International Scientific Conference
The notion that the political left is in a crisis is not only more and more prevalent, but also less and less questioned. The weakening of social democratic parties, as the most important carriers of the left ideology in post-war Europe, during the last decade has been often related to the World economic crisis from 2008 and its consequences. However, the roots of the crisis run much deeper starting from the ending of the post-war economic boom during the 70s, causing, among other, a rise of unemployment and inflation, over the breakdown of communism which required a repositioning of the social democracy/the left towards both socialism and capitalism, to the effects of the intensified globalization (hyperglobalization D. Rodrik), in which the political and partially also the social costs still seem higher then the economic gains, at least in Europe and the USA (B. Milanović).
Especially the third point has led to a significant change of policy and ideology of social democratic parties in western Europe at the end of the last century, most of all in Great Britain and Germany. Consequently, the economic crisis in 2008 only made the crisis completely visible and tangible, triggering the question to what extent the responsibility for the economic crisis, moreover the unsuccessful dealing with its consequences and the following rise of right populism can be partly attributed to the social democratic parties and the ideological and programmatic shifts, which took place in the frameworks of the “Third way“ and were presented as a proper reconstruction and revitalization of social democracy.
Aiming to consider this given context, this conference will deal with the structural and ideological causes of the crisis of the left (pasokification), discuss the key measures and their consequences (austerity, rise of inequality) and the leftist positions towards them, and present models for a potential overcoming of the crisis (theoretical and already established).
The presentations will encompass both theory works and empirical case studies and touch upon the historical context. Thereby the main aim will be to identify the main problems of the contemporary political left on the one hand and ways for a reconceptualization of the left on the other. Last but not least, it will have a strong comparative approach, with panels focusing on Western Europe, the countries of Eastern Europe, and in particular the Western Balkans.
Finally, in the framework of the conference there will be organized a public debate in Belgrade, which will be open to and should address a wider general audience. This debate will discuss about current problems of the left, as well as about new movements and new strategic and programmatic principles, that might potentially lead to a better reconceptualization and representation of the left in the public of European societies.
Programme committee: Prof. Klaus Bachmann, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Warsaw; Dr Ioannis Balampanidis, Panteion University, Athens; Dr Goran Bašić, Institute of Social Sciences; Prof. Đokica Jovanović, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Belgrade; Prof. Dejan Jović, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Zagreb; Prof. Predrag J. Marković, Institute for Contemporary History, Belgrade, Dr Nada Novaković, Institute of Social Sciences; Prof. emeritus Vukašin Pavlović, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade; Prof. Fabrizio Pompei, Università degli Studi di Perugia; Dr Irena Ristić, Institute of Social Sciences; Prof. Mitja Žagar, Institute for Ethnic Studies, Ljubljana; Prof. emeritus Ljubiša Mitrović, University of Niš.