Although the most pernicious consequences of the crisis have apparently abated, the long-term political repercussions remain unclear. Whereas most attention has focused on the right-wing populist parties, the rejuvenation of the left is an unwritten story of post-crisis politics.
This volume addresses this story, with three principal aims:
- to examine the radical left intellectual response to the crisis, i.e. how actors conceptualise the causes of crisis and its consequences;
- to examine the radical left electoral response to the crisis, i.e. how the crisis has aided or weakened the electoral success of radical left parties and movements;
- to examine organisational responses, i.e. whether the crisis has resulted in new party structures, methods of organising, and internal party tendencies.
1. Introduction, Daniel Keith and Luke March / PART I: THE INTERNATIONAL ECONOMIC CRISIS AND THE CRISIS OF THE LEFT / 2. Radical left ‘success’ before and after the Great Recession: still waiting for the Great Leap Forward?, Luke March / 3. Capitalist crisis or crisis of capitalism? How the radical left conceptualises the crisis, David J. Bailey / 4. Uplifting the masses? Radical left parties and social movements during the crisis, Óscar García Agustín and Martin Bak Jørgensen / 5. The Radical left and immigration: resilient or acquiescent in the face of the radical right?, Francis McGowan and Daniel Keith / PART II: NATIONAL RESPONSES TO CRISIS / 6. The French radical left and the crisis: ‘business as usual’ rather than ‘le Grand Soir’?, Fabien Escalona and Mathieu Vieira / 7. Ideological confirmation and party consolidation: Germany’s Die Linke and the financial and refugee crises, Amieke Bouma / 8. Failing to capitalise on the crisis: the Dutch Socialist Party, Daniel Keith / 9. The Icelandic Left-Green Movement from victory to defeat, Silja Bára Ómarsdóttir and Andrés Ingi Jónsson / 10. Struggling for coherence: Irish radical left and nationalist responses to the austerity crisis, Richard Dunphy / 11. Czech Communists and the crisis: between radical alternative and pragmatic Europeanization, Vladimír Handl and Andreas Goffin / 12. Latvia’s ‘Russian left’: trapped between ethnic, socialist, and social-democratic identities, Ammon Cheskin and Luke March / 13. The Portuguese radical left and the Great Recession: old challenges and new responses, André Freire and Marco Lisi / 14. The Left and the crisis in Cyprus: ‘In the midst of change they do not change’, Giorgos Charalambous and Gregoris Ioannou / 15. Greek radical left responses to the crisis: three types of political mobilisation, one winner, Costas Eleftheriou / 16. Riders on the storm: United Left and Podemos during the 2008 Great Recession, Luis Ramiro / PART III: TOWARDS AN INTERNATIONAL RESPONSE? / 17. To EU or not to EU? The transnational radical left and the crisis, Michael Holmes and Simon Lightfoot / 18. Conclusion. The European radical left: past, present, no future?, Daniel Keith and Luke March
Luke March is Professor of Post-Soviet and Comparative Politics at the University of Edinburgh. He is author of The Communist Party in Post-Soviet Russia (Manchester University Press, 2002), Radical Left Parties in Europe (Routledge, 2011) and The European Left Party: A Case Study in Transnational Party Building, with Richard Dunphy, (Manchester University Press, 2015).
Daniel Keith is Lecturer in the Department of Politics at the University of York. He wrote his doctoral thesis on the role of organisational factors in shaping the diverse programmatic adaptation of West European Communist parties and their successor parties. He has published articles on the Portuguese Communist Party and the Socialist Party and Green Left in the Netherlands.
March and Keith's Europe's Radical Left; From Marginality to the Mainstream? provides a comprehensive, eloquent and incredibly well rounded depiction of the party family's response to the severe economic and political crisis that shook the continent in recent years. The volume highlights lesser known but pertinent aspects of radical left politics such as current programmatic dilemmas the party family faces with respect to immigration and Europe and explores its new links to social movements. Dealing with questions such as why the radical left has not benefited electorally from the crisis across the continent to the extent that this might have been expected, on which issues it is plagued by internal divisions and what its future prospects are in Europe's changing party systems renders this volume a must read for scholars of party politics and all those interested in contemporary European politics.
Although it is well known that right-wing populist parties have benefited from the crisis in the EU and eurozone little attention has been paid to how the seeming natural beneficiary of this - the contemporary radical left – has responded. March and Keith have admirably filled this scholarly gap by assembling a top notch group of experts who explore among other things the electoral impact of the crisis on various radical left parties, the parties’ varied programmatic responses, and the way in which the crisis has shaped these parties’ internal dynamics and organization. Europe’s Radical Left: From Marginality to Mainstream is the best comparative analysis of the contemporary radical left in Europe to date and sets the bar high for future studies. It is a must read for those studying radical left parties and movements but will be extremely valuable for other scholars of party politics, Europeanists, and those studying political radicalism and extremism.
Through a combination of comparative and country chapters by some of the foremost scholars of the European radical left, this innovative edited volume provides a very timely analysis of the dog that still barely barks, let alone bites. Europe’s Radical Left is essential reading for anyone trying to understand the effects of the Great Recession on European politics.