My first book, The Social Democratic Moment, explains why the Swedish and German social democratic parties made such different choices during the interwar era. My focus is on their differing ideas about politics and economics (their "programmatic beliefs"). I argue that largely as a result of these ideas the Swedish Social Democrats placed themselves at the forefront of the drive for democratization; a decade later they responded to the Depression with a bold new economic program and used it to build a long period of political hegemony. The German Social Democrats, on the other hand, had democracy thrust upon them and then dithered when faced with economic crisis; their haplessness cleared the way for a bolder and more skillful political leader-- Adolf Hitler. (Purchase book here) My second book, The Primacy of Politics. Social Democracy and
the Making of Europe's Twentieth Century, examines the history of
social democracy from its origins in the late nineteenth century to
today and shows how it beat out competitors such as classical
liberalism, orthodox Marxism, and its cousins, fascism and National
Socialism, by solving the central challenge of modern politics:
reconciling the competing needs of capitalism and democracy. (Purchase book here)
Read the Crooked Timber seminar on The Primacy of Politics
Selected Academic Articles
"Social Democracy and the Creation of the Public Interest," Critical Review, 23, 2, 2012.
"The Primacy of Politics versus the Primacy of Economics: Understanding the Ideological Dynamics of the Twentieth Century," Perspectives on Politics, 7,
3, September 2009.
"Taming Extremist Parties: The Lessons from European Communism," Journal of Democracy, 18, 5, January 2008.
The Vain Hope for Correct Timing," Journal of Democracy, 19, 3, July 2007.
(Read the entire debate on "Sequencing" from the Journal of Democracy.)
How Democracies Emerge: Lessons from Europe," Journal of Democracy, 19, 1,
Violence, Conflict and Civil Society," Mittelweg 36, Spring 2006.
Islamism, Revolution and Civil Society," Perspectives on Politics, 1, 2, June
The Roots and Rationale of Social Democracy," Social Philosophy & Policy, 20,
"Modernization in Historical Perspective: The Case of Imperial Germany"," World
Politics, 53, 3, April 2001.
Ideas, Norms and Culture in Political Analysis," Comparative Politics, 33, 2,
Path Dependency and Political Action: Re-examining Responses to the Depression," Comparative Politics, 30, 4, July 1998.
The Life of the Party," Comparative Politics, 30, 1, October 1997.
Civil Society and the Collapse of the Weimar Republic," World Politics, 49, 3,
Civil Society and Political Institutionalization," American Behavioral
Scientist, 40, 5, March/April 1997.
Selected Book Chapters
"Social Democracy and Democracy Promotion," in Christopher Hobson and Milja
Kurki, eds., Conceptual Politics of Democracy Promotion (Routledge, 2011)
"Social Democracy's Historic Achievement," in Jim Cronin, George Ross, and
James Shoch, edsl, What's Left of the Left? (Duke University Press, 2011)
"Understanding the Origins of Ideology: The Case of European Social Democracy," in Daniel Beland and Robert Cox, eds., Ideas and Politics in Social
Science Research (Oxford University Press, 2010)
"Re-integrating the Study of Civil Society and the State," in Zoltan Barany and Robert
Moser, eds., Is Democracy Exportable? (Cambridge University Press, 2009).
Selected Book Reviews and Short Essays
Review of Kevin Callahan's Demonstration Culture: European Socialism and the Second International, American Historical Review, 117, 2, April 2012.
Review of Corey Robin's, The Reactionary Mind, New York Times, Oct. 9 2011.
"Review of Eric Hobsbawm's How to Change the World," Dissent, Fall 2011.
"Review of Francis Fukuyama's The Origins of Political Order," Journal of
Democracy, October 2011.
"Review of John Callaghan, Nina Fishman, Ben Jackson, and Martin McIvor, eds.,
In Search of Social Democracy, West European
Politics, 33, 4, May 2010.
Review of Richard Sandbrook, marc Edelman, Patrick Heller, and Judith Teichman, Social Democracy in the Global Periphery," Perspectives on Politics,
7, 2, 2009.
Review of Mary Hilson, Political Change and the Rise of Labour in Comparative
Perspective," Journal of Social History, Spring 2008.
Review of Alexander George and Andrew Bennett, Case Studies and Theory
Development in the Social Sciences," Perspectives on Politics, 5, 1, 2007.
Boom and Bust" A review of Barry Eichengreen's The European Economy Since 1945,"
New York Times, March 25 2007.
Review of Gavriel D. Rosenfeld, The World Hitler Never Made," German Politics and
Society, Spring 2006.
Review of The Nation-State in Question, T. V. Paul, G. John Ikenberry, and John
A. Hall, eds
., Foreign Affairs, March/April 2004.
Review of Gerassimos Moschonas, In the Name
of Social Democracy
, Perspectives on Politics, 1, 2, March 2003.
Review of Margaret Lavinia Anderson, Practicing Democracy
, German Politics and
Society, Summer 2001.
Euthanasia, Eugenics and Fascism: How Close are the Connections
, German Politics
and Society, 17, 3, Fall, 1999.
Selected Non-Academic Writings
interview with Jake Blumgart: "Is Fascism Back?" The American Prospect, July 7, 2016.
"Democracy, Banks and the Current Euro Crisis," Dissent (online), January 4 2012.
"The Age of Uncertainty," The Utopian (online), November 9, 2011.
"A Response to Corey Robin," Dissent, October 2011.
"Germany, the EU, and the Financial Crisis,"
Crooked Timber, January 2011.
"A New German Sonderweg?" Dissent (online), Sept. 2010.
"A Tribute to Tony
Judt," Queries, 3, 2010.
"What Happened to the European Left?" Dissent, Summer 2010.
"Europe's Crisis and Europe's Future," Dissent online, May 2010.
"What is Social Democracy? Rediscovering an Ideology for our Times,"
"The Early Architects of Swedish Social Democracy: Ernst Wigforss, Nils Karleby and Per Albin Hansson," Policy Network, June 2010.
"The Sun King and Karzai," Foreign Affairs, March/April 2010. (Debate)
to Read on Modernization Theory," Foreign Affairs (website), March 12, 2009.
Unheralded Battle: Capitalism, the
Left, Social Democracy and Democratic Socialism," Dissent, Winter, 2009.
Reply to Joanne Barkan re:
," Dissent, Summer 2009.
The Once and
Future Ideology," Renewal, 15, 2/3, 2007.
Hizbollah is rearing an uncivil
society," Financial Times, September 1 2006.
Capitalism and Poverty," World Policy Journal, Spring 2006.
Choice," Dissent, Winter 2006.
The Three Faces of
Fascism," World Policy Journal, Fall 2004.
We Didn't Start the Fire': Capitalism
and its Critics, Then and Now," Foreign Affairs, 82, 4, July/August 2003.
The Left and
Democracy. The Triumph of Realo Politik," Dissent, Winter 2003.
Social Democracy," Dissent, Fall 2000.
"Bank on Democracy: Why
Central Banks Need Public Oversight," (with Kathleen McNamara) Foreign Affairs, 78, 2, April/May 1999.