Much discussion of the future of work suggests it can only be a dystopian, robotic world. But the report of an ILO commission shows how humans, not algorithms, can be in charge. When the International Labour Organization (ILO) was founded 100 years ago in the aftermath of the first world war, governments, employers and workers […]
SE Columns & Interviews
Our columns are op-ed style comment and analysis articles on current affairs including some long read formats. We also regularly interview leading decision-makers and thinkers.
Following a string of national defeats, social-democrat parties are ill-prepared as the European Parliament elections loom. Success for the left in May will depend on its ability to reframe the political argument. The European left is going through a crisis. In an insightful article, ‘What happened to Europe’s left?’, Jan Rovny explains that the various political defeats […]
The election to the European Parliament in May has one major flaw: it cannot lead to the election of a democratic European government. There is one issue which cannot be ignored by parties intending to take part in the forthcoming European election—the absence of a democratic European government. This is the main cause of the […]
Sweden used to be revered for stemming inequality through progressive taxation and universal welfare. Now tax breaks for the wealthy and ‘free choice’ in public goods such as education cocoon the rich from the rest. What does inequality look like? In Sweden, rising inequality can be easily detected in data on income distribution. According to […]
Environmentalists and anti-poverty campaigners haven’t always seen themselves on the same side of Europe’s energy transition. Dramatic reduction in the cost of renewables is making a new alignment feasible.
The good news is that employment in the EU is at a record high. The bad news is that so much of it is insecure work—and a directive currently in train needs to be tough enough to fix that. Europe has a growing crisis of insecure work. Just before Christmas, the European Commission triumphantly announced that […]
The Spanish government’s budget proposals show some break with the austerity of its conservative predecessor. But there is still an excessive commitment to the orthodoxy of rapid fiscal consolidation. Macroeconomic analysis teaches us that certain decisions which seem reasonable for an individual may have opposite results when all individuals act in a similar way—or when […]
Official EU statistics mask the alarming extent of poverty and inequality in Europe. Despite slight recent easing, its dangerous scale threatens Europe’s social and political cohesion. Eurostat, the EU’s statistical office, has published official figures on pan-European poverty and inequality since 2005, in the form of the poverty rate and the S80/S20 ratio. The poverty […]
In Ireland the absence of universal health- and childcare makes the insecurity of precarious work even greater. Often, policymaker narratives focus on the unemployment figures declining, yet we are seeing more and more workers experiencing or being at risk of in-work poverty, especially through precarious work. Precarious Work, Precarious Lives: how policy can create more […]
Social democracy is not the same as populism, argues Dimitrios Kotroyannos. And Alexis Tsipras remains a populist. Recently, Alexis Tsipras, Greece’s prime minister and leader of the populist left-wing SYRIZA, which forms a coalition with the right-wing populist ANEL (Independent Greeks) party, has been trying to approach European social democratic leaders in a strategy of […]
Towards the end of 2018, Henning Meyer, editor-in-chief of Social Europe, spoke to the expert on international political economy Mark Blyth, about the crisis of globalisation, populism, Brexit and other political disasters waiting to happen. This is an abridged version of their exchange. Henning Meyer: Mark Blyth, thank you very much for joining me today to discuss the […]
Sheri Berman contends that the the left needs to develop distinct and feasible responses to immigration to counter the populists’ dystopian visions. The main challenges facing the left and Western democracies more generally fall into two core categories: economic and social. In recent years a general consensus emerged regarding the former that the left had moved […]