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The Party of the Future

The Party of the Future: Coalitionā€building and a new style of politics

The blurring of class consciousness and radically changed voter values and preferences, together with the decline of traditional political mobilisers such as trade unions and civil society groups, have seemingly brought an end to the era of “catch-all” political parties. Many mainstream parties have become outdated as forces for popular political mobilization. The Left, in particular, is affected by this breakdown of collective institutions.

At the same time, states have witnessed a serious collapse of trust between the governed and the governing class. Politicians enjoy precious little respect and cynicism towards political processes is widespread and deeply ingrained. Populism and extremism are on the rise and liberal democracy is under stress. Yet, despite these warnings, political parties have shown themselves reluctant to open-up old power structures and embrace a new technological spirit of openness and transparency.

The authors in this joint Policy Network / Center for American Progress - Global Progress series set-out to demonstrate methods social democratic parties can use to develop stronger electoral and campaigning alliances and build a new progressive majority for the 21st century.



Revitalising social democracy
In response to Guillaume Liegey, Matthew Taylor offers several more ways in which social democrats can re-imagine a 21st century mass party on the left - including changes in decision-making, a commitment to devolution and the use of technology to open up spaces for debate.
By Matthew Taylor

If political parties were startups...
What lessons might the political party of the future draw from observing in pursuit of profitable business models?
By Guillaume Liegey

Obamamania: How the Democrats campaign machine works
Progressive parties and campaigns need to adopt modern forms of voter engagement or be left behind by their opponents.
By Bryan Whitaker

The François Hollande campaign: Of doors and voters
The political party of the future must embrace the wealth of knowledge created by modern science.
By Guillaume Liegey, Arthur Muller and Vincent Pons

The Italian Democratic Party's future: Real time political engagement
The lesson from Italy is that rigid and ageing parties need to build new coalitions and start to speak and interact directly with citizens and members in real time.
By Umberto Marengo

How to build a political movement
While reports of the death of political parties have been greatly exaggerated, in many western countries they are no longer the pre-eminent mechanism for the expression of political opinion.
By Kathryn Perera

Embracing the metropolitan revolution
Networks of metropolitan leaders, from elected officials to corporate and civic heads, are reshaping our economies and our politics.
By Bruce Katz & Jennifer Bradley

The rise of the female-friendly party
With declining levels of religiosity in Western Europe, women have turned from religious core voters into socio-economic swing voters.
By Patrick Emmenegger and Philip Manow

Open access politics
With falling party memberships and a narrowing gene-pool of candidates, parties need to open up.  Supporters should be able to sign up and vote online just as easily as they are able to buy something on Amazon.
By Theo Bertram