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Agenda 2010: Redefining German Social Democracy

Pamela Camerra-Rowe

In March 2003, Social Democratic Chancellor Gerhard Schröder

announced a series of reforms that his government plans to undertake

in order to deal with Germany’s pressing economic problems.

These reform proposals, known as Agenda 2010, include cutting

unemployment benefits, making it easier to hire and fire workers,

reducing health insurance coverage, and raising the retirement age.

The reforms mark a change in the direction of the German Social

Democratic Party’s (SPD) economic policy. Rather than promoting

traditional social democratic values such as collective responsibility,

workers’ rights, and the expansion of state benefits, Schröder declared

that “We will have to curtail the work of the state, encourage more

individual responsibility, and require greater individual performance

from each person. Every group in the society will have to contribute

its share.”1 Despite opposition to these reforms by labor unions and

leftist members of the party, Agenda 2010 was approved by nearly 90

percent of SPD party delegates at a special party conference in June

2003.2 Several of the reforms, including health care and job protection

reforms, were passed by the legislature at the end of 2003 and

took effect on 1 January 2004.

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Marx and Engels on Constitutional Reform vs. Revolution

Their 'Revisionism' Reviewed

Samuel Hollander

Friedrich Engels, in 1895, reissued Marx's 'The Class Struggles in France 1848-1850' (1850), with an Introduction endorsing peaceful political tactics. We review the primary evidence to bring order to a confusing picture that emerges from a range of conflicting interpretations of the document. Our conclusions are as follows: First, the 1895 Introduction does not signify a new position, considering Engels' recognition over several decades of political concessions by the British ruling class. Secondly, since from the 1840s Marx too had applauded the potential of the 'Social Democratic' route, at least under the appropriate conditions, we may be confident that he would have approved of Engels' Introduction. Thirdly, the case for universal suffrage was to set the foundations for a classless communist system; Engels, we show, would have found unacceptable a Parliamentary system generating a working-class majority unwilling to carry out a communist program, or a working-class electorate choosing to replace the party at the polls.

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Democracy in the Plural?

The Concepts of Democracy in Swedish Parliamentary Debates during the Interwar Years

Anna Friberg

The article explores some of the composite concepts of democracy that were used in Sweden, primarily by the Social Democrats during the interwar years. Should these be seen as pluralizations of the collective singular democracy or as something qualitatively new? By showing how these concepts relate to each other and to democracy as a whole, the article argues that they should be considered statements about democracy as one entity, that democracy did not only concern the political sphere, but was generally important throughout the whole of society. The article also examines the Swedish parliamentarians' attitudes toward democracy after the realization of universal suffrage, and argues that democracy was eventually perceived as such a positive concept that opponents of what was labeled democratic reforms had to reformulate the political issues into different words in order to avoid coming across as undemocratic.

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The Alliance for Jobs: Social Democracy’s Post-Keynesian/Process-Oriented Employment Creation Strategy

Stephen J. Silvia

A Texas wag once remarked, “Oilmen are like cats. You can’t tell from the sound of them whether they’re fighting or making love.” German industrial relations are not much different. In the heat of collective bargaining, the Federal Republic’s “social partners” (that is, trade unions and employers’ associations) frequently exchange vitriolic barbs in public, while simultaneously engaging in pragmatic, professional negotiations behind closed doors.

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Democratic Citizenship as Uruguayan Cultural Heritage

Robin Rodd

with the rise of Uruguayan social democracy in the early twentieth century, to reinvigorate a historical commitment to civic republicanism and redistributive social justice. Thirdly, I trace the FA's commitment to an egalitarian, participatory “politics

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The SPD and the Debacle of the 2009 German Federal Election: An Opportunity for Renewal

William E. Paterson and James Sloam

The 2009 German federal election marked a devastating defeat for the German Social Democratic Party (SPD). The debacle led some commentators to speculate about the end of the SPD as a “catch-all party“ and—given the recent poor performance of center-left parties across Europe—“the end of social democracy.“ In this article, we contextualize the result of the 2009 Bundestag election within the settings of German party politics and European social democracy, and show how the electoral disaster for the SPD can be explained by broad, long-term political developments. We nevertheless argue that the German Social Democrat's defeat in 2009 provides an opportunity for renewal at a time when the governing Conservative-Liberal coalition—already in disarray—must take some tough decisions with regard to the resource crunch in German public finances.

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Development between nuance and neo-liberalism

Bram Büscher

David Mosse, Cultivating development: An ethnography of aid policy and practice. London: Pluto Press, 2005, 315 pp., 0-7453-1798-7.

Tania M. Li, The will to improve: Governmentality, development, and the practice of politics. Dur- ham, NC: Duke University Press, 2007, 374 pp., 0-8223-4027-0 (paperback).

Richard Sandbrook, Marc Edelman, Patrick Heller and Judith Teichman, Social democracy in the global periphery: Origins, challenges, prospects. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007, 289 pp., 0-521-68687-7 (paperback).

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Book Reviews

Peter Pulzer

The Treaty of Versailles: A Reassessment

After 75 Years edited by Manfred E. Boemeke, Gerald D. Feldman, and Elisabeth Glaser

Sheri Berman

Pädagogik im Spannungsfeld von Eugenik und Euthanasie: Die “Euthanasie”-Diskussion in der Weimarer Republik und zu Beginn der neunziger Jahre. Ein Beitrag zur Faschismusforschung und zur Historiographie der Behindertenpädagogik by Werner Brill

Thomas Banchoff

The Challenge of Globalization for Germany’s Social Democracy: A Policy Agenda for the 21st Century edited by Dieter Dettke

Robert Gerald Livingston

Fragments of Our Time: Memoirs of a Diplomat by Martin J. Hillenbrand

Hermann Beck

Germans into Nazis by Peter Fritzsche

Robin E. Judd

Between Dignity and Despair: Jewish Life in Nazi Germany by Marion A. Kaplan

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Book Reviews

Andrei Markovits, Uncouth Nation: Why Europe Dislikes America (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007).

Reviewed by Jeffrey Anderson

Norman J. W. Goda, Tales from Spandau: Nazi Criminals and the Cold War (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2007).

Reviewed by Anne Sa’adah

Sheri Berman, The Primacy of Politics: Social Democracy and the Making of Europe’s Twentieth Century Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2006).

Reviewed by Susan E. Scarrow

Lars Rensmann, Demokratie und Judenbild: Antisemitismus in der politischen Kulturder Bundesrepublik Deutschland (Wiesbaden: VS Verlag für Sozialwissenschaften, 2005).

Reviewed by Andrei S. Markovits

Brian Currid, A National Acoustics: Music and Mass Publicity in Weimar and Nazi Germany (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2006).

Reviewed by Celia Applegate

Steven E. Aschheim, Beyond the Border: The German-Jewish Legacy Abroad (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2007).

Reviewed by Tobias Brinkmann

Pieter M. Judson, Guardians of the Nation: Activists on Language Frontiers of Imperial Austria (Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2006).

Reviewed by Ian Reifowitz

Suzanne Marchand and David Lindenfeld, eds., Germany at the Fin de Siècle: Culture, Politics, and Ideas (Baton Rouge: Louisiana State University Press, 2004).

Reviewed by Steven Beller

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From Solidarity to Social Inclusion

The Political Transformations of Durkheimianism

Derek Robbins

The article begins with Pierre Rosanvallon's account of the mutations of 'Jacobin ideology' and the function of sociology in criticising this in France at the end of the nineteenth century. I suggest it was not Durkheim's intention simply to criticise a 'Jacobin' form of political ideology. Rather, it was to construct an affinity between sociological explanation and social facts, such that sociological discourse would appropriate the sphere of the political and take part, by so doing, in the constitution of a participative social democracy. I then touch on the post-mortem academicisation of Durkheim's work in France between the wars, to ask if the emergent Durkheimianism neutralised Durkheim's original socio-political intentions. This leads to a discussion of the resurgent domination of the discourse of politics in the 1960s, as manifested in Aron's critiques of Durkheim and in his defence of constitutional law at the beginning of the Fifth Republic, but also to an examination of Bourdieu's attempt to retrieve Durkheim's original orientation and to revive the political dynamism of social movements. I comment on the analysis, made in the 1970s by Bourdieu (and Boltanski), of the construction of the dominant postwar ideology in French politics, which includes their critique of 'planification' and of the work, amongst others, of Jacques Delors. They saw the language used by the newly dominant political managers as exploiting the sociological discourse of 'solidarity' and 'social exclusion', not to realize its intentions, but to reinforce their own control. I briefly consider the argument's implications for an analysis of European Commission social policy initiatives during the presidency of Delors, comment on the British Conservative government's objections in the 1980s and 1990s to the very use of this language, and ask if the Labour government's adoption of the discourse of 'social inclusion' in 1997 was indicative of either a political or a social agenda. Finally, I return to Rosanvallon and situate his work politically within the ideological debate of 1995 between him and Bourdieu. It is to conclude with the suggestion that Rosanvallon's apparent disinclination to recognize the importance of Durkheim's work is indicative of his present position-taking, which necessarily entails a suppression of Durkheim's real intentions.