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


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

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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
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    Product details

    • Date Published: October 2006
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9780521521109
    • length: 240 pages
    • dimensions: 236 x 157 x 13 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • 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 New York University. She has also been a fellow at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton. She is the author of The Social Democratic Moment (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.

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