Friday, February 5, 2016

Social Democracy

Social democracy is a political ideology that supports economic and social interventions to promote social justice within the framework of a capitalist economy, and a policy regime involving welfare state provisions, collective bargaining arrangements, regulation of the economy in the general interest, measures for income redistribution, and a commitment torepresentative democracy.[1][2][3] 

Social democracy thus aims to create the conditions for capitalism to lead to greater egalitarian, democratic outcomes; and is often associated with the set of socioeconomic policies that became prominent in Western and Northern Europe—particularly the Nordic model in the Nordic countries—during the latter half of the 20th century.[4][5][6]

Social democracy originated as a political ideology that advocated a peaceful, evolutionary transition from capitalism to socialism using established political processes in contrast to the revolutionary approach to transition associated with orthodox Marxism.[7] However, in the post-war era, contemporary social democracy separated from the socialist movement altogether and emerged as a distinct political identity that advocated reforming rather than replacing capitalism.[8] In this period, social democrats embraced a mixed economy based on the predominance of private property, with only a minority of essential utilities and public services under public ownership. As a result, social democracy became associated with Keynesian economics, state interventionism, and the welfare state, while abandoning the prior goal of abolishing the capitalist system (private property, factor markets and wage labour)[4].

Modern social democracy is characterized by a commitment to policies aimed at curbinginequalitypoverty, and the oppression of underprivileged groups;[12] including support for universally-accessible public services like educationhealth careworkers' compensation,child care and care for the elderly.[13] 

The social democratic movement also has strong connections with trade unions and the labour movement, and is supportive of collective bargaining rights for workers as well as measures to extend democratic decision-making beyond politics into the economic sphere in the form of co-determination for employees and other economic stakeholders.[14][15] 

The Third Way, which ostensibly aims to fuse right-wing economics with social democratic welfare policies, is a major ideology that developed in the 1990s and is sometimes associated with social democratic parties, but some analysts have instead characterized the Third Way as an effectively neoliberal movement.[16]

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