European left parties responded to the crisis of social democracy by proposing more radical reforms to be carried out at a transnational level. But the call for “social Europe” ended up serving as a thin veneer for the neoliberal core of European integration.
Neil Warner is a doctoral student at the London School of Economics. His research focuses on the failure of plans for the socialization of investment in Britain, France, and Sweden during the 1970s and ’80s.
Despite Jean-Luc Mélenchon’s strong showing in the recent presidential campaign, France’s left was defeated again by the neoliberal center and far right. The roots of that weakness lie in the Mitterrand government’s capitulation to neoliberalism in the 1980s.