Fra prinsipiell opposisjon til pragmatisk politikk : en studie av endringer i strategi og profil hos SV og dansk SF
Keywordshovedoppgave statsvitenskap DEWEY: norge:Sosialistpartier:statsvitenskap: danmark:statsvitenskap:Venstrepartier:
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AbstractFRA PRINSIPIELL OPPOSISJON TIL PRAGAMTISK POLITIKK The breakdown of communism has given new relevance to the "end of ideology"-debate. Approximately 25 years ago Lipset and other scholars claimed that due to growing affluence the fundamental problems of the industrial revolution was solved. Otto Kirchheimer hypothezised that the political parties in the West would scrap their ideologies and adopt pragmatic welfare economics instead. The previously radical socialist parties would undergo the most extensive changes, althougH lip-service might be paid to old policies. Kirchheimer also coined the term opposition in principle to describe the anti-systemic character (either left or right) of parties which before WWII wanted "a goal displacement incompatible with the constitutional requirments of any system". The main questions in this thesis are: Are the left socialist parties still an opposistion in principle, or are such policies made impossible on the level of political parties? In the last case, is there any opposistion of principle of the left which flows through other channels? To make this problem solveable within the confines of a thesis, I address it through an examination of the following question: How has the Socialist Left Party (Norway) and the Socialist Peoples Party (Denmark) changed their strategy and profile? Methodologically, this is a comparative analysis of two very similar systems (i.e.: Norway and Denmark). The term "opposition in principle" is operationalized for analysis of ideological change. This is operationalization is my main methodological tool. The theory chapter describes William E. Wrights dicothomy; party democracy vs. rational-efficent parties; Diane Sainsburys distinction between the ideological and tactical functions of ideology; and Angelo Panebiancos perspectives on the organizational development process of political parties. Widening the perspective to the political systems at large, Robert Axelrod, William H. Riker and Giovanni Sartoris theories of political distance and coalitions are added. Opening up further to the national contexts, a short description is made of the Scandinavian welfare-states and their so called negotiating economies as well as the growing tendencies of consentration and internationalization of private capital. I claim that unsolved social problems create space for opposition of principle. Hans Fredrik Dahl has claimed that the opposition within the Norwegian labour movement shows sudden growth when certain requirements are fulfilled. The cultural differences between Norway and Denmark are also emphasized, namely a greater tolerance and a more relaxed atmosphere in Denmark, while Norway is marked by stricter norms concerning individual behaviour and social equality. The conflict between center and periphery plays a decisive role in Norway, also for the outlook of the left wing. The Danish Socialist Peopels Party (SF) was started by dissenters from the communist party. They looked upon themselves as a radical marxist, but still unifying force in the labour movement, and soon gained experience through two "red cabinets", where they had cooperation pacts with the ruling social democrats. After a right-wing landslide SF became further radicalised, and adopted a modern version of Gramscis revolutionary strategy, fitting it into a democratic context. SF gained new support, but gradually the belief in planned economy vanished. Today SF can be said to be a modified version of opposition in principle; building their policies on "socialist market economy" containing of labour rule through economic democracy and environmental and social regulations from the state. The Socialist Left Party (SV) in Norway was set up by dissenters from the Labour Party. They first adopted the same name and platform as SF in Denmark. During the succesful struggle against joining the EC, Norwegian SF merged with new dissenters (trade unionists) from Labour, most of the communists and some independent socialists. This led to an inevitabel inner strife, and a political platform with a pro-Soviet tilt. The insurrecionist profile led to isolation, and the internal quarrels to exhaustion. Under Erik Solheims leadership SV has gradually thrown away almost all reminicenses of traditional socialism, at least in the public rethoric. Therefore, SV cannot be said to be a party of opposition in principle, but is still a very radical and green reform oriented party. My conclusion is that the merger in SV as opposed to the firm political-ideological leadership and continuity in Danish SF are the most important differences between them. Still, the similarities are striking: Both parties had a phase of radicalization, and has thereafter modified their policies considerably. The analysis gave support to all the theoretical perspectives on this, Panebiancos in particular. It is harder to reach any firm conclusion on the future of the opposition, but it seems to me that the withering away of the socialist optimism present in the seventies has been replaced by fear of the future. Socialist party politics loses out to individual and less ideological protest.
Nore, Vegard. Fra prinsipiell opposisjon til pragmatisk politikk. Hovedoppgave, University of Oslo, 1992
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