Diversity and Plurality as Challenges of Left Policy - Left Parties in Europe
Venue: Rosa Luxemburg Foundation Berlin
Organisation: RLF Berlin in cooperation with Transform
Contact: Cornelia Hildebrandt
From 22-24 May, 2011 a workshop co-organised by Transform! Europe and the RLS in Berlin, will deal with questions of inner-party democracy and with questions of the member and voter-structures of left parties. The focus will be on the fragmentation and diversity of left parties as well as on the political and social alliances of parties.
We would like to suggest the following three thematic blocks:
1. Fragmentation and Pluralism of Left Parties: Which challenges and problems are inherent in the diversity of left parties? How can and how do left parties handle this diversity? The diversity in the Left is to be presented with reference to the EL and to individual left parties.
2. Alliances with Civil Society (WSF/ESF, relations to trade unions, social movements, reference to movements on the Internet): What does it mean for the political Left to be part of social movements? What are the effects of the different dynamics of parties and movements? What is the relationship like between left parties and social forums? To which extent have the new relations contributed to the developments of left parties?
3. Multi-Party Alliances and the Question of Government Participation: Which preconditions do broad left alliances require to effect a change of direction? Which problems are they confronted with today? What are the experiences in cross-over-projects and with government responsibilities: What is good for society often is not good for the election results of left parties. What is the relationship between the participation of the Left in governments and in social and ecological projects? Which new experiments and strategies are there in selected countries?
Background of Seminar:
The basis of this workshop is the co-operation between the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and Transform! Europe in the area of the analysis of party research. Thus, the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation has for years been analysing the development of left parties in Europe from a strategic and programmatic perspective as well as from the perspective of organisational policy. To this end, a number of international workshops have been organised on questions of left parties’ strategies and formation of alliances. Hitherto the focus of the discussions has been on questions of the programmes and on the development of strategies of left parties, among others, their relationship to other social and political agents including the Social Democracy and on the challenges the Left is facing in European politics.
The results are presented on the thematic website of the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation respectively.
Beyond that the RLS in both Brussels and Berlin worked intensely at comparative analyses of left parties in Europe on the basis of a questionnaire referring to the position and function of left parties within the party system, their strategy and programmes, the structure of their members and voters and their organisational development, to the point of inner-party democracy. The results are available both as book and as online-publication: "From Revolution to Coalition: Left Parties in Europe". (German publication).
The analysis forms the basis of a number of workshops carried out by the Rosa Luxemburg Foundation and the Foundation of the European Left Party, Transform! Europe.
Since then Transform! Europe has last year carried out a number of workshops on the analysis of left parties. The focus of these analyses was the development of left parties under the conditions of the crisis and their ability to develop alternative strategies against the burdens of the crisis being shifted on to the socially disadvantaged; the question of new social subjects and the role of parties as parts of social movements as well as questions of an alternative agenda – the ways of the transformation of societies on the basis of social and ecological restructuring.