The IES European Transitions Speaker Series: Jane Gingrich

January 20, 2020
C.K. Choi. Building Rm #120

Lunch will be served at 11:45am

Jane Gingrich, University of Oxford
“Social Democratic Dilemmas in an Era of Sorting and Stagnation”

The electoral decline of social democratic parties in the post-financial crisis era has reignited old questions as to the structural dilemmas facing economically left parties in the post-industrial era. This talk builds on a book project examining the fate of social democratic parties. First, it argues that structural changes in the economy – social, economic and geographic sorting by high productivity workers into cities, alongside increasing stagnation prompted in more peripheral geographic areas – have complicated the traditional skill-regional alignments that underpinned social democratic support. The result is an increasingly polarized skill-regional patterns of defection from social democrats.  Second, the policies that social democratic parties used to navigate these dilemmas through the 2000s attracted new voters, but proved less durable in creating vested constituents, leaving these parties vulnerable in the post-financial crisis era.  The talk develops these claims theoretically, and presents data on electoral outcomes in Europe and beyond and public attitudinal data from the ISSP and national election studies and the CSES.