: from critical analyses of the crisis of social democracy to a proposal on what it could become in order to be a leading political force in the 21st century.
The articles gathered here provide a solid synthesis of a year-long research, of which outcomes became an inspiration for progressive movement on both the national and the European levels. The material reflects the main threads of the 4 colloquiums that organized by FEPS together with Renner Institute took place in Brussels and gathered more than 150 high level participants. At the same time it also echoes 14 round tables that FEPS held in respective EU member states thanks to the cooperation with its member foundations, involving more than 2000 academics, politicians and experts. As such therefore, this book presents itself as a unique compilation of the points raised about the renewal of social democracy on all levels and across the continent.
“Towards a New Strategy” opens with a foreword by Dr. Alfred Gusenbauer, Chair of the “Next Left” Research Programme. Further the volume is covers four Chapters: “Responding to Contemporary Society”, “Our Values in a Changing World”, “A New Socio-Economic Paradigm” and “Mobilizing International Solidarity”. Coherently to diverse profiles of the authors and their various expertise, the structure and the tone of the respective texts differ: from longer elaborations to short and sharp statements; and from theoretical deliberations to concrete policy recommendations. This diversity is a very interesting character of the “Next Left” series, proving that a multifaceted approach is the key to success in ensuring the future for the progressive alliance in the 21st century.
Next Left vol.II
The Leaders' Vision for Europe's Future
2009 was a turning point for social democracy across the continent. After numerous disappointing electoral results, in particular the European elections, it has become an imperative to discuss the reasons for the decline in support for leftwing parties. The aim of this difficult, yet essential debate was above all to draw constructive conclusions from the recent past and build a bridge towards a new phase of social democracy. In this new era it is to emerge as a modern and vibrant movement, with a credible and trustworthy agenda. It is to be a force for change, which is ready to cope, both ideologically and organizationally, with the challenges of the 21st century.
A process of renewal is surely gradual and multidimensional. Its complex nature is reflected in the words of the progressive European leaders, whose groundbreaking speeches in 2009 have been collated in this book.
This path has to be decisively chosen, having regard for the values that have defined the movement for over 150 years. They have been the everlasting, universal principles that have designed a policy agenda for the people, bringing hope for a fairer future for all together with solidarity and mutual respect among peoples, societies and states. Cultivating these values is in fact the strategy that will surely empower the movement to break down neo-liberal myths and consolidate in order to make jobs, welfare and prosperity a reality for all. This surely cannot be achieved by single states acting alone, which is why the leaders of social democracy call for unity in the spirit of modern internationalism; beyond the nation state.
Next Left Book vol.I
Renewing Social Democracy Contributions to a European-wide debate
"Next Left" - Renewing Social Democracy" aims to stimulate further debate. In this publication, you will find reflections from all the corners of the continent. Therefore, the collected contributions mirror major trends in the pan-European debate on the future of the left. The expertise of various authors - academics, politicians and representatives from the world of media - guarantees a multidimensional analysis. Their diverse focus - encompassing issues of politics, organisation and communication - provides a solid diagnosis of the state of the socialist movement on all levels: local, regional, national and, what is unique, also European. The forewords by Poul Nyrup RASMUSSEN, President of the Party of European Socialists, and Alfred GUSENBAUER, chair of the FEPS "Next Left" focus group and former Chancellor of Austria, link the (by nature) philosophical and historical reflections with the reality of the contemporary European political agenda. All these elements construct parts of a fascinating deliberation on the future of social democracy.