CES: The Decline of the Left in Europe


Friday, October 17, 2014, 11:30am to 1:00pm


Center for European Studies, lower Level Conference Room, Busch Hall

Speaker(s): Josep Borrell, Former President, European Parliament; Jean Monnet Professor, Complutense University; Alexander H. Gourevitch, Assistant Professor of Political Science, Brown University

Sponsor(s):  EU Law and Government Study Group; Jean Monnet Chair in European Union Law and Government, Real Colegio Complutense.

The European left political scenario is experiencing a significant catharsis characterized by a decline in traditional social democratic parties with a twofold externality: the consolidation of conservative liberal governments and the creation of new “Populist Parties.” In fact, most political commentators concur that social democratic parties have been in decline over the past ten years or so. Nowadays, their electoral, ideological and programmatic prospects are so uncertain that it looks as if social democracy is engaged in a battle for survival. However, the continuous electoral decline of social democracy is only one dimension of this current trend. New parties have appeared with unexpected rapidness and strength. This panel aims to analyze all aspects of the new left political scenario in Europe.

Contact(s): José Martínez, jose_martinez@harvard.edu