The Left in Europe

From the introduction:

After thirty years the victorious march of neo-liberalism has ground to a halt at the beginning of the 21st century, having plunged the world into financial and economic crisis. For the first time a financial and economic crisis has coincided with social, environmental and climatic crises. The scale of the social deformations causing all this, the increases in social divisions, hunger and poverty, are already visible in all European countries. But no one knows yet how this crisis will end, and that goes for those on the Left as well.

In the past the European Left has identified and analysed many problems and proposed solutions. Many of these proposals, such as the control of financial markets, the Tobin tax, the closing down of tax havens, the banning of derivatives and hedge funds, the expropriation of shareholders of big corporations, putting together stimulus packages, and the introduction of a minimum wage, are being adopted under pressure of necessity by the ruling elites, who are even including some of them in their own programmes.

The crisis shows how right the demands of the Left were, though it also exposes its own crisis. The Left has so far proved incapable of social leadership. Its ability to rise above social, political and cultural differences and successfully act in concert is still in its infancy. Only now does the Party of the European Left have its first joint election platform. ...

Content:

Western Europe:

* Possibilities and Limitations of the Anti-Capitalist Left in Belgium - Paul-Emile Dupret
* Protests on the Streets of France - Cornelia Hildebrandt
* The Left in Luxemburg - Sascha Wagener
* The Left in The Netherlands - Cornelia Weissbach

Northern Europe:

* Denmark - The Social and Political Left - Inger V. Johansen
* Left-wing Parties and Politics in Finland - Pertti Hynynen and Anna Striethorst
* The Left in Norway: Politics in a Centre-Left Government - Dag Seierstad
* Sweden: The Long March to a Coalition - Henning Süssner
 
North Western Europe:

 * The Left in Brown’s Britain – Towards a New Realignment? - Thomas Kachel
* Radical Left Politics in Ireland: Sinn Féin - Ken Ahern and William Howard

Central Europe:

* The Situation of the Left in Austria - Leo Furtlehner
* The Radical Left in Czechia - Stanislav Holubec
* DIE LINKE in Germany - Cornelia Hildebrandt
* Left-wing Parties in Poland - Holger Politt
* The Communist Party of Slovakia (KSS) - Heiko Kosel

Southern Europe:

* The Radical Left in Italy between national Defeat and European Hope - Mimmo Porcaro
* The Spanish Left Alliance Izquierda Unida between regionalisation and authoritarian politics - Dominic Heilig
* The “Bloco de Esquerda” and the founding of a new Left in Portugal - José Soeiro

South Eastern Europe:

* Communists in Power: Cyprus - Julian Marioulas
* The Left in Bulgaria - Dorothée de Nève and Tina Olteanu
* The Left in Romania - Dorothée de Nève and Tina Olteanu
* ÖDP – A Turkish Left Party between Patriotism and Left Liberalism - Cem Sey
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