Divided They Fell

Crisis and Collapse of Europe's Centre-Left

Sean McDaniel

Hardback
£60.00  |  $90.00
ISBN 9781788216050
e-book
£60.00  |  $90.00
ISBN 9781788216067
224 pages   |  234 x 156mm   |  30 April 2023

Description

Why has Europe’s centre-left failed to respond to the crisis of neoliberalism in Europe? Rather than opening up a moment in political time for the centre-left to puncture the dominance of neoliberalism, the multitude of crises in Europe since 2008 have consolidated its difficulties and contributed to the rise of populist alternatives.

Divided They Fell examines the failures of mainstream politics, and in particular the inability of the centre-left to respond to the Great Recession more effectively. By exploring the cases of the UK Labour Party and France’s Parti Socialiste, the book investigates the role of, and interplay between, institutional intra-party dynamics, the parties’ ideational landscapes and the wider political economy in shaping their responses to the crisis. The book argues that intellectual and institutional path dependencies within both parties constrained the flow of fresh ideas and entrenched their internal organisational divisions, leaving them unable to offer an effective post-neoliberal economic alternative. Ultimately, this fractured the parties and sparked a crisis of centre-left identity that opened the door to emergent alternative parties and movements in both cases. Divided They Fell helps to diagnose what has gone wrong for the centre-left in Europe and forces us to consider whether such parties are, in the context of new and emerging crises, still fit for purpose.


Author Information

Sean McDaniel is Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the Future Economies Research Centre, Manchester Metropolitan University. He completed his PhD at the University of Warwick in 2019 and has been a visiting research fellow at the Centre d'études europénnes, Sciences Po, Paris.


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