Re-member Social Democracy

Thumbnail Image
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Over time, social democratic parties (SDPs) have altered their ideological positions. An example of such a change is the third way, in which SDPs changed their ideological positions more towards the centre of the political left-right dimension. In this paper, I investigate how and why SDPs have changed their ideological positions, using the Dataset on Social Democratic Party Competition, which was created for the purpose of this thesis. Noteworthy, I show that these parties have shifted their ideological positions more towards the right over time. Subsequently, I developed and tested a theoretical framework for explaining the ideological change of SDPs, integrating spatial modelling theory and class cleavage theory. Applying advanced panel regression models, I identify explanations based on vote-seeking, office-seeking, policy-seeking, and intra-party democracy preferences. Furthermore, this thesis is the first to test the intra-party democracy preference by analysing the ideological position of party members in a large-N study. Thereby, I contribute to the existing literature by a) introducing a theoretical synthesis of standard party-ideology theories and b) systematically test these theories using data on SDPs between 1945 and 2015. The analysis shows that SDPs change their ideological positions: a) in the opposite direction to the median voter, b) away from the largest party in the party system, c) in the same direction as their party members, and d) more to the right if the working class is smaller
Faculteit der Managementwetenschappen