The very modern prince: the 21st century political party and the political formation

Document type
Spours, Ken
Date of publication
1 November 2016
Social Policy
Social welfare
Material type

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This article examines the process of transition away from the traditional progressive political party. The author argues that the left parties – both social democratic and more explicitly socialist – are proving incapable of confronting and overcoming right political blocs because: 

  •  they are not keeping pace with dramatic social and technological changes;
  • do not yet offer credible visions of the future, and 
  • do not organise on a sufficiently broad basis.

He notes that the right continues to extend the life of neoliberalism while new ‘global revolt networks’ arise outside mainstream political parties,  resulting in the fragmentation of the forces that might form the basis of a progressive political bloc. He uses Antonio Gramsci's political model of `the very modern prince' to illustrate this process by which a new progressive political formation evolves in response to rapid social and political change.

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