Right across Europe, mainstream political parties are in retreat. New currents on left and right are confronting the political establishment, and forcing social democrats to face up to some existential questions. What does a fast-changing economy mean for political movements forged in the workplaces of the industrial age? Can traditional parties reinvent themselves for a more pluralist, less deferential democracy? How can the left nurture new forms of solidarity in a more individualistic society?
This collection of essays is a search for answers. It brings together Labour party politicians and UK and EU policy experts to map some of the long-term trends reshaping our society, our economy and our politics, and to consider their implications for the left. The project is guided by the spirit of the revisionist New Fabian Essays, which stressed in the early 1950s the imperative of each generation having “a new analysis of the political, economic and social scene as a basis for reformulating socialist principles”.