Social Democracy in the Making

Political and Religious Roots of European Socialism

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Gary Dorrien
  • New Haven, CT: 
    Yale University Press
    , April
     600 pages.
     For other formats: Link to Publisher's Website.
Review coming soon!

Review by Baldassare Scolari forthcoming.


An expansive and ambitious intellectual history of democratic socialism from one of the world’s leading intellectual historians and social ethicists.

The fallout from twenty years of neoliberal economic globalism has sparked a surge of interest in the old idea of democratic socialism—a democracy in which the people control the economy and government, no group dominates any other, and every citizen is free, equal, and included. With a focus on the intertwined legacies of Christian socialism and Social Democratic politics in Britain and Germany, this book traces the story of democratic socialism from its birth in the nineteenth century through the mid-1960s.
Examining the tenets on which the movement was founded and how it adapted to different cultural, religious, and economic contexts from its beginnings through the social and political traumas of the twentieth century, Gary Dorrien reminds us that Christian socialism paved the way for all liberation theologies that make the struggles of oppressed peoples the subject of redemption. He argues for a decentralized economic democracy and anti-imperial internationalism.

About the Author(s)/Editor(s)/Translator(s): 

Gary Dorrien is the Reinhold Niebuhr Professor of Social Ethics at Union Theological Seminary and Professor of Religion at Columbia University. His previous books include The New Abolition and Breaking White Supremacy. He lives in New York City.


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