A Continent in Crisis: European Labor and the Fate of Social Democracy

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Over the past decade, Europe has stumbled from crisis to crisis, shaking the confidence of observers in the continent’s capacity to maintain the egalitarian societies and socially embedded markets that have long informed arguments for social democratic reforms in the United States. As tensions in democratic capitalism have intensified, many aspects of Europe’s established political economic order have come under pressure. This review essay explores key causal processes behind the continent’s predicament. It does so to illustrate challenges and opportunities for organized labor in Europe, and to call on social scientists to reengage with the class politics of capitalism.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)46-73
Number of pages28
JournalLabor Studies Journal
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Industrial relations
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Sociology and Political Science


  • Europe
  • egalitarian societies
  • labor agency
  • policy feedback
  • social democracy


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