The British Labour Party is in crisis. A prolonged period of government between 1997 and 2010 saw the party intellectually exhausted. The subsequent leadership of Ed Miliband ultimately failed with the loss of the 2015 General Election, and the party now finds itself without a clearly defined set of aims and values.
Rebuilding Social Democracy is the first major reappraisal of social democracy and thinking on the centre left since the election of Jeremy Corbyn. With a foreword by Peter Hain, it examines the key foundational principles of social democracy, including economic reform, equality, welfare, public service organisation, social cohesion, civil liberties, democratisation, and internationalism, in order to find a route back to political credibility for Labour.
Written by leading academics in the field, it identifies the values and objectives needed to move the party forward, and revive left and centre-left thought and practice in Britain as an alternative to Conservative austerity.
"A perceptive contribution to debates about the Labour Party which now faces a crisis of existence as a serious political force." Lord Neil Kinnock
"A serious and timely attempt to find a solution to Labour's 'existential crisis'." Steven Fielding, University of Nottingham
"Every generation of social democrats must revise their ideology to reflect new times and this book does exactly that." Lord Raymond Plant, Labour Peer, House of Lords
"The arguments contained in this book point to one way out of the current impasse the Labour Party finds itself in." Polly Toynbee, Guardian Columnist
"An incisive and eloquent collection of essays which engage with the underlying political principles shaping centre-left politics in the world today." Patrick Diamond, Queen Mary, University of London
Dr Kevin Hickson is Senior Lecturer in Politics at the University of Liverpool, where he teaches and researches on British political ideologies. He has published widely, including to debates on the future of the Labour Party. He was Labour's Prospective Parliamentary Candidate in East Yorkshire in 2015 and is a Labour Councillor in Crewe, where he was Leader of the Council between 2013-15.
Foreword: Rediscovering confidence and soul ~ Lord Hain;
Introduction ~ Kevin Hickson;
Equality ~ Robert M. Page;
Welfare ~ Pete Redford;
Public Services ~ Simon Griffiths;
Social cohesion ~ Jasper Miles;
Civil Liberties ~ Judi Atkins;
Citizenship and the constituion ~ Emily Robinson;
Internationalism ~ Matt Beech;
Conclusion ~ Kevin Hickson.