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Ideas and debate

Essays and critical thinking on some of the key political and ideological challenges for 21st Century social democracy.

Populism, extremism and the mainstream

Expert briefings examining the evolving nature of populism in relation to cultural antagonism and identity politics, and how parties are responding to its manifestations.


Reformers must focus on market reforms that encourage a more equal distribution of economic power even before government collects taxes or pays out benefits to prevent inequalities from happening initially.

The freedom of movement of labour in Europe

A debate on the future of European integration, encompassing a variety of issues such as work, welfare and immigration.

Climate change: the challenge for social democracy

Social democrats must think more about how climate change objectives can be aligned with their wider policy agenda and ideology.

The party of the future

Many mainstream parties have become outdated as forces for popular mobilisation. The Left, in particular, is affected by this breakdown and must develop stronger electoral and campaigning alliances.

Progressive coalitions for a fragmented left

The pressures of division and fragmented constituencies necessitate progressive coalition building among parties and actors on the centre-left.

Democratic self government in Europe

Responses to Damian Chalmer's 'Democratic Self-Governance in Europe', discussing  reforms to make the EU more democratically accountable and popular.

The return to internationalism?

Internationalism once lay at the heart of the progressive movement, yet recently has appeared to have lost its appeal for many social democrats, having been seen a threat to the welfare state and social justice.

A centre-left project for new times

A new series charting the ideological waters of contemporary centre-left political thought, surveying the salient works of over a century of political thought, and debating which choices represent the future of the left.

The new "progressive" conservatism in Europe

A series to promote a better understanding of the new progressive conservative agenda, and how to the centre-left can develop a strategy to counteract this.

Mutualism and social democracy

Many see mutualism as the left’s answer to the “big society”, but definitions are unclear and methods intangible. The challenge is to develop a clear vision of mutualism and how it can progress social democratic projects.

The classics of social democracy

As the centre-left wrestles with the tough questions of today, familiarity with the classics of social democratic thought can play a significant role in kicking-off a sustained period of revisionism.

Social justice in tough times

A series of UK and international responses from leading voices on the centre-left to the 'In the black Labour' debate on economic credibility, which argued for a merger of fiscal conservatism and social justice.