Defining progressive politics: municipal socialism and anti-socialism in contestation, 1889-1939

Robinson, Emily (2015) Defining progressive politics: municipal socialism and anti-socialism in contestation, 1889-1939. Journal of the History of Ideas, 76 (4). pp. 609-631. ISSN 0022-5037

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‘Progressive’ is usually seen to emerge as a political term in the late 1880s, when it was used to signify the emergence of new liberalism and its alliance with social democracy. This is also the period in which Reinhart Koselleck noted that ‘progress’ became an empty ‘catchword’, used across the political spectrum. This paper explores this semantic shift. It focuses on two periods of ‘Progressive’ municipal politics in Britain: the London Progressive Party elected in 1889, and the anti-socialist Progressive Parties of the inter-war years. It asks how the champions and opponents of municipal socialism could both call themselves ‘progressive’, and what this reveals about the fracturing of liberalism.

Item Type: Article
Keywords: progressive politics, word history, liberalism, new liberalism, anti-socialism, individualism, municipal politics, London
Schools and Departments: School of Law, Politics and Sociology > Politics
Subjects: D History General and Old World > DA History of Great Britain
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government > JS0055 History
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Depositing User: Emily Robinson
Date Deposited: 02 Nov 2015 12:20
Last Modified: 02 Jul 2019 18:25

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