Marking 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, this interesting book The New European Left assesses the performance of the political current which has grown out of communist and other left forces. Despite expectations of the total demise of the communist movement after 1989, Kate Hudson (London South Bank University) shows how this has evolved into viable new political forces and parties, able to occupy the political space to the left of social democracy. Their coherent opposition to the Maastricht Treaty and defence of the welfare state ensured credible parliamentary support in key countries, even entering national and regional government. Internal reform and theoretical development led to a new type of left politics – green, feminist, anti-racist and anti-war.
Later in the 1990s their identity evolved as part of the developing anti-capitalist, anti-globalization movement. Into the 21st century they played a major role in the anti-war campaigns of the post-9/11 world and spearheaded many of the campaigns against the increasing militarization of Europe. In the current global economic crisis their alternative social and economic vision has renewed potential to attract popular support. The New European Left analyses and assesses parties in both Western and Eastern Europe, their differences as well as similarities, and evaluates their role as a cohesive European political force and their role as an actor in the global context.
(Open access to the first chapter)