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Luke March 'No Podemos? The weakness of the British radical left from communism to Corbyn'

Event Name Luke March 'No Podemos? The weakness of the British radical left from communism to Corbyn'
Start Date 16th Nov 2016 1:00pm
End Date 16th Nov 2016 2:00pm
Duration 1 hour
Description

Abstract: Radical left parties (those to the left of social democracy) have had a mixed performance in Europe since the end of the Cold War, but the Great Recession has presented greater opportunities for many in countries as diverse as Greece, Spain, Portugal and Iceland. However, the British radical left has been a conspicuous exception: electoral marginality in the twentieth century continued into the twenty-first; that is, at least until the 2015 election of Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party, the former bastion of ‘Third Way’ social democracy. The European radical left has embraced Corbyn as one of their own. Drawing on the comparative literature explaining radical left party success, this lecture explores British exceptionalism. Consistent with the literature, the weakness of the British radical left is explained more by supply-side (party system and institutional) factors than demand-side factors (voter preferences and historical legacies). Principal among these are the UK’s majoritarian electoral system and, perhaps above all, Labour’s historical role as the chief political articulation of ‘Labourism’,  social democracy and radical socialism alike. This role has latterly come under sustained challenge, but has been reinforced by Corbyn’s election (at least for now)

Student lying on grass reading book