Theoretical Approaches to Social Democracy
Journal of Theoretical Politics, 1993, vol. 5, issue 3, 291-316
Social democracy has been widely studied in political science. More often than not these studies are flawed or even biased. I contend that this results from the fact that the `object' of analysis has been conceptualized in terms of a `subjective' understanding of social democracy and its presupposed relationship with the development of the welfare state. Hence the theoretical standing of these studies must be questioned. In this article I shall investigate a number of contemporary approaches to assess their theoretical quality. To this end I divide these studies into `project' orientated (focusing on strategic questions concerning the transformation of capitalism) and `model' driven (investigating the relation between political action and societal change). Then I go on to discuss this division in terms of `revisionism' and `reformism'. It appears that much of the literature has little to offer in terms of new insights into social democracy as a political actor and has hardly contributed to the development of a `theory' of social democracy. By way of conclusion I offer some ideas on the development of such a theory.
Keywords: ideology and theory; social democracy; theory and empirical method; welfare state (search for similar items in EconPapers)
References: Add references at CitEc
Citations: View citations in EconPapers (1) Track citations by RSS feed
Downloads: (external link)
This item may be available elsewhere in EconPapers: Search for items with the same title.
Export reference: BibTeX
RIS (EndNote, ProCite, RefMan)
Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:sae:jothpo:v:5:y:1993:i:3:p:291-316
Access Statistics for this article
More articles in Journal of Theoretical Politics
Bibliographic data for series maintained by SAGE Publications ().