This is first book in English dealing with the history of the Socialist International—the international alliance of social democratic parties—during the presidency of former German Chancellor Willy Brandt from 1976–1992. This book is based on thorough studies in numerous European and Latin American archives. It tries to avoid a Eurocentric view, giving equal importance to the Latin American and the European actors. It takes a fresh look at party diplomacy, a new kind of international diplomacy that was introduced by Willy Brandt in the field of international relations in the 1970s and 1980s. This study brings new insights in European as well as Latin American history of this time. It has a special focus on the role of Social Democrats (European as well as Latin American) in the civil wars in El Salvador and Nicaragua in the 1980s, and on its repercussions on domestic policies in Germany, Venezuela etc., and on the relations of those countries with the U.S. government.
Bernd Rother is senior fellow at the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt Foundation.
Chapter 1: The Path to One Another
Chapter 2: “Alliance for Peace and Progress”
Chapter 3: The Integration of the New: Invigorating, but Complicated and Tedious
Chapter 4: Latin American Challenges: Nicaragua
Chapter 5: Latin American Challenges: El Salvador
Chapter 6: Latin American Challenges: The Falkland/Malvinas Islands
Chapter 7: Final Consideration
About the Author
Bernd Rother's book is a fundamental contribution to the study of contemporary political history. It reconstructs and explains in detail a series of political processes that have not been studied much, despite being the basis of the third wave of democratization in the 1980s and 1990s. Following Willy Brandt's transnational activity, Global Social Democracy offers an approach where the ideas and strategies of political actors take on great importance, revealing a world where politics—and especially social democracy—was no longer confined within national or regional borders. This book is the product of an exhaustive review of sources and interviews that makes it essential reading for specialists and those interested in the history of the twentieth century, but also for locating the roots, agendas, and even the protagonists of the current situation in Latin America.
Bernd Rother's book offers the first global history perspective on Willy Brandt and his role as president of the Socialist International. This profound study opens unexpected and fascinating insights into the networks between European reform forces and their partner organizations in Latin America and the Caribbean. The focus is on revolutionary Central America in the 1970s and 1980s, when European socialists supported the right of the small nations to self-determination in the face of US hegemony.
Bernd Rother has deployed his fine historical skills and has written an engaging book about the Socialist International during the long presidency of the charismatic former German Chancellor Willy Brandt. Under Brandt’s leadership, the Socialist International became a global political and moral force for good, bringing Latin America, the Caribbean, and Europe as close together as never before in the postwar years. This imaginative new ‘Third Force’ in global politics, however, was viewed highly skeptically in Washington. Rother’s important book throws new light on a much-overlooked dimension of Brandt’s policies. It is essential reading for anyone who wishes to truly understand North–South relations and the influence of social democracy on global politics from the 1970s to the present.
Ideologically elastic and geographically expanding, the Socialist International under Willy Brandt exercised an impact on international politics far greater than its organizational weight. Bernd Rother’s well-researched study is an engaging and lucid account of the efforts by social democratic leaders in the ‘long 1970s’ to carve out a social liberal alternative to US hegemony within the West. Highlighting the centrality of the dialogue between European and Latin American progressives in this period, this book is warmly recommended to anyone with an interest in the global history of social democracy, transnational political networks, and political responses to the widening gap between North and South from decolonization to the Third World debt crises.
Rooted in a vast, multinational research effort, Rother’s book examines the relations between European and Latin American socialists and socialist parties during Willy Brandt’s presidency of the Socialist International from the mid-1970s to the 1990s. The result is a fascinating study of efforts by an important element of the noncommunist Left to forge trans-regional ties at a time when international politics increasingly overran the confines of Cold War binaries. Rother’s book is a significant contribution not only to the history of twentieth-century socialism but also to the intertwined fields of international and global history.