Unusual Bedfellows? The IMF, Tackling Inequality and Social Democratic Policy Renewal

  • Ben CliftEmail author
Part of the Building a Sustainable Political Economy: SPERI Research & Policy book series (SPERIRP)


Methodological nationalism is hard-wired into social democratic thought and practice. The methodological nationalism which characterised the political economy of social democracy as a political movement in the twentieth century is a crucial source of the problems facing social democratic renewal today. This chapter proposes small steps towards social democratic policy thinking beyond the national—focusing on the confluence of interest in tackling inequality between Bretton Woods institutions and European social democracy. It considers the post-crash re-centring of the IMF and the contours of egalitarian policy space. Since the crash, Bretton Woods institutions such as the IMF have taken on the inequality (and jobs) agenda in new and interesting ways. Indeed, they are arguably more visible and vocal campaigners on tackling inequality than many social democratic parties.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Politics and International StudiesUniversity of WarwickCoventryUK

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