Mainstream social democrats have struggled to hold this own since the global financial crisis. Some established parties have been swept off the political stage while others have seen catastrophic falls in their vote shares. Writing from a distinctively British perspective, David Coats looks to pinpoint the reasons for this decline and offer an optimistic outlook, arguing that social democracy still represents the best hope for affluent societies to secure the values of the Enlightenment. He also makes the case that the Labour party is most successful when it is open pluralist and disengaged from arid internal wrangling. Rather than offering a comprehensive policy agenda, the author calls for a discussion engaging all legitimate strains in the social democratic tradition, outlining a series of questions that Labour must answer if it is to secure a general election victory.
About the Author
The World Turned Upside Down: A Story About the Past and the Present
What is Labour For?
Labour as the Party of Work and Workers: A Social Democratic Political Economy
Questions for the Left: Challenges of the 2020s
David Coats is the director of WorkMatters Consulting. He has been a research fellow at the Smith Institute since 2010 and in 2014 was appointed as a visiting professor at the Centre for Sustainable Work and Employment Futures, University of Leicester.
From 2004-10 he was associate director – policy at The Work Foundation. From 1999-2004 he was head of the Trades Union Congress’ economic and social affairs department, having first joined the TUC in 1989 as an employment law specialist.
He has been a member of the Labour party for 36 years.