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Online debate on the future of social democracy in Europe

Dear All

The text below was written by Jonathan Rutherford, of the journal Soundings.

People are invited to:-

”Contribute to a major online debate about the future of social democracy in Europe. The debate is hosted by Social Europe journal and Soundings journal and is supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Compass

Contributions should be no more than 700 words in length. The debate is running from November to January 2010 with over 50 contributors to date from across Europe.

If anyone would like to contribute, can they contact Jonathan Rutherford at: and I will send them further information and a deadline.

The poor results in the European elections in June were proof that we need to revive and reinvent our traditions. Since then the elections in Germany have delivered a terrible result for the SPD and in Britain the Labour Party faces a very difficult future. Change is essential. But what kind of change?

In April 2009 Andrea Nahles of the SPD in Germany and Jon Cruddas of the British Labour Party jointly published a document ‘Building the Good Society’ which was launched in London and Berlin. It brought together social democrats from Germany and Britain to discuss a new direction for social democracy in Europe. The next stage is to use this exploratory text to build a pan-European network of social democrats who are looking ahead to build the good society.

Contributors are asked to critically engage with the text and to use their expertise and knowledge to explore the key issues facing us today, both from the perspective of their own nation and from a wider European view.

The aim of ‘Building the Good Society’ is to help create an European wide conversation about the future of social democracy. This debate will contribute to a conference organised by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Compass which will be held in London in January 2010. It will bring together politicians of the left from across Europe.

Best wishes, Jonathan Rutherford

For “The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network website:

For Radical Politics Today magazine:

For more on the book What is radical politics today?, published in 2009 by Palgrave MacMillan:

Jonathan Pugh
Senior Academic Fellow
Director “The Spaces of Democracy and the Democracy of Space” network
School of Geography, Politics and Sociology
5th Floor Claremont Tower
Newcastle University
Newcastle upon Tyne
United Kingdom
Honorary Fellow, The Centre for the Study of Democracy, University of Westminster

Posted here by Glenn Rikowski

The Flow of Ideas: