Skip to content
Open global navigation

Cambridge University Press

AcademicLocation selectorSearch toggleMain navigation toggle
Cart
Register Sign in Wishlist

The Primacy of Politics
Social Democracy and the Making of Europe's Twentieth Century

$28.99

  • Date Published: August 2006
  • availability: Available
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9780521521109

$28.99
Paperback

Add to cart Add to wishlist

Other available formats:
Hardback, eBook


Looking for an examination copy?

This title is not currently available for examination. However, if you are interested in the title for your course we can consider offering an examination copy. To register your interest please contact collegesales@cambridge.org providing details of the course you are teaching.

Description
Product filter button
Description
Contents
Resources
About the Authors
  • Political history in the industrial world has indeed ended, argues this pioneering study, but the winner has been social democracy - an ideology and political movement that has been as influential as it has been misunderstood. Berman looks at the history of social democracy from its origins in the late nineteenth century to today and shows how it beat out competitors such as classical liberalism, orthodox Marxism, and its cousins, Fascism and National Socialism by solving the central challenge of modern politics - reconciling the competing needs of capitalism and democracy. Bursting on to the scene in the interwar years, the social democratic model spread across Europe after the Second World War and formed the basis of the postwar settlement. This is a study of European social democracy that rewrites the intellectual and political history of the modern era while putting contemporary debates about globalization in their proper intellectual and historical context.

    • Comprehensive history of European social democracy from the late nineteenth century to the present
    • Controversial interpretations of social democracy, Fascism, National Socialism and the postwar order
    • Places debates over globalization in intellectual and historical perspective
    Read more

    Reviews & endorsements

    "In this fascinating book, Sheri Berman rewrites the ideological balance sheet of the twentieth century, making a powerful case that history ended with the triumph not of free market liberalism but social democracy. In emphasizing the variety of capitalisms and diverse paths that societies take, she makes us think differently about the past and the future. As countries struggle to find their way in a new age of globalization, Berman's work offers essential insights. It is likely to become a classic in the field."
    Fareed Zakaria, author of The Future of Freedom

    "Sheri Berman has written a wonderfully lucid account of the origin of social democratic ideas, which she uses to make a passionate argument for their continued relevance as a way of preserving democracy in the world of globalization."
    Harold James, Princeton University

    "Sheri Berman's book is a real tour de force, a real land-mark study of ideology, social democracy and European political history. It is an outstanding analysis of the importance of ideas and ideology in politics. Berman argues convincingly that social democracy should neither be understood as a watered down version of Marxism, nor as capitalism with a human face. Instead, Berman shows that social democracy is a distinct political ideology in its own right that should be understood as a political meta-ideology about how to connect everyday social and economic realities with abstract theory in real-world politics. As such, the book is not only an excellent study of the past, but also has important lessons for the present discussion about the possibility of politics in the new globalized economy."
    Bo Rothstein, Göteborg University

    "Sheri Berman writes with great lucidity, analytic skill, and political sympathy about the undervalued social democrats of Europe. Everyone knows the story of fascist and Stalinist brutality in 20th century Europe; Berman tells another story, less known and often denied, of social democratic solidarity and compassion."
    Michael Walzer, Institute for Advanced Study

    "[A]mbitious and provocative... this is a strong, useful defense of a political ideology and a political movement that have done much good and fought evil with courage and lucidity."
    Foreign Affairs

    "...The Primacy of Politics is one of the most thought-provoking books on twentieth-century ideologies to appear for many years."
    Vernon Bogdanor, Times Literary Supplement

    "...this book is an excellent overview of the several strands of political thinking that began with the criticism of Marxist economic determinism and ended with the dominant role of social democracy, especially in the last half of the twentieth century in Europe." -Dietrich Orlow, H-German

    See more reviews

    Customer reviews

    Not yet reviewed

    Be the first to review

    Review was not posted due to profanity

    ×

    , create a review

    (If you're not , sign out)

    Please enter the right captcha value
    Please enter a star rating.
    Your review must be a minimum of 12 words.

    How do you rate this item?

    ×

    Product details

    • Date Published: August 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521521109
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 234 x 156 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.34kg
    • availability: Available
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The background and foundations
    3. Democratic revisionism comes of age
    4. National socialism
    5. From revisionism to social democracy
    6. Fascism and national socialism
    7. The Swedish exception
    8. The postwar era
    9. Conclusion.

  • Author

    Sheri Berman, Barnard College, Columbia University
    Sheri Berman is an associate professor of political science at Barnard College, Columbia University. She was previously assistant professor of politics at Princeton University. She has held visiting positions at Göteborg University, Sweden and the Remarque Institute and the Center for European Studies at NYU. She has also been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She is the author of the Social Democratic Moment (Harvard University Press, 1997). She has written articles for top political science journals including Perspectives on Politics, World Politics and Comparative Politics as well as publications such as Foreign Affairs, Dissent, and World Policy Journal.

Sign In

Please sign in to access your account

Cancel

Not already registered? Create an account now. ×

You are now leaving the Cambridge University Press website, your eBook purchase and download will be completed by our partner www.ebooks.com. Please see the permission section of the www.ebooks.com catalogue page for details of the print & copy limits on our eBooks.

Continue ×

Continue ×

Find content that relates to you

© Cambridge University Press 2014

Back to top

Are you sure you want to delete your account?

This cannot be undone.

Cancel Delete

Thank you for your feedback which will help us improve our service.

If you requested a response, we will make sure to get back to you shortly.

×
Please fill in the required fields in your feedback submission.
×