200204 - Has social democracy run out of steam? with Roberto Frega

4 Février, 2020 - 12:30 - 14:30


CEE General Seminar "Has social democracy run out of steam?", (PDF, 33 Ko)

Tuesday 4 February 2020,  12.30-2.30 pm, Sciences Po, Room Goguel, 27 rue Saint-Guillaume, 75007 Paris

The paper examines the political crisis of social democratic parties in Western Europe in light of its impact on the social democratic emanci- patory project, and asks whether the first calls the second into question. It first begins by defining social democracy as an emancipatory project, and identifies three major historical phases which correspond to three dis- tinct conceptions of the project. Section two examines recent literature in comparative welfare state economics, political sociology, and studies on populism and authoritarianism, to show how the socio-economic transfor- mations of the last five decades have enlarged and fragmented the con- stituency of social democratic parties, and contends that this situation has produced powerful tensions between the normative and the mundane dimensions of the social democratic project. Three major dilemmas – economic, cultural, and political – leading to three deep conflicts internal to the social democratic constituency are identified and discussed. Com- bining these empirical findings with the three rival interpretations of the social democratic project introduced in section one, section three develops three possible scenarios for the evolution of the social democratic project in the near future. Section four assesses the likelihood and political mean- ing of each of the three scenarios for the pursuit of the social democratic project.

Speaker: Roberto Frega, Centre Marc Bloch de Berlin

The research activities of prof. Roberto Frega develop around two major axes. On the one hand, they deal with the pragmatic tradition in philosophy, both from a historical and contemporary point of view. In particular, they seek to explore the contributions of pragmatism to policy understanding from a highly interdisciplinary perspective. On the other hand, they deal with contemporary transformations of democracy, as well as theories of public space. Recents publications : ‘’Against analogy: why analogical arguments in support of workplace democracy must fail’’, Democratic Theory, 7(1), 2020, ‘’Democracy between experimentalism and populism’’, Contemporary Pragmatism, 2019, ‘’Solidarity as social involvement’’, Moral Philosophy and Politics, 2019, ‘’The social ontology of democracy’’, Journal of Social Ontology, 4(2):157–185, 2019. 

Discussion: Emiliano Grossman, Sciences Po, CEE & Paulus Wagner, Sciences Po, CEE & LIEPP


Contact: contact.cee@sciencespo.fr

Compulsory registration - For the external people to Sciences Po: You will have to arrive 10 minutes before the beginning of the seminar and to provide you with your identity papers)



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