European Social Democracy and the Third Way: Convergence, Divisions and Shared Questions

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European Social Democracy and the Third Way: Convergence Divisions Shared Questions Frank Vandenbroucke Taking a long-term view of social-democratic history Donald Sassoon argues convincingly that we witness “an unprecedented Europe-wide convergence parties Left” (1998 p 92) There seems short-term nature too Read sample literature on welfare state published over last five years by centre-left policy institutes scholars In chronological order you may start with report issued British Commission Justice (1994) end reading chapters German in few months ago “Zukunftskommission” Friedrich Ebert Stiftung (1998) Despite important national differences will be struck recurrence following fixed points which many social democrats seem to agree: 1) Welfare cannot reduced employment but is key issue reform Moreover objective has changed “Full employment” as it was conceived past most countries underlying traditional concepts full for men The challenge today women This linked transformation family structures our conception women’s role society It need rethink both certain aspects architecture distribution work households individuals spontaneously emerges labour market 2) should not only cover risks traditionally defined them (unemployment illness disability old age child benefits) also new (lack skills causing unemployment or poor single parenthood) needs (namely reconcile life education able negotiate changes within workplace one’s entire cycle) 3) “intelligent state” respond those an active preventive way engage “social spending” investment” (e g training education) 4) Active policies higher agenda upgraded quantity quality tailoring more effectively individual situations presuppose correct balance between incentives opportunities obligations people involved; 5) Taxes benefits must lead situation (or their families) face very high marginal tax rates when hours wages increase they take up job Benefit systems are selective beset “poverty traps” UK “Unemployment – discouraging mainly low-skilled workers from taking jobs characterize some other well differing degree 6) necessary subsidize topping workers’ pay selectively subsidizing employers combined decent minimum 7) People who part-time flexible adequately integrated protected security system 8) Such economic environment based upon competitive sector exposed international competition development private service find job-opportunities Continental Europe typically lags behind Wage subsidies can instrumental respect Delors (1997) written excellent short paper Party Socialists “new model development” foregoing concerning wage-subsidies etcetera fit One finds same core insight tackling reforming requires documents Stiftung’s Zukunftskommission proposes model” along lines stressing instance create services Elsewhere I have argued these “fixed points” reflects potential useful views among at least level general diagnosis guidelines (Vandenbroucke 1997) do suggest consensus such would close models Union practical measures Different political institutional cultural backgrounds explain why persist; imposing homogeneity certainly sensible Nevertheless indicating employment-centred theoretical exercise For without this kind process set motion 1997 Luxemburg Job Summit been difficult one reasons discussion National Action Plans elaboration Guidelines Employment Policies turned out substantive contrary what sceptics might feared (2) More fundamentally common vision future however diversified politics doomed stagnate finally fail (de Schoutheete Of course establishing entails much than said so far A comprehensive approach positions pensions health care much-debated universality versus selectivity possible specify issues similar terms generality deduced If formulated suitably foundational stand good chance representing socialdemocratic thought practice Consider statement universalism add my list points: 9) Neither nor dogmas: values methods judged basis efficiency stability These criteria interconnected: depends legitimation provisions eyes public large; together considerations supports sectors visible “waste” money undermine legitimacy But health) precondition sustain broad base support communal experiences Selectivity form “affluence test” rather condition However catches poverty traps reduces words appropriate “broadly based” value endeavour idea fair burdens majority accepted Again stressed thinking necessarily advocated somewhat parts Belgian during eighties against received wisdom quarters party because considered moment insufficiently hand understandable reformers stress prevailing means-testing To understand each other’s generalize parochial look principles underpinning (Ferrera 1998 explains arguments mean different things ) So Sassoon’s plausible present recent convergence; identify subjects account summarily sketched here leaves open basic normative questions overlooks conceals divisions emphasis first discuss division believe immediate difference (3) Then return left scheme Keynesians supply-siders? Confronted one-sided successful say concur targeted require sufficient overall pressure demand Hence macroeconomic precisely French Italian governments others argue: coordination fortiori context EMU They thereby appeal basically Keynesian insights appears Way continental democracy Now exaggerate differences; argue fiscal stance government next three classically counter-cyclical afraid internal centre-left: stuff Yet worries me presented inspiring unable grasp relevant demise Keynesianism essential Giddens’s construal he explained Beyond Left Right:”Keynesianism became ineffective result twin interconnected influences intensified globalization everyday ( worked tolerably world simple modernization; could survive reflexive modernization reflexivity Reflexive citizens responding universe global uncertainties become aware subvert supposed mobilize behaviour like forms helped structure presumes citizenry stable lifestyle habits characteristic globalized ” (Giddens 1994 42) Since given shred empirical link instability remains dogmatic main point want make real difficulties encountered makes hard intelligent productive dialogue Germans go through all let put follows identification “classical democracy” “effective Keynesianism” relies hidden assumptions easily taken granted Once assumed lived “golden age” confronted circumstances mixture monetary expansion organized second essentially unproblematic less economies true (4) his Crisis Choice Scharpf neatly expounds various problem constellations management offers no solution: stagflation fuelled cost-push inflation example Incomes were additional instrument needed tackle cooperation unions (Scharpf 1991 pp 25-37) Even usual swings business cycle depended voluntary instruments directly available suffice cope even closed economy external constraints enhanced integration exist; eliminate bizarre “in golden era” before speak always successfully rely track fight whatever constellation Returning contemporary discussions Successful mutual trust actors sets actors: budgetary authorities (governments) (central banks) trade wage increases requirement facing latter acceptance discipline growth average slack tight markets difficulty achieving exacerbated now where multitude layers union organisations authority longstanding pleas project designed overcome summarize “un gouvernement économique” replicated Lafontaine’s writing Lafontaine 105) Euro-zone pôle i e reference Central Bank ideally supplemented collective bargaining generates complex specific proposals Councils Ministers added Space forbids pursuing any detail alone strengths weaknesses involved Here structural: intends conditions sustainable mix supply flexibility à la Greenspan president American FED Although there question “dash growth” “Keynesian fine tuning” learned illusions Also likely effective policy; play lesser suggests Minister Finance Strauss-Kahn deputy Flassbeck recently emphasized (Strauss-Kahn 1998b; 1998) What institutionally creation ECB confidently relax economically indicated perception irreversible decline coherence cohesion corporatist institutions corporatism design incorporate variety optimism matters counterbalanced pessimism intellect all-out warranted: Netherlands provides well-known possibility neo-corporatism My concern this: defining longer-term source potentially disruptive destabilizing intellectual framework presentation purchase debate; sense declares itself uninterested claims dramatically textbook analysis steering irrelevant wrong hampers capacity debates Euro tout court fact Giddens lists defines “state dominates civil society” reinforces created implicit dismissal macroeconomics As Crouch pointed shows little understanding neo-corporatist industrial relations meant practised precludes renewal continent Problems language communication Clearly sounds priori ears realize government” exactly slogan porteur” Anglo-Saxons apart problems overcoming undogmatic theory nations foremost thorough Europeanization (which deny its own right) Economic reality dictates governance Nearly taxation gradually introducing sources funding taxing consumption energy diminish taxes extreme caution New Labour operates domain tactical disagreement turn longer term fundamental surmounted aversion ideologically entrenched positive seriously dented case if shape beyond Luxembourg Cardiff summits already achieved investment replacing spending? around 1 8 earlier conceal third holds (on Most emphasize relation spending “either-or” distinction highlights pragmatic trade-off two tracks redistribution avoid creating false dichotomies often suggested instantiates “redistribution” while something entirely An intuitive politically attractive argument dividing line everybody better off cost others; hence “redistributive” former convenient analytically maintain never embodies First does come cheap run permanently worse consequence reallocating resources invested raises sufficiently generate guarantee citizen net beneficiary Secondly classify using taxonomy: entail (in human capital get experience thanks subsidy) direct (because people’s wages) Phelps self-financing everyone deploys schemes doubt whether robust enough decisive discourse call appeals willingness redistribute well-identifiable high-skilled high-income low-income And setting priorities inevitable tradeoff increasing improve via (for retired) investing escape means replace unreal live ageing ever dependent connections force demographic transition maintaining benefit levels standard living inactive population participation Dutch debate (see references fn Investment raising about sustainability desirable pointing decrease Important necessitate states (cf claim allow significant aggregate pursued retrenchment breach recognizably existing sacrosanct impression strong assertions “inefficiency” made wrongly being defects Some increased Britain 15 intrinsically interacts affecting inequality Gottschalk notably 673) everywhere undergoing reforms assertion incorrect conflate meaningful modernizing On complexity distinctive character address calls careful Scrutiny facts reveals spectacular; sweeping generalizations Thiscaveat discussed previous section mentioned (The truth unexciting Balanced reasoning verification sadly best-sellers locating judgement mistaken Salvati Maybe primarily reconsidered prepared translate “equal people” into standards justice conceptions rights duties distributive (5) goes grain “values” then “our unchanged” revise implementation emotionally comfortable lift anchor yet tell whole story reassuring sound reflection going Between lie just reviewing consider revisit review settled ideas Therefore Blair’s insistence importance welcome stresses unchanged simultaneously quite clear “about ideas” (Blair mention briefly concealed centreleft’s century awareness “male” (my led shift objectives specified Nowadays figures makers thing Characteristically interested fiddling statistics growing number early retirement problematic drive towards supported and/or inclusion propose vaguely formulate cluster follows: how distribute really achieve inclusive participate? focus narrow definition (Other assign morality “supported self-reliance” selfreliance individual’s effort self-reliance partly moralistic paternalistic) flavour: paid central non-monetary rewards self-esteem beneficial effects lives integrate slight moralism “the knows you” disturb importantly dismiss participation: nothing paternalistic recognizing (6) surveys show willingly “price” having income obtain esteem provided Phelps’s massive programme boost low productivity explicitly refers valuable costly individuals: “The measure cash reward supplied disadvantaged earnings excess entitlement ineligible Our self-supporting kin hinges ourselves families largely due efforts actually negative large low-wage comparably wealth feel themselves afford pecuniary sacrifice ‘buy’ (Phelps 21-22) “affordable” option extensive net-income low-productivity Solow emphasises participate According crucial achievement concludes: “(W)e kidding reasonable know benign malign neglect strain sponsors willing admit normal economics (Solow 27) Solow’s another High equality opportunity comparative working (if yardstick exclusion) relative rate US almost twice Germany France four times Belgium although greater proportion Likewise widespread Australia Canada records (Marx Verbist 5; Fig 2 Table Note diminishes citizens’ attach overarching limited community activities outside think parents local schools implies done combine providing professional childcare longterm parental sabbaticals lucky minority Pursuing ambitious propositions proposed introduction “participation law” covering search socially (PvdA 29-30); coalition pursues promising “framework legislation leave” Atkinson’s radical proposal criticism (Atkinson 1995 301-303; see Oppenheim advantages drawbacks) meaning elderly contribute productively include notion Atkinson 24 “deeply unfashionable once again use excluded mechanism expression citizenship (Lister hope summary remarks goals inevitably ideals egalitarian convictions says egalitarian) huge distributed define build coalitions “winners” “losers” Melkert parliamentary leader social-democrats writes interesting contribution (Melkert church flourish recognizable unifying identity Standards motivated equal elements shared Related further query confronts concerns responsibility exhaustively By teaser confront scholarly interpretations Deal examine learn thinks blend neo-liberalism seen neo-liberal “stick” components withdrawing toughening enter strongly assist market-access provision subsidized uses explanatory sociologist’s concept today’s field Crouch’s contrasted Plant “not mid-century bureaucracy purposes justified Labour’s “genuine alternative” (neo-liberal) (social-democratic) according “supply side citizenship”: “(I)n rich status citizenship; bundle goods right Rather participating reaping accrue part Still Plant’s differs respect: “(T)he position poorest groups equipped marketable matter determine Either democrat wants aim (Plant 9-10) With actual slightly overplays since Family Credit Working Families Tax change results significantly nearly fifth expenditure entailed generosity closer scrutiny pure “deadweight” view: officially planned extra act incentive expected continue (Meadows 76) sell redistributive constitutive simply read classical Behind “reciprocity” “no responsibilities”; secondly implicitly exchange reciprocity sole interaction compulsive Compulsion introduces “commodification” Esping-Andersen’s terminology disentangle presents responsibility-sensitive narrowing down personal generated correction troublesome We develop Today moral hostage natural tendency conservatism “affluent majority” degenerate defence sectional interests coherent built ethic 1990) regularly surfaced theme sometimes played disingenuous prominent Blair says: “In decades duty preserve Right mistake powerful forces movement features distinguish responsibilitysensitive market-exchange playing equips helps direction differential Second accepts ensure emerge takes display caring remunerate Fourth easy rhetoric responsibilities powerless matched powerful” (Wright 1996 147) Earlier Distributive all” best concern”? abstract philosophy 20 highly provide reconciliation focal exchanges philosophical developed Rawls Sen Dworkin Cohen Arneson Roemer Kolm Barry Crucial relate “having talent” “deserving” compensation talent At sight appear “talents” removed Many object preoccupations talents overwhelmingly determining material production perspective reflections consequences crucially connected modern societies 1998a 68ff Le Grand captures “(O)ur judgements inequity inherent depend extent outcome choice receives owing her disparity inequitable; arises control inequitable (Le 87) Equality isnot uniformity independent choices reason constitute advantage) demanding “equality opportunity” conventionally used: “Individuals’ determined barriers initial endowments abilities acquire inheritance gifts background prior etc Equalization thus judicious manipulation advantage endowed Or compensating ability bring range naturally 91-92) perform poorly compensated financially mechanisms Personal Conceptions “fair burdens” yield (rather per se) your luck choice: (i) regard original genetic born did yourself; influenced preferences competing workers; (ii) regarding choose That away Political relevance responsible consequently ethical desert lying heart 1989; White 1997; 25-26) Poverty theory? Social-democratic action nourished 51) Having painted picture concludes pessimistic notes labels theory”: “A aspect guide inspire Marxism impasse fault lies politicians intelligentsia (Sassoon 96) Obviously illustrate True prevailed self-contained body scientific clearly separated “bourgeois” after embraced passe-partout effect nuance vis-à-vis came “neoliberal” Does belief separate socialist lack resources? Not required neat unified Connecting grasping conflicting evidence Building bridges painstaking served prevail “glib sophisticated engaging thinking” (Krugman ix) nowadays “globalization” it” coming crisis capitalism” critically constructively abundantly power Two hamper action: open-minded across borders reluctance had fewer excuses failure accounts Footnotes (1) Revised version conference “Labour Government: Future Democracy” Minda de Gunzburg Center Studies Harvard University 13-15 November 1998; book (eds S R Skidelsky) abridged T Wright MP Gamble Quarterly Fifth Issue 1999 am grateful Peter Robinson Jos Beus Alan Chipp Jerry Colin David Miliband Anthony Bernard Tuyttens Wolfgang Merkel generous comments (some maintain) Cf assessment Martine Aubry 48-49); remarkably non-complacent omit regulation reflect realities diverging ideologies bold elaborate (and Gidden’s account) “rights justice” ecological durability though construe differently typical parity down-to-earth focussing viability (See Wetenschappelijke Raad voor het Regeringsbeleid van der Veen critical account; WRR combination supporting “participatieparadigma” (7) formal examination nexus “responsibility incentives” (1999) Bibliography ATKINSON B (1995) State Cambridge Press Blackwell Oxford AUBRY ACTION POUR LE RENOUVEAU SOCIALISTE Quelle gauche pour le XXIe siècle ? 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