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The cultural challenge to social democracy

  • Date(s)
    20 January 2011 to 21 January 2011
  • Location
The cultural challenge to social democracy

Anti-migration populism, identity and community in an age of insecurity

Policy Network, in partnership with the Wiardi Beckman Stichting, Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung and Das Progressive Zentrum, is organising a gathering of senior politicians, policymakers and sociological thinkers to examine the routes of the widespread cultural anxiety that is sweeping Europe.

This high-level seminar will take place in Berlin on 20-21st January 2011. 

Its main purpose is to analyse why social democrats have struggled to empathise with voters’ unease about moral and social decline, and effectively respond to anti-immigrant, anti-elite and anti-Islamic populism. 

The traditional view espoused by many on the centre-left has been that if policy and political energy is focused on getting the socio-economic questions right, then the answers to our cultural problems will fall into place. In acknowledging that cultural and moral values, as well as aspiration and socio-economic security, matter to social democratic voters, this seminar marks a serious attempt to put social democracy back in touch with large parts of the electorate.

Sessions will be held on:

  • Voting behaviour and cultural concerns in Europe
  • Anxious electorates: The cultural challenges to social democracy
  • The solidarity society under pressure: why have mainstream politics failed to counter narratives of moral and social decline?
  • The three I-complex: Immigration, Integration & Islam
  • The pan-European populist revolt: causes and remedies
  • How can social democrats cherish identity and community in a multi-ethnic, cosmopolitan era?

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