What determines changes in the policies of socialist parties? Why have such parties deviated from their original socialist objectives, as far as concrete policies are concerned, during the course of their histories? Why did a number of them undergo a marked re-radicalisation in recent years? These are the questions with which this study is primarily concerned. More specifically it is a study of the processes which have shaped the policies of the British Labour Party and the Swedish Social Democratic Party during the period in which the democratic and parliamentary route to socialism has been available to them, namely from 1918 to the present time.


Power Structure Capitalist Society Labour Party Socialist Party Radical Left 
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Notes and References

  1. 1.
    See Gramsci (1971) for the concept of hegemony. See Althusser (1971); Anderson (1965c); Miliband (1969); Westergaard and Resler (1975) on the ideological hegemony thesis.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Typical examples of pluralist approaches are: Crosland (1956); Dahren-dorf (1959); Bell (1960); Abrams and Rose (1960); Zweig (1961).Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    The leading exponent of this view is Robert A. Dahl. His definition of power has served as the basis for many pluralist studies; Dahl (1957). For his own classic empirical study see Dahl (1961).Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    The term, though commonly used, is not very satisfactory since it does not discriminate between ‘élitist’ in the normative sense from those who may, in fact, be anti-élitist in this sense but who believe that a dominant élite, class, etc., monopolises significant power in capitalist democracies. The term will be used here only in the descriptive, non-normative sense. Ideological hegemonists are clearly a variety of élitist.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    For an early élitist criticism of the pluralist conception see Bachrach and Baratz (1962).Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    For example, Lukes (1974). See also Anderson (1965c) and Westergaard and Resler (1975).Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Westergaard and Resler (1975) p. 142. Emphasis added.Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Westergaard and Resler (1975) pp. 275–276.Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    These issues are discussed more fully elsewhere by the author; Hamilton (1976). The concept of power defined there is assumed here also.Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Pelinka (1983).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Malcolm B. Hamilton 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Malcolm B. Hamilton
    • 1
  1. 1.University of ReadingUK

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