Political Integration and the History of the Social Democratic Ideology
Mark J. Gobeyn

This paper traces the policy history of the social democratic ideology. While Western Europe’s center-left parties of social democracy have historically demonstrated flexibility in their social and economic policy regimes, the primary objective of the social democratic ideology, “rough social equality,” has, until recently, remained firmly intact. Drawing upon recent research which finds growing levels of income inequality in most of Western Europe’s social democracies, and additional research which links this trend to certain forces of globalization and, most significantly, European regional integration, it is argued here that, due primarily to ongoing processes of European regional political integration, the parties of social democracy are effectively losing their ability to secure egalitarian outcomes within capitalism—that rough social equality is an objective that they can no longer effectively achieve. The potential political ramifications of this problematic are discussed in the concluding section.

Full Text: PDF     DOI: 10.15640/rhps.v4n2a2