Research event

Social democrat dilemmas in an era of sorting and stagnation

A presentation by Jane Gingrich (University of Oxford).
This event is part of the Social Policy Research Colloquium.

In this talk, a part of a book project on Third Way social democracy will be presented, looking at the challenges of holding together pro-welfare coalitions in the post-financial crisis era. The paper reviews changes in the geographic and demographic characteristics of left party bases, arguing that these shifts create dilemmas for pro-welfare actors. Post-industrial economic structures have favoured both skilled workers and particular geographic regions leading to the dual problems of sorting and stagnation - those with high skills are increasingly geographically sorted (and sorted into high productivity firms) with some regions suffering from lower levels of productivity growth or inward investment. Social policy compensating and addressing new forms of insecurity requires reallocating resources across both skill groups and regions. Lower income voters in traditionally industrial regions remain key to social democrat's voting base, but other left parties increasingly draw from more educated city-dwellers. The regional and skill cleavage then, increasingly exists within the left's base, creating a conflict not only between the well theorised goals of investment and consumption goals in social policy, but also across types of investment and consumption that target urban and non-urban areas.


Prior Registration is not required.