Editorial policy statement
Renewal is a quarterly journal of politics and ideas, committed to exploring and expanding the emancipatory potential of social democracy.
Social democracy has always been a complex and contested political tradition. Renewal offers a space in which its historic purposes – the expansion of equality, democratic governance, and social freedoms – can be debated, advanced, and applied to contemporary politics.
After a decade of economic stagnation and geopolitical crises the left faces severe challenges, but also opportunities. Many on the left felt that the economic crisis of 2008 would inevitably highlight just how broken many aspects of contemporary capitalism were. But instead of riding on a tide of popular disillusionment with a failing economic model, social democracy has experienced electoral failure and cultural detachment.
This failure is neither inevitable nor irreversible. There is a developing elite consensus about the dangers posed by runaway inequality and by climate change. More importantly, there is a rising popular and cultural awareness of economic, racial and gender injustice. The right has no response to these developments, yet the left has failed to channel them into a durable political project.
The Editorial Board of Renewal will use the journal to create the conditions for such a project. This will mean honest, open-ended and civil confrontation across a fragmented British left. It will require an injection of new insights and ideas, drawn from international comparisons and collaboration with neglected corners of academia and activism. Finally, it demands searching critique and understanding of the political, social, economic, cultural and international contexts that will constrain and condition a new politics for the British left.
Renewal will continue to offer a focus and a gathering point for the ideas and analysis necessary to the formulation of a viable, yet radical political strategy for the twenty-first century. We invite support, and encourage contributions, from all who share that objective.