Social Democratic parties across Europe are in the doldrums. How did parties that won 30-40 per cent of the votes in the 1960s and 1970s fall to 10-20 per cent in the 2010s in many countries?
Using a new dataset, of all elections in 31 countries between 1918 and 2017, Simon Hix will trace the evolution of the correlates of electoral support for Social Democratic parties. The data reveal a story the formation and collapse of an electoral coalition: starting with industrial labour in the interwar period, expanding to include public sector workers in the postwar economic expansion, and then starting to unravel in the 2000s.
The challenge for Social Democrats today is whether a new electoral coalition can be built across an array of contemporary groups, such as the precariat, sociocultural professionals, and women and ethnic minorities.
Simon Hix is Pro-Director (Vice-President) for a Research and the Harold Laski Professor of Political Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. He is one of the leading researchers, teachers, and commentators on European and comparative politics in the UK. His research focuses on European institutions, party competition and electoral behaviour, and the design and reform of political institutions.
Simon Hix has won prizes for his research from the UK-US Fulbright Commission, the American Political Science, and the Economic and Social Research Council, and prizes for his teaching from the UK Political Studies Association. He has held visiting professor positions at Stanford, Berkeley, UC San Diego, Sciences Po in Paris, the Hertie School of Governance in Berlin, and the Korean Institute for International Economic Policy in Seoul. He is a Fellow of the British Academy and a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, (pro bono) Chairman of VoteWatch.eu (an NGO in Brussels that tracks voting in the European Parliament and EU Council), and Associate Editor of European Union Politics.