The transformation of western European social democracy and its reflections on Turkish center-left
Gençkaya, Ömer Faruk
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This master’s thesis is a general overview of the practical and ideological implications of the post-1980 transformation of Western European social democratic parties with specific reference to Britain, Germany and Sweden and the reflections of this transformation on Turkish center-left parties. Within this framework, the roots and developmental trend of Western European Social Democracy have been narrated throughout the first chapter of this study to clarify which social democratic principles and policies have changed during the most recent transformation of these parties. In the following chapters, which concentrate on the post-1980 period, the reasons for the electoral erosion of the Northwestern European social democratic parties during the 1980’s and the way they transformed themselves during the 1990’s to stop the decline have been analysed with reference to societal and economic changes on the one hand and to the strategical and structural changes of the parties on the other. The implications of these changes in terms of the shift in the equality principle and the changing function of pragmatism have been highlighted to draw a main profile of the social democratic transformation often referred to as the “Third Way”. The last part of my study focuses on the common and divergent patterns of the Turkish and Western European center-left, both past and present, and compares the current situation of the so-called social democratic parties in Turkey with those of Western Europe presently being conquered by a la mode Third Way currents.