Kuznetsova A. V.

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  • 2, 2022

    • From Storming Heaven to Normalization: the New Radical Left Parties in Western Europe

      The article is devoted to studying the new radical left parties (NRLP) that either emerged or strengthened in Western Europe in the light of social protests against neoliberal policies and austerity measures. The mid2010s witnessed the peak of the electoral successes of the NRLP, when, after revisiting the mistakes of the past, the radical left challenged social democrats, who shifted to the right and thus freed up a niche in the political space. Despite the fact that the mass protests, which swept across Europe, created preconditions for strengthening the NRLP everywhere, not all such parties could claim significant electoral achievements. The purpose of the article is to identify the reasons why in some Western European countries the radical left managed to create effective political organizations, while in others they did not. The authors analyze SYRIZA (Greece), Podemos (Spain) and France Unbowed as examples of successful NRLP, which achieved the best results in the elections. However, only SYRIZA managed to become a senior partner in the government coalition. Podemos had to settle for the role of a junior partner, while the achievements of France Unbowed were even more modest.

      The conducted research allowed the authors to single out several factors that can explain the successful performance of the NLRP in the electoral field. According to their conclusion, the existence of a pluralist democracy is a necessary condition for the efficiency of the NRLP. In addition, the electoral successes of the radical left were prepared by a change in the social structure, which provided the NRLP with a social base — young educated professionals. However, a country’s party system, primarily the role and the weight of social democratic parties in a country’s political life, is a decisive factor that defines prospects for the NRLP.

      DOI: 10.30570/2078-5089-2022-105-2-176-190

      Pages: 176-190