Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (9):1019-1037 (2009)

Albena Azmanova
University of Kent at Canterbury
The post-communist revolutions of 1989 triggered parallel transformation in the ideological landscape on both sides of the former Iron Curtain. The geo-political opening after the end of the Cold War made global integration a highly salient factor in political mobilization, opting out to replace the capital-versus-labor dynamics of conflict that had shaped the ideological families of Europe during the 20th century. This has resulted in splitting the traditional constituencies of the Left and the Right and reorganizing them along new fault-lines: those shaped by attitudes to globalization and EU enlargement (in the West) and by attitudes to EU accession and global economic competition (in the East). Thus, an ideational convergence between East and West is taking place in Europe, radically altering the structure of political competition in the early 21st century. As the new political cleavage cuts across, rather than runs along, the left—right ideological continuum, it is eroding the societal alliances that had supported the post-war European Social Model. The emerging structure of political competition enables substantive changes in the European Social Model in the direction of deepening labor commodification, thus defeating the emancipatory potential that earlier labor-market policies had contained
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DOI 10.1177/0191453709343384
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