On Monday the 21st of February, Dr. Yohann Aucante, Lecturer-Researcher at the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences in Paris, will give a public talk titled “Social Democracy, Ideological Change, and the Global Crisis: Lost Opportunity or Business as usual?” The talk will take place in Lögberg, room 101, at 12-13pm.

Dr. Aucante is the first of three academics who will be visiting Iceland this semester as part of a lecture series and joint research project – between the EDDA Center and the Institute of Advanced Studies in the Social Sciences – on the Icelandic Constituent Assembly, constitution-making, and transitional justice.  On April 12, Jon Elster, a Professor of Social Sciences at Columbia University in New York will give a lecture here to be followed on May 31 by Pasquale Pasquino, a Distinguished Professor of Law and Politics at New York University.  Both are also affiliated with the Paris-based institute.

What can trigger real ideological and programmatic transformation in modern social democratic parties or what can explain the lack thereof? After a long succession of various electoral defeats, leadership shifts, and in the wake of a global crisis of financial capitalism, one can wonder what is needed for such change to take place or what prevents it, be it the mere and tragic lack of new great ideas.  The lecture will reflect on this issue with a focus on the three cases of France, Great Britain and Sweden, where social democratic parties exhibit quite different trajectories but seem to be now confronted to similar challenges of renewal that are representative of the predicament of the European left. The objective will not be so much to offer alternative political visions but rather to study some of the processes of change and continuity in parties.

The talk is hosted by EDDA – Center of Excellence in collaboration with the Institute of International Affairs at the University of Iceland and the French Embassy in Iceland.